Kim, thank you for the level head you put forth at the heads meeting and the piece you recently delivered to my in box.  I found this to be very helpful as a summary of the issue.  I agree with much and also disagree with a few of the comments made or reported.  As a leader (president of the American Humanist Association and 8 years on its board of directors) I need to point out that each of the “secular organizations” has its own mission statement.  The reason that there are many rather than one secular organization is that they represent different segments of the secular population.  Each organization has its own culture, its own “feel”.   After a brief review of their mission statements it is apparent that there has been mission creep within most all of them, yet the tone and focus of these organizations remains attached to their original roots and basic mission.   There is a good reason why my allegiance is to the AHA.


That said, I’m sure corrections aren’t the primary feedback you’re looking for, since you definitely have some good material in there and I hope your getting appropriate recognition for that, but corrections are what I happen to have right now.  It is personally important to me that the AHA be accurately reflected.


One problem I noticed was the “Gender Ratios of Secular Orgs” which has incorrect information about the American Humanist Association.  It says our Board is made up of 7 women and 18 men. Our board is made up of 7 women and 8 men (and that’s only if you count Dave as immediate past president, we’ve been 50/50 for the past several years). Our staff, which is not included in the document, is made up of 7 women and 8 men.


I was also a little surprised that there was the item in the Purity Test section 6.5 of the document you handed out suggesting that the AHA hasn’t done anything on women’s rights since our 1985 (reiteration of our) support for a woman’s right to choose.


We’re quite regularly vocal on women’s issues. In fact, we have an action alert on the ERA action right now and our annual lobbying on the Violence Against Women Act is about to move into high gear. Our Humanist of the Year last year was Gloria Steinem and we regularly recognize other leading feminists as well as give the Feminist Heroine award every year.  We are active members of the International Family Planning coalition in Washington as well as other women’s rights focused efforts. And we have a Feminist Caucus in it’s third decade of operation that helps add focus to our feminist outreach on both the local and the national level.


Certainly our members hear all about this in our magazine, newsletter, ezine, etc. And while I wish the press covered these activities just as much as our Good Without A God ads, it’s not for our lack of effort to get the word out through press releases, action alerts, articles, etc. Still, judging by the thousands of likes to our feminist oriented posts on Facebook and Huffington Post, some in our movement are definitely seeing this activity.


Sincerely,   Becky

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