Major Mike responds to the “Conflict in the Secular Movement” Survey

Worst Survey Ever

Worst Survey Ever. Why so many choices?

There, that's Better

There. That's better.

I’m a big fan of the “Conflict in the Secular Movement Survey” that’s been going around.

It’s about time that somebody found a forum for us to express how we feel about conflict within the secular community. At long last we can find out the question that’s on everybody’s minds: are feminists causing all this trouble, or is there no trouble at all?

As is fitting for such an important topic, the survey has been meticulously designed by research professionals. Nice they could scare up enough scientists in the atheist community. That must have been tough. Way to go, boys — and gals!

I wanted to share my answers with y’all. If you haven’t taken it yet — no cheating!

1. If you had to choose one, what is the cause of conflict in the secular movement?

A) Divisive figures who purposefully cause conflict

B) Differences in ideologies

C) Miscommunication

My only complaint rests with the first question. Why do I have to choose just one? Look at Rebecca Watson. She's an A) divisive figure who caused conflict about her B) differing feminism ideology by C) miscommunicating her statement, "Guys, don't do that."

That's how #Elevatorgamergate started.

2. Do you believe feminists in the secular movement create conflict because of their emphasis on feminism?

A) Yes

B) No

What? No “of course” button?

Ok, I’m being nitpicky. Better to make people take a stand: are feminists causing the problem or not? Answer — Take it, Steve Carell: 

3. Do you believe that the secular movement is welcoming to all people?

A) Yes

B) No

YES. I have always felt welcome in the secular movement.

Again, I’m glad they didn’t waste time with any of the usual questionnaire pseudoscience, making people waste their time to provide more “nuanced” (or wishy-washy) responses like:

Very Welcoming 

Somewhat Welcoming

Neither Welcoming or Not Welcoming

Somewhat Not Welcoming 

Not at all Welcoming

I mean really, is it welcoming or not? Make up your mind!

4. Do you believe the secular movement needs to be diversified?

A) Yes

B) No

NO. I’d really hate for Christians to be welcomed in our movement. Can’t we all just be atheists?

Again, thanks guys (and gals) for making us stick to yes-or-no choices.

5. If you do not think diversity is a problem, do you believe the secular community is working hard to outreach minorities?

A) Yes, the secular community is working hard in minority outreach

B) No, the secular community needs to work harder to outreach minorities

C) I do not think diversity is a problem in the secular movement

I've often said I don't think diversity is a problem, so (C). Logic for the win!

Although they should have made it the first option, rescuing me from having to read the other two choices.

6. Do you believe that most conflict orginates in the internet?

A) Yes

B) No

YES. Little known fact: the Israel / Palestine conflict originated on the Internet.

7. Do you believe conflict can be reduced if there was less use of social media?

A) Yes

B) No

Simple: YES. First thing the secular movement needs to do is to find out a way to keep people from using social media. This will fix everything.

8. Do you believe there should be more emphasis on social justice issues?

A) Yes

B) There is enough emphasis on social justice issues

C) The secular movement should not involve itself with social justice issues

C, of course!

We need to focus on issues like prayer in public school, the right for kids to avoid saying the Pledge of Allegiance, and the rights of atheists in the workplace.

None of these have anything to do with social justice.

9. In your opinion, is there unnecessary name calling during arguments online?

A) Yes

B) No

Anybody who thinks there isn’t unnecessary name calling online is a fucking goober nimrod.

10. In your opinion, do you believe that the responses over an argument are generally appropriate or antagonistic?

A) Antagonistic

B) Appropriate

Both! I think I can be appropriately antagonistic.


This survey managed to capture all of the nuances of the current debate — and in only 10 questions!

I’m sure the responses will give us some answers about how we can all move forward.