FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, please contact:
Kim Rippere, Secular Woman President: 404.669.6727 E-mail
Mary Ellen Sikes, Secular Woman VP of Operations: 404.669.6727 E-mail
Secular Woman Supports Justin Vacula's Resignation From Secular Coalition for Pennsylvania
Atlanta, Georgia – October 4, 2012. In a Web blog posted earlier this afternoon, activist Justin Vacula announced that "[f]ollowing a lengthy period of self-reflection and deliberation" he was leaving his position as co-chair of the Secular Coalition for America's newly launched Pennsylvania chapter. Secular Woman views Vacula's resignation as a positive move for Pennsylvania's non-religious women and the entire secular community.
Vacula had come under intense criticism in recent months for posting complaints about a Secular Woman supporter, Amy Davis Roth, on A Voice for Men, a site dedicated to combating feminism and "the threat of feminist governance." Vacula had also published Roth's street address and a photo of her home on the Slyme Pit, an Internet discussion forum.
The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies A Voice for Men as one of a dozen leading misogyny websites and notes its affiliation with Register-Her.com, an Internet listing of women alleged to have falsely accused men of rape.
Secular Woman President Kim Rippere contacted the Washington office of the Secular Coalition for America (SCA) on Monday to express concerns raised within the Secular Woman community following the announcement of Vacula's new position. "Our members felt that Pennsylvania women could not trust Mr. Vacula to represent their interests or protect their privacy, at the very least," Rippere said of the conversation with Eliza Kashinsky, SCA Chief of Staff. Secular Woman members and leaders reacted appreciatively to the SCA's attentive response.
Although Vacula's resignation blog acknowledged some wrongdoing ("I have indeed made some mistakes and handled some situations poorly in past months. These mistakes were errors of judgment and were not, by any means, coupled with malicious intent…"), he was also sharply critical of those who had protested his SCA position. "The Secular Coalition for America was founded in order to 'formalize a cooperative structure for visible, unified activism to improve the civic situation of citizens with a naturalistic worldview.' Unfortunately, some persons in this community who have been quite vocal in objecting to my appointment – and many who were quick to dismiss me — do not seem to be interested in that."
Rippere disagreed. "How can any church-state movement succeed without the contributions of women? At state level, our issues are the theocrat's first playbook.
"And besides," she continued, "Secular Woman objects to the idea that some sort of 'greater good' is served by women's silence. Still, we appreciate Justin's fundamental understanding that his leadership was an impediment to the secular community at this time, and we look forward to a more thoughtful brand of activism from him in the future."
Secular Woman is an educational non-profit organization whose mission is to amplify the voice, presence, and influence of non-religious women. For more information about Secular Woman visit: www.SecularWoman.org