As you have probably heard by now, the Secular Coalition for America has hired a new executive director to replace Sean Faircloth. Her name is Edwina Rogers and she is a longtime Republican aide, consultant and political operative. The reaction from the secular community so far seems to run the gamut from hope that she can make inroads with Republicans to absolute outrage.
Dan Fincke points out that she has made some pretty disturbing statements about stem cell research, as in this video:
But she told Hemant Mehta in an interview that stem cell research is one issue she hopes to push as director of the SCA:
I think in the near future, chances are good to make inroads on issues surrounding health and safety (things like stem cell research — because the upside is so tremendous), discrimination (especially in the military), fairness in tax policy, emphasizing a pro-science based education in public schools and tempering religious extremism — these are things the average American can really relate with.
But she has spent her entire career working for a party that is on the wrong side of every one of those issues. One argument in her favor is that she may be able to open some doors in Congress that have long been closed to us because of her experience and connections. I’m skeptical about that, but I am hoping to have the chance to ask her about it directly soon. On Wednesday, I’ll be interviewing Rogers for my radio show, to be aired either the 15th or the 22nd.
The other argument in her favor is that she’s just a hired gun that is paid to get results and she will do and say whatever is necessary to get those results. But is that good enough? Is that the person we should want as the face of secularism in Washington? I have my doubts, to say the least. But I’m looking forward to getting her on the record myself soon.
Like Dispatches on Facebook: