Cautiously Pessimistic: Greta Christina’s Interview with Edwina Rogers

Edwina Rogers’ appointment as the Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America has had the atheist blogging community in a tizzy ever since Hemant posted his interview last week. Now Greta Christina has jumped in with an audio interview (MP3) that validates many readers’ suspicions. (Additionally, a transcript of the interview is available here.)

To be clear, the issue here is not about Rogers personality or intellect or even her prior involvement in the Republican party; it’s that the cumulative effect of all of those things has not been addressed in any reassuring way by Rogers. Personally, I wouldn’t be opposed to a leader who had different values from myself, past or present, so long as questions about those values were made clear and we had some initial, important common ground.

Troublingly, Rogers demonstrated a pretty stunning inability to communicate her motivations even for joining the Republican Party in the first place. Here’s the relevant portion of the interview (emphasis mine):

Greta Christina: The question that people are asking is, why support that party? And why put years of your life and work into supporting that party, rather than supporting a party that supports you on the issues?

Edwina Rogers: Well, I was a Democrat, because I was born and raised in Alabama. At one point, in the 80’s, when Reagan came through, the majority of Alabama switched and became Republicans because the idea of working hard, and getting ahead, and pulling yourself up by the bootstraps really resonated with people in Alabama. And I am a Republican. I’m a conservative Republican, and I definitely don’t have any plans to change parties, and I don’t think that the Secular Coalition for America would be as interested in me if I was another person who was closely affiliated with the Democratic Party. They’ve got that covered. They’ve got that covered very well. So the plan is not for me to try to go and… operate in a party that I have not been. The plan is for me to try to work with Republicans and also with Democrats, and build common ground.

Now the coalitions I’ve worked with in the past, they were bipartisan, and this one actually is bipartisan. And you know, that’s what the leadership thinks, that’s what the leadership wants, and they had no problem with the fact that I happen to be a Republican, and we’ve been over my personal position. But for people to think that there are people with in the Republican party that are the opposition and they have opinions that are different from my opinion and that that is somehow my fault. I totally disagree with that. Because I don’t think that it is. I think I’m just going to go out and do what it takes to win over any groups and as many decision makers as possible to the movement, and make them allies, and I’m not planning on sitting here and writing everybody up. I’m going to go and work hard and educate and persuade and have the best advocacy positions that we have hand have the best written materials and be tenacious and get our foot in the door and get a seat at the table and move beyond our traditional reach, is what I’m planning on doing.

Rogers can’t seem to understand the conflict between her personal political opinions and the goals of the secular movement, which Greta Christina attempted to clarify over and over again in the interview, nor can she even coherently explain her own dedication to the party beyond “Reagan was persuasive.” There are plenty of arguments, particularly economic arguments, that a person might make to justify belonging to a more conservative party despite supporting more progressive policies elsewhere, but I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that the popularity one gets during a presidential campaign does not constitute a strong argument.

Furthermore, Rogers seems to believe, out of ignorance or design, that Republicans support secular values despite decades of actual policy that contradict her. A common thread throughout the interview was Rogers responding to questions by questioning and warning against “stereotyping,” though she had no evidence to support her claims beyond her “years of insider experience.”

Fundamentally, Ms. Rogers needs to understand that the population she is representing does not see her years of experience with and commitment to the Republican Party as an asset unless she has strong evidence for doing so. She demonstrated a clear lack of understanding about the evolution of conservative politics over the last thirty years, and, more troubling, that her own personal experience somehow trumps data and evidence (another common thread in the interview was the general setup of “well, I don’t know…but my experience is the opposite…” to answer questions).

Moreover, the bumbling answers and rhetorical circus in the interview demonstrated not only an individual quite separated from the priorities of the secular and atheist movement, but also someone who doesn’t care about reality.

Quite simply, I cannot trust someone who believes that the Republican Party is just as pro-choice as it is pro-life. Or just as pro-gay marriage as anti-gay marriage. Or just as concerned about separation of church and state as it is about injecting church into state. Democrat, Republican, or the Party of Polka Dotted Sock Enthusiasts — I don’t particularly care, so long as we both value policy made for and driven by objective reality-minded individuals.

Edwina Rogers has certainly not inspired that confidence in me. Nor am I confident in her ability to accurately represent me or other atheists when it comes to the issues we care about. Either I have a lot of surprises coming my way from the Secular Coalition for America, or they have made a colossal misstep. I’m cautiously pessimistic; I won’t write Ms. Rogers off completely, but if she wants to win over the godless crowd, she needs to drop her spade, quit shoveling, and familiarize herself with the people she is being paid to represent.

About amanda

Amanda is a pie-baking, music-listening, lindy-hopping, yoga-doing, power-tool-wielding feminist, atheist, and wife. She divides her time equally between cooking delicious things, trying to make nice with the house cat, and ranting about religion.

  • http://www.allourlives.org/ TooManyJens

    I really have trouble believing she was the most qualified candidate for this particular position. They did get other applicants, right? She just doesn’t seem to know the first thing about the American political landscape when it comes to issues important to nonbelievers. Either that or she does know and doesn’t want to be honest about it.

  • http://twitter.com/JoeCascio Joe Cascio

    My question would be, who in the Secular Coalition of America decided she would be a good executive director? I am not familiar with this organization. Is it just a front for the GOP claiming that up is down and right is left?

    • http://www.allourlives.org/ TooManyJens

      SCA always seemed legit before this. This doesn’t make me think they’re not legit, but it does make me seriously question their judgment.

  • http://twitter.com/KathyOrlinsky Kathy Orlinsky

    I’m beginning to understand how so many people can vote against their own self interests. Why do women/minorities/gay/middle class/poor people ever vote for the GOP? The same reason that Rogers does. They don’t recognize that the Republican party is against their interests. Somehow, they ignore the official party statements and the proposed and passed legislation and say, ‘well, there are some Republicans who do hold my views so it’s fine.’

    Maybe it’s something like what goes on in Francis Collins and other creationist scientists’ minds. They can believe two contradictory things at the same time.

    If this is true, we’re never going to convince people to support us by giving them facts. Rogers states that she flat out does not believe that the GOP is anti-choice, anti-gay, etc. How are you going to get anywhere starting from that point?

    • GaryS

      You are aware that Republicans like Barry Goldwater was supported gay marriage three decades ago and that currently Ron Paul is better on gay marriage than Obama is, right?

      • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

        The claim about Paul isn’t terribly accurate. Paul supports leaving gay marriage up to the states. He has on occasion claimed that he personally has no problem with people voluntarily associating, but he also said that if he had been in congress at the time he would have voted for DOMA, and he’s one of the primary sponsors of the Marriage Protection Act 
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_Protection_Act whose sole purpose is to make removal of DOMA more difficult. 

      • Stev84

        Barry Goldwater wouldn’t be able to get anywhere in today’s Republican party. They have moved far to the right since those days.

        Ron Paul is ok with any kind of discrimination as long as it’s the state’s who do the discriminating. He would be in favor of segregation as long as the federal government stays out of it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Madalyn-Gregory/100001240493209 Madalyn Gregory

    I loved the idea to begin with but this interview is ridiculous. One only has to look at the 2008 Republican Platform to see that they specifically outline ‘traditional marriage’ and joining faith and state as the party’s position. It is one thing to agree with Republicans fiscally but not on social issues. I am sure there are some pro-choice, pro-gay rights, pro-secular government Republicans but it definitively not what the party is aiming to for. She seems either out of touch or willfully ignorant and neither is acceptable for the position she has been hired to.

  • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

    For many humans politics  is more about tribal allegiance than anything else. One doesn’t have a specific set of political beliefs because they are connected but because certain groups have historically had them. For example, here’s no ideological reason for example that people who favor the death penalty should also be in favor of lower tax rates, or that people against the death penalty will generally want more social security and welfare. What Rogers is talking about reflects just that: she joined the Republican party and adopted some of their views for essentially social reasons. That’s why she doesn’t have a coherent explanation of why she joined them. In that regard, she’s actually a bit more honest than most people who would in a similar situation tell a story that painted themselves as a logical thinker when that had nothing to do with why they choose what they did.

    Still, I agree that Rogers is not a very good candidate for the position. I’d feel a lot more comfortable about her if she were willing to state that the Republican party has more problems with individuals attempting to impose their religions on everyone else than the Democrats do. 

  • Aaronlane

    If this blog becomes anymore like MoveOn.org, I’m deleting it from my newsfeed. I’m not here to read about feminism, or reproductive rights or partisan politics.

    If this is a leftist blog, rename it so we will know. Otherwise lets not follow our adversaries example and begin the crucifixions, shall we?

    There are worse things out there than being a Republican, you know. Like an inability to keep your hands out of other people’s wallets for one.

    • Alyeska

      Reality has a liberal bias.

      • T-Rex

        The reality is, those on the far Left are no better than those on the far Right. They’re both extremists. I don’t  identify with either party anymore because I’m fiscally conservative and socially liberal. I hate what the GOP stands for as far as social issues but I also hate the liberals that want to dip their hands into my pockets at every turn. I work hard for a living and have done so for 30+ years. If the GOP hadn’t been hijacked by the religious Right I’d probably still vote for a Republican now and then but as it is all I can do is throw away my vote on 3rd party candidates like I’ve been doing since Clinton left office. Welcome to reality.

        • http://www.allourlives.org/ TooManyJens

           “The reality is, those on the far Left are no better than those on the far Right. They’re both extremists.”

          -1 for irrelevance. There is no significant far Left in the United States.

          • BenZ

            Agreed, but nor is there much of a far right. Fascism and theocracy don’t get much traction here, even when compared to Europe. Xenophobia and anti-intilectualism is about as bad as it gets here though.

            • Charon

               Theocracy doesn’t get much traction here?

              Have you paid any attention to politics for the last… I don’t know, 30 or 40 years? Or more recently, listened to any of the Republican presidential candidate debates?

              • BeryWindham

                You don’t know what an actual theocracy is, do you?

        • BruceMcGlory

          Care to provide any evidence of this powerful extreme leftist phantom, or are we just supposed to take your word for it?

        • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

          The problem isn’t the extreme right and extreme left in the US so much as the fact that what constituted moderate right wing simply doesn’t have substantial influence. That’s why you get for example far more Republicans with anti-science views than you Democrats. The primary examples of this are global warming and evolution. While there are some anti-science attitudes on the left (such as attitudes about vaccination, nuclear power and GMOs), they don’t have nearly the same sort of control.  You get situations like this in the Republican primaries 
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4Cc8t3Zd5E that you don’t get with the Democrats. The Democrats are hardly a party of reason, but they are less divorced from reality.

          This isn’t the only issue- different attitudes about LGBTQE issues and feminism arise to a large extent out of differences in religious beliefs. Republicans strongly support “traditional marriage” out of religious beliefs. Democrats who are in favor of gay marriage frequently believe in God and think that God is ok with such marriages. But the fact that many Democrats are coming from a similarly religious position doesn’t change the fact that their viewpoint is in practice much closer to the viewpoint of the vast majority of people who don’t believe in God, which is having no issues with gay marriage.  The Democrats views coincide much more with those of most agnostics and atheists.

          Now, that doesn’t mean that atheists and agnostics should become some sort of lockstep for the Democratic party. Whether one believes in God shouldn’t have much to do with enconomic policy minutia, or questions about what sort of healthcare system to have in the same fundamental way that gay marriage  only have substantial objections if one believes in a specific sort of God.  But right now, if one wants candidates who aren’t going to impose their religion on everyone and candidates who understand and accept basic science, the best thing to do is vote for the Democrats. 

          • http://twitter.com/butterflyfish_ Heidi McClure

            One difference in the anti-science biases, though, is that people on the left are a lot more willing to listen to contradictory evidence. Except maybe the anti-vaxxers, but the only anti-vaxxers I know are Ron Paulbots. I don’t know if they’re typical of the breed.

            • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

              I haven’t really seen any evidence that people on the left are more willing to listen to contradictory evidence. Many of the anti-vaxxers are not Ron Paulbots but more California liberals and the like, such as Bill Maher. Huffington Post is a great center of left-wing anti-vax attitudes. And vaccines aren’t the only example. Some environmental organizations object to fusion research for the apparent reason that it has the word “nuclear” in it. See for example this bit by Greenpeace decrying the building of the ITER research reactor- 
              http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/press/releases/ITERprojectFrance/

          • DaveWindham

            Actually the Libertarians are better on the God issue than the democrats by a country mile

            • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

              Some libertarians are. Many like Ron Paul and Rand Paul have in practice views that aren’t exactly libertarian when it comes to a lot of these issues. And libertarians have all sorts of other problems. 

        • alconnolly

           You describe yourself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal. Surely you do not mean that you consider the republican party in any way fiscally conservative. Both parties increase spending every chance they get, republicans on military might so that the US outspends the majority of the rest of the world, and democrats on social issues, and both parties on earmarks and other politically expedient things.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

           The American “far left” is more like “centre right”

          • http://www.allourlives.org/ TooManyJens

             Seriously. When people are painting the Affordable Care Act or Clinton-era tax rates (just as examples; I know T-Rex didn’t specify those) as “far Left”, that just goes to show how out of touch they are with what actually constitutes “Left,” not to mention how much further Right we are economically than most of the industrialized world.

        • http://twitter.com/Tokeloshe1 Bruce Gorton

          You know who is actually worse than either the extreme left or the extreme right? You.

          The problem isn’t with the extreme left or right in America, it is the ‘centrists’ who think “Oh, I can just throw my hands in the air and say ‘you’re just as bad as each other’ as a sort of get out of having to deal with the issues either side is bringing up.”

          You leave the political debate to the nutjobs, knowing they are nutjobs, and then think that makes you better than the nutjobs. That doesn’t make you any better, it just makes you more irresponsible. 

      • Dave

        Reality has a libertarian bias, sorry the current state of the Eurozone proves it doesn’t have a liberal bias. 

        • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

          This is a very strange claim to make. First, most of the time when people make the claim about reality having a liberal bias they are essentially referring in a snarky way to basic policy issues related to science, such as evolution and global warming, or  whether some divine entity appeared to an ancient desert tribe to give them rules about their sex lives and gender norms that were meant to stand for all eternity.  The notion that the current Eurozone problems show a libertarian bias only makes sense if oe interprets “libertarian bias” to mean something of the form “in bad economic times, extremely large social welfare programs that allow people to retire in their fifties really don’t work well.” That’s a libertarian bias if one is dealing with a homeopathic dose of libertarianism. 

    • Onamission5

      A lack of belief in deities usually means embracing of reality and critical thinking.

    • ganner918

      This is a post about a leader of a secular organization

    • BruceMcGlory

      Can someone translate the Whiny Bigotese
      for me?  All I see is “Waaah! You’re not
      catering specifically to me so I’m taking my ball and going home! Btichez aint’ shit!”.

    • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky


      I’m not here to read about feminism, or reproductive rights or partisan politics.

      Some of these issues connect to atheism and non-belief in ways that make them necessary parts of discussion. For example, most of the anti-abortion arguments hinge on specific religious doctrines about God and the nature of the human soul. Anti-abortion arguments can be made in a broader context, but they generally are weaker or only apply to much later term abortions. Similarly, the arguments against contraceptives are purely religious in nature. If one thinks that there isn’t a God out there demanding these things, then that’s relevant. Similar remarks apply to much of what is classified as “feminism.”

      There are worse things out there than being a Republican, you know. Like an inability to keep your hands out of other people’s wallets for one. 

      I presume that by the second sentence you are referring to taxes. While it is certainly difficult for someone in favor of low taxes to decide who to vote for in the current environment, one does have to wonder if you would agree with similar phrasings. For example, would you rather have people in office who put their hands in your wallet or people who put themselves in your bedroom? Would you prefer their hands in your wallet or their hands in your vagina? If you are male and don’t have a vagina, that question should still bother you if you have a mother, or have sisters or daughters or a girlfriend or wife.  Unfortunately, these are real questions that need to be asked. There are always conflicting priorities in politics. So what price do you want to pay for a  slightly lower marginal tax rate? 

      • Emert

        But the Democrats and Republicans are equally bad on this issue. The ACLU has said Obama is worse than Bush on civil liberties. So how about we stop pretending the Democrats are the good guys? 

        • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

          I didn’t pretend that there Democrats are “good guys” in any way shape or form. And yes, Obama has been about as bad as Bush on civil liberties issues that are connected to the fourth amendment. But that’s not the matter I was discussing. Basic reproductive rights was the matter under discussion, and in that context the Republican establishment is clearly much worse than the Democrats. 

    • Aaronlane

       And this is the sort of diversity the humanist movement is going to have trouble with.

      Such as when Hemant calls out for new contributors, who can be diverse in race or gender or LGBTQRSTUV.. or what ever else you like… as long as you toe the line in political thought? None else need be welcome?

      I have a masters degree in economics and spend my days doing analysis and forecasting. And believe me, if anyone is ignoring reality based economic facts… they probably have some sort of “occupy” sign in their car.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

        I don’t recall a Democrat-only line in any of my calls for contributors.

        • Aaronlane

           I think it’s become abundantly clear that anything is is Not Part Of Our Club. No one has even mentioned the fact that when you want to hire a lobbyist, you hire one who can get into the offices in question. Republicans are a majority in Congress. Ms. Rogers has ties to many of those offices. Without that, it’s hard to get in the door. This was an excellent pragmatic decision.

          But of course that was lost. All that mattered was that she was clearly a Packers fan, and we all like the Bears.

          • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

            There’s no question that some of this reaction is due to standard political tribalism, and the sportsfan analogy may be accurate (and certainly some of the replies to your comments have been contentless insults and cheering rather than actually addressing the points).  But that doesn’t change the fact that that she’s not just a Republican but is having a lot of trouble acknowledging that Republicans are much worse than Democrats on many issues that secularist naturally care about (although the Reddit thread was slightly better).

            While it is true that Republicans are a majority in the House, they aren’t a majority in the Senate, and these sorts of things change regularly from election to election. Moreover, if one is looking at the current make-up of Congress, the House Republicans have an even larger percentage of theocratically inclined members than the Senate, making lobbying them on issues of interests to atheists and agnostics much more difficult.  That’s not to say that targeting Republicans might not be helpful, but that it is going to be quite difficult and likely not have very large returns. And trying to make such success is going to be tough when your primary lobbyist is not showing great acknowledgment of the actual problems with the Republican party. 

      • Charon

         “I have a masters degree… in economics!”

        I love it. If you’re going to make arguments based on credentials rather than evidence, you shouldn’t immediately put yourself up against Paul Krugman.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

       Go ahead and delete this from your newsfeed.  I’m sure I’m not the only person who won’t miss your whining about how little you care about anybody but yourself.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZQJQB3SSNRSJZSQ3KABB7MQLJI rx7ward

       You are definitely in the wrong place! Skeptics don’t buy the BS you’re peddling, and you’ve obviously not had a critical thought about this, ever. Take your FOXNews-Limbaugh talking points with you as you leave …

      • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

        This sort of reply doesn’t really seem to advance dialogue in useful fashion. Aaron’s made a set of points. Responding to those points rather than insulting is probably more useful. If there’s one thing skeptics must strive to do if we are to be actually skeptics and critical thinkers, it is to actually respond with reasoned argument rather than make generic accusations  and attacks. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bruce-Wright/1451447525 Bruce Wright

    I’m not a member of the SCA or any of its component groups, so I really don’t get a say.  They can choose whoever they want.

    Rogers doesn’t seem cut from the same cloth as the vocal parts of the secular community.  Perhaps she’s not a fit in this community.

    She does, however, sound like a lot of the people in Washington DC, so maybe she fits in there.

  • BenZ

    I agree with Hemant, but might go even farther. I know little about Ms. Rogers, and given her resume alone, I assume that she is a highly capable and qualified political operative. However, she is the head of a political organization, so what she seems like is highly relavent. So…

    Ms. Rogers seems like someone who has little to no connection to her new constituency. Furthermore, she seems either incredibly dishonest about her beliefs and experiences in the GOP, or she’s incredibly naive or ignorant to the party she’s spent decades working for. To be frank, in this interview with Greta, she sounds downright obtuse and ignorant in general.

    She says that issues such as gay rights, separation of church and state, and abortion do not define republicans and have little connection to the party. They’re in the damn platform!

    Even though I’m incredibly liberal, I would LOVE to see a conservative, even a republican, head the SCA. It seems like a great strategy to get bipartisan traction on our issues. However, Ms. Rogers seems highly unqualified with respect to experience, honesty, intellect, and gravitas. Try again SCA.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mgafm Ashley F. Miller

    Even more troubling, the SCA is doubling down on her misinformation by lying with stats in its own blog.  It’s really unfortunate.

    • http://www.allourlives.org/ TooManyJens

      “Between the Republican “nones” and the 34 percent of Republicans that
      don’t like where the Religious Right is taking their party– that’s a
      lot of people we’re missing if we work with only the other side.”

      Sheesh, what a straw man. Nobody is saying secularists should work only with Democrats! But it doesn’t do anyone any good for SCA’s new Executive Director to be ignorant of (or dishonest about) what we’re up against in the Republican Party.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=5736566 Scott Maddox

    She must be an Ayn Rand Atheist. Her & S.E. Cupp probably hang out together.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=5736566 Scott Maddox

    Greta should’ve whipped out this list:

    Upholding the Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear ArmsEnsuring Equal Treatment for AllProtecting Our National SymbolsFreedom of Speech and of the Press Maintaining The Sanctity and Dignity of Human LifePreserving Traditional MarriageSafeguarding Religious LibertiesPreserving Americans’ Property Rights Supporting Native American Communities

    http://www.gop.com/2008Platform/Values.htm

  • alconnolly

     Awesome you spend your days doing forecasting, so please point me to the forecast you made about how the banks and wall street were destroying the world economy and setting us up for a major crash by treating the financial world like a great big casino. Or did your reality based forecast totally miss reality reality

    • http://www.allourlives.org/ TooManyJens

       WTF?

      • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

        I think that alconnolly meant to have their comment reply to Aaronlane’s comment. 

        • http://www.allourlives.org/ TooManyJens

           Ah, OK. That makes much more sense!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=5736566 Scott Maddox

    She gave $1,000 to Rick Perry while he was a Republican, not a Democrat. So the fact that she brought up him being a Democrat in the Ancient Past is completely irrelevent!

    http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/neighbors.php/neighbors.php?type=name&lname=ROGERS&fname=EDWINA&off=0

    • Annie

      And that she said she wished she could give money to every republican governor.  There are a bunch of really wacky republican governors in office right now…

      I enjoyed this write-up.  It encouraged me to go listen to the interview.

  • dearestlouise

    Just wanted to point out Rogers started a Q&A at Reddit a couple of hours ago… 
    http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/tdbbh/iama_republican_from_alabama_who_now_leads_the/

    • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

      Hmm, her views there seem to be slightly more nuanced and in touch with reality than the interview with Greta reflected. This makes me more optimistic. 

      • Gus Snarp

        I don’t know, I admittedly skimmed it, but every time I saw someone pressing her on the issue of what the Republican party stands for, she either didn’t answer or answered evasively. She still seems to be basically dishonest about what the Republican Party stands for.

  • http://modernatheist.wordpress.com/ Eric Drennen
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=5736566 Scott Maddox

    Oh, I get it…the secular coalition wants to promote the idea that you can be both a Non-theist and a crazy conservative, in order to lure some of the crazy conservatives to the ranks of non-theists. I consider this stooping pretty low or scraping the bottom of the barrel in search for additional Non-Theists.

  • Roxane

    Not sure I’ll be donating any more to SCA until I see how this plays out.

  • Nigel

    Let’s just stipulate that she is deluded about the platform of the GOP, and its position on a many social issues since the Ford Administration are not progressive for the vast majority of the party.  It seems obvious she is not connecting with many of the people with whom whose positions she will be advocating.  

    However, her resume and background in Washington politics are impressive.  Her task in part is to persuade members of Congress of both of the major parties to an unpopular causes with the majority Americans.  While I doubt she’ll suddenly rally the entire Republican establishment, I suspect she’ll be taken more seriously given that Rogers can’t be blown off as just another nutty goddess lefty.  Maybe not, but I do think it is important to keep in mind that in part she is a hired gun to advocate a set of positions.  If her party affiliation can help keep some doors from being closed in her face all the better.  If Rogers flops, then it was a failed attempt.  

    Rather than be cautiously pessimistic, and pre-judge her abilities to produce results to give the woman a chance.  

  • newavocation

    It will be interesting to see if Edwina Rogers learns anything or discovers her critical thinking skills. 

  • Keulan

    I was already wary of Rogers before I read the transcript of that interview. Now I’m wondering how she was chosen for the position in the Secualr Coalition for America at all. Who thought she was a good choice? She’s ridiculously unaware of the reality of U.S. politics, particularly the stances of the overwhelming majority of Republican party on issues of gay rights, women’s rights, separation of church and state, and so forth. I think SCA fucked up big-time in choosing Edwina Rogers as their new executive director.

  • Greg Cook

    She’s lying and I don’t trust her. All the things she says the GOP isn’t is right their in their party platform – anti-gay marriage agenda and anti-choice agenda.

    http://www.gop.com/2008Platform/2008platform.pdf

  • Gus Snarp

    I wanted to give her a chance, but I cannot abide being lied to so transparently, nor being represented by someone so fundamentally dishonest.

  • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

    I listened to the whole interview, and of the two people speaking only one of them spoke with passion about issues they genuinely believed in, and it wasn’t Rogers.

    Rogers never gave a straight answer to the question about why she is a Republican.  I didn’t hear her ever say a particular issue was near and dear to her heart, and worth fighting for.  If she’s coming in as a hired gun, lets hear her just be honest about that.  I’d rather have blunt honesty than the waffling that I’m hearing now.

  • Edward Starr

    Since having had some discussion with representatives of SCA at the Reason Rally, I’d been seriously considering getting involved.  The choice of Edwina Rogers as director, however, leaves me with serious questions about the organization’s direction and it’s commitment to strict separation of church and state. 
    When questioned about her reasons for supporting a political party that would undermine this essential founding principle of our republic, she consistently equivocated and misrepresented what is actually in the offical Republican party platform.   Wishy-washiness is not among the characteristics of effective leadership.  SCA needs a leader.
    She claims that her background will provide unique entree and a platform from which to “educate ” conservative Republicans on the issues.  How naive. Would that it were so simple.  We know that those in control of the party are people who are invariant to data, willfully ignorant regarding matters of critical importance, blind to the deliterious consequenses of their policies, and stubbornly uneducable.  If education were the remedy, virtue and reason would already have triumphed.
    Besides, what specific experience does she have in representing secular interests or causes?  Seems to me that she’s more interested in building a resume than advocating for what the SCA and the community it purports to represent stands for.

  • http://profiles.google.com/brotheratombombofmoderation Steve Caldwell

    Edwina Rogers: Well, I was a Democrat, because I was born and raised in Alabama. At
    one point, in the 80’s, when Reagan came through, the majority of
    Alabama switched and became Republicans because the idea of working
    hard, and getting ahead, and pulling yourself up by the bootstraps
    really resonated with people in Alabama. And I am a Republican.

    The news that a white southerner from Alabama is a Republican isn’t really news:

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/11/solid-south-reversed-but-still-divided-by-race/

    Here’s what Nate Siliver says about this:

    Moreover, because of the partisan makeup of Alabama and Mississippi,
    Republican control will most likely prove durable. Alabama and
    Mississippi are the two most inelastic states
    in the nation; they have very few swing voters and thus are largely
    impervious to changing political conditions at the national level. The
    same dynamic that kept Democrats in power for decades now favors the
    Republican Party: the partisan uniformity of the white majority.


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