A lot of people have been unhappy about the Edwina Rogers fiasco (which I wrote about here), but Greta has the harshest take yet. I agree with everything she says. I especially like the fact that she emphasizes the mere fact that, yes, having a former Republican operative as Executive Director of the SCA is a problem even without the terrible interviews:
When I first heard that the Secular Coalition for America had named a long-time Republican political operative, Edwina Rogers, as their new Executive Director, my first reaction was extreme skepticism. To put it mildly. Actually, my first reaction was the top of my head blowing off…
The fact that Edwina Rogers is a long-time operative in the Republican party is a real problem. If she’d been running some other advocacy organization and happened to vote Republican every four years, that would be different. But for over twenty years, she has made a career of advancing a political party whose agenda and core values are diametrically opposed to those of the atheist and secular community. She has made a career out of advancing a political party that’s been systematically working — among other things — to dismantle women’s right to control our reproduction, to keep LGBT people as second-class citizens, and to advance the political agenda of the Religious Right. That is a big problem.
If the SCA had hired her as a lobbyist, I might be reacting differently. I don’t expect a lobbyist to share my values. It’s like hiring a lawyer: I don’t much care if they agree with me, I just care if they effectively represent me. But an Executive Director is different. An Executive Director is more than just a hired gun. An Executive Director is, among other things, the public face of an organization. When it’s an umbrella organization, as the SCA is, the Executive Director is the public face of a movement. They’re who we trot out when we want the public to see who we are… and they’re who we trot out when we want the community itself to be inspired by who we are. The Executive Director of an organization has to share the vision of the community they’re representing. They cannot be someone who’s devoted their career for over twenty years to undermining that vision.
She also has the most eloquent explanation I’ve seen yet of just how awful Rogers has been in the interviews she’s given:
She was talking to her own community here. She was talking to the people she was hired to represent. And she treated us with contempt. She treated us like children, or fools. She treated us like gullible, easily manipulated sheep, who would swallow whatever she told us without question. She treated us, not like members of a community who she was hired to represent, but like targets of a PR campaign who she was hired to dupe.
Finally, Greta says she’s stopped supporting the SCA (while urging people not to stop supporting SCA member organizations, who are not to blame for this fiasco), and is frank that the SCA absolutely needs to get rid of Rogers. Go Greta!