An easy target
There’s another thing about Stedman’s campaign “to find common ground between the religious and the secular.” It’s that all his finding and common grounding and affirmativing and positiving is directed toward the religious while he is in effect quite unfriendly toward the nonreligious. He goes about his work of saying what should be done, by throwing a little dirt at atheists.
We cannot promote Humanist values when we expend our energy lobbing simplistic critiques at the religious…we must get over this sense that provocation should be our number one goal, and that positive engagement with others is unimportant…the future of Humanism isn’t blasphemous billboards, bombastic rhetoric or even blogs…
Little jabs, one after the other, all over-general and subtly unpleasant, all just the kind of thing that appeals to existing prejudices which have been getting systematically stoked for several years, all directed at atheists.
Well…if positive engagement is such a good idea, why so much negative engagement with us? Why recycle the hostile stereotypes yet again? Why add yet more stiffener to the existing hostility to atheists?
It’s a safe path he’s chosen. He’s agreeing with The Great Majority, and kicking sand in the direction of the widely-hated minority. His schtick is that he’s more benevolent and ecumenical than other people, but doing the 87 millionth trashing of atheists isn’t really all that benevolent.
The comments at the Huffington Post bear this out. Lots of people gleefully seize the opportunity to say how boring and smelly and awful atheists are, as Stedman must have known they would. We’re an easy target.