I fully understand your feelings of betrayal around the atheist/skeptic community and in particular AA with the “big tent” concept of including anti-choice members in what is in reality a fledgling political organization. You feel there should be unanimity in supporting your position. There’s the fact that after a long struggle women finally realized a semblance of control over their bodily autonomy codified in Roe-V-Wade. It should be settled law. Instead we’re faced with ongoing legislative erosion intended to turn back those hard won gains by the religious right. Shocking changes have already happened. A good example is the recent horror in Texas where a dead woman’s family was compelled to maintain her body as an incubator to a provably unviable fetus at their own expense. It took an injunction to stop it. It’s an ongoing process that can only be countered in two ways in a democratic pluralistic society. We can join or create organizations that provide us a voice and a mechanism to implement legal defences in the US court systems, and we can win the cause in the court of public opinion. Both require something other than “individual pursuit” of secularism/skepticism/atheism. The battle for the hearts and minds of the majority are crucial to success in defending against stone age thinking and morality. Societal goodwill allows us a measure of control over our destiny.
So when I read your statement I couldn’t help thinking that refusing to engage in the active defense of women’s autonomy issues is like saying “I’m not going to board a train that has already left the station”. It’s unfair. It’s not right. It’s an unpleasant reality. We have already experienced the losses and now we have to fight to get them back. Whether you choose to do that through organizations like AA or the skeptical societies remains to be seen. I submit that they have their own realities to deal with in order to survive and be successful as well. I’m not asking you to compromise your ideals, just to consider engaging in dialog about them.