Friday, January 17, 2014

Are atheist and secular publications in the broader atheism community inherently biased toward the Progressive Left?

   I was perusing issue two of the Secularite Magazine and once again was struck by the content I have subscribed to.  It isn't as if I don't go out of my way to read opinions that I disagree with.  If you can't speak in defense of or in promotion for an issue that you disagree with, you don't understand it well enough to advocate against it, after all.  I rarely provide these opinions financial support, however.

   There are ten articles in this issue of the fine periodical.  Of those ten, here is a selection of the titles from the table of contents:

  • PROVISIONS OF THE PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT - in which the 'benefits of' gets approximately twice the column inches of the 'costs of' side.

  • PROTECTING STUDENTS: SECULAR SAFE ZONES - in which the Secular Student Alliance's Lyz Liddell, the Director of Campus Organizing at the SSA, is quoted that these programs fills gaps “that many educators are just now realizing exists. Our educational systems have focused in recent years on supporting students from different religions, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and sexual orientations and gender identities, but only in the last few years has it become clear that non theistic students need support too.”

  • MARTIN LUTHER KING JR: AN ADVOCATE FOR EQUALITY AND SOCIALISM - in which the author ties in King to the Socialist Party's principles.

  • SKEPTICISM: FOR POLITICAL ACTION, NOT JUST SCIENCE - in which the author pushes for collective action, non-profit organizations to become involved in the electoral process, a favorable comparison of Occupy Wall Street verses the Tea Party (two groups I personally don't consider politically very dissimilar); all in service of avoiding the equivalent of Bigfoot skepticism.

  • WHAT IS SOCIALISM? - in which we find out the term libertarian was stolen from right thinking nineteenth century socialists/anarchists by 1970's American Conservatives.

   So, five out of the ten articles seem to expose a strong political leaning biased exclusively toward the Left.  Very little in the way of a balancing opinion is allowed to surface.  I would have expected to have seen more balance if I had subscribed to the Nation Magazine or tuned into MSNBC durning evening prime time.  Fox at its worst makes a passing effort to get a few words in from opposing political agendas.

   Are we actually worse than Fox News Channel in the echo chamber that we are constructing around ourselves?  Are we, or more precisely am I, being forced out because of political viewpoints which should have little bearing on the secular community?

   Is it even worth attempting to fight to merely be acknowledged as existing without being disparaged in the next breath at almost every turn?


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