In short, the purpose of this site is to point out and tear apart the myths and lies expressed by the religious right and other conservatives against those of us who are either non-believers, agnostic, liberals, or progressive.
What is the Secular Left?
Last week, author David Benjamin wrote a piece that appeared on the Common Dreams website about hearing the term “Secular Left” for the first time during a Sunday morning political talk show.
On the show “Meet the Press” on May 8th, conservative talking head Mary Matlin said about the attack on the judiciary from the right:
MS. MATALIN: I think that was an injudicious thing to say, but that the secular left has behaved imperialistically–there’s no other word for it. They have subverted the democratic process by taking their issues to the judiciary. What the so-called religious right has done has taken their petition and their concerns into the democratic process, into the public square. They organize and they try to affect legislation, as opposed to being the subverted process of democracy which is what the secular left does.
This is all demagoguery. There is a secular left. There is a religious right. It is the way in which the secular left overestimates its uniformity is funny. They’re not–there’s not just Christian conservatives. There is a lot of the people who are concerned about traditional values and in politics and in the public square. There are lots of Jews, there are a lot of conservative Muslims. There are–it’s ecumenical. There’s Catholics. It’s across the board. There is not a uniformity. There’s lots of pluralism and they’re part of the democratic process. And this is just demagoguery on the parts of these left-wing extremists.
A bigger problem is that conservatives — er, the religious Right — are the undisputed arbiters of political language. Consider, for instance, the right-wing campaign to discredit the word “liberal.” The. U.S. was founded as a liberal republic, but nowadays, a “liberal” risks being stoned to death in the public square by admitting to “liberalism.” “Liberal” has become “the L-word,” like some four-letter vulgarity unutterable in front of the children.
Likewise, the great right-wing machine of semantic revision — with often unwitting and uncritical assistance from TV news — has turned a progressive tax on extreme inherited wealth into a “death tax” that — mythically — robs middle-class Americans of their mom-and-pop candy stores and family farms. Among other pejoratives and euphemisms of the American vernacular generated by G.O.P. semanticists, each as misleading as it is universal, are these: “Axis of Evil,” “Evil Empire,” “evildoers,” “clear skies,” “compassionate conservatism,” “culture of life,” “faith-based,” “flip-flopper,” “free speech zone,” “homosexual agenda,” “judicial activist,” “liberal bias,” “liberal media,” “ownership society,” “partial-birth abortion,” “pro-life,” “racial quotas,” “regime change,” “shock and awe,” “Social Security crisis,” “tort reform,” “war of choice,” “welfare queen,” and, of course, Swift Boat Veterans for “Truth.”
“Civil liberties,” a term that embraces such basic American prerogatives as privacy, consumer rights, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and, yes, freedom of religion, are seen today as the purchased privileges of a “liberal elite.” This distortion is the linguistic legacy of the same American right wing that now cubbyholes its foes as the “secular Left,” and seems happy to gather at the river under the big (revival) tent of the religious Right.
I use the Google News alert tool where it will send you links to news stories containing keywords of your choice. I have several with keywords like “secular humanism”, “atheism”, and “godless”, and most of these alerts are to negative stories and blogs.
I just get tired of people with half a brain writing on issues they have little to no clue about. I hate the myths and lies they express about secular people and how they try, like Matalin, to paint everyone west of their view point with such a broad brush that it sounds ridiculous to those within those groups.
I have decided to do something about it.
In this blog and related material, I will take the time refute articles I find floating around that are simply wrong or at worst a lie from the conservative or religious right side.
I look forward to any comments you may have about any postings here or if you an article that drives you nuts – let me know.