You might be wondering what a syndicated newspaper columnist and editorial writer is doing as the new executive director of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. At the newspaper, I was a close observer of the Religious Right and how it sought — often successfully — to insinuate religion into public policy. A recurring theme of my columns was how people with religious blinders were often at the forefront of attempts to hold back scientific and human progress, whether by imposing limits on embryonic stem cell research or over-the-counter access to emergency contraception, among many examples.
Also, my roots are in progressive advocacy and nonprofit administration. I spent a decade heading up statewide offices of the American Civil Liberties Union, first in Utah, then in Florida.
Like many of you, I was enthralled by The God Delusion and upon reading it became an instant Richard Dawkins fan. Richard’s clear, logical arguments against belief in God and the supernatural were so compelling that I couldn’t believe anyone reading them could walk away anything but convinced. I was already an “out” atheist, but the book gave me something to point to when friends, acquaintances and my newspaper readers wanted to know more about the reasons for my lack of belief. Since then I’ve read Richard’s books on evolutionary biology and have come to appreciate his wide-ranging brilliance.
With the help of an immensely talented staff and a committed corp of volunteers, I will be working toward promoting Richard’s vision that science be free from backward religious encroachments and that atheists, agnostics and other freethinkers stand and be counted politically.