December 20, 2016

Preparing for Trump and Pence By Supporting Secular Activism

Mike Pence, member of the United States Congress.
Mike Pence, member of the United States Congress. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Since the election of Donald Trump, I have heard many atheists, LGBT persons, and heterosexual women saying that they are more worried by the prospect of Mike Pence as Vice President than they are of Trump as President. I agree. Trump does not have a record in politics; Pence does, and it is a disturbing record of anti-LGBT bigotry and opposition to reproductive rights and secularism. Trump's beliefs are anything but consistent or clear. As a result, it is virtually impossible to know what sort of threat he might pose to secularism, LGBT equality, or reproductive freedom (except for what his cabinet picks suggest). On the other hand, Pence appears to be a Christian extremist who has consistently been on the wrong side of all these issues.

Aside from hoping that President-elect Trump remains healthy and decides that he would prefer to govern than delegate these matters to Pence (which seems unlikely at this point), there does not seem to be much we can do aside from bracing ourselves for an attack on some of the issues many of us regard as important. There is one specific thing I'd encourage you to consider by way of preparation though: please give some thought to supporting the sort of organizations that may be helpful in defending our rights on these and other issues.

Examples of the sort of organizations I'm thinking of include:
Of course, there are many other worthy organizations, so this brief list of examples is not intended to be comprehensive. I did not include the Southern Poverty Law Center on this list intentionally, as I can no longer recommend supporting them.

When it comes to secular organizations that claim to be advocates for the separation of church and state, I would recommend supporting those that distribute action alerts to as wide an audience as possible (e.g., making alerts available as an RSS feed). I am less inclined to support those who distribute action alerts only to those who sign up for their email lists or pay membership fees. And since too many secular organizations still do this, I will continue to highlight this as a problem and encourage these groups to change their practices. Perhaps if they hear from enough of us, they will consider doing so.