What’s going on at Atheist Alliance International? I read in my Twitter feed that our friend Courtney Heard (AKA @Godless_Mom) has resigned her co-Executive Directorship, along with Bridget Guadette, this week. The last time. wrote anything about this was when, late last year, I wrote this about David Silverman former president of American Atheists) being hired as Executive Director. Now I know why Courtney and Bridget were hired because according to Courtney, David left the organization this past January. I didn’t put it together then but that’s nothing new for me.
So what happened? Well Courtney, to her credit wouldn’t go into detail but it seems to be some sort of ethical issue that the board would not address. Oh, and a dozen others left as well! I don’t know Bridget but I have some familiarity with Courtney and I would say it had to be something that a person of her integrity would have to walk away from. Something serious for 14 people to leave the same day. I can understand why Courtney does not want to address the issue publically, but I do have a small criticism.
She first tweeted that she had left the position. Okay, I didn’t immediately look any further but I made the leap of the job taking away from other things she was involved in. Upon further investigation, again, this is all in her twitter feed, I discovered, as many, it was because of an ethics issue. Okay. What was it? She didn’t want to be specific. Okay. Why? She didn’t want to hurt anyone that was still there. Okay, but then why mention the “ethics issue” at all? Why say she would no longer be supporting AAI, with that in mind? By saying she’d left, due to an “ethics issue” (slam!), and saying she wouldn’t support AAI in the future (slam!), she’s already hurt those she claims she doesn’t want to hurt. Maybe irreparably. That’s actually to be determined, I guess. But at tht point, why not just come out, as briefly as possible, and state what the specific issue was that caused the exodus? Of course that’s her decision and even though she probably cannot do more damage than has already been done, it probably doesn’t matter one way or the other.
Not that I’ve been a supporter of AAI. In fact, I’ve not been a joiner for several years now. I used to belong to American Atheist as well as Freedom From Religion Foundation but became they seemed to be more political than activist, I dropped my support and memberships.
There is some good in all of this: Courtney and Bridget are starting their own organization, they have set up an GoFundMe page here seeking startup donations amounting to $5,000. I’m happy to see that Courtney is not just waving atheist activism aside because of a bad experience and is going forward. I will be in a wait and see mode though. They are taking on a lot, initially it looks like but I’d prefer, personally, to see how this new organization fleshes out before I donate. As of this moment they are just short of $2,000 raised. Not bad for just a couple of days.
I wish them well and I think that once I am able to see more, I will probably become a supporter because, again, I am familiar with Courtney and I have always thought of her as a person of great integrity.