Do you like what you’ve found on this Secular Progressive Outreach website? If so, I’d love to hear from you. Just pop me an email at the address listed above.
If you’ve got a suggestion as to a book or article you’ve found enlightening, convincing, or easy to understand, let me know. We may include it later on the “Books & Articles” page.
If you’ve found information about a charity or advocacy group and decided to make a contribution to them, I’d like to hear about it. Or not, if you prefer for your donations to be anonymous. That’s OK too.
If you’ve contributed to a political candidate’s campaign and want to encourage other visitors to this site to do the same, let everybody know.
If you’ve discovered a film or documentary that was especially meaningful to you and want to share its title and source with likeminded viewers, give us the information and perhaps we can add it to our “Films & Documentaries” webpage.
For all these motives – and others, no doubt – send us an email.
I do request, however, that you express yourself in a courteous and respectful manner. I will delete vulgarities, and encourage you – as the English teacher I once was – to refine your vocabulary, being aware that usually no one’s mind is changed by shouting at them, ridiculing them, or attempting to shame them. When trying to be persuasive, please use logic and reason as your arguments. Missives from trolls will not be republished. My wish is that we all help to keep this a friendly gathering place, conducive to a healthy exchange of ideas.
Gary M. Linscott
Our Visitors' Forum
September 14, 2020
I have read your website cover to cover. I am quite delighted. I find it an impressive set of intelligent, well thought out explanations and perspectives. I learned a lot from reading it through.
It may sway undecided voters. I hope it does. For the most part, people with whom I associate are entrenched in their political beliefs. Being a lifetime Democrat and atheist, I am one of the entrenched. It would take an irresistible force to move me any distance to the right. But I hope there are other people searching for a better path forward that can be led to your site.
I would like to recommend that your readers explore Vote Forward, an organization that has devised an easy way for us to get more voters to the polls. My wife and I have volunteered for the last six months. Here is a link: https://votefwd.org/
Here are some excerpts from their website:
· Mission statement: Our mission is to empower grassroots volunteers to help register voters from under-represented demographics and encourage them to vote. We build tools to enable Americans, wherever they may be, to encourage fellow citizens to participate in our democracy.
· Vote Forward volunteers send heartfelt handwritten letters to unregistered and low-propensity voters encouraging them to participate in our democracy.
· How-To Write Letters to Voters: With a Vote Forward account, you will gain access to your own volunteer Dashboard. From the dashboard, you can adopt voters, download typed letter templates to which you will add a handwritten message, manage your progress by marking your letters “prepared,” and mark them “sent” on the suggested mail date. We give you the template. Just print, complete, fold, sign, and mail.
· Proven effective: In a controlled experiment, turnout among letter recipients was 3.9 percentage points higher than turnout in the control group.
Keep up the great work Gary. I know what an intensive project it is to manage such an effective web site.
Wishing you the best,
August 31, 2020
Thanks for the offer of posting my views. You’ve assembled a good list [of charities and advocacy groups]. Most of them are great. Among them, the UN organizations, the Sierra Club, Feeding America, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
For my part, I regularly help the San Diego Jacobs/Cushman Food Bank, Project Wildlife (which provides aid to injured wild animals) and the San Diego Humane Society.
I also support the Anza-Borrego Foundation, which is the nonprofit partner for the state park of the same name. They do a great deal of education about the park and promote its many opportunities. They’re a good group.
Aaron De Groot
August 23, 2020
I sincerely appreciate your candor and honesty in confessing your preference for the Green Party. I too am drawn to the Green Party’s platform. And Bernie Sanders’ proposed agenda for America is my own. Within the Democratic Party, I identify with its liberal wing, and have donated (admittedly small) contributions to seven of its most progressive candidates. Frankly, this did not include Joe Biden – although, in order to defeat Trump I will contribute to his campaign now.
I spent a year as a Green Party volunteer prior to the 2016 election. I found many of its members knowledgeable and passionate about all the issues I care about. But when I did follow-up canvassing, I found that the overwhelming majority of Green Party “members” had simply cast protest votes against the Dem/Rep duopoly. Unfortunately, they had little interest in attending meetings, organizing, or expending energy to convert the party into a viable movement. I concluded, sadly, that the Greens are not yet ready for prime time. They don’t have the required personnel or organizational infrastructure to serve as a vehicle for pushing through progressive societal reform.
On my website’s Political Action page I’ve written an assessment of our predicament as secularists and progressives in light of the political realities Americans face. There I state “While neither [major party] fully represents our specific political philosophy, as unpalatable as it may seem, we are obligated to work within the framework of either one or the other.”
Am I disappointed that some constituencies were barely mentioned at the Democrats’ “convention”? Like young voters? Secularists? Hispanics? Muslims? The homeless? Yes, I am. But within this Big Tent coalition, it will be our responsibility to push the party toward the Left – toward Bernie and Alexandria Ocasio Cortes’ vision of the future.
Gary M. Linscott
P.S. Thanks for introducing me to the initialism VBNW (or its variation, VBNMW). For the benefit of our other visitors, it apparently means: Vote Blue No Matter Who – which, in order to defeat Trump, may have to be our temporary battle cry.
August 22, 2002
I stopped watching the conventions some time ago. I feel that they're really just staged advertisements for their parties.
August 21, 2020
I liked the virtual [convention] program much better than how it has always been done! The speakers were all great! [But here’s] my disappointment.
Bernie gave the best speech of all in my opinion .... Bernie laid out Biden's plan for the future. Bernie has been campaigning and drawing bigger crowds than anyone. And Bernie is telling his followers to support Biden. [But] have the mainstream Dem leaders been gracious? Nope!
It is as if the main Dem Party is dressed for war and along comes another army wanting to fight with them and they don't give him/them any thanks for his/their efforts. But the Progressive Wing will win the day and AOC will be our first female Prez!
August 20, 2020
Thank you for setting up this excellent platform for visitors to better understand Secular Humanism and for progressive people to exchange ideas. I have watched most of the DNC “conference” for the past three days and, like Aaron DeGroot and Rudy Villaseñor, I am not happy with all the references to God. However, we have to recognize that Donald Trump’s support comes from Christian Evangelicals and now is not the time to allow them to use non-atheism as a weapon against the Democrats. First we have to get Joe Biden and Kamala Harris elected. Then we have years ahead of us to help the nation to continue to come to its senses about Secularism.
Likewise, I say to Diana Diaz to be patient. Voting Green simply divides the opposition to Donald Trump as Ralph Nader did in 2000 to help make Dubya Bush our second worst President ever (the first worst being Donald Trump). M/s Diaz should take heart from several statements from Democratic speakers, including Bernie Sanders, that the Democratic administration will create thousands of new jobs by investing in renewable energy.
Best wishes to you all,
August 19, 2020
Hi, Fellow Secular Progressives!
Thanks, Gary, for providing this communication platform. My thoughts on the DNC so far: They're doing a good job under the circumstances.
I didn't much care for the Christian-specific opening prayer [but] I understand prayer/religion is where most Americans are at, although we seculars/humanists are a growing population. A general prayer for peace without mention of Jesus would have been more appropriate.
Having said that, I'm pretty happy with what I have seen. I am looking forward to Kamala's address tonight!
Aaron De Groot
August 19, 2020
Thanks for reaching out. I am at a political crossroad right now. Having been a strong Bernie supporter since 2016, I was beyond devastated when he dropped out. I won’t go into all the reasons why, but I have decided to vote Green for president this time. I was used to being at odds with my Republican relatives but being vote-shamed by my VBNW close friends and husband has been even more alienating.
My husband insisted on putting on the DNC propaganda show these past few days, and while I always felt distanced by their pandering to religious viewers, it felt even more distancing for me this time, as a secular progressive. I feel the Democratic Party has sold out to its corporate donors, leaving the poor out in the cold, while pretending to care about them. It’s too much. It’s not enough. This time, I vote Green for my heart, my conscience, my people, my planet.
August 19, 2020
I just watched a couple of the speeches but the ones of the two women, Michelle and Biden, were the most inspiring. And the prayer was I guess necessary to appeal to the Christians, but I also thought that it crossed the line between church and state.