Regarding the topic of how to use our skepticism in more diverse ways, Dren Asselmeier at the Center for Inquiry offers a list of topics that atheist parents might find very relevant to talk about, but we rarely discuss them as a group:
Why do the atheist, freethought, and skeptical movements seem to completely ignore the fact that adults frequently procreate? I have heard that college-educated and non-religious persons tend to have fewer children and to have children later in life, but why is parenting a topic that is almost entirely left out of discussion and consideration in most freethinking communities? Why don’t any of the most well-known skeptics and skeptical sources of information seem to be tackling any of the following topics (and what is stopping them?):
- Allergies and relation to ADHD, autism, etc.
- Breast-feeding and being able to breast-feed in public
- Free-range parenting
- Delivery and birthing methods
- Alt med for kids (Amber teething necklaces are my favorite)
- Food coloring and nutrition
- Attachment parenting
- Post-partum depression
- Raising your children without superstition
As Dren says, these aren’t just women issues, either. They’re issues parents have to deal with regularly *cough*circumcision*cough*, and we do ourselves a disservice if we’re not talking about them at local meetings and national conferences.
I’ve been to waaaay too many gatherings swamped with college-aged students and senior citizens. It’s great to have both groups represented there but it’s crazy that we don’t have the same turnout from people who are middle-aged (and have young children). Discussing these topics — and providing free day care — is one way to get them to come. Even if you don’t have children, don’t want children, or think children are made of pure evil, these are still worthwhile topics to get educated about because someone in your life is going to have babies and they need to be set straight when they do something crazy (e.g. not get the babies vaccinated).
Go read Dren’s piece in full. And if you have suggestions on other issues that don’t get a lot of airtime in our movement, feel free to raise them in the comments.