A Philip Randolph reached out to the faithful. There is a lot to show for it.
Eugenie Scott has been trying to reach out to the faithful. It has been an utter embarrassment.
Don left a comment on my last post, mentioning E.O. Wilson going into fundamentalist churches and teaching them about global climate change. It got me thinking about the question: Did he do something worthwhile? Or was that an utter waste of time, albeit a well-intentioned one?
I have no doubt that working together with the faithful can be a good idea for the secularists and it can produce results. Case in point: Randolph (above), a humanist, was the head of the March on Washington in 1963, at which Martin Luther King gave his famous "I have a dream" speech. (Many people think King was the head of the March, but he was the keynote speaker.)
On the other hand, accomodationist organizations like the National Center for Science Education (with Scott, above, as its chair), BioLogos, the Clergy Letter Project, and others have been trying to bring evolutionary science to fundamentalist christians and convince them that acceptance of evolution will not undercut their faith for decades. The result?
We are where we were thirty years ago.
And how about the efforts of people like E. O. Wilson, have they been able to change many minds among the fundamentalists concerning climate change? The short answer is no. A few years ago there were hints that evangelicals may be turning more environmentally conscious and take global climate change seriously, but that never panned out. As things stand now, evangelical christianity in the US is a pure right wing political movement, which doesn't bode well for their involvement in activism against climate change.
So in short, reaching out and cooperating can be a good idea, but that is not always the case. Cooperation should not be praised for its own sake, as spending too much time trying to find common ground my not only not work, but ultimately dilute your goals to the point you forget what the goal of cooperation was in the first place. A more nuanced approach probably makes more sense.