Reason Arrives In Washington?


The church and state debate is not a new one. But a 7-year-old organization has just moved from Colorado to DC and hired a new executive director to take its strategy up a notch.

Robyn Blumner left her job as a Tampa Bay Times columnist in January to run the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. She spoke to us from her new DC office about policing encroachments by religion into public policy and education, like the debate over stem cell research and climate change. Robyn craved being back in progressive advocacyafter previously working as the director of the ACLU in Utah and then Florida before crossing over to news. The organization also recently hired a development officer, an office director, and an independent consultant to handle volunteer coordination. 

Named after the well-known English biologist, the foundation also works to reduce the stigma around atheism. Inspired by the strategy of the LGBT community, the foundation urges atheists to come out of the closet. Robyn says 6% of the population is atheist and 20% are “nones.” She says those numbers will continue to grow. The challenge, she adds, is that thereligious right has powerful political allies and substantial resources to "inject their theology into law." The foundation also acts as an incubator for secular projects and launched the Clergy Project, a group of 600 current and former clergy members who have lost faith. The foundation also created an online portal for people to make non-religious donations after natural disasters. 

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  1. All change at the top. What happened to the dynamic Director of Strategy, Sean Faircloth, who came on board not long ago?

  2. She has a big job ahead of her and a terrific background to do it well.

    I wish her the best.

  3. In reply to #1 by aldous:

    All change at the top. What happened to the dynamic Director of Strategy, Sean Faircloth, who came on board not long ago?

    Good question.

    Mike Cornwell would know.

    S G

  4. It will be the proverbial 24/7 job ensuring that religion keeps its nose out of everybody’s business, here’s hoping Robyn every success in her tough battle.

  5. Dear RDFRS,

    Here’s what I think is a helpful tip: video, video, video.

    It was always great to hear and see what Sean Faircloth and Elizabeth Cornwell had to say. So far, all we’ve read of the new Director is, well, her (very brief) self-intro thingy. That’s just not good enough in this ever-so-busy Internet Age.

    As you all should know by now: content is everything. More and better content from the new Dir., please**.


    **I appreciate she’s new to the job, but still…she’s from the media world!

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