The Center For Inquiry is an organization based around Scientism and Philosophical Materialism (Naturalism), founded by Paul Kurtz (1). The center wishes to accomplish these objectives:
Fostering a secular society requires attention to many specific goals, but three goals in particular represent the focus of our activities:
1. an end to the influence that religion and pseudoscience have on public policy
2. an end to the privileged position that religion and pseudoscience continue to enjoy in many societies
3. an end to the stigma attached to being a nonbeliever, whether the nonbeliever describes her/himself as an atheist, agnostic, humanist, freethinker or skeptic.
Interestingly, the pursuit of truth and valid reasoning does not appear in their list. And the 3rd objective is not obtainable if the first two are forced onto the rest of us. There are rational reasons that the "atheist, agnostic, humanist, freethinker or skeptic" cannot be trusted; the agression against religions expressed in objectives 1 and 2 are examples. These folks are totally self-unaware in their statements of desired conquest vs their supposed "humanism", where they wish to enforce "empathy".
Roebuck put together a great many of the things which I have been saying here, although I said them well after Roebuck wrote the letter. His letter challenges the Naturalism and Scientism stance of the center, and uses clear logic in doing so. In fact he points to the non-coherent stance of making claims about evidence while having no evidence to support the claims.
To top off the article there is a comment thread in which a Naturalistic defender takes issue with the article, and other commenters try to discuss it with him. His retreat comes at 3:46 pm on 12/22/2007, where he demands evidence for supernatural things. And beyond that he goes completely relativistic: everything is mutable, even his own prior definitions of morality.
But this one issue trumps the rest. Says the Materialist:
"Society is the source of morality. What other possible source is there?"
The first extension of this would be that if society deems Atheists, etc to be outcasts, then it must be morally right to consider them outcasts. I had previously thought that it was merely logical; now I understand that it is also moral. It works for societies who say that human sacrifice is moral, slavery is moral, eliminating certain ethnic groups is moral, so many moral things to consider, if one is an Atheist!
The deja vu in reading all this was palpable.
(1) The center evolved in 2009, when Kurtz was kicked out of his own group. According to Kurtz, it ultimately became focused on "angry Atheism".