On Justin Vacula’s Value to Atheism
Justin Vacula resigned from being the co-chair of Pennsylvania’s chapter of the Secular Coalition for America. This is unfortunate but understandable. Still, I think Justin has a lot to contribute toward the cause of atheism and I am very happy he’s writing for Skeptic Ink Network (SIN). Let me explain.
As a former minister there is a recognized difference between leaders and the people in the pew. Leaders are held to a higher standard. I know of a Youth Minister who allowed a teenager to have some wine. She was eventually ousted despite her apologies. If a minister smoked or possessed pornography he or she might be subject to censor. If a conservative minister suggested homosexuality or feminism might not be a damnable offense after all, he might be ousted. It all depends on the church, the leader, and the type of “sin.” Justin crossed the line as can be read in a link Damion Reinhardt provided, which is a supportive post. And Justin sincerely apologized.
Sorry, but people who are in leadership roles in organizations are rightly held to higher standards. And they cannot change things with apologies, not very often anyway. Depending on the “sin” they probably won’t last long.
But if anyone thinks Justin no longer brings much of value to the table then that person is very ignorant. He does, and I am very happy he’s here at SIN. The parallel with ministry is obvious. In the case of that aforementioned Youth Minister, she found another ministry. You see, she learned from her mistake. Does her “sin” mean churches should throw her in the trash, that all of her training and knowledge means nothing any more? No. And neither is it the case with Justin. He will rise again in the future. I judge that he has learned from his mistakes. And I for one am very happy to support him. I predict good things from him. Sometimes the person who makes mistakes and subsequently learns from them can bring even more to the table.