Dear Secular Policy Institute:
I like you. I like your mission. I like the “thought leaders” you’ve enlisted in the fight. The “thought leaders” I don’t know? I’d like to know more. Even if I don’t agree with them 100%, that’s okay. No one agrees 100% on everything.
Here’s the deal:
You have to cut bait on the people who are harming our movement. That goes for all other organizations. Some organizations are seemingly too far gone. CFI is still tight with PZ Myers and housed an art exhibit in which the “artist” labeled other skeptics sexists and harassers and all of that tripe. JREF? I don’t even know what’s going on, but Rebecca Watson is more than happy to–forgive my language–piss on the organization’s grave before it or its founder are dead.
Why am I writing this polite open letter? I noticed that Ophelia Benson has continued her–pardon my language–bullshit about you. She threw the same childish fit last year. She made the same stupid jokes about Dr. Shermer’s facial expression. If I recall correctly, you finally blocked her after she wouldn’t stop harassing you. (Not the legal kind of harassment, the gnat-in-the-ear kind of harassment.)
I noticed something about Ms. Copy/Paste’s essay:
You guys followed her on Twitter.
Look, you are all good people. Whoever is running the Twitter account is likely a good person. You want to be inclusive. But the #FTBullies, for lack of a better term, don’t care about you. They have no interest in working with you. They simply don’t have the same goals as you do.
I note that you follow both Republicans and Democrats…okay. Cool. We need to bring about change in the government.
But you follow Adam Lee, another of the DAWKINS IS A SEXIST ISLAMOPHOBE morons. He doesn’t care about you. He won’t work with you. He filed his article about Dr. Dawkins under “atheist villainy.”
You follow Kim Rippere, who took Lee’s handoff on at least one occasion:
You follow Phil Plait. Look, I LOVED Phil Plait. He was so fun, so interesting. A great ambassador for atheism and science.
That was in 2006. He’s now firmly in the pocket of those who want to make secular activism about Matt Taylor’s shirt.
You follow Greta Christina, who writes “hardcore rape porn” while crusading against the “rape culture” she believes is created by the out-group.
You follow Russell Glasser, who demands that fellow atheists adhere to his particular flavor of feminist dogma.
Do I really need to point out how it’s problematic that you follow PZ Myers? At the very least, you should steer clear of aligning yourself with those who have accused one of your thought leaders of serial rape. And who ignored that thought leader’s C&D and who hasn’t taken down that allegation of serial rape.
If you are unfamiliar with how far gone PZ is, take a look at Michael Nugent’s chronicle of PZ’s infantile and counterproductive behavior. (Hmm…you follow PZ, but not Michael Nugent or his very important organization, Atheist Ireland. Priorities, my friend!)
If you’ll recall, back in July 2014, Ophelia Benson and Richard Dawkins put forth a joint statement in hopes of bringing peace to the community. That agreement has since been breached by Benson and that “side” of the “schism” on several occasions. You surely know how Benson and Myers and friends have been calling Dr. Dawkins sexist and Islamophobic for YEARS. (If not, why not.)
When the so-called “Treaty of Butterflies” was signed, I created this crude image to represent what I knew was happening. Benson was just screwing with Dawkins and had zero intention of restoring civility to our community.
Not only was I correct, but Benson included Dr. Dawkins in a post about “sexually predatory thought leader dudes” only TWELVE DAYS before the agreement. This was surely during the time Dr. Dawkins was negotiating in good faith. Acting in bad faith–the FTB/A+ MO–Benson removed the mention of Dawkins, thinking no one would notice.
The attacks on Sam Harris and Michael Shermer and Richard Dawkins have only increased in the past several months. I’m guessing there would be more rape allegations, but they ran out of prominent atheist men to accuse.
You are certainly welcome to associate yourself with anyone you like. And I’m not even totally against everyone on the other “side.” Like all of you and like all of “them,” I think women are equal to men and that those who commit sexual assault should be punished. (Even Ogvorbis. Look it up.) But we’re not going to get out of the Atheism Plus-induced doldrums if we continue to try and ride the line to satisfy people whose dogma won’t allow them to “compromise.” We need to stop enabling these people. I’m saying that we need to stop being Charlie Brown and standing in front of Lucy, believing her affirmation that she’s going to let us kick the ball THIS TIME.
With allies like these, who needs enemies?