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Jun 16 2013

Feedback for American Atheists

So I kept reading the transcript of the chat room during yesterday’s “Brave Hero” radio show. I know. I know. But that sort of thing is hard to look away from once you’ve looked, like any traffic disaster.

I found something I wasn’t expecting.

DaveMuscato: Hey folks, I just wanted to mention that I’m here (Public Relations Director for American Atheists). I did not catch Dave on the air but I caught some of the calls at  the end. I’m happy to do what I can do listen to your feedback if you

DaveMuscato: have something you want me or Dave to know

Color me impressed.

So what did Dave and Dave get for feedback? It’s a bit hard to tell, because PZ was also in the chat room at the time having all sort of accusations thrown at him. Here are the bits I think were probably meant for American Atheists.

Metalogic420: Dave Muscato, SIlverman acted extremely unprofessionally on the show tonight.

Xochipilli2012: It was a great show – emotions ran a bit high, but understandable

DaveMuscato: I am going to go back and listen to it here shortly. I would like to hear your opinions though

ReapSowRadio: im pissed

Karla Porter: That’s great DaveMuscato – I would be interested if you would please listen to the archive when it’s available and provide feedback on Dave’s delivery of his message.

AnaRuiz: Muscato: Tell Dave that when I look into his eyes, I can see a soft refrain ooooooo yeaeaaaa

SubMan USN: Dave, Mr. Silverman actually used the phrase”Good News” to Justin. Everyone who is former Jehovah’s Witness cringed.

Parody Accountant: Dave, know that PZ Myers public washed his hands of the current and former Military Director’s for American Atheists last year, after PZ defended Greg Laden’s violent threats against Justin Griffith

Karla Porter: You know, as the leader of your organization

Pitchguest: I didn’t listen to the first part of the show, but apparently Dave compared the people on the Slymepit to the Klu Klux Klan.

PzMyers: DaveMuscato: Dave Silvermn did fine. He laid down the law, represented American Atheists well as an organization that demands professionalism from its activists.

GaryBuseysComeback: I’d say you may just be seeing ‘***’ where there is none.

James Galore: Silverman is too imprtant to talk to us peasants. He sent his secretary. lol

DaveMuscato: Thanks, PZ. I appreciate hearing your feedback.

Pitchguest: Translation: Professionalism equals calling people you disagree with the equivalent to the Klu Klux Klan.

Skeptic Canary Show: DaveMuscato, my respect for David Silverman dropped like a stone tonight. His appearane on this show was nothing but a 30 minute profanity-laden character attack on Justin Vacula. He felt no need to back up what he was saying with

SubMan USN: Dave used “the sh it” in a manner exactly comparable to “sin”. [The chat room site appears to automatically replace some swearing with asterisks.]

NeilTerry: It’s a shame that so mnay have bought the narrative….that criticizing feminism or feminists in any way is “hatred of women”.  Seems that includes AA now.  Solverman couldn;t make a single concession that vacula has been treated

Parody Accountant: Dave… http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/07/01/preemptive-disclosure/comment-page-1/#comment-383652  <— thats a direct attack against Paul Loebe your current Military Director

NeilTerry: unfairly

Metalogic420: Mr. Silverman also acted unskeptically, even saying “I don’t need to provide examples”.

Skeptic Canary Show: evidence, he kept employing the “guilt by association” fallacy and displayed zero skepticism

Xochipilli2012: It seemed as if Dave had to “lay into” JV, or he’d be getting the Ron Lindsay treatment next

DaveMuscato: Parody Accountant, I’m getting a 404 on that link

Parody Accountant: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/07/01/preemptive-disclosure/

Parody Accountant: then scroll to comment 243 for the attack against paul loebe

Parody Accountant: the body of the post is about Justin Griffith

PzMyers: I just checked that link to my “attack” on Paul Loebe. Again with the lies. No attack at all there.

Parody Accountant: “This guy just doesn’t get it:

Parody Accountant: PZ on Paul: “I am not nice to people I don’t like”

David Leech: DaveMuscato, Don’t you see the eye rolling of us europeons when we see all these added extras to atheism. I’m being nice here when I normally tell you yanks to go and *** yourselves. Only probably last year you were on your knees to jeb

Plusgood: dave silverman’s voice vibrated with rage.

curriejean: It did. Preachy rage.

David Leech: Jebus and now you are a authjority on atheism please *** off.

Then another seven pages of, “Hey, PZ, look at me!”

And this is the crowd people say I should be in dialogue with. Thanks, folks.

23 comments

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  1. 1
    LeftSidePositive

    Wait, SERIOUSLY–that’s what they’re calling an “attack” on Loebe? That PZ said he wasn’t nice to people he didn’t like in the context of agreeing with Paul who also said he doesn’t want to be nice to people he doesn’t like?!

    Holy shit–if you’re going to be perpetuating false equivalence THAT badly…at least don’t link to it!

  2. 2
    oolon

    ReapSowRadio: im pissed

    I’m going to have to go with the British meaning of that word given I live in the UK and have to defer to my local dictionary. It would also explain a lot about Reaps writing style…

  3. 3
    EllenBeth Wachs

    I’ll grant you, Stephanie, that there are plenty of people that you shouldn’t want to be in talks with but from what you posted here, all I see are people upset at how Justin got treated.

  4. 4
    Rob

    Really EllenBeth? That’s all you see? You didn’t see anything else on the top half of the post? You didn’t see any other topic at all in the rest of the transcript?

  5. 5
    EllenBeth Wachs

    Really Rob? No, that wasn’t all that I saw but that was what I chose to address.

  6. 6
    Stephanie Zvan

    “all I see…” “No, that wasn’t all that I saw…”

    EllenBeth, stop. Go away. I’m not giving you one more place to claim today that pointing out that you’re saying inaccurate things is you being mistreated somehow. Just go.

    Everyone else, if you want your comments to stay in this post, ignore EllenBeth.

  7. 7
    Pen

    David Leech: DaveMuscato, Don’t you see the eye rolling of us europeons when we see all these added extras to atheism. I’m being nice here when I normally tell you yanks to go and *** yourselves.

    Xenophobia’s not OK either. Given that I’ve sometimes tried to make points connected to Euro/American differences I’m completely embarrassed to see it expressed like this. So… they don’t just trash talk women, huh? I want to believe this isn’t the David Leech I think it might be… does anyone know who he is? I wouldn’t mind letting him know what I think.

  8. 8
    Stephanie Zvan

    Sorry, Giliell, our comments crossed. I agree with you, but the comment has been unpublished.

  9. 9
    John-Henry Beck

    Re: Pen

    I saw Pitchguest in there make a comment or two about being in Sweden that treated women so well. Not that I figured out what his point was with that. He can’t be a misogynist because he’s in Sweden?

    I do know here in the middle of the U.S. I don’t see a lot about the differences in views and problems between what goes on here and in various European nations and regions.

  10. 10
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Stephanie
    No problem

    +++

    David Leech: DaveMuscato, Don’t you see the eye rolling of us europeons when we see all these added extras to atheism. I’m being nice here when I normally tell you yanks to go and *** yourselves.

    Yeah, I’ve heard this a few times.
    From European men.
    Who apparently assume that everybody involved in these discussions is ‘Mericun.
    Thank goodness that such debates never ever happen in Europe…

  11. 11
    Paul Loebe

    Why is my name getting dropped?

  12. 12
    A Hermit

    The most revolting display of street harassment I’ve ever witnessed was just a few months ago in the Burggarten in Vienna…http://www.panoramicearth.com/157/Vienna/Hofburg_Imperial_Palace_Burggarten

    Guess they’ve solved all of that in the last six months…

  13. 13
    kellym

    I’m hoping against hope that American Atheists joins Secular Woman in standing up for women who have been bullied and harassed by people like Justin Vacula and other slime pit supporters. I”m planning to go see Silverman in a couple weeks when he speaks at the Florida Atheist monument dedication. I hope I get to tell him thanks for standing up against hate.

  14. 14
    Stephanie Zvan

    Paul, as far as I can tell, because someone is trying to set up a let’s-you-and-him-fight situation. I think Dave is the target, and you appear to be the least plausible lever I’ve ever seen.

  15. 15
    smhll

    Well, this tidbit is extra-charming:

    David Leech [speaking to]: DaveMuscato, Don’t you see the eye rolling of us europeons when we see all these added extras to atheism. I’m being nice here when I normally tell you yanks to go and *** yourselves. Only probably last year you were on your knees to jeb…

  16. 16
    Paul Loebe

    *sigh* I hate drama.

  17. 17
    Stephanie Zvan

    Eh, just keep up the good work.

  18. 18
    Eristae

    I’ll grant you, Stephanie, that there are plenty of people that you shouldn’t want to be in talks with but from what you posted here, all I see are people upset at how Justin got treated.

    You know, I’m not really sure what the point of this is, but I’m going to take it as an opportunity to freak out about something that has been stewing inside of me for a couple of days. Apologies if I’m missing the point entirely.

    I was sexually abused as a child by my father. It was awful. By the end of it, he didn’t even have to do anything to violate me. He was standing in the same room as I was? OMFG I needed to run away! The house creaked as if he was upstairs even though he’d been kicked out months ago? Waaah, it made me jump! He touched me on the shoulder? Noooo, I couldn’t take it! People recognized me as his daughter from our (unusual) last name and innocently asked questions with no clue as to what as going on? I got my last name legally changed.

    I don’t know the whole story of what Stephanie is going through, but I have seen some hardcore shit rain down on her head. So when I see this crap, I am reminded of the fact that when my father showed up at my college graduation, even though I hadn’t even told him I was going to that school at all, and yelled my name at me from the crowd, it was not some kind of “meh” situation even though most of the students very much wanted their father’s there. To me it was jarring and potentially ruinous. I spent the time after my graduation hiding in a group of my friends because he was too cowardly to approach me if I wasn’t alone.

    Certainly people would mock me. What had he done, after all? He hadn’t touched me. I wasn’t in any danger; I was an adult who could rebuff his advances and was in a crowd of people who would have stopped him if he’d tried anything. And, apart from that unexpected shout, he didn’t try anything. So then what’s the big deal?

    The big deal is that sexually abused me from my earliest memories to when I cut off all contact with him, when I was about 16 years old. The big deal was that when someone does that to you, seemingly insignificant situations become monumentally horrible.

    So, here we are with a bunch of people freaking out at Silverman for daring to defend people who are being harassed, and yet it’s somehow shocking that the people who are being harassed might be upset by this? It shouldn’t be. When people have defended my father (and oh did they ever), I could never be a neutral party. They are defending his abuse of me, minimizing what I suffered, and all in all being absolute shitheads. It is not necessary for me to say, “Oh, well, they’re just upset that someone stood up for you! It’s no big deal.” Yes it is a fucking big deal! Gaaaaaah!

    So for the love of whatever is important to you, don’t. If it doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, fine. I’m glad you weren’t somehow injured by any of this. But that doesn’t mean you should run off and tell the injured parties that they shouldn’t think it was a big deal, either. You aren’t the one who has to deal with this. They are.

    Blah.

  19. 19
    Susannah

    Bravo, Eristae! Thank you for writing this.

  20. 20
    PZ Myers

    Why is my name getting dropped?

    Because the slymepitters are trying to spread a lie that I hate atheists in the military and you specifically.

  21. 21
    PatrickG

    @ Eristae:

    I’m absolutely, completely, and so-not the judge of this, but your story seemed extremely relevant to me, in light of all I’ve seen on this network, and elsewhere.

    Three cheers for you! First for being a wonderful commenter here (I’ve learned a great deal from you here on this network), and second for being willing to share such intimate details publicly (which you’ve done before, if my memory doesn’t completely fail me!). As to that second point, I have no comparable experience to judge from, but I can not imagine that’s easy.

    Salud, salute, and cheers!

  22. 22
    PatrickG

    Request for mild typo cleanup, if possible. The dash between “so” and “not” shouldn’t be there, as it implies that I am indeed absolutely and completely the judge of this.

    NOT what I intended. :)

  23. 23
    moonglaive

    This is kind of an offshoot of what Eristae said (thank you for adding to the conversation) so I apologize in advance if this derails too much. Even seemingly irrelevant interactions can be detrimental after years of consistent conditioning to anything ranging from negative stigma to abuse. The idea that all people inherently toughen up in response to prolonged exposure baffles me to no end.

    Wouldn’t the fact that people are speaking up about the harm caused point to that notion, at least, not applying to everyone? And then comes the seemingly inevitable group of people who have never had to deal with such problems at all, peers who refuse to acknowledge the harm caused, or those who have been able to cope just fine and think anyone who can’t cope is just plain broken, trying to shout ‘opponents’ down with things like “you’re just too sensitive!”

  1. 24
    Around FtB » Pharyngula

    [...] Stephanie is soliciting feedback for American Atheists. [...]

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