Sometimes you come across things that shouldn’t be ignored but about which very little can reliably be known. AJ Johnson’s lawsuit against American Atheists, along with American Atheists’ response is one of those things. So I put this here to observe the occasion.
I can’t speculate about any of it without being irresponsible. I can tell you that, of the people involved, I’ve liked everyone I’ve met, both those who are still at American Atheists and those who have left, including AJ. My liking people doesn’t mean they can’t screw up, however, or that others I haven’t met can’t screw up.
Even taking AA’s statement as a statement of facts doesn’t tell me what happened. People sometimes do their job unhappily. Performance often suffers in a hostile environment. These things don’t put me on any firmer ground.
All I can do with regard to this lawsuit is watch and wait, continue to pay attention as the case goes through discovery and litigation (or settlement), object to people drawing conclusions without facts or that are unwarranted by the facts, and know that no outcome will make me wholly happy.
Outside this lawsuit, however, I can do my small part to create a warmer atmosphere in general in the secular and skeptical movements and I can push others to do the same. That includes acknowledging that this is happening and working to make it obvious that, if this lawsuit pinpoints specific problems in American Atheists, I will push to have those fixed too.
It doesn’t seem like much to say, but I still think it’s important to say it.