There was one bit late in the Fincke-Vacula conversation, toward the end, when Vacula got desperate to find diversity issues that his enemies had neglected, in order to demonstrate that…I don’t know what. It’s all just bullshit, because they forgot one? They’re just showing off and don’t actually mean a word of it? They say one thing but do another? I don’t know. Anyway he flailed around and then oh hai he found one. “Asians!” he exclaimed.


Oh really?

Asians like the Bangladeshi atheists for instance? The ones addressed and greeted in that group photo before it was photoshopped for a “joke”? The ones disappeared from that photo for a “satire”? A “satire” that Vacula praised?

Or perhaps the famous novelist from Bangladesh who writes for this very blog network?

All the South Asian writers and activists I’ve published and written about perhaps, such as Tasneem Khalil, Meera Nanda, Gina Khan, Gita Sahgal.

Alexander Aan perhaps? I think he was mentioned here a few times.

Must try harder. Fijians? Laplanders? Ex-Amish vegans living in Palm Springs?


  1. says

    Yes so there is. I first became acquainted with him via Nirmukta, which I became acquainted with via Meera, who told me about it when it started up, I think. It had just published a great long article of hers.

    I used to write about that kind of thing a lot. I still would if harassers didn’t keep yanking on my sleeve and screaming in my face.

  2. spicyhippoplankton says

    If you don’t focus on every diversity issue that Justin can think of then the issue you focus on isn’t valid. Is that really his point? There were several instances where I struggled to understand what his point was. And I don’t think I can bring myself to watch it again.

  3. says

    “Asians!” therefore … feminist atheists are … what, exactly?

    Gods, what a mediocre try-hard pawn. I truly wonder if the Pit and other anti-feminist atheists out there actually like having such an embarrassing, entry-level amateur representing them.

    Regardless of whether they do, they’ve certainly got the guy they deserve. Vacula’s the Joe The Plumber of MRAtheism.

  4. Eristae says

    Asians like the Bangladeshi atheists for instance? The ones addressed and greeted in that group photo before it was photoshopped for a “joke”? The ones disappeared from that photo for a “satire”? A “satire” that Vacula praised?

    This would be funny if it wasn’t so painful. You and a bunch of others went out of your way to support a group of oppressed atheists, some of whom were from Asia, via a photo. Vacula is in favor of erasing this support in favor of a “satire” that was supposed to be to his benefit. Therefore, our side isn’t paying enough to Asians.

    Yes, it makes perfect sense.

    Of course, my guess is that he doesn’t know that Bangladesh is in Asia and that he was thinking of “Asians” as a euphemism for people from China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, or Taiwan. If the photo had been supporting a group of people in China (a country that most people in the USA can correctly identify as being in Asia), maybe he would have picked another example. Maybe then he would have picked “Antarcticians,” a group that you must admit we don’t spend much time on.


  5. says

    That was just one of the WTF moments in the debate — classic “Look Over There!!!” tactic, but so obvious that it made him look bad. But still not quite as bad as his endless logic-chopping over whether Rebecca Watson was lying about Elevator Guy (Can someone confirm my memory that JV actually asked why the guy hadn’t come forward? Seriously? If I was that guy, I’d be keeping a profile a flatfish would be jealous of.)

  6. says

    Are we ethnically Asian peoples the weapon of last resort? We don’t rate higher as a prop to make a dumb rhetorical point? I am appalled!

  7. Aratina Cage says

    Can someone confirm my memory that JV actually asked why the guy hadn’t come forward? Seriously?

    In the discussion with Fincke? Yes, he did. Right after saying that the incident never happened and Rebecca made it all up at 00:52:09 (which Fincke roundly mocked–good for him): “It seems weird that the–that the narrative is changing, that the guy hasn’t come forth… There are a lot of questions.”

    As for reaching out to Asians, yes we of course do need to do that and make sure we aren’t just building social groups that are comfortable for Whites, but that doesn’t excuse the slimepit or Vacula’s own behavior. In fact, you aren’t going to get a lot of Asians flocking to a movement when a huge “pit” exists where slurs for Asian people are used casually and considered “protected speech”. Vacula hasn’t really thought this through, has he?

  8. says

    Yeah, I’m not interested in flocking to the crowd that sounds like Rand Paul lecturing Howard University students on the history of race relations.

  9. says


    You know, I do think there are ways that we could improve diversity. I would love to see people be more aware of disability issues, for one. Class issues would be another. And like making atheism more inclusive for women, not only is it just the right thing to do, but it would also really increase numbers. (Just making sure that more meetings are accessible by public transportation–or starting some sort of carpool list on the website/facebook page for local groups–would immediately increase the number of people able to attend.) BUT HOW DOES THAT INVALIDATE WORKING FOR GENDER EQUALITY? That makes no sense. There are always going to be ways to improve, things that get overlooked, in everything. If he wants to be intellectually consistent (*insert laughter*), he would have to oppose literally every single organization and movement.

    Wow. He’s right; we’re not perfect. We therefore obviously lack any validity whatsoever. Should we just commit seppuku now, or what?

  10. sezit says

    I watched the conversation. Dan Finke was entirely reasoned and reasonable. Justin Vacula was mystifying. His repeated response seem to be along the lines of: “I am reasonable. These people I don’t like are not. Because.”
    I was really trying to keep an open mind as to his honesty in interacting. BONG. That’s the sound of a massive fail. He has done some good things, but is undependable, dishonest, and untrustworthy.

  11. A Hermit says

    ” Vacula’s the Joe The Plumber of MRAtheism.”

    Hankster, I am all out of internets. will you accept a shiny new toaster oven as reward for that comment?

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