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Ron Lindsay’s Extraordinary Bullshit Part III: A Fine Fuck You

Dear CfI Board of Directors:

I’ve spent the day attempting to determine what I could compare your moral courage to. However, each and every candidate has turned out to have more moral courage than you, up to and including John McCain and William Dembski. Even Enron showed more sense. I’ve seen corporations deny responsibility. I’ve seen not-pologies that require a dictionary of corporate-speak to decipher. I’ve seen organizations run from mistakes. But this is the first time I have ever witnessed a statement written by people too oblivious to even mention what interested parties told them repeatedly had caused distress, and then have the audacity to blame the injured parties for the injury dealt them. That’s private-health-insurance-quality fuckery, that.

You couldn’t even muster a “We’re sorry you were offended.” There’s weak tea, and then there’s water some ratfuckers are attempting to pass off as Earl Grey. In case you really are that bloody stupid, I shall inform you that your concoction is the latter. As esteemed Pharyngula commenter Tom Foss said, “It’s a homeopathic statement. So little content as to be nonexistent, diluted among so many words.” Not even a single molecule of apology remained when you were done.

unacceptable

I have to say, I’m impressed. I expected you to weasel out of doing anything more than playfully smack Ron’s hand and say, “He’s very outspoken, isn’t he? We’re sorry you were offended. Perhaps you should try not being offended in the future.” What I didn’t expect was for you to go full-metal-fuck-you. I mean, really. You expected “The CFI Board wishes to express its unhappiness with the controversy surrounding the recent Women in Secularism Conference 2″ to pass muster with several conferences’ worth of outraged feminist skeptics? Were you banking on all of us suffering an acute onset of gullibility? Did you think we spent our weekend getting beaten with the Credulous Stick? Because it didn’t happen.

You had one simple task: say sorry. Say, “We apologize. In retrospect, we realize this could have been handled better. We support WiS and the women in our community, and commit to WiS3.” That’s it. If you wanted to avoid plastering Ron’s name to this apology, you could have done. We’d have remained angry, and many of us would have walked, but at least a few wavering supporters would have swallowed that semi-apology whole. With time and no further fuckups, even those of us who had walked might have moseyed back.

What you chose instead was the equivalent of a country dropping a tactical nuke on the upset nation next door, preferring years of radioactive fallout to a simple sorry. In what universe does this possibly make sense? Is it a universe in which love is expressed with a sharp knife in the back? Because I felt the distinct sting of cold steel when I read your statement. And I toasted some s’mores in the flames from the bridges you burnt.

I now know what sort of organization you are. You are the kind of organization that will ignore years of determined harassment in the interests of some mythical unity. You are the kind of people that will pay lip service to women while embracing their abusers. You would rather blame everything that happened on the people who were offended and the conference they attended rather than admit for one instant that your CEO did the slightest thing wrong. You are the kind of people who believe the Supreme Leader must never sully his lips with an apology. And you are the kind of people who either believe skeptic women are stupid enough to accept your statement as a proper close to this painful chapter, and if we turn out to be smarter than that, you figure you can do without us.

We’ll be happy to watch you try.

the-fail-is-strong

I do hope you enjoy the fickle support of your new best friends. One set of backstabbing fuckwads deserves another, I always say. As for those brilliant and dedicated CfI employees caught in this crossfire, I do hope they find more welcoming shores very soon. It would be a shame watching them waste their talent trying to save an organization that will soon represent only the oblivious and the reprehensible.

I look forward to seeing Secular Woman, American Atheists, the Secular Student Alliance, and the American Humanist Association, among a plethora of others, benefit hugely from CfI’s failure to display even minimal decency and astounding inability to display even the slightest sense of self-preservation. I know where my dollars shall be going. I also know which organization I will never, ever support in the slightest.

You had your chance. You failed.

Adios,

Dana Hunter

Comments

  1. piscador says

    Brilliant. Passionate. The best response I’ve yet read to the CFI clusterfuck.

    Brava, Ms Hunter!

  2. rq says

    Because I felt the distinct sting of cold steel when I read your statement. And I toasted some s’mores in the flames from the bridges you burnt.

    I have this mental image of you bleeding down your back, knife still in, yet happily and grimly (yeah, both!) holding a flaming marshmallow in a bonfire lit from a civic engineering disaster. You know, with that Fuck you, you can’t make me leave*! attitude. With your geo-tripping boots on. (I know, it’s a bit gory, but seriously. It fits the tone and the mood of this piece.)
    In other words, Well Done!

    * And by ‘leave’, I mean ‘shut up about your gawdawful attitude towards my needs’.

  3. says

    LOL, Stangroom will need a new fainting couch after reading this one, the springs just went pop! Awesome ferocity, I hope they listen.

  4. Aliasalpha says

    You can tell how you’re valued by an organisation when they can’t even be fucked to pull out a half arsed lie to try and placate you when you’re justifiably pissed off with them.

  5. Stacey C. says

    *bookmarks blog* Extremely well said. I’m definitely liking what I see here. Thanks for being so eloquent and sharing your thoughts!

  6. says

    Fuck yeah! Especially this bit:

    I mean, really. You expected “The CFI Board wishes to express its unhappiness with the controversy surrounding the recent Women in Secularism Conference 2″ to pass muster with several conferences’ worth of outraged feminist skeptics? Were you banking on all of us suffering an acute onset of gullibility? Did you think we spent our weekend getting beaten with the Credulous Stick? Because it didn’t happen.

    Hits my reaction right on the nail. Did they really think this was going to work?

  7. smhll says

    As esteemed Pharyngula commenter Tom Foss said, “It’s a homeopathic statement. So little content as to be nonexistent, diluted among so many words.” Not even a single molecule of apology remained when you were done.

    Somehow I missed this comment, and it’s one of the sharpest insults by analogy I have seen in many a day.

  8. =8)-DX says

    There’s weak tea, and then there’s water some ratfuckers are attempting to pass off as Earl Grey.

    This about only the 3rd response to the CFI PR-zaster and I can already said you’ve won the snarkfest, the witty indignation award and the nailing-the-blogpost-on-its-head prize for this sentence. Bravo!

  9. Funny Diva says

    Wow!
    You beat your rock hammer into Thor’s Hammer and your geo-boots into asskickin’ boots.
    Well done. In the finest rhetorical tradition–including using modern language and images and metaphors (oh my!)

    movablebooklady–let me know, I’ll hold your coat!

  10. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    First of your articles I’ve read Dana, and it damn sure won’t be the last. (I do apologize, so many good bloggers, so little time.)

    Brilliant response. Exactly what CFI deserves. This gets an enthusiastic R’amen! from me.

  11. swampfoot says

    The lack of self-reflection by this organization is truly staggering. I wonder if it felt good for their PR person to write something so unbelievably obtuse in their zeal to show how much the wimminfolk should be ignored.

    I know your response must have been cathartic, because it certainly was for me. Well fucking done.

  12. Tethys says

    Well done Dana, I especially like the cold steel and marshmallow imagery and this quote:

    You are the kind of people that will pay lip service to women while embracing their abusers.

    THIS,THIS,THIS!!!

    Much of what is wrong in our society is this odd tendency to side with the abusive asshole with power, and ignore the target of the abuse. CFI provides a perfect case in point, with the added bonus of blaming the women for creating the problem in the first place. It’s enough to induce thoughts of taking that credulous stick upside some board members heads with force*.

    Fuckers refuse to even acknowledge the blatant sexism, and then they nonchalantly top it up by pretending it was just some poor comprehension on the part of the loud uppity feminists.

    /grrrrr

    *Violence is bad. I do not endorse violence in any form except defense.

  13. says

    Awesome, Dana. I cannot even be coherent on this issue (because RAGESOB), and I thank you for putting words together in a way that expresses so well what I and so many others are thinking and feeling about CFI.

  14. alexanderjohannesen says

    I’ve followed Dana from back when she was just a rock-smasher and have had some sparks through the years (misunderstands, mostly), but this post is exactly why I love you and always will, come rain or Rohmbporphyry; devastatingly honest and to the point, and hilariously funny!

  15. Martha says

    Terrific post, Dana. You’ve captured the anger so many of us feel so well.

    I had to chuckle when I misread “Supreme Leader” as “Beloved Leader,” mostly because Ron Lindsay so helpfully put North Korea on my mind…

  16. insipidmoniker, 37th Emu of the Mild Dyspepsia says

    There have been a ton of really solid responses written to the statement CFI put out, but I honestly think this is the best of them.

  17. ewanmacdonald says

    An excellent post. I am very glad to see mainstream sites like this one starting to recognize CFI’s many, many failings in this regard. Keep up the great work!

  18. Dana Hunter says

    You guys just… I mean, I can’t even… aw, shucks! *blush* I love you all very, very much. Thank you for your kind words and support! (((hugs))) for them as wants ‘em. Gracias, my darlings!

  19. perplexed says

    I want to start this note by saying this is just a hypothesis based on my time sitting on a variety of boards using the facts I have read over the last few weeks about Ron’s speech and the board’s reponse. I am assuming a lot but the question I have kept asking myself is “why” did the board choose this route.
    The bulk of the posts I have read have either expressed rage or agreed with the rage leveled at CFI based on the statement CFI issued regarding Ron’s speech at WIS2. Many folks are seriously pissed and wrote communiques to the board of CFI that these authors felt were ignored. Some have even decided to no longer contribute dollars and/or disassociated themselves from the organization.
    Some have characterized the statement a non-pology or a lack of courage and so on.
    As I mentioned, I have been giving a lot of thought trying to understand “why” they responded the way they did. And make no mistake, in my view this was a heavily discussed, well thought out process by the board I believe they read every tweet, post, note, email, snail mail and so on.and. I think the board process initiated the minute the blowback from Ron’s speech manifested so there were probably a lot of conversations over weeks. They probably got significant input from some folks outside the board as well. Then after all these conversations and weighing all the options available they came to a conclusion and wrote a carefully crafted note. In my view they spent significant time on that note.
    The “why”…
    I believe the board made a decision to draw a line in the sand. They knew exactly how that letter was going to be received. The folks in CFI have been around a long time so I believe they decided that the squeeze was worth the juice and they said “fuck you”. I believe they felt they invested time and resources to advance feminist causes the way they see it, they tried to encourage debate the way they see it and were rebuked by many because it wasn’t enough, or correct or whatever. So they reached a point and said we will never please some folks so we wish them well, we’ll take a hit, and move on.
    Every movement throughout history has elements that splinter and folks go their own way. Not necessarily a bad thing.
    But let’s not think that this statement from CFI was anything but a well thought out plan of action. They’re not hoping in time this goes away, they want the people that they feel aren’t playing well to go away.