Silverman appeared on Vacula’s “Brave Hero” (jeez, but it hurts just to type that ridiculous name for a show dedicated to hating) radio tonight and gave him a good chewing out. Silverman was far more diplomatic than I could ever be: he encouraged Vacula, telling him he could be a great activist, while also unambiguously telling him to step away from the aptly named slymepit, to stop “poking and prodding” — that is, harassing people — and to stop supporting the nonsense, the lies, the photoshops, the sniping coming out of that den of lunatics. It was a solid rebuke, and an unambiguous denunciation of the slymepit. It was great.
I was in the chatroom for the show, and it was like being in a mob of baboons. They were barking mad and raving — rather than arguing for Vacula, their approach was solely one of throwing around false equivalencies, in particular, demanding that Silverman denounce me as severely as he was the slymers (this was before I’d even logged in. Silverman was not there to talk about me, it was a debate between Silverman and Vacula, but Vacula and his cronies did an awful lot of yelling about me.) It ended up with a bunch of them just typing in all caps that I SUPPORT TENTACLE RAPE, and that I HATE ATHEISTS IN THE MILITARY, so I left.
It was ridiculous. Here, I’ll make it easy for everyone: let’s stipulate that I’m an evil, lecherous old man, creepy and horrible, far worse than anyone on the slymepit; Pharyngula is a hotbed of wickedness, all the commenters here are demonic (sorry); and that everything I’ve ever done has been irredeemably destructive to atheism, skepticism, science, and the American way. OK? Call me the Atheist Satan.
Now, what the heck does that have to do with the Silverman/Vacula discussion? How does it excuse fake twitter accounts, rape threats, bad photoshops, a multi-year campaign of denigration against Rebecca Watson, Ophelia Benson, Stephanie Zvan, Amanda Marcotte, Jennifer McCreight, and basically anyone who argues that the atheist movement ought to support greater equality? How does it justify Vacula acting as a representative for A Voice For Men at conferences advocating for greater support for women in secularism, a cause he opposes?
David Silverman can disagree with me on various issues and can tell me I’m wrong in no quibbling terms, and I might argue with him, but the one thing I won’t do, that would make me look pathetic, childish, and weak, is argue that what I do is OK because Vacula or some other boogeyman is worse than I am. And yet that’s the only argument these pathetic, childish, weak bozos had.