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May 09 2013

What are Anti-Atheists+ afraid of?

I do not know what the hullabaloo is about Atheism+, why all the hate and tantrums? I understand that people fear change, people with power fear anything that would or could threaten their power base, and because atheists are people, they are not exempted from this fear of change.

 People who enjoy power hardly want their privileged positions questioned. They fight the change makers, they cast aspersion on the oppositions’ characters, they fight tooth and nail to discredit the change and this is mostly what the fight against Atheism+ is all about. The sad thing is, many of those fighting the Atheism+ concept would hardly agree that they fight because they are afraid of change, nope; they would hide under so many notions to justify their stance against atheism+.

 People love to have power over others; the ‘insignificant’ minorities are always the victims. Many so called progressives still use their residual patriarchal power, sometimes unconsciously, to lord it over others but they loathe it when they are confronted with this fact.

 Why am I in support of Atheism+? I am a black African woman who also identify as atheist, bisexual,391462_507881772571218_1254845999_n feminist, socialist and humanist.  Sometimes I join groups that promote all my identities or at least acknowledge some of the things I identify as and with. For example, I identify with Black feminists groups, African labour groups, Labor women organizations, LGBT Atheists, African bisexuals, Black Atheists groups, Working class Atheists, Secular humanists and female workers groups. When attached to my birth identity, these self-identity tags afford me the opportunity to understand at a glance, the demography of the groups.

 I am conscious that not every organization that I identify with, shares my values or all my identities, however when joining or identifying with a group, I consider it important that I network with groups and persons who do not only share a birth or self-identity with me but who also share core values.   

 While I might not think it is important to bring up my socialist notions in a black bisexual group or an African atheist group, I would definitely think it is important that whenever a discrimination is made in a group I identify with, it would be my duty and responsibility to point this out and if the group failed to change, those of us with same values can organize to change the group or form a better one. And yes, any group can be improved upon including Atheist groups.

It is not about changing the meaning of Atheism, it is about using my Atheist identity to promote rational values that impact on my daily existence.

For example, I am a member of some Nigerian progressive groups, unfortunately, some of these groups are not in support of sexual minority rights. The homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in Nigerian and African human rights communities cannot stop me from identifying as a Nigerian or African human right activist, but it sure could stop me from identifying with a group that is continuously homophobic, it could also cause me to organise a revolution within the group to force it to acknowledge its defects and yes, also mobilize a subgroup to signal that we stand for much more than the default group.

 I have identified as a freethinker and atheist for more than a decade and it is only natural that I seek out people who also identify as same. Of course, I am also eager to find people who not only share birth identities with me but who also share self-identities with me. I would eagerly join an African Atheist group, a black women’s group, a women atheist group, LGBT atheist group, Nigerian atheists/ freethinkers groups, Niger181221_419947991361849_15582246_nian LGBTs groups and LGBT Nigerian Atheist groups.  It is only natural that I try to bond along and across boundaries, however, experience have shown that while we might share birth identity and a few self-identities, our self-identities and values are not always all the same.

 For example, I eagerly joined an African Atheists group on facebook and was happy to network with other Africans who share my disbelief in theism who were also ready to speak out about the reasons for their disbelief. In the process of networking, other issues common to our shared human race came up, especially in the mode of communication; language.  Some of the group members’ posts were homophobic, racist and demeaning to women. And of course as a conscious feminist, lgbt advocate and humanist, there is a sense of duty to call out such posts and comments and explain to the group at large why such language should not be encouraged.

 However, as my experience in some Atheists groups have shown, most people, no matter how rational they claim to be, do not like to be called out . The African atheist group I joined on facebook was very homophobic and racist. There were posts and comments deriding Bi-Racial members as not African enough and slur words like ‘mulattos’ were often used. When I made a post on the group page about the role of religion in the persecution of sexual minorities in Africa, the homophobes, who happened to be in the majority in the group, let out the most horrible, homophobic rants I ever encountered in a self-identified rationalist group! Of course when the admin failed to bring the situation under control through tacit silence, I left the group, so did a few others.422634_2822985968404_1512899802_n

 My experience with the Nigerian Atheist group was worse, bigotry, sexism, and irrationality was the order of the day in the group. It got so bad that female members were threatened with rape and told that dicks would be rammed down their mothers’ throats. A gay group member who live in the sharia part of Nigeria had his home address posted online thereby seriously endangering his life since he could be killed not just for his sexual orientation but also for being an Atheist.  All these irrational actions came from dear Atheists who love bashing religious believers for their lack of rationality.  Would it be any wonder if I decided not to hang out online or wherever with such people under whatever label they come under?

 Should I stop identifying as an African or Nigerian atheist because some people who identify as same, are homophobic, sexist and racist?  Nope, I could very well organize  another group named African Atheist+ (which i already have) and/or Nigerian Atheists, with the + tag signifying that this is an Atheist group of Africans / Nigerians who with their non belief in theism also share some rational  values like equality for all, are anti- racism, pro-sexual minorities, gender positive and non-ableist. 

 Having a clear tag would aid my decision on which group to join and network with. It would save precious time I use online arguing with bigoted, racist homophobic atheists on why they have no rational reason to be racist, homophobic or a chauvinist. It would save me and many others the agony of joining atheists groups that do not care that some of their members are being subjected to degrading attitudes from other group members.

 Atheism+ appeals to me because it promises a place to hang out with atheists, who just like me, believe that bigotry, racism or homophobia is irrational and are willing to critically examine social justice issues alongside our non belief in the existence of God.  We want to network, talk about our atheism, social justice issues or just hang out in an environment free of isms schisms.  Is it really that difficult to understand?

Some of the antagonist of atheists+ have asked, “We already have secular humanism, why Atheist+? Well, I could also ask, “Why LGBT humanists, African Humanists, Socialist humanists, Secular humanists, Female humanists or Nigerian Humanists?  Is the Atheism+ tag  the one tag that confuses you and makes you wanna blow the roof off?

Why so many tags? Well, it is because people can self identify and are free to self identify and create tags that suits them, just same way people are free to create gods.  So far they are not forcing their tags down other peoples’ throats and touting their tags as the only real thing, it is OK to self identify.  

 Why should I be required to identify as a secular humanist or be confined to secular humanist groups because I am an atheist who actively advocate for human rights? I should have the right to identify as a secular humanist and /or as an Atheist+, it is about choice. Secular Humanists have chosen not to prominently use the word Atheist, it is their choice. I am a member of a few secular humanists groups, it is my choice. I have chosen to use my Atheist tag to identify with the social justice causes I care about, it is my prerogative.  SDC12497

Why can’t I use my self identified atheist tag to also represent other things I stand for? Is the Atheist tag restricted? If yes, who made the restriction? When did we agree it should be restricted? Why is it OK to have Black Atheist, Eastern Atheist, American Atheist, LGBT Atheist but not OK to have Atheist+? Why and how is it OK to have Secular humanism, another tag over humanism but not OK to have Atheist+ or humanist atheists? 

 I think those fighting the Atheist+ tag should examine their real motive to understand what they are scared of.

Are they  terrified that Atheism would be overrun by feminists, human rights activists or Atheists women demanding not to be called sluts in atheists groups and gatherings?

Are they frightened that Africans and persons of colour would demand not to be given the second class treatment in international  Atheist groups and gatherings?

Are they troubled that Atheists living with disabilities would demand not to be ignored in atheist gatherings?

Are they scared that young atheists would start demanding that their voice be heard within the atheist movement?

What exactly are the anti-Atheist+ afraid of?

 I care about social justice issues , my activist cap is not one I wear  when I feel like it, it is an integral part of me, it is me. Even though I care so much about social justice issues, I do appreciate that going on and on in an atheist group about the abuse of social justice especially through the choice of words that entrenches stereotypes, might just tick off some atheists. Yes, I understand that some atheists just wanna bash baby Jesus and have fun without caring about sexism, bigotry, racism or homophobia in their language choice and I dampen the fun of those atheists by pointing out their parochial attitudes. I was actually told in a Nigerian atheist forum that I should go form a women atheist group and leave the group so that they can have their misogynist fun without any guilt.

 I do not apologize for my social justice consciousness and cannot make excuses for anyone who wants to hide under whatever label, including an atheist label, to spew parochial views. I do not even want to hang out with such persons, irrespective of our shared disbelief in God, It does n309588_268567446510551_121692274531403_901024_424303210_not mean I am leaving the label Atheism for you, it only means I am also seeking cooler friends to hang out with, friends who happen to share same social justice consciousness with me. This is not too difficult to understand, is it?

 I am not a Feminist with a BUT and I am certainly not an Atheist with a BUT, I am simply an Atheist with a PLUS and for me, the plus is the icing on the cake. Some like icing, some don’t, whatever float your boat. If you still do not understand why I want my Atheism to be with a plus, well it is not my problem, it is your problem, hope you get it solved soon. I am responsible for what I say, not what you understand. Cheers!

Related post- Is the Atheist+ label really confusing?

124 comments

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  1. 1
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Well-said. For me, social justice work and atheism work come from the same place, and are inextricably linked. Both are a large and important part of my identity.

  2. 2
    oolon

    The most “coherent” reasons people don’t like it is that they don’t like the name and Secular Humanism covers it already… But then that hardly justifies the obsession and hatred many seem to have with A+ as a name is not *that* much of a problem, is it? Apparently it is as there was a rant by someone with a lot of followers on Twitter, so I assume internet famous somehow, that A+ made atheism a “thing”. He then ranted at length on how horrible a crime it is to make atheism a “thing”, when it isn’t a “thing”… It was almost a parody of anti-A+ batshittery, but that is hard to achieve when the bar is set so high.

    Would be good if more reasonable anti-people blogged about why they don’t like it. Thing is most of them are like NonStampCollector whose criticism was that he thought “meh” when appraising it, so we hardly hear anything against A+ that is not deranged.

  3. 3
    VeganAtheistWeirdo

    Great post Yemisi. Up to now I have been sort of undecided on what value is added by giving this collection of social justice-supporting atheists a separate label; I certainly didn’t have the “Oh no you’re redefining atheism!” reaction that you address (and which I foolishly tried to understand when expressed by YouTubers on Richard Carrier’s video… attempting to rationally engage that lot is not a mistake I will make again soon).

    I just wondered how useful it really was. But you made a very strong point for the label: saving time, emotions, effort that would otherwise be spent in a community where you would eventually find you are not all working toward the same goal. I know it was said before, but you’ve demonstrated it effectively.

    Incidentally, humanism or secular humanism aren’t satisfactory subgroups for people like me, who do not believe that human animals are essentially more important than others. So yes, there is room for a different category; one that incorporates reason and rational thought without excusing any marginalizing speech or behavior and without linking itself to a worldview of human centrism as a tenet.

  4. 4
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    What are they afraid of? Not being special, I guess… but they are only “special” in a way that is so petty and childish that it is hard to really wrap your head around. Because what makes them special are things that aren’t special at all, unless they can look down on other people as being inferior to them. If they have to treat other people as equals, all of that ultimately meaningless, unearned “special” goes right down the toilet, along with a bunch of their identity.

    For too many atheists, “being” an atheist important to them because it lets them feel superior to theists. They’ve cracked the code, they’ve seen behind the illusion, they have THE TRUTH in their hands that those poor twisted others will never see. For them, atheism is the end of the journey, the peak of Everest. So to suggest that they’re still the same old screwed up people they were before, just like everyone else but with one less wart? It isn’t just a criticism, it tears down the entire foundation of their over-inflated self-image. So of course they lose their crap, because they’re defending their entire self-image.

  5. 5
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Not being the centre of attention.

    Not holding the reins anymore.

    Not getting to determine what it is atheist writers/speakers write and speak about.

    Having to admit that they hold a privileged position in society and making the necessary adjustments to allow those without the same privileges to have their voices heard.

    Having to actually get off their asses and contribute to making the atheist community a better, more inclusive place instead of just sitting back and having their egos stroked by being told how much better/smarter they are than those dumb ol’ religionists.

  6. 6
    Jadehawk

    This was an awesome post, and you’re an awesome blogger, and I’m very glad you joined FTB :-D

    I have a very similar reason for liking A+, namely that I feel awkward in may other SJ places because they are very often “spiritual”, and while other people get to talk about how their “faith” informs their activism, it often feels like I’m not allowed to talk about how my lack of faith and my commitment to secularism, atheism, and skepticism motivates my activism (because that would be too much like criticizing the beliefs of other ctivists, I guess)

  7. 7
    Damion Reinhardt

    I can think of a handful of fearful things offhand: http://agnostichicagokie.blogspot.com/2012/08/atheismplus-three-major-campaigns.html

    Not to mention the A+ forums themselves, which are quite a sight to behold. Never have I seen so many posts in ITALICIZED CAPS LOCK OF QUIVERING RAGE. If I had to describe the forums on the whole, I’d cite this post: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2011/06/29/just-say-no/

  8. 8
    Onamission5

    Yes! I made happy sounds when I saw you were here, Yemisi, and your first few posts do not disappoint.

    @CatieCat #1, that is true for me, as well. The process by which I came to my atheism is the same process by which I lit upon social justice. I think of it as “something is very wrong here.” I encounter a thing, have cognitive dissonance about a thing, it will keep eating at me until I resolve it. That is what happened with religion, that is what continually happens with issues of equity. There’s very few spaces where I can be feminist, anti-racist, pro-LGBT *and* outspokenly atheist all at the same time and be around others who are also all those things without constantly feeling like I am trying to claw my way out from under a big pile of shit. Here on FTB is one more often than not. A+ is another.

  9. 9
    pitchguest

    Yemisi, I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt. If you genuinely want to know about the “hullabaloo” regarding Atheism Plus, then I suggest you research. Read Jennifer McCreight’s blog post about it, read the blogs writing about it; get the gist. Then do some more research just to be on the safe side. Asking “why all the hate and tantrums?” if you’re not really interested betrays a principle of scepticism.

    Later when you’ve learned enough to be confident to know what the deal is, read the forum. The official Atheism Plus forum. Only when you have read the blog posts concerning A+, why it came about and the reactions (from *both* “sides”) to it, and then read the forum, only then do you start to form a consensus — and the reasons for much of the backlash.

    One other thing before I leave: if you see the screen name oolon, avoid. He’s a known shit-stirrer and a troll, deliberately misinterpreting and obfuscating arguments to get a reaction out of people. He’s a bit like the argument sketch in that fashion, just contradicting people for the hell of it. My friendly advice to you. Take care now.

  10. 10
    smrnda

    I don’t get it either; if you aren’t down with the A+ scene,nobody is making you take part in it.

    For me, promoting social justice is as much a reason and evidence based position as disbelief in religion. I can’t really separate the two as it would seem very irrational to do so, kind of like disbelieving in religion but believing in all kids of woo and alternative medicine, or bogus economic theories that have been shown not to work, or denying evidence of racism. I also don’t think you can separate a critique of religion from looking at the negative social consequences of religion.

  11. 11
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    @CaitieCat- Very true for me too, the first thing that nudged me towards atheism was my fierce passion for social justice, and now both are an integral part of me.

    @oolon-I don’t think the argument that secular humanism already covers it is coherent enough, as I would address further in my next post. Not everyone feels comfortable wearing the secular humanist label, and no one should be forced to. If I am more comfortable wearing an atheist label, I see no reason why I should be barred from pursuing my social justice cause under my atheist label. Maybe the reason Anti-Atheist+ bloggers have not reasonably blogged about the reason for their opposition is because they have no reasonable reason to oppose it. But as we know then, lack of a reasonable reason hardly stop opposition, if anything, it often fuels a lot of personality attacks. I only wish people would focus on discussing ideas rather than persons.

    @VeganAtheistWeirdo – I am glad you saw my point about how labels could help save time and make me decide if i really want to be part of a group and if yes, how much time I am willing to spend agreeing or disagreeing with the group. A clear aims an objectives comes in hand!

  12. 12
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    @Jadehawk- Thanks. You just hit the nail right on the head. I often feel awkward when social justice groups I am a member of go on and on about God and how their personal God is all loving. Hardly any social justice group I belong to in Nigeria, including feminists and LGBT groups, starts their meetings without a prayer! You can imagine how uncomfortable that makes me feel. And speaking out against this is enough reason to ostracize me as I am often a lone voice in the mist of social justice activists who wants equality but feel the need to pray to Go to help them make it happen. Of course I am more than thrilled to have an atheist group that share my passion for social justice, problem solved!

    @Onamission5- Thanks! I have also found FTB and Atheist plus forum and space a one stop shop for everything I need to cater for my non belief and passion for social justice. I mean if I can get this in one shop, why shop around for pieces at different shops? Saves time and energy!

  13. 13
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    @pitchguest- Benefit of the doubt? Oh, how benevolent of you! For a minute there, I thought you were a Christian who wanted to give me benefit of the doubt as my atheism might be due to some bad
    Influence that could easily be taken care of under their superior guidance! lol! Still, the similarity is eerie!

    Whatever gave you the impression that I had not done my research before making this post? How patronizing of you to even assume that I have no knowledge of the genesis of what I care enough to blog and even make a video about. I doubt if you would recognize your own patronizing tone even as I point it out to you.

    If you had bothered to watch the video, you should have noticed that this post and the video were made 8 months ago. Yes, I followed the important bit of it all as it happened, and I have also been a member of the Atheist plus forum since inception.

    I find it funny that you think you can come here to dish advice out, ask me to research things I already know without you thinking YOU NEED TO DO YOUR RESEARCH TO KNOW THINGS I MIGHT ALREADY KNOW. But no, it only seems OK to your patronizing self to expect that this newbie on FTB, who is a Nigerian black woman most probably knows nothing about what she is writing about. Sorry to wake you up from your messianic “let me give her a shining knight in armour nudge” slumber, but that shitty attitude is not welcome on my space.

    And Oh, about your advice regarding another commenter on my blog, you see the thing is, I relate to people based on their comments on my posts. If they had not said anything that qualifies them as a troll, I need not take the word of someone who obviously have an axe to grind with them, as that unsolicited advice is obviously coming from a prejudiced mind. I can make my own judgments calls, thanks but no thanks.

    And my friendly advice to you is, remember, great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small mind discuss people. It seems you are more interested in discussing people and events more than the ideas, I hate gossips, it is not an endearing trait.

  14. 14
    Rebecca W

    “I was actually told in a Nigerian atheist forum that I should go form a women atheist group and leave the group so that they can have their misogynist fun without any guilt”

    And people complain about ‘divisiveness’ when we actively seek out more pleasant company. An atheism movement cannot be inclusive of all types of people, whilst perpetuating (and even encouraging) hatred and bigotry towards oppressed groups. So you’re bang on about the need to seek cooler and more socially conscious friends to hang out with, to be able to productively discuss atheism and activism within a broader context. And for me, ‘A+’ is a quick little tag which signifies where those people might be -- I don’t really care too much if people don’t want to use it as a label, but some of the objections are a bit “what’s all the fuss about?”

  15. 15
    Hank_Says

    Yemisi, this is standard operating procedure for the benevolent ones over at Slime Central (as I’m reasonably sure you’re aware -- so consider the rest of this post a general comment not directed at you in particular).

    Upon receiving word from the Front, Pitchguest will roll up on his mighty steed to politely look down his nose and tell you you’re ignorant, or have missed the point or make some other assumption about your intelligence or diligence. Around the same time Damion will arrive, link to a relevant post at his blog and then deign to “educate” you -- perhaps about a forum you’re already familiar with -- and almost always misrepresent A+ and its activities (often using such colourful/hyperbolic/paranoid adjectives as “authoritarian”, comparing FtB to Scientologists or invoking book-burning, for Pete’s sake, as in the aforementioned blog post). Neither will ask any pertinent questions of you (i.e. perform their own research) before dishing out advice as they assume from the outset that you know nothing and need their gracious assistance. This is surely because you’re on this particular blog network making your views clear and your stance unequivocal and as such, according to Slime Central, you are substandard in your intelligence, integrity and diligence and deserving of a good talking-to.

    Soon afterwards they’ll point out how snarky people are to them (they might even invoke logical fallacies with Latin names as if they’re spells from an ancient tome found in a Hogwarts cupboard), not realising that they could avoid such snark* if they didn’t monitor FtB every single day for keywords and constantly, endlessly, predictably pop their heads over the fence like Ned Flanders to wag their fingers at people.

    _____________________________________
    *Avoiding FtB snark, however, doesn’t appear to part of the program, because FtB snark is a key operating condition. What better way to generate FtB snark than to stroll in to whichever thread happens to be discussing one of their anti-plus hobby-horses and, instead of disagreeing in good faith and not making assumptions about the writer or commenter they’re responding to, start doling out their sage advice like they’re monocled philanthropists dropping hundred-pound notes onto the dank, urchin-filled FtB streets from their mighty zeppelin?

  16. 16
    VeganAtheistWeirdo

    Hankstar, I’m glad I finished my cereal before I read your comment, otherwise I’d be trying to clean it off my laptop right now. Your analogies are hilarious and spot-on!

    I’m not surprised those two turned up. They aren’t interested in discussion, really; they just want to show their flag. Yemisi has demonstrated she’s more than capable of dealing with them. It’s a shame they don’t actually listen or they might learn something.

  17. 17
    oolon

    Hehe. To nick a nice turn of phrase Yemmy used in another post as it seems appropriate. I’m glad to see Pitchguest sweating like a Christmas goat at this trolls presence ;-)

    Personally I’ve only ever seen Pitchguest be sneeringly condescending towards women. Especially feminists, but I wouldn’t call him a troll as he seems to really be that way all the time, not just for effect.

    I promise to use trolling tags for Pitchguest when winding him up as he is clearly a special snowflake who cannot handle a little ribbing /trolling

  18. 18
    oolon

    Yemmy. Thanks for the reply, in regard to reasonable anti people there are some bloggers on this network who are not fans. I guess being partly on the side of PG etc puts them off articulating objections or if they are articulated they are drowned out by the “book burning” drama llamas. Worst thing about the hyperbole in my opinion as there is likely to be valid constructive criticism. But its obliterated by over wrought shouting about Mccarthy-Stalinist-feminazi conspiracies.

  19. 19
    Doug Kirk

    I agree with you so much. Especially the part about not it being people who just want their own space.

    You’ve helped me crystallize that what I think what really surprises me most about all the backlash against the Atheism+ group is that the A+ people aren’t asking the libertarian/patriarchal people do anything about it. Sure, they’re asking groups to have anti-harrassment policies and to give them space at events, but they’re not exactly asking the slymers et all to go to their booths, listen to their speakers or donate to their causes; and they’re certainly not imposing them on them.

    You’d think all these rationally selfish dudes and dudettes would realize that if they just sit back and do nothing, the A+ers will eventually make this a bigger, better movement and they can just ride the coat-tails. And if they’re really worried about not having friends afterwards, they can rest assured that after all the heavy lifting has been done by others, I’m sure they’ll be able to trick plenty of atheists into thinking they’re not horrible people.

    (PS fantastic blog, I’m glad you’re on FTB!)

  20. 20
    A Hermit

    It is not about changing the meaning of Atheism, it is about using my Atheist identity to promote rational values that impact on my daily existence.

    This seems like such a blindingly obvious point, yet it has to be repeated every time there’s a conversation about this. Some people seem to think that atheism should be limited to only not believing in god(s). Full stop, no additional commentary needed.

    But of course there is more to it than that. I am atheist, PLUS a whole bunch of other things including, but not limited to, a father and member of a family, a humanist, a freethinker, a fair-to-middling guitar player, an anti-racist and a feminist. Atheist is not the only thing that defines who I am, although it certainly influences those other parts of my identity.

    The anti-A+er’s often complain about the”imposition” of the “+” idea on their atheism, but it always feels to me like THEY are the ones imposing a rigid, limited dogmatic view on the rest of us. No one gets to tell me I can’t be an atheist PLUS a social democrat, plus an artist, plus a friend to the LGBTQ community, plus whatever the hell I want to be. I will be all of those things, and more, and I would lend my voice, however small and insignificant it may be, to supporting those causes and movements which are important in my life and those of and my friends and family.

  21. 21
    Camomile Lox

    The *concept* A+ is born from? It’s fine.. I don’t think it’s hijacking the actual definition of atheism or being divisive. It makes no sense to say it’s divisive. It’s like saying people disagreeing is divisive.

    But the actual forum is totally different… a totally different experience, a negative experience for some, and for me, an upsetting experience (has to do with my mixed racialism, do not feel like going into it). No one can change or deny that.

  22. 22
    oolon

    Camomile Lox/Eunecromancer/Eucliwood Hellscythe/Eu/Robitussin/Evangeline given you have so many names, sometimes called socks, what one was used on the A+ forum?

    Poisoning the well against the A+ forum with vague accusations that intimate you were treated in a racist way is not very fair. I cannot deny your experience, but if you are open about what got you banned there then it might be a little more convincing….

  23. 23
    johngreg

    I do not know what the hullabaloo is about Atheism+, why all the hate and tantrums?

    I was wondering if you have some links to places expressing hate and tantrums?

    Over at the ‘Pit we tend to ridicule the A+ bbs/forum, in particular, it body of mods. And, at the ‘Pit, there has certainly been some strong disagreement with the ideals and expressed intentions/goals of A+, but not, I would say, hate or tantrums.

    Where do/does the anti-A+ hate and tantrums occur

    I see a lot of hate and tantrums at the A+ forums, and certainly some from Richard Carrier, but that is directed toward the anti-A+ folk, not the A+ folk.

  24. 24
    oolon

    @johngreg, oh dear, to live at the pit and not see it? Psychopathic ideologues is a favourite phrase for FTB ppl, I’m sure A+ are often characterised that way in your friendly pit!

    But without citations the hyperskeptics at the pit will cry “no proof!”, even though a number of them are guilty of a massive amount of the hate and tantrums.
    --> No1 the venerable Al Stefanelli makes a calm, reasonable case that A+ is just like McCarthyism and the moderation like the Spanish Inquisition… Are you saying Al doesn’t hate McCarthyism or the Spanish Inquisition? (I’ll try Steersmans link technique to avoid moderation -- remove the “_” and copy/paste)
    _alstefanelliarchives.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/atheism-plus-radical-feminism-and-the-new-mccarthyism/

    --> This charming fellow is a pitter I believe? Ultimate atheist childish insult, you are just like christians/creationists wah!
    _skepticink.com/avant-garde/2012/10/13/atheism-plus-we-are-atheists/

    --> Search the #atheismplus hashtag on Twitter

    --> Unfortunately the pure bullshit from NYBoxTurtle is not there anymore… But you can probably see some of his performance art level hate of A+ on the Anti-A+ sub-reddit. He was plaintively crying about literally bleeding from the eyes in his cause to destroy A+ before it destroys atheism. Even having a go at many pitters like Hoggle for not being sufficiently committed.

    --> Ooo Hoggle, how could I forget, favourite post of mine but this comment is delicious in its batshit nature. Strakh is defined by his hate for all things A+/radfem
    _greylining.com/2012/11/06/atheism-undisputed-community-endorsement/#comment-7802

    --> Read NSC’s final post on FtBs about the anti-A+ assholes he had to deal with
    “Suddenly, in the eyes of many, I had become a staunch, outspoken advocate NOT ONLY of man-hating radical militant feminism, but also of Atheism+, and I had people DEMANDING that I retract everything I’d ever said promoting both of those, taking me to task for the unforgivable crimes of the moderators at some Atheism+ forum, and composing long, strongly-worded messages detailing to me the philosophical and practical problems of Atheism+.”
    _freethoughtblogs.com/nonstampcollector/2013/04/07/wrapping-up-my-blog/

    --> Getting into this now… Thunderf00l is always good for a laugh.
    _thunderf00tdotorg.wordpress.com/2012/08/26/a-atheism-plus-for-a-third-glorious-age-of-total-agreement/

    Few comments from the heights of rationality that is Pittizens + Thunderf00t fanboys
    “They’ve erected a strawman of vanilla atheism that everyone can hate. It’s the Christian strawman atheist touted by a new group and it makes me want to leave the community well alone and just ignore all of it.”
    “Atheism+ is an ideological purge; nothing more and nothing less. And it has fuck all to do with atheism.”
    “Atheism+. Its like atheism and Mccarthyism bastard child, BEGIN THE WITCH HUNT!”
    “We won’t let irrational morons destroy the movement and belittle the achievements of the original “Four Horsemen”. If they want it, they can have it: Atheists 1984+, you can officially go and fuck yourselves.
    We won’t let you destroy this thing with your little self-centered mental diarrhea.”
    “Great to see someone else associating the A+/FTB/Skepchick behaviour with McCarthyism. That’s exactly what it is.”
    “A bunch of power hungry people tore the atheist and skeptical movements apart for their own gain.”
    “A+ is little more than an exercise in auto-fellatio by underachieving egomaniacs with a burgeoning messianic complex”
    “Replace A+ with Aryan and Carrier’s talk of cleansing, or kicked out as he terms it, and you have what appears to be the makings of a megalomaniac…Could almost be the words of Hitler himself, in fact if you read Carriers ranting in the style of Hitler it becomes quite frightening”

    …. And Richard Carrier as Hitler from the lovely pitter Justicar _youtube.com/watch?v=7hnOhRte41U

    So yeah John, no hate, no tantrums, at all… Boy but the pit is rotting your mind!

  25. 25
    John-Henry Beck

    Hah. That’s a great post there, Oolon. The examples do seem to be numerous and beyond counting, yet such a pain to go tracking down and linking to specific examples. I see plenty just by checking #AtheismPlus and #FTBullies on Twitter; I don’t even want to think about going to the ‘Pit itself.

  26. 26
    johngreg

    I suppose that brings us back to the ongoing disagreement over definitions of words and degree of emotion expressed.

    What I see as dislike, ridicule, disagreement, criticism, and anger, you see as hatred and tantrums.

    Same kettle; different fish.

  27. 27
    pitchguest

    Well, pardon me. I didn’t intend to come off as patronising. However, rather than me having an axe to grind, it seems it might be the other way around. Anyway, it appears I have my work cut out for me. Let’s get to it.

    @pitchguest- Benefit of the doubt? Oh, how benevolent of you! For a minute there, I thought you were a Christian who wanted to give me benefit of the doubt as my atheism might be due to some bad
    Influence that could easily be taken care of under their superior guidance! lol! Still, the similarity is eerie!

    Whatever gave you the impression that I had not done my research before making this post? How patronizing of you to even assume that I have no knowledge of the genesis of what I care enough to blog and even make a video about. I doubt if you would recognize your own patronizing tone even as I point it out to you.

    If you had bothered to watch the video, you should have noticed that this post and the video were made 8 months ago. Yes, I followed the important bit of it all as it happened, and I have also been a member of the Atheist plus forum since inception.

    Heh, heh. The “benefit of the doubt” comment was indeed a way to excuse your ignorance on the matter, if it happens you were uninformed, but seeing as you weren’t and have even been a member on the forum from the start, then I have to ask why you even asked the question? Many people were upset at the divisive nature of A+, the posts that touted it as a new movement for everyone else to fall in line, the posts that touted it with an “us vs them” narrative, and the forum created as a “safe space” which turned out to be nothing but, so why would you even ask such a stupid question? Isn’t that just a deliberate excuse to poke people with sticks?

    I find it funny that you think you can come here to dish advice out, ask me to research things I already know without you thinking YOU NEED TO DO YOUR RESEARCH TO KNOW THINGS I MIGHT ALREADY KNOW. But no, it only seems OK to your patronizing self to expect that this newbie on FTB, who is a Nigerian black woman most probably knows nothing about what she is writing about. Sorry to wake you up from your messianic “let me give her a shining knight in armour nudge” slumber, but that shitty attitude is not welcome on my space.

    I offered you some advice to information I thought you lacked, not presuming to judge straight away, which is incidentally what giving you the benefit of the doubt means. It wasn’t meant to be rude. I’m not sure where this interpretation of me as a knight in shining armor comes from, or why you think you being a Nigerian black woman has anything to do with my opinions, but I can only assume you have your reasons.

    Clearly I did it because your opening question, “why all the hate and tantrums?” hinted at ignorance of the subject, especially when you preface it with “I do not know what the hullabaloo is about Atheism+” then I just assumed you didn’t know -- which I hope you can forgive my temporary oversight. I’ll also admit I didn’t watch the video, another mistake on my part.

    And Oh, about your advice regarding another commenter on my blog, you see the thing is, I relate to people based on their comments on my posts. If they had not said anything that qualifies them as a troll, I need not take the word of someone who obviously have an axe to grind with them, as that unsolicited advice is obviously coming from a prejudiced mind. I can make my own judgments calls, thanks but no thanks.

    Fair enough. I just thought I’d put it out there. His first post here certainly didn’t predicate an open mind towards dissenting opinions, not to mention taking some pot shots himself, and as you can see he’s already begun his petty crusade against other users who doesn’t 100% share his dogma -- ironically implicating we are “poisoning the well.” A perpetual shit-stirrer. However, quite right, I am of a prejudiced mind, so don’t take my word for it. See for yourself.

    And my friendly advice to you is, remember, great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small mind discuss people. It seems you are more interested in discussing people and events more than the ideas, I hate gossips, it is not an endearing trait.

    I’ll remember that.

  28. 28
    Damion Reinhardt

    Yes, I followed the important bit of it all as it happened, and I have also been a member of the Atheist plus forum since inception.

    Somehow you have even fewer posts over there than I do, and I’ve been banned. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suppose that you haven’t been following very closely all these months.

    The A+ forum is designed first and foremost to castigate outsiders and indoctrinate insiders. Skepticism re: orthodox social theories is never tolerated therein. If you can find a thread where someone doesn’t go into full rage mode or dramatically take umbrage, you’ve found a thread with less than a dozen posts. There is a good reason why Jen moved on some time ago.

  29. 29
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    johngreg:

    I was wondering if you have some links to places expressing hate and tantrums?

    Johngreg:

    Where do/does the anti-A+ hate and tantrums occur

    Your question/comment is so obviously childish and dishonest that I was surprised someone actually took you seriously enough to respond and even took the pains to provide you examples, as if you didn’t know and worse , as if you didn’t have the brains to do your own elementary research. Pathetic but still very funny.

    Johngreg:

    I see a lot of hate and tantrums at the A+ forums, and certainly some from Richard Carrier, but that is directed toward the anti-A+ folk, not the A+ folk.

    What I see as dislike, ridicule, disagreement, criticism, and anger, you see as hatred and tantrums.
    Same kettle; different fish

    Of course you had your conclusions before feigning childish ignorance. What a childish game with no element of surprise!

    Funny how you see hate and tantrums in A+forums and from Richard Carrier but you can’t see it coming from the Anti Atheistplus folk, which to deduce from your comment, you are a part of.. How so telling, lol!

    Even if you saw “dislike, ridicule, disagreement, criticism, and anger,” instead of hatred and tantrums, the point is the post addresses why these “dislike ridicule, disagreement, criticism, and anger” are baseless and not justified.

    I would begin to take you seriously if you at least attempt to make your disagreement, ridicule or criticism based on the issues raised in this blog post /video you are commenting on. Valid counterpoints are very much welcome. I am one for discussing ideas, not unnecessary events or personalities. Playing not very ingenious high school games, is not my style.

  30. 30
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    @pitchguest: I could ask you right now why you are being so silly, but then I wouldn’t expect a coherent response from you. I could go ahead to educate you on why even a bit of assumption on your part that I was ignorant of the things that gave birth to Atheism plus and the events surrounding it, even though I have written and made video on it, is itself a very silly assumption, but I doubt if it would be worth the effort. Of course I could go ahead to ask you why even though you realized your assumption was wrong, you still chose to continue with your silliness, but I doubt if you would be honest enough to stop the silliness just because I pointed it out to you.

    Even though I asked the question “What are anti atheists plus afraid of?”, I still went ahead in my post to address the fears, disagreements and tantrums thrown so far by the anti atheist plus folk. This should have clearly shown you that I have heard the fears, hate and aware of the tantrums thrown around and that I was basically using the video and post to address these fears. The fact that you think my question was stupid because to quote you-

    pitchguest:

    Heh, heh. The “benefit of the doubt” comment was indeed a way to excuse your ignorance on the matter, if it happens you were uninformed, but seeing as you weren’t and have even been a member on the forum from the start, then I have to ask why you even asked the question?

    Does it mean as a member of a group, I cannot literally, figuratively or rhetorically ask why people who are anti the group are so afraid of the group or forum? Now, don’t pretend you can’t see the flaw in your comment.

  31. 31
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    Many people were upset at the divisive nature of A+, the posts that touted it as a new movement for everyone else to fall in line, the posts that touted it with an “us vs them” narrative, and the forum created as a “safe space” which turned out to be nothing but, so why would you even ask such a stupid question?

    I know you said you didn’t watch the video but did you even bother to read my post before commenting?

    As I made clear in my post, no one should be forced to identify with any group and no one should be bashed or bullied for initiating or supporting Atheism+ especially since Atheism+ is not forcing a label on anyone. For me, Atheist+ with its zero tolerance for discrimination would provide a needed space to engage online with other atheists and also create an avenue to discuss social justice issues. I like the concept. Anyone who does not like the group is free to jog on, simple!

    BTW, it is also possible to be an atheist and not be a supporter of atheist+ just like it is possible to support all the ideas of Atheism+ and still not be a member of any Atheist+ group; it is a matter of choice.

    I am interested in discussing Atheism+ not people and as far as I am concerned, Atheism+ just like Atheism, has no leaders.

  32. 32
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Well, you did catch him off guard by using that rarely-used and little-known argumentative device, “the rhetorical question”. Such an obscure usage surely couldn’t be expected to be recognized by such an august thinker as pitchguest, now, could it?

    Why, it’s almost as if you expect people commenting here not to be disingenuous! What’s the world coming to?

  33. 33
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    pitchguest::

    Clearly I did it because your opening question, “why all the hate and tantrums?” hinted at ignorance of the subject, especially when you preface it with “I do not know what the hullabaloo is about Atheism+” then I just assumed you didn’t know — which I hope you can forgive my temporary oversight. I’ll also admit I didn’t watch the video, another mistake on my part.

    Hmm, seems like the closest thing to an apology I will get for your assumption that I was ignorant of the very thing I was posting about, even though it still baffles me why you would make that assumption at reading the very first sentence when the rest of the post made it clear your assumption was wrong, yet you still felt you had to “give me the benefit of doubt of my possible ignorance”, Of course it’s a joke! I am not baffled as to why you made your assumption, it was just one of these sarcastic questions, you know, like “What are Anti Atheists plus afraid of?

    With such a humbling request for forgiveness of your oversight, what else can I do but forgive. So, no worries you are forgiven, I’m just glad that at least we agreed that such assumption is offensive especially when it cannot be justified.

    As for the advice to beware of certain commenter, truly, I am not a fan of personality attacks and it does not matter which side is doing the attack, I find it a waste of time and beneath me. I’d rather analyze the ideas and discuss the issues instead of name-calling. References to attacks are only useful for the purposes of data collection in order to better analyze ideas and issues involved, outside that, they only tend to derail threads, and fuel hate and anger. Also, aside from the fact that it is not healthy , it also beclouds constructive reasoning.

  34. 34
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    Damion Reinhardt:

    Somehow you have even fewer posts over there than I do, and I’ve been banned. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suppose that you haven’t been following very closely all these months.

    Actually, it is very unreasonable to think that I have not been following the forums very closely over the months simply because I do not post often on the forum. As it is, posting is not a requirement of membership , nor is it a yardstick to judge followership of posts. There are people who read every posts on forums and blogs but never leave a comment. It is not about the quantity of posts/comments, it is about the quality.

    Btw, I’d recommend the ban of people that violate rules of any group I belong to, without fear or favour, it helps to achieve the aims and goals of the group.

  35. 35
    johngreg

    Yemisi, you are indeed a perfect fit with FfTB. Dogmatic; poor English skills; poor reading comprehension; vigourous defensive posture; misrepresentation of commentor’s comments.

    Yes, you will do well on this dying network of mad ideologues.

  36. 36
    athyco

    Holy crap, @ johngreg #35. Let me begin by saying that this comment is not directed at you.

    Folk of this YEMMYnisting thread: I have before facepalmed at someone’s “own goal” comment. I’ve rolled my eyes. I’ve had a laugh sharply jolted out of me loud enough to scare the cat. I’ve considered with a cringe how embarrassed I would be if I were the person making the comment. I’ve experienced all those in person and in writing.

    I’ve felt the flush of embarrassment in person when someone I like has said something egregiously counterfactual, but I’ve never before experienced it sitting before my computer and reading something intended to be insulting from someone with whom I disagree. Those other emotions have come into play, as I assume (reading comments that have followed earlier examples of “own goals”) that they have for other people.

    I have thus learned that there can be written something so ridiculously weak while trying so ridiculously hard that I zoom past all those other emotional reactions as though they didn’t exist--straight into feeling the heat rise with something akin to pain into my face. While that was surprising to me, what followed is interesting: after that flush, I don’t feel the need to return to the other emotional responses. It’s as though the words to which I physically reacted no longer have a validity of mind behind them. I can’t find it within me to want to engage; it’s so foreign to my perceptions. There’s nothing there to reach, so there’s no need.

    “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”

    ― Elie Wiesel

  37. 37
    pitchguest

    @pitchguest: I could ask you right now why you are being so silly, but then I wouldn’t expect a coherent response from you. I could go ahead to educate you on why even a bit of assumption on your part that I was ignorant of the things that gave birth to Atheism plus and the events surrounding it, even though I have written and made video on it, is itself a very silly assumption, but I doubt if it would be worth the effort. Of course I could go ahead to ask you why even though you realized your assumption was wrong, you still chose to continue with your silliness, but I doubt if you would be honest enough to stop the silliness just because I pointed it out to you.

    Are you always this defensive? What’s with the overly aggressive tone? Seriously. I made a mistake and I gave you what I thought was some friendly advice, and you go off on me as if I just insulted your mother. I clarify my position, and again it’s as if I just commited some cardinal sin. Did I insult you? Have I offended you in any way? I am very, very sorry. Truly I am. Now can you please calm the fuck down so we can have a fucking conversation?

    Even though I asked the question “What are anti atheists plus afraid of?”, I still went ahead in my post to address the fears, disagreements and tantrums thrown so far by the anti atheist plus folk. This should have clearly shown you that I have heard the fears, hate and aware of the tantrums thrown around and that I was basically using the video and post to address these fears.-

    If you promise to not rail on me this time, I will answer this. Okay? Okay.

    Yes, I will admit I didn’t the post very carefully, and yes I will admit I didn’t watch the video accompanying the post. My bad. However, I have read it carefully now and I have watched the video. You specifically said, in the post, that “anti-Atheism Plus” folks express “hate and tantrums”, not “fears and disagreements.” “Fears and disagreements” I could even agree on, since there is (or was) a fear for the term “atheism” to be overtaken or redefined, and there were certainly disagreements held, but if you just keep it to “hate and tantrums”, and even going so far as to ask the question, “why all the hate and tantrums?” then maybe you’re not playing very fair. In fact, in the post, “fear” is only mentioned three times and “disagreements” or even the word “disagree” isn’t mentioned at all, which would’ve gone a long way to balance it.

    Actually, while we’re on the subject of tantrums, your responses to me and johngreg have been extremely aggressive in proportion to what we’ve said and your way of expressing yourself during these outburts could arguably be called tantrums. And forgive me, but also a lot of dislike in there, too, maybe even hate, who knows. Is this the same kind of “hate and tantrums” that you claim “anti-Atheism Plus” folks have?

    Heh, heh. The “benefit of the doubt” comment was indeed a way to excuse your ignorance on the matter, if it happens you were uninformed, but seeing as you weren’t and have even been a member on the forum from the start, then I have to ask why you even asked the question?

    Does it mean as a member of a group, I cannot literally, figuratively or rhetorically ask why people who are anti the group are so afraid of the group or forum? Now, don’t pretend you can’t see the flaw in your comment.

    Depends on what you’re asking. If your rhetorical question is if the is sky blue, I would be hard pressed not to give it a pass, really. If it is if a bear shits in the woods, same thing. However for issues when you’re dealing with questions that are not quite so evident, then a rhetorical question becomes almost inflammatory. Like for instance asking why someone is jealous? It doesn’t matter if the recipient is jealous or not, those questions are almost always meant to be inflammatory and/or get a rise out of people. In this case, we have the subject of Atheism Plus or A+ -- a matter in which a feminist attempted to create a “third wave of atheism” to supplant the old one, which she thought were riddled with (among other things) privileged old men, who were in parts homophobic, racist and transphobic, in no particular order. Later some blog posts surfaced that wished to give momentum to this new movement, where they made it clear that it wasn’t for everyone and one post even used the McCarthyist principle of “you’re either with us or you’re with them.”

    Which, as you can imagine, didn’t go over so well with a lot of atheists still on the fence. Now, as it happens, even the one who sought to create this new “third wave of atheism” has moved on from Atheism Plus. What triggered that change, I wonder?

    With that in mind, don’t you think your supposedly rhetorical question was maybe deliberately inflammatory? Especially since you know the reasons behind the animosity and therefore it just looks like dishonest posturing? There is also this thing where “intent is not magic.” Even if I had read your post more thoroughly, or watched the video, I still couldn’t have known.

  38. 38
    pitchguest

    Yemisi:

    Hmm, seems like the closest thing to an apology I will get for your assumption that I was ignorant of the very thing I was posting about, even though it still baffles me why you would make that assumption at reading the very first sentence when the rest of the post made it clear your assumption was wrong, yet you still felt you had to “give me the benefit of doubt of my possible ignorance”, Of course it’s a joke! I am not baffled as to why you made your assumption, it was just one of these sarcastic questions, you know, like “What are Anti Atheists plus afraid of?

    With such a humbling request for forgiveness of your oversight, what else can I do but forgive. So, no worries you are forgiven, I’m just glad that at least we agreed that such assumption is offensive especially when it cannot be justified.

    Yes, well, again: my mistake. Now if we can agree to discuss with eachother like adults, and not screaming children, that’d be great.

    As for the advice to beware of certain commenter, truly, I am not a fan of personality attacks and it does not matter which side is doing the attack, I find it a waste of time and beneath me. I’d rather analyze the ideas and discuss the issues instead of name-calling. References to attacks are only useful for the purposes of data collection in order to better analyze ideas and issues involved, outside that, they only tend to derail threads, and fuel hate and anger. Also, aside from the fact that it is not healthy , it also beclouds constructive reasoning.

    Agreed.

  39. 39
    oolon

    @Athyco, OMG yes, I read #35 then your comment very clearly expressed my thoughts too!

  40. 40
    oolon

    So in other news, I’m not at all required to don any sort of troll hat to get PitchGuest to express himself poorly… Not sure what to say about the comments above but since I’m no fan of PG I’ll leave it to others as I’m likely to cross the line into personal stuff and Yemmy has stated that is not wanted. Certainly don’t want to add anything more unwanted into this comment section.

    Something Damion said caught my eye…

    Somehow you have even fewer posts over there than I do, and I’ve been banned. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suppose that you haven’t been following very closely all these months.

    More condescension coupled with a fundamental misunderstanding of what the A+ forum is about. Not surprising from the “most posts wins” man of the Slymepit…. The clue comes to you Damion when you are told to lurk moar, *reading* the posts does not give you a “counter”. There are some areas where you can post relatively inane jokes, anecdotes etc. but those are relatively new and Yemmy is presumably busy with her blog/activism/work/etc. Unlike the pit where pretty much 90%+ is inane chatter with little thought going into it.

    Then to imply that Jen is unhappy with the A+ forum and “left” it due to that is disingenuous coming from a Slymepitter. You know perfectly well why she had a break and is sick of the atheist movement in general. It is in no small part due to the people you hang out with and support at the Slymepit.

    _freethoughtblogs.com/blaghag/2012/09/you-know-how-i-was-afraid-the-hate-would-spread-to-my-family/

    Last thing she wrote about A+

    _freethoughtblogs.com/blaghag/2012/08/is-atheism-divisive/

    Can’t really say more as I’ll break the not being personally abusive rule.

  41. 41
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    @johngreg:
    Is that the best you can do? You know, trying so hard to be rude to someone you disagree with is basically a sign that you are out of logical argument. Your comment itself admits of a ‘If i can’t find a valid counter point to throw at her, I might as well throw insults at her’ attitude. Oh dear, I truly wish I could be offended by your poor attempt at insults, but all I feel is sadness for you and that obviously poor IQ of yours. Just so you know, insults are not valid arguments and your comment sums up your IQ.

    You clearly need help, what with your obsession with what you refer to as a

    dying network of mad ideologues.

    and your obsession with Atheist+forums. I mean, how is that different from a religious believer joining an atheist group just to constantly post about how atheists are fools, on the wrong part and would burn in hell? See, your obsessive action really isn’t any different.

    Now, stop whining and go get yourself treated. Try going cold turkey on FTB and Atheism+, maybe you’d finally find a worthy outlet for all your anger, hate and unresolved issues. Sorry, I am allergic to self-inflicted ignorance and I don’t teach elementary classes, therefore I won’t be giving you the lectures you so desperately need.

  42. 42
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    pitchguest:

    Are you always this defensive? What’s with the overly aggressive tone?

    Oh my, but I haven’t wrote anything that I should feel defensive about, so why would my responses to your comments be defensive? What am I defending? My honour? My mum’s honour, as you kind of mentioned? (even though for the life of me, I don’t know what relevance that has to do with my post or comments)

    Oh wait a minute, did you honestly think that I had a need to defend myself against your assumption that i was ignorant of the issue i wrote about? Oh my, very funny! Actually when someone arrogantly commits a blatant error, the discomfort is not mine; it is that of the person who arrogantly committed the error, in this case, you. Pointing you to the error you made in regard to my alleged ignorance on the subject under discussion is neither an act to defense of my intelligence, nor was it intended as a “look I am not as ignorant as you think” action. Wow, that would be like craving your approval, and the thought itself makes me burst out in convulsive laughter.

    My response was basically to show you the areas you got very wrong and how patronizing your assumption was. Oh dear, it definitely was not a defensive action, but your thinking it could be defensive made me realized you actually thought I had to defend myself against your own error of judgment, how so typical. Truly I sometimes wish I could at least meet with some new genius putdowns, but that continuously seems like an elusive dream.

  43. 43
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    Pitchguest:

    Actually, while we’re on the subject of tantrums, your responses to me and johngreg have been extremely aggressive in proportion to what we’ve said and your way of expressing yourself during these outburts could arguably be called tantrums. And forgive me, but also a lot of dislike in there, too, maybe even hate, who knows. Is this the same kind of “hate and tantrums” that you claim “anti-Atheism Plus” folks have?

    Don’t flatter yourself, there was nothing in what you wrote that could have triggered such emotions from me, my emotions aren’t that cheap. In all honesty, I didn’t even feel any anger when reading your comment, the only thing it elicited from me was a resigned ‘Oh just another one of ‘those’”.

    I guess I have seen so many of ‘those’ types that it would be difficult to get angry when another random guy assumes I know nothing of what I write about even before reading what I have to say, then proceeds to point me to his reservoir of knowledge, while charging in on his white horse to warn me of pending danger involving those he considered as trolls. Oh really, if I got angry every time someone does that, I would have no energy left. So really, anger had nothing to do with my responses to you. In fact sometimes I wish I could muster enough anger when things like that happen, but enough assholes online already sapped all that anger off me, just say I am jaded to online assholery.

    As for tantrums, I only throw tantrums at people who are important enough in my life to elicit such strong emotions. Oh believe me, you don’t want to see me throw tantrums, and I can assure you I do not throw tantrums with a derisive smile on my face. And yes, I did have a derisive smile on my face when typing out my responses to you. Not that I am proud of that, just saying some emotions can’t be helped, and really, anger and tantrums are not the emotions your words elicited, all you got was a derisive smile, my bad.

  44. 44
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    Pitchguest:

    You specifically said, in the post, that “anti-Atheism Plus” folks express “hate and tantrums”, not “fears and disagreements.” “Fears and disagreements” I could even agree on, since there is (or was) a fear for the term “atheism” to be overtaken or redefined, and there were certainly disagreements held, but if you just keep it to “hate and tantrums”, and even going so far as to ask the question, “why all the hate and tantrums?” then maybe you’re not playing very fair. In fact, in the post, “fear” is only mentioned three times and “disagreements” or even the word “disagree” isn’t mentioned at all, which would’ve gone a long way to balance it.

    Actually that is because I am very baffled at all the hate and tantrums thrown around by Anti Atheist+ folks. Disagreements, fears or constructive criticisms do not baffle me. I have done my bit in my posts and videos on Atheism+ to address these expressed fears, concerns and suggestions. I have made my points on why I think these fears, disagreements and concerns are not valid, and people are free to disagree with that.

    It is the hate and tantrums that baffles me. The name calling, the slur words and/or the cyber bullying just because I wanna play with Atheism with a pus but you insist I play with only atheism, reminds me so much of Christians throwing tantrums just because I don’t wanna play with their imaginary friends and skydaddy.

    I have atheist friends who do not use the atheist+ label, either because they don’t think they need it or because they don’t think they want to be so socially active or just because it is their choice not to. I do not go calling them names for making their own choice; they also do not call me unprintable names because I chose to use the Atheist+ tag to signify my goals. It does not stop us from being friends, and we definitely don’t go cyber bullying ourselves. This I also assume applies to those who have expressed their disagreements and moved on. Expressing a disagreement or not adopting the tag of another does not necessarily make you anti that group or person, it only means you disagree or just indifferent. When you leave the arena of pure disagreement and resort to bullying, online stalking, name-calling, obsessive behaviors towards that group and/or person, making derisive caricatures, invading the space of the other and the petty name calling, now that is not just expressing disagreements or fears, it has moved to hate and tantrums.

    Unfortunately so many anti Atheist + have moved to the hate and tantrums level. And yes, as someone with YouTube videos supporting Atheism+ , I have experienced these kind of obsessive behavior from Anti Atheist + folks. They just remind me of the childish behavior of religious believers who gets annoyed when I tell them I am not gonna play with their skydaddy. And that is a pity,

  45. 45
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    Pitchguest:

    Yes, well, again: my mistake. Now if we can agree to discuss with eachother like adults, and not screaming children, that’d be great.

    Hmm. Nice, I think I just discussed with you as I would an adult in my last post. Progress, methinks.

  46. 46
    John-Henry Beck

    I still find it…interesting, I suppose…that one of the big complaints is the ‘us vs them’ thing. When the version they most objected to, by Dr. Carrier, was defining ‘us’ as ‘people who value integrity, compassion, and reason’. They spend a lot of time insisting that they’re being framed as the ‘them’. I have a great deal of difficulty treating those complaints as serious, thoughtful, or rational -- unless, of course, they’re actually opposed to compassion, reason, and integrity. (And watching a lot of posting over the last couple of years, I do think people like pitchguest there oppose those values even if they don’t want to bluntly admit it.)

  47. 47
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh good grief…

    I see you’ve met some of our noisier neighbors, Yemi.

    They’re just jealous. :D

  48. 48
    johngreg

    Yemisi, your responses to my comments, and to Pitchguest’s comments, are so extraordinarily out of proportion, so utterly out of left field, and so overflowing with claims to things of which you have absolutely no knowledge whatsoever, that I am gobsmacked into incredulity and rendered nearly mute.

    Anyway, I will give you and your soon-to-be-flourishing FfTB regulars the pleasure of banning myself from your forum.

    Toodleoos to you, and congratulations on your brilliant attempt at enlarging the tent.

    /shakes head in bewildered bemusement

  49. 49
    oolon

    Jeez, no need for comment ^^^

    Yemmy, very classy handling of the rubbish, glad to see you at FtBs. Not having read your blog or Ally Foggs I’ve been tempted to ask how much you both know about the anti-FTB crowd and were you both prepared for the onslaught. I would have clearly looked like a condescending fool, so close call there, although probably not as big a fool as some on this comment thread…

  50. 50
    Pierce R. Butler

    Slymepitrolls: nothing but a waste of tyme.

  51. 51
    Jadehawk

    Yemisi, your responses to my comments, and to Pitchguest’s comments, are so extraordinarily out of proportion

    Yemisi, you are indeed a perfect fit with FfTB. Dogmatic; poor English skills; poor reading comprehension; vigourous defensive posture; misrepresentation of commentor’s comments.

    Yes, you will do well on this dying network of mad ideologues.

    ROTFLMAO

  52. 52
    Edward Gemmer

    I’m super interested in social justice issues and like the idea of atheism plus. My experience with atheism plus has been disappointing because of many of their really very racist and offensive views about black people. I also have been disappointed with their limited ability to engage and talk about issues without engaging in insults. So to answer the main question, I like the ideas behind atheism plus, but I haven’t been a big fan of some of the people promoting it. (Not talking about you personally).

  53. 53
    Stevarious, Public Health Problem

    It’s both hilarious and cringeworthy, watching johngreg and pitchguest and the other ‘Pytters assume that Yemisi should be unaware of their shenanigans over the last year or so, pretend that none of it happened, and then get huffy when they get the ‘welcome’ that they have earned.

    News flash! No one is obliged to pretend not to know who you are and the depths of dishonesty you are will to stoop to!

  54. 54
    Stevarious, Public Health Problem

    My experience with atheism plus has been disappointing because of many of their really very racist and offensive views about black people.

    I’m curious to know to what you are referring. I haven’t noticed any of this going on but admit I could have simply not seen it.

  55. 55
    Hank_Says

    53, Stevarious

    It’s both hilarious and cringeworthy, watching johngreg and pitchguest and the other ‘Pytters assume that Yemisi should be unaware of their shenanigans over the last year or so, pretend that none of it happened, and then get huffy when they get the ‘welcome’ that they have earned.

    I just think it’s, erm, helpful, that brave heroes like Pit-Pest & Reinhardt show up with such regularity to bestow their mighty wisdom on the teeming, filthy masses. After all, they’ve been on the frontlines of opposing the draconian viciousness of *gasp* conference harassment policies and bravely standing up to the Stalinist/McCarthyist/book-burning/Scientological/witch-hunting/misandrist/irrelevant-yet-also-a-powerful-cabal that is the FtB-Skepchick Imperium since the first shot was fired.

    Yes, it’s nice of them to take time away from their very important and gravitas-laden complaining at the Pit to show up and illustrate, with their inimitable brand of perfectly & Finckeishly civil yet intelligence-insulting Hi-Def condescension, exactly why A+ exists in the first place and exactly why an increasing number of atheists and skeptics are fucking well fed up with the narrow “atheist-only” vision which perpetuates the status quo of boys’ clubs, Bigfoot and bashing bishops.

    As for john greg: it’s nice of him to show up, demonstrate what a clueless “me-too” muppet he is and then bugger off with a mighty flounce.

  56. 56
    Edward Gemmer

    I’m curious to know to what you are referring. I haven’t noticed any of this going on but admit I could have simply not seen it.

    The turnoffs for me on that issue are as follows.

    (1) The meme that religious people are generally idiots. This is not limited to atheism plus and is widespread among atheists. However, given the huge amount of influence churches and religion have among African-Americans, I’ve been disappointed on that front among the atheism plus crowd.

    (2) The response to crime has been totally inadequate. It’s difficult to imagine a bigger roadblock to black people in the Unites States than the massive incarceration of them. For whatever reasons, this is mostly ignored among the atheism plus movement (and is of particular interest to me). Bringing it up is a good way to get insulted and eventually banned from whatever atheism plus type site you are talking about.

    (3) The talk about black people on atheism plus websites often seems to regard them as some sort of alien species who are unable to do anything as well as their white counterparts. They all speak with one voice, their is no diversity within the black population, and they above all need our sympathy if they are to accomplish anything in this world. That’s probably the biggest turnoff for me on that issue.

  57. 57
    VeganAtheistWeirdo

    Wow Edward, I have to say if I encountered that, I too would consider it unwelcoming to say the least. I don’t do A+ forums and only recently (and sporadically) comment at FtB, so I have no position on the atmosphere elsewhere, but it sounds like you have a legitimate concern. Which sites in particular do/did you experience this at? Was it any of the blogs here?

  58. 58
    Stevarious, Public Health Problem

    Which sites in particular do/did you experience this at? Was it any of the blogs here?

    Pretty much my question exactly. What site did you get banned from for bringing this up? Can you provide a link?

  59. 59
    Hank_Says

    Edward Gemmer @ 56,

    A link or two would be handy, especially regarding your claim to have been banned from “atheism plus websites” simply for raising the topic of the disproportionate incarceration rates of African Americans. You’d think, being that the stated aim of A+ is to be more compassionate and welcoming, that racism -- especially when entrenched in the legal system -- would be on its hit-list along with sexism, homophobia and creationism.

    “Atheism plus websites” is also rather vague. Which ones? Just the A+ forum or there are other places that identify specifically as A+ where you’re no longer welcome? Who banned you and what was the reason stated? is the exchange still available online?

    As for the meme of religious people generally being idiots, please also provide links where A+ supporters have perpetuated this. Some may well do so, but even among atheists in general it’s a minority viewpoint (I hope). Such outright, irrational contempt for the people many of us actually used to identify with is contrary to the stated aims of A+ so I’d appreciate links in place of vague declarations.

    BTW I recognise your name and if you’re the Edward Gemmer I’m thinking of, you have form on this network. I await your response.

  60. 60
    SallyStrange

    Well, Edward Gemmer IS the guy who went around claiming that Pharyngulites had made of fun of him for being in an interracial marriage, when what really happened was that Gemmer said, during a discussion on racial issues, that he “had an intimate relationship with the black community.” When questioned about the nature of this relationship with the black community, he revealed that he meant that he was in an interracial marriage. I in particular made fun of him for mistaking his wife for the black community.

    So take his claims with a grain or three of salt. Links would be nice.

  61. 61
    rorschach

    Hi Yemisi,

    I just noticed your blog here today, and wanted to say that I love your posts! Sorry that you had to already put up with our little bug infestation. They tend to come out when new bloggers are added here to test the waters and see if they may be able to win another soul over to their dark side of misogyny, hate and anger. Luckily these guys are entirely irrelevant and never contribute anything meaningful to atheist, skeptic or social justice causes, so it is safe to disregard and ignore them.

  62. 62
    theetar

    Rorschach, why do you lie about about the pit?

  63. 63
    Hank_Says

    Rorschach @ 61:

    Sorry that you had to already put up with our little bug infestation. They tend to come out when new bloggers are added here to test the waters and see if they may be able to win another soul over to their dark side of misogyny, hate and anger.

    I don’t think they’re coming over here to “win souls” any more than creationists and fundies (who used to be the most common types of troll and flea to visit FtB until, well, recently) come here to convince people that evolution is false or the US Constitution is the fifth Gospel. They know they won’t convince the FtB regulars or bloggers that Thunderf00t’s an engaging, personable and honest interlocutor or that Reap’s just misunderstood or that Vacula would really like to be everyone’s friend or that misandry is as common as hydrogen; they’re here to score points in their tireless, childish and fucking pointless smear/harass/monitor/taunt campaign against their declared enemies. Who are these enemies of the Pit? Anyone who (among other things) maintains that women are people, who understands & accepts that much of society is weighted (by design, accident or simple inertia) to benefit men, who asserts that public events should set a minimum level of accepted behaviour, who believes that atheism need not necessarily be the start and finish of who they identify as -- and anyone who doesn’t take their shit lying down.

  64. 64
    theetar

    Hankster AKA Wanker Who Has a Ridiculous Nym, why do you lie about the pit?

  65. 65
    rorschach

    Hankster AKA Wanker Who Has a Ridiculous Nym

    I rest my case.

  66. 66
    theetar

    @65 What case? The question, which you avoided completely still stands.

  67. 67
    VeganAtheistWeirdo

    Thanks for that enlightening tidbit, Sally. While I don’t want to dismiss as bullshit the complaints of anyone I don’t recognize as being a purveyor, and I don’t have any experience at A+, Edward’s claims did seem very unlikely to me. It sounds like he is either not very good at expressing himself, or is prone to hyperbole (or both).

  68. 68
    Edward Gemmer

    “Atheism plus websites” is also rather vague. Which ones?

    Good question. I loosely associate Pharyngula, Richard Carrier, some of the other Free Thought Blogs and Skepchick with Atheism Plus (along with the Atheism Plus forums though I have never posted there). May be an error on my part.

  69. 69
    Argle Bargle

    theetar @62

    Rorschach, why do you lie about about the pit?

    What lies? Are you pretending the pit isn’t the “dark side of misogyny, hate and anger”? Or are you claiming the pitters are actually relevant and do contribute “anything meaningful to atheist, skeptic or social justice causes”? Wait, I know. You disagree ” it is safe to disregard and ignore them”. That’s a bit paranoid but an argument could be made it isn’t safe to disregard and ignore the pit.

  70. 70
    Argle Bargle

    I can actually understand the anger and hatred some people have for Atheism+. What I don’t understand is the long-running hatred and tantrums many of those people keep heaving out. I have strong feelings of anger and hatred towards certain conservative political fora like FREEP (Free Republic) and Whirled Nut Daily. I deal with this anger and hatred by not reading them and otherwise ignoring them. Why can’t the Slymepit and its off-shoots deal with Atheism+ and related blogs by ignoring them? Or is that not gnarly and edgy enough for them?

  71. 71
    rorschach

    I can actually understand the anger and hatred some people have for Atheism+.

    How so? You feel anger and hatred towards people who root for a different football club too? I’m not a fan of Manchester United, but I don’t spend my days tweeting derogatory messages about its rivals, inventing slurs and abusive catch phrases about its followers, or inciting hate and harassment towards its supporters.

    Why can’t the Slymepit and its off-shoots deal with Atheism+ and related blogs by ignoring them?

    Because without a dog to cling to, the fleas of the slymepit have nothing. Please keep this in mind, these people have nothing original to contribute to our causes.

  72. 72
    pitchguest

    It’s amusing that the people who actually post in this place frequently, including a fellow blogger, should ignore Yemisi’s rules on personal insults and discussing people, not ideas. What was that quote again?

    And my friendly advice to you is, remember, great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small mind discuss people. It seems you are more interested in discussing people and events more than the ideas, I hate gossips, it is not an endearing trait.

    Tsk tsk tsk. Now if you’re quite finished, I’m going to continue my conversation with Yemisi.

    Actually that is because I am very baffled at all the hate and tantrums thrown around by Anti Atheist+ folks. Disagreements, fears or constructive criticisms do not baffle me. I have done my bit in my posts and videos on Atheism+ to address these expressed fears, concerns and suggestions. I have made my points on why I think these fears, disagreements and concerns are not valid, and people are free to disagree with that.

    Yes, I’m sure there are and/or were a sleugh of “hate” and even “tantrums” against Atheism Plus, but it didn’t come from nowhere. When it first started out in August last year, it was just an arrogant blogger who wished to create a “third wave of atheism” because she felt the current atheist movement was, in her words, a “boy’s club” (unevidenced) and filled with, quote, “a bunch of “middle-class, white, cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied men” patting themselves on the back for debunking homeopathy for the 983258th time or thinking up yet another great zinger to use against Young Earth Creationists.” (unevidenced)

    But then it gained momentum -- people started talking about it more and more, people with influence like PZ Myers began taking it under their wing, speaking about it on conventions and conferences and it took a life on its own. An official forum was created to host as a “safe space” for atheists who’d been “wronged” by other atheists, Richard Carrier on this network started his mission to “evangelise” other atheists and said in no uncertain terms that “you’re either with us or against us.” A lot of people followed suit.

    With this kind of reaction, many people got upset. I remember how I felt. So yeah, I can imagine a lot of hate and, yes, even “tantrums” (but I imagine the latter didn’t happen very often), but also disagreements and fear. My reaction to it was how misguided it seemed, and arrogant, how they thought they had the authority and wisdom to conclude that the current atheist movement was obsolete and how they needed to create a “third wave of atheism” to combat it. But most of all misguided. I’ll get to that later.

    It is the hate and tantrums that baffles me. The name calling, the slur words and/or the cyber bullying just because I wanna play with Atheism with a pus but you insist I play with only atheism, reminds me so much of Christians throwing tantrums just because I don’t wanna play with their imaginary friends and skydaddy.

    Let us look at the turn of events. Jen started out with saying that the current atheist movement needed refurbishment, and then other people followed by saying the same including even implying that if they don’t choose to join the new wave, considering what the new wave allegedly stood for, then they’re “against” the movement. That, to me, sounds more like religious dogma than the urging for people to not redefine atheism in their image.

    I have atheist friends who do not use the atheist+ label, either because they don’t think they need it or because they don’t think they want to be so socially active or just because it is their choice not to. I do not go calling them names for making their own choice; they also do not call me unprintable names because I chose to use the Atheist+ tag to signify my goals. It does not stop us from being friends, and we definitely don’t go cyber bullying ourselves. This I also assume applies to those who have expressed their disagreements and moved on. Expressing a disagreement or not adopting the tag of another does not necessarily make you anti that group or person, it only means you disagree or just indifferent. When you leave the arena of pure disagreement and resort to bullying, online stalking, name-calling, obsessive behaviors towards that group and/or person, making derisive caricatures, invading the space of the other and the petty name calling, now that is not just expressing disagreements or fears, it has moved to hate and tantrums.

    First of all, I have doubts regarding this “bullying, online stalking, name calling”, etc, that you have supposedly received for merely using the A+ label. I also have doubts if the treatment you received *were*, in fact, “bullying, online stalking, name calling,” etc. But since I have no proof to the contrary, I’ll take your word for it. As for why I don’t like the A+ label and think it’s misguided,

    atheism, especially in the US, has had a bad rep and has tried to convince ignorant Christians (and so on) that atheism is just a descriptor for “a lack of belief in a god or gods” and that it doesn’t stand for anything, no creed to speak of, no dogma to adhere to, and here comes Atheism Plus™ to put a spoke in the wheels. When they speak of Stalin, of Pol Pot, of Mao Zedong, they say they were atheists and they did terrible things, and we say “so what?” They didn’t do what they did in the name of atheism, atheism isn’t an ideology or a religion. Now with Atheism Plus™, can we say the same thing? In the name of Atheism Plus™ and “social justice”, could we excuse the behaviour of someone who, say, decided to kill a lot of Muslims because many Muslims abuse their wives and subjugate women? Yeah, a hypothetical situation, and perhaps a little hyperbolic, but I hope you get my point.

    Unfortunately so many anti Atheist + have moved to the hate and tantrums level. And yes, as someone with YouTube videos supporting Atheism+ , I have experienced these kind of obsessive behavior from Anti Atheist + folks. They just remind me of the childish behavior of religious believers who gets annoyed when I tell them I am not gonna play with their skydaddy. And that is a pity,

    Do you know what you sound like? So many “anti Atheist +” (sic)? Again, remember how A+ got started.

    And shouldn’t you at least admit to the “hate” and/or “tantrums” of the presumably many “pro Atheist +” as well, like for instance on the official A+ forum? Also I really wish you’d provide some proof for this level of “hate and tantrums” to people who say they merely choose to use that label.

  73. 73
    VeganAtheistWeirdo

    In the name of Atheism Plus™ and “social justice”, could we excuse the behaviour of someone who, say, decided to kill a lot of Muslims because many Muslims abuse their wives and subjugate women?

    Are you fucking serious? Do you believe than anyone who has agreed with Yemisi or with the general idea of A+ would accept any excuse for terrorist behavior like you describe? Maybe this is the source of your (collective) anger and antagonism: you misunderstand what social justice is. It certainly is not genocide or terrorism. If you think that’s what A+ supports, no wonder you feel compelled to decry it at every opportunity.

    But I think it’s probably closer to the truth to say that you make that leap because of your own ideas about activism and change, and that you are unable to fathom the value of simple things like changing language usage or supporting concerns of subgroups other than your own.

  74. 74
    PZ Myers

    Point of correction: Despite his frequent misrepresentations of the situation, Edward Gemmer was not banned from Pharyngula for being a tender-hearted defender of racial equality, or for advocating for ending the racist abuses of our penal system. No, he was banned for being an obsessive-compulsive boor who sidetracked a thread about discrimination against women by turning it into a thread about how he is so deeply oppressed. He was allowed to babble for 90+ comments (almost 25% of the comments in that one thread!) before I got so exasperated with his obtuse attitude and self-centeredness that I kicked him out of there.

  75. 75
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Here is when Edward Gemmer, being concerned about racist insults, claims that insults against white men are tolerated.

    When Edward Gemmer first appeared at Pharyngula, he made the argument that stopping the harassment of women would mean it would be open season on men.

    Yet here is is, now going off about how racist many of the people at FtB are.

    Laughable.

  76. 76
    Argle Bargle

    Rorschach @71

    It’s quite simple. The slymepitters don’t believe women are human beings equal to men. So when the people at Atheism+ talk about female equality then the slymepit needs to correct this perverse, counterfactual, unacceptable wrongness. If only women and their manginas would realize how misguided they are, admit their errors, and beg the slymepit for forgiveness, then all would be sweetness and light in atheism. Until then the slymepit needs to carry on their campaign of being fucking assholes to feminists.

  77. 77
    Edward Gemmer

    Why can’t the Slymepit and its off-shoots deal with Atheism+ and related blogs by ignoring them? Or is that not gnarly and edgy enough for them?

    A good question. I was late to the whole great rifts party so I can’t say. Certainly, it seems like something that grew for a while. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of rhyme or reason for who posts where, though I guess as a general rule the Slymepit steers towards making jokes and Pharyngula steers towards being angry.

  78. 78
    johngreg

    Hankstar said:

    Who are these enemies of the Pit? Anyone who (among other things) maintains that women are people, who understands & accepts that much of society is weighted (by design, accident or simple inertia) to benefit men, who asserts that public events should set a minimum level of accepted behaviour, who believes that atheism need not necessarily be the start and finish of who they identify as — and anyone who doesn’t take their shit lying down.

    That is such patent nonsense. Everyone at the Pit, including the several women who post there, fully maintain that women are people and are equal to men. To say otherwise is sheer idiocy.

    Most of the people at the Pit agree that to some degree or other, many aspects of society in most parts of the world are weighted to benefit men. Where the Pit differs from much of the FfTB universe, Skepchick, and certainly A+, is to what degree and in what circumstances that weighting occurs, and what can be accurately labeled as weighting in the first place.

    The majority of the people at the Pit agreed, when it was brought up, that creating policies regarding accepted behaviour for conferences was a potentially good idea. Where the Pit people differed from the FfTB iniverse was how to structure those policies, and how to make them effective. The statement that the Pit people were against such policies is part of the ongoing Big Lie perpetuated by FfTB bloggers (in particular, Stefunny Zvan) and commentariat.

    And Pit people consistently engage openly with anyone who does or does not take our shit lying down, and many Pit people have made many invitations to you bunch of chickens to come and engage with us on grounds where, and this is critically important, on grounds where you do not control the dialogue through the use/misuse of the infamous banhammer, and moderation and editing.

    Essentially, Hankstar, you are lying through your teeth — as the saying goes.

    Ulysses said:

    It’s quite simple. The slymepitters don’t believe women are human beings equal to men.

    Nonsense. Complete nonsense. Idiocy.

    … the slymepit needs to carry on their campaign of being fucking assholes to feminists.

    More sheer nonsense. It is extremists and extremist ideologies that the Pit people oppose, not feminists. And our campaign, as you call it, is little more than pointing out the hypocrisies and nonsense blathered forth by people such as yourself.

  79. 79
    pitchguest

    VeganAtheistWeirdo:

    Am I serious? [/Joker] No, I’d say that’s a rather poor interpretation of what I said and I’d urge you read my post again -- this time more carefully. Which I realise sounds mighty hypocritical by my own standards in this thread, but that’s all I can say. Oh, and, deep breaths. Calm down.

    PZ:

    Point of correction: Despite his frequent misrepresentations of the situation, Edward Gemmer was not banned from Pharyngula for being a tender-hearted defender of racial equality, or for advocating for ending the racist abuses of our penal system. No, he was banned for being an obsessive-compulsive boor who sidetracked a thread about discrimination against women by turning it into a thread about how he is so deeply oppressed. He was allowed to babble for 90+ comments (almost 25% of the comments in that one thread!) before I got so exasperated with his obtuse attitude and self-centeredness that I kicked him out of there.

    Is that what that was? Because from the looks of it, it seems he started out saying that men shouldn’t think of women as delicate flowers or treat them that way, and gave the mild suggestion that the phrase “we don’t tolerate abuse of women” ought to be changed to “we don’t tolerate abuse of people” to avoid any sexist connotation. Which are both sound. For this he got piled on by the Pharyngulite horde (including you) and the way your sycophants saw fit to deal with the situation was simply to call him stupid -- again, and again, and again. (There *are* other words in the dictionary than “stupid.”) Not even an attempt at mutual conversation. Complete shutdown.

    As far as I’m concerned, that thread is the perfect example of what’s wrong with Pharyngula.

  80. 80
    Stevarious, Public Health Problem

    The majority of the people at the Pit agreed, when it was brought up, that creating policies regarding accepted behaviour for conferences was a potentially good idea.

    Obvious lies are obvious.

    Here is the “conversation”:
    http://www.slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=276&p=73328&sid=4c7a495f7643b3b729c0df1731d457c6

    Are the four people who agree to this idea a ‘majority’? Are there really only six or seven people on the Slymepit at all, such that these four people would consititute a majority? Or does the echoing silence from the vast majority of your user base on the subject say all that needs to be said on the matter? No, I rather think instead that this is not a subject that interests you and your ilk at all. You’ve got far too much actual harassing to do.

    Justin Vacula clearly believes that the no harrassment policy is best:
    “Skeptech organizers should discard their current harassment policy and, if absolutely necessary, replace it with a simple statement such that I included above.”
    “http://www.skepticink.com/justinvacula/2013/03/18/skeptechs-failure-of-a-harassment-policy/”

    Thunderfoot was adamant that harrassment policies were completely unnecessary and counterproductive:
    “Giving people a list of things they are and are not allowed to do in the bars in the evenings gives the impression that this is not a conference for grown-ups but an expensive and repressive day/night care where your every action will be vigilantly vetted for dis-approval by the conference organizers.”
    http://web.archive.org/web/20120626130128/http://freethoughtblogs.com/thunderf00t/2012/06/25/misogynist/

    I’m not going to waste my time fisking the rest of your comment when it contains such a blatant and obvious lie. You have clearly demonstrated that your comments can be disregarded.

  81. 81
    pitchguest

    And now, PZ, you have called a homosexual man a ‘vermin.’ I have no words.

    _http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohrtFuxUzZE

  82. 82
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Yes, pitchguest; PZ did call Justicar “vermin”. But not because Justicar is homosexual. But do not let the truth get in the way of a smear.

    Also, now you are way off topic.

  83. 83
    Stevarious, Public Health Problem

    And now, PZ, you have called a homosexual man a ‘vermin.’

    Are you somehow implying that Stephen Fry is an anti-feminist Slymepitter?

    I rather think that claim need a citation.

  84. 84
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    pitchguest

    Yes, I’m sure there are and/or were a sleugh of “hate” and even “tantrums” against Atheism Plus, but it didn’t come from nowhere

    Are you in anywhere justifying “hate” and tantrums against Atheism plus because according to you, it did not stem from nowhere? It might be OK in your universe, but it is not OK in mine, and that is why I steer clear from atheists who justify hate under whatever disguise.

    When it first started out in August last year, it was just an arrogant blogger who wished to create a “third wave of atheism”

    There you go again personalizing issue. As someone who has been called arrogant and confrontational a lot of times mostly by misogynists and quite a few of them were also atheists, I thnk what you call arrogant might just be another term for an assertive, strong woman who just won’t keep shut. But whatever you describe as arrogant, I cannot see how that is adding any value to this discussion, I never asked for character endorsement of atheist plussers from you or anyone; let’s focus on the issues IN THIS POST, not your personal grievances.
    pitchguest

    people with influence like PZ Myers began taking it under their wing

    There you go again, going on and on about persons and not the issue.

  85. 85
    SallyStrange

    I’m touched by Pitchguest’s concern for the welfare of the marginalized vermin-American community.

  86. 86
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    An official forum was created to host as a “safe space” for atheists who’d been “wronged” by other atheists, Richard Carrier on this network started his mission to “evangelise” other atheists and said in no uncertain terms that “you’re either with us or against us.” A lot of people followed suit.

    And there you go blabbing on about events and people and also attempting to give me the STORY of how Atheism+ started as if I did not already told you I AM AWARE, but no, you must tell your story. You can, but not on my blog, OK? Focus on the REASONS I have given in my post for embracing Atheism plus, address the points I have raised to counter expressed disagreements with the name by anti A+, please just don’t go blabbing on to me about who did what in an attempt to justify hate or tantrums, OK?
    pitchguest

    With this kind of reaction, many people got upset. I remember how I felt. So yeah, I can imagine a lot of hate and, yes, even “tantrums” (but I imagine the latter didn’t happen very often),

    Story, story , story… you got upset, so what? What value has that added to this post commentary? And how “often” must hate happen before you consider it a terrible thing? And that was a rhetorical question, no answer required..

  87. 87
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    pitchguest

    My reaction to it was how misguided it seemed, and arrogant, how they thought they had the authority and wisdom to conclude that the current atheist movement was obsolete and how they needed to create a “third wave of atheism” to combat it.

    Poor pitchguest, it is all about you, isn’t it? It is about how they got you so upset you eventually failed to see any reason beyond the burning anger in your precious heart. Did it even ever occur to you and your lots that what you call atheist movement does not encompass every atheist on planet earth? I am a Nigerian, who has identified as an atheist for more than a decade, I do not see myself as belonging to this dear atheist movement that you are so eager to protect because someone called it obsolete. And I can tell you the few African atheists I know neither know anything about your precious atheist movement, nor do they care. The assumption that atheists in America or wherever speak for the whole atheists on planet earth is not only ridiculous but very bigoted.

    The fact is, I am an atheist, I will identify with atheist groups anywhere, as I have been doing, but I will definitely distance myself from atheists who are homophobic, racist, and sexist. I definitely don’t want to seat in the same conference room with them under the banner of atheism. I picket my government embassy and officials whenever they are in UK for official engagement because of their homophobic statements and support for a bill that seeks to put LGBTS in jail for 14 years. What makes you think I will be happy to seat in the same conference room with atheists who call me cunt or faggot? The point is, if this atheist movement have such people as members, I am more than happy to distance myself from them and publicly too. No matter how that might hurt your feelings.

    most of all misguided. I’ll get to that later

    No you are not getting to anything later. Let us finish this now.

  88. 88
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    pitchguest

    First of all, I have doubts regarding this “bullying, online stalking, name calling”, etc, that you have supposedly received for merely using the A+ label. I also have doubts if the treatment you received *were*, in fact, “bullying, online stalking, name calling,” etc. But since I have no proof to the contrary, I’ll take your word for it.

    Oh there goes the patronizing tone again. He has doubts regarding this “bullying, online stalking, name calling”, etc, I must be seeing things, a hysterical woman who makes things up, who loves playing the victim… Now get off your ignorant ass and understand that I will not tolerate such attitude from you. I do not need to prove myself to you, I have not come to you to be protected from the maniacs on line, I am not filing a security report with you, what on earth gives you the audacity to think I need to provide you any proof? I also do not care whether you take my word for it or not, it is not as if you are going to issue a restraining order to the bullies on my behalf…so really, I think you overate your own importance.

    pitchguest

    atheism, especially in the US, has had a bad rep and has tried to convince ignorant Christians (and so on) that atheism is just a descriptor for “a lack of belief in a god or gods” and that it doesn’t stand for anything, no creed to speak of, no dogma to adhere to, and here comes Atheism Plus™ to put a spoke in the wheels. When they speak of Stalin, of Pol Pot, of Mao Zedong, they say they were atheists and they did terrible things, and we say “so what?” They didn’t do what they did in the name of atheism, atheism isn’t an ideology or a religion. Now with Atheism Plus™, can we say the same thing? In the name of Atheism Plus™ and “social justice”, could we excuse the behaviour of someone who, say, decided to kill a lot of Muslims because many Muslims abuse their wives and subjugate women? Yeah, a hypothetical situation, and perhaps a little hyperbolic, but I hope you get my point.

    Pitchguest, You just totally spew bullshit. Really, are you so angry and hate filled that your brain is so beclouded? Why try to clutch at straw? Read that comment again and tell me you don’t smell the desperation to find fault with atheism+ by all means even if stupid? You know there is no deodorant for desperation; you just can’t cover the stink in that comment.

    Btw, VeganAtheistWeirdo already gave you a simple and explicit explanation of just how off the mark that comment was. You really should be ashamed of this comment because it only portrays you as desperate, ignorant and confused all at once.

  89. 89
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    Also I really wish you’d provide some proof for this level of “hate and tantrums” to people who say they merely choose to use that label.

    There you go again asking for proof of hate and tantrums when it stares you in the face everywhere you turn. In the last few hours, on my video “Why are atheist plus afraid of?”, I have been called “a cunt”, “a retard” and atheism plus referred to as “so gay”, by atheists who are pissed off with the name Atheism+ because they are convinced we are redefining atheism. And the one who called me a cunt and retard in the last two hours even went further to say Atheist+ wants you to be

    afraid of using words that they dont want you to use like cunt, nigger, faggot, etc .

    . Yes, this dear atheist wants the right to call me cunt, faggot, nigger without any repercussion. He still wants me to share a podium with him bashing religious believers, No thanks, I will rather dine with the pope.

    And no, I did not use my ‘arrogance’ to push him to say those vile things, I never even responded to him. As it is, I hardly ever comment on my YouTube videos. But it does serve as a good data collection for researches in human study.

    Haters will always hate, be they atheists, agnostics or believers. The best approach for me is to rise above their hate and make peace with the fact that not all self acclaimed rationalists are rational when it comes to taking away their priced toy; patriarchy! The fact that you are an atheist doesn’t mean we are going to be automatic friends. Yes we share a label together, ATHEIST, that is all there is to it.

    I am very aware that you can identify as an atheist without the plus and not be a sexist, homophobic prick, but you would have to go through the same process I put all my would be friends through. I am just saying your atheism label does not earn you any extra candy, your actions would. But If you identify as Atheist plus, there is a high possibility that we are going to be friends because then you are telling me UPFRONT with your tag that you are not going to call me cunt, faggot or nigger when we disagree. Not just that, you are also telling me that you ACTIVELY campaign against these stereotypes, a passion we share in common. So yes, the +tag is an identifier and it saves me time. And if you had taken the pain to read my posts on this issue, you would know all I am saying here are merely repeats of what I have already said in my posts.

    And No, I do not appreciate the fact that you are making me repeat myself because of comments you are posting that are already addressed in my post.

    I do not care for quantity of comments, it is the QUALITY that matters, if you really have nothing more to say beyond telling me the story of what kicked off atheism+ and how upset it made you, please let’s wrap this up. It is ether an argument is going forward, backward or stagnant, in this case I just feel we are not moving forward. I do not see anything more to be gained from dragging this on and on. UNLESS you have specific counter points to the issues addressed in my post, please don’t drag this comment thread unnecessarily. Thanks.

  90. 90
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    Edward Gemmer:

    The turnoffs for me on that issue are as follows.
    (1) The meme that religious people are generally idiots. This is not limited to atheism plus and is widespread among atheists. However, given the huge amount of influence churches and religion have among African-Americans, I’ve been disappointed on that front among the atheism plus crowd.

    I am a Nigerian, African and very black and I have no problem calling anyone , be it black or white , who tells me I am going to burn in hell for being a non believing, satanic supporter of LGBT rights, an idiot. Your skin colour does not protect you from being called out on your stupidity. I recently wrote a post titled ‘Why are so many Nigerian Christian stupid? Now, that is a matter of fact, they post on my Facebook wall, send me messages, calling me antichrist and that I will burn in hell if I keep campaigning for LGBT rights, they have threatened me with all sorts of unprintable things for “mocking’ their God. When a black person tells me I am going to burn in hell if I do not accept his blue eyed, blonde Jesus as my personal savior and proceeds to quote from the same ‘holy’ book that was forced on his forefathers, by people who stole their land and cart them off to slavery, using the same book to justify the slavery, I have no other word beyond ‘idiots’ and stupid for them, especially when they threaten me with the same book that says they are an inferior race. So no, that is not an atheism plus thing, it is simple logic. Your skin colour won’t protect you from being called out. (No not YOU personally, but about anyone wanting protection from logic because of skin colour, gender, or sexual orientation)

    Edward Gemmer:

    (2) For whatever reasons, this is mostly ignored among the atheism plus movement (and is of particular interest to me). Bringing it up is a good way to get insulted and eventually banned from whatever atheism plus type site you are talking about.

    Atheism plus can’t equally cover all the social ills bedeviling all the countries on planet earth. You are concerned about happenings in USA, I am also concerned about happenings in Nigeria, what best we can do is to be the vanguard of our own causes and seek support within our community and groups we identify with, for me, Atheism plus is just one of those groups.

    If we have the same definition of racism, I do not think you will be insulted or banned for bringing it up in any atheist plus group, as that is one of the main focus of atheism+. Maybe it was a case of miscommunication?

    Edward Gemmer:

    (3) The talk about black people on atheism plus websites often seems to regard them as some sort of alien species who are unable to do anything as well as their white counterparts. They all speak with one voice, their is no diversity within the black population, and they above all need our sympathy if they are to accomplish anything in this world. That’s probably the biggest turnoff for me on that issue.

    That is a big turn off in many groups but I would think atheism plus would be more disposed towards understanding this perspective and addressing it. I do not hesitate to call people out on their privilege because sometimes they are just blind to it. So if you feel someone in any group you identify with including atheismplus, is not recognizing their won privilege, don’t be shy to address it. It is not just enough to be turned off, it is important to speak out.

  91. 91
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    theetar

    Hankster AKA Wanker Who Has a Ridiculous Nym, why do you lie about the pit?

    Do you truly not see how childish that was? Please do not turn my space into a place for infantile display of silliness. Speak to the issue, not attempt to twist name around like a wanking teenager who just had his first cum experience. Behave like a mature adult and you will be treated as one, continue with your infantile display and you will be booted out. Consider this a final warning.

  92. 92
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    To Everyone Concerned- . Obviously I need to post a comment policy sooner than I anticipated and I am not happy with this urgent ‘must do’. Please if you have nothing substantial to add to the value of this post, cease from commenting. I am not interested in the quantity of comments; it is the quality that matters. This is not a place for old foes to resume their enmity and sparring, do not derail my post. I am not interested in your events or personal issues. Address the points in my post or forever keep silent on this thread. Thanks.

  93. 93
    Xanthë, Amy of my threads

    The second of the pitchguest quotes just given (in #88, from the epic rant at #72) has the situation qua atheism completely backwards: the theistic argument often goes that without belief in god(s), atheists are morally bankrupt, with the usual examples of totalitarian dictators trotted out as evidence. So atheism+ isn’t ‘plus’ ideology for its own sake; it’s plussing additional values of morality, ethics, empathy towards others – values which are frankly, the reverse of the usual ideologies espoused by authoritarian dictators.

    Now I could be wrong, but the usual shrieking by the gibbering anti-A+ people like PG seems doomed to backfire by presenting evidence that atheists are morally bankrupt solipsists by default – when I’ve pointed out the infighting to people outside the ‘movement’ they are frequently surprised by the vitriol and hate that has become accepted as ‘normalised’ in those attacks on others – and which is why atheism+ would like to leave them behind by making spaces that aren’t relentlessly attacked and trolled, and where issues of social concern are valued as paramount. Having a common disbelief in god(s) is no marker of any other moral, human quality that makes someone a good person (or a horrible one).

  94. 94
    pitchguest

    Yemisi:

    And there you go blabbing on about events and people and also attempting to give me the STORY of how Atheism+ started as if I did not already told you I AM AWARE, but no, you must tell your story. You can, but not on my blog, OK? Focus on the REASONS I have given in my post for embracing Atheism plus, address the points I have raised to counter expressed disagreements with the name by anti A+, please just don’t go blabbing on to me about who did what in an attempt to justify hate or tantrums, OK?

    Because you keep saying you’re “baffled” this and “baffled” that, and you keep using the same words. “Hate.” “Tantrums.” That’s clearly not a balanced view on the issue. *My* history regarding it was how I felt reading Jennifer McCreight’s post and then the subsequent posts that followed, including the one by Richard Carrier. I certainly didn’t express “hate and tantrums.” I expressed (for lack of a better word) fear to the word atheism being redefined in their image when the word should be kept free from dogma or creed or common goals, and yes, a lot of disagreements. For this I was called a misogynist, a homophobe, a transphobe, a rape-enabler, and so on and so forth.

    The genesis and evolution of the A+ forum is also a reason for why I have no confidence in the label. Do I need to say more? *This* is what the so-called “anti Atheist +” (sic) people object to and disagree! What I have just told you, and you full well know this. So can you please stop this bogus posturing?

    Story, story , story… you got upset, so what? What value has that added to this post commentary? And how “often” must hate happen before you consider it a terrible thing? And that was a rhetorical question, no answer required..

    Well, look, I can’t account for every idiot with opinions and I can’t very well say there haven’t been any “hate and tantrums” as you say, because I just don’t know! Denying it in my ignorance wouldn’t be particularly sceptical, now would it? And it wouldn’t be particularly sceptical of you, either, blaming me for its occurence simply because I neither confirmed or denied its existence. So get off my back, will you? And I didn’t say hate, I said tantrums, that I imagined didn’t happen very often.

  95. 95
    pitchguest

    Yemisi:

    Are you in anywhere justifying “hate” and tantrums against Atheism plus because according to you, it did not stem from nowhere? It might be OK in your universe, but it is not OK in mine, and that is why I steer clear from atheists who justify hate under whatever disguise.

    Justifying it? I’m saying it didn’t come from a vaccuum. I’ve provided reasons for why this “hate” and/or “tantrums” may have come about. Why on earth that would translate into “justifying” it is beyond me. Why on earth you would also interpret my saying that in the *worst possible light* straight away, without even asking for a revision or a clarification first, is also frankly beyond my understanding. I thought we agreed to discuss this like adults?

    There you go again personalizing issue. As someone who has been called arrogant and confrontational a lot of times mostly by misogynists and quite a few of them were also atheists, I thnk what you call arrogant might just be another term for an assertive, strong woman who just won’t keep shut. But whatever you describe as arrogant, I cannot see how that is adding any value to this discussion, I never asked for character endorsement of atheist plussers from you or anyone; let’s focus on the issues IN THIS POST, not your personal grievances.

    This entire blog post have you lamenting the “hate and tantrums” by so-called “anti Atheist +” (sic) folks and in my response (if we shall ignore my initial reply but move on to the subsequent ones), since you were so kind to address this to the “anti Atheist +” folks and I suppose I would be one of them (even though I wouldn’t call myself “anti Atheist +”), I detailed exactly why I object to the label -- *my* personal grievance. If someone else “anti” were to come along and detail *their* objections, would you be as rude and aggressive to them as you have to me, even though you should rightly accept my (and their) input when you asked for it?

    Also, let me get this straight. Someone who happens to be a woman acts extremely arrogant and concludes, without ANYONE ELSE’S OPINION, that the current atheist movement is from now on obsolete and requires a “third wave of atheism” to overtake it, because she feels (her opinion) that it’s just a “boy’s club” filled to the brim with privileged, old white men. But to call someone who happens to be a woman arrogant (an assertive, strong woman, whatever attributes she might inhabit) is asking her to keep shut? And what of “character endorsements?” In proportion to nothing, for my initial blunder in this thread you have called me almost every name under the sun. Is this a common form of communication in Nigeria? That in order to have a conversation, you should substitute courtesy with insults? (That’s a rhetorical question.)

  96. 96
    batmickey

    That in order to have a conversation, you should substitute courtesy with insults? (That’s a rhetorical question.)

    This coming from a slymepitter. Tee-fucking-hee

    Keep rustling their jimmies, Yemmy. It’s hilarious to watch them get all passive aggressive and outright aggressive eventually.

  97. 97
    Jadehawk

    Yemisi, what Gemmer means when he says that there’s racism on A+ is the same as when people tell us that we’re practicing “victim-feminism”: we talk about structures, and how they’re putting massive roadblocks in the way of women and/or black people; they hear “women/black people are all weaker and generally just worse at everything than white/male people; we need to give them a boost, because they won’t make it by themselves”

    he’s been trying the same on my blog, and i never got around to responding to the latest round of that there because i got ridiculously ill and swamped with work.

  98. 98
    Jadehawk

    not to say there isn’t any racism. any place where there are people who grew up in a racist culture will have some racism, because that stuff is so very hard to weed out of your brain. but conversations about structures, situated knowledge, and lack-of-privilege simply aren’t racism.

  99. 99
    VeganAtheistWeirdo

    I detailed exactly why I object to the label — *my* personal grievance.

    Since this is the topic of the blog post, can we go back to it? Because all I got from your comments so far was:

    1. You find the possibility that theists might come to recognize “atheists” to mean “non-believers who actually give a shit about others” somehow offensive;

    2. You also (paradoxically, simultaneously) fear that theists will come to blame atheist social justice for the actions of Islamophobic sociopaths. Or something--you seem to indicate I’ve misread you on this one, so you might wish to clarify;

    3. You object to being called “a misogynist, a homophobe, a transphobe, a rape-enabler, and so on and so forth,” but you also object to being moderated, edited or banned for commenting in language that has already been clearly explained to convey, promote, or perpetuate those attitudes.

    Is that an accurate summary of your expressed complaint about A+? If not, you aren’t communicating very well at all.

  100. 100
    pitchguest

    Poor pitchguest, it is all about you, isn’t it. It is about how they got you so upset you eventually failed to see any reason beyond the burning anger in your precious heart. Did it even ever occur to you and your lots that what you call atheist movement does not encompass every atheist on planet earth? I am a Nigerian, who has identified as an atheist for more than a decade, I do not see myself as belonging to this dear atheist movement that you are so eager to protect because someone called it obsolete. And I can tell you the few African atheists I know do not even know anything about your precious atheist movement, nor do they care. The assumption that atheists in America or wherever speak for the whole atheists on planet earth is not only ridiculous but very bigoted.

    The concept of adult conversation has obviously gone straight out the window. No, it clearly isn’t — or wasn’t — all about me, as I believe I’ve told you now numerous times. I’m also not much for divination, something that you are not seemingly as averse to, mostly because I can’t read minds. I admit it’s somewhat amusing what you think my intentions are or what you think I must be thinking each time you reply to one of my posts, but gets a little tiresome when I remember you’re supposed to be a professional blogger.

    By the way, if it’s your mission in life to let everyone know you’re an atheist black woman from Nigeria, I think I should let you know ahead of time that I don’t give a shit. (That was snark.) I won’t treat you any differently than I do any other person.

    The fact is, I am an atheist, I will identify with atheist groups anywhere, as I have been doing, but I will definitely distance myself from atheists who are homophobic, racist, and sexist. I definitely don’t want to seat in the same conference room with them under the banner of atheism. I picket my government embassy and officials whenever they are in UK for official engagement because of their homophobic statements and support for a bill that seeks to put LGBTS in jail for 14 years. What makes you think I will be happy to seat in the same conference room with atheists who call me cunt or faggot? The point is, if this atheist movement have such people as members, I am more than happy to distance myself from them and publicly too. No matter how that might hurt your feelings.

    You don’t want to be associated in the same group? Guess what? Tough shit. Stalin was an atheist. Pol Pot, atheist. Mao Zedong, atheist. Those are our people. And yet they’re not. Because people have principles, different ideas, different morals and ethics, and those morals and ethics could include the complete disgust towards totalitarianism and genocide. Here’s another for you. Socialism. Definition of socialism is for means of production to befall the state for the benefit of the people. But instead for the promise of utopian societies, it was transformed into all manner of perversions. Now imagine if instead of good ideas, Atheism Plus would have plaintatively bad ideas? Maybe a new branch of A+? How much longer until they’re nothing but echochambers, littered with nothing but like-minded zealots?

  101. 101
    pitchguest

    This coming from a slymepitter. Tee-fucking-hee

    Keep rustling their jimmies, Yemmy. It’s hilarious to watch them get all passive aggressive and outright aggressive eventually.

    Yes, ironically I have treated kinder and more respectful the people who’ve insulted me than they have treated me. Funny that.

  102. 102
    Hank_Says

    Being civil, Pitch, is not the same as “respectful” or “kind”. You regularly insult others’ intelligence and presume rank ignorance on their part, leading you to post tiresome, conceited, finger-wagging walls of text that you no doubt presume are road-to-Damascus moments of clarity -- the fact that you remain unaffected by human emotion in your responses doesn’t mean you’re being the least bit kind or showing any respect to the other party. Not by itself, at any rate.

    Please, take your patronising Finckean hauteur and sequester it.

  103. 103
    pitchguest

    Kinder, more respectful, and less condescending and patronizing. Indeed, even civil. Irony all around.

  104. 104
    Stacy

    Kinder, more respectful, and less condescending and patronizing.

    Well, there’s one of your problems right there, PG. An epic lack of self-awareness.

    Be that as it may, at least you’ve finally--finally!--explained your animus toward A+. You’re afraid they’re going to transfer the means of production to the State in order to create a New Atheist Utopia. Or something.

    Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  105. 105
  106. 106
    tajparis

    Have you ever watched a competition of any sort where one party was clearly and completely outmatched by the other, but didn’t realize it. There’s that point were is actually starts to become kind of uncomfortable , like maybe you shouldn’t be enjoying it so much as you are.

    This comment thread started out quite fun and amusing, but it’s reached that point. I think this is the point in the tale of overwrought hyperbole within the mind of the anti-A+ crowd where they desperately need a training montage.

  107. 107
    Nim Chimpsky

    There are a number of legitimate concerns one could have regarding Atheism+. By far the most obvious one is the co-opting of a particular very narrow label and turning into a movement with a wide range of goals, that aren’t derived from being an atheist but having particular political and theoretical views.

    It seems to me from the Atheist+ forums that the Atheist+ movement is primarily concerned with supporting 1) certain types of gender feminism and 2) left leaning social justice concerns. While I understand that Atheists may want to create a safe space to discuss these issues with like minded fellows, people outside of the ‘safe space’ are going to object to the Atheist label in such a way.

    People are entitled to use any tag they want when promoting the causes they are interested in, but they can expect criticism from others when the use of the said tag. For instance people would be quite entitled to complain if a Mens Right Group decided to operate under the name Feminism+.

    My concern is that using the Atheist+ tag to promote a wider range of different social justice issues, is likely to confuse those who aren’t intimately involved in the atheist community.

  108. 108
    throwaway

    By far the most obvious one is the co-opting of a particular very narrow label and turning into a movement with a wide range of goals, that aren’t derived from being an atheist but having particular political and theoretical views.

    Do you think that a liberal Christian might approach social justice issues in different ways, using different appeals to other liberal Christians, which may not appeal to atheists?

    While I understand that Atheists may want to create a safe space to discuss these issues with like minded fellows, people outside of the ‘safe space’ are going to object to the Atheist label in such a way.

    In what ‘such a way’? This isn’t clear, to me, from your writing.

    For instance people would be quite entitled to complain if a Mens Right Group decided to operate under the name Feminism+.

    I don’t like this analogy. There is nothing to object to in the label ‘Atheism+’ itself, not from the set which include the subset that identify with the label ‘atheist’. Not only would feminists complain of the coopting of the label

    My concern is that using the Atheist+ tag to promote a wider range of different social justice issues, is likely to confuse those who aren’t intimately involved in the atheist community.

    Different from what? Your concern is that people will get confused about the label and that is a legitimate concern how? That they won’t have the Internet handy to look it up?

  109. 109
    throwaway

    Fixing:

    Not only would feminists complain of the coopting of the label ‘Feminism+’ but so would the MRA group as it could be seen as a delegitimization of their stated ideological opposition to Feminism. A better analogy would be “Christians+” or “Buddhists+”.

  110. 110
    Klangos

    Atheist+ movement is primarily concerned with supporting 1) certain types of gender feminism

    And hurrah for that, given that the alternative of ‘equity feminism’ is effectively a veiled way of saying ‘let’s not actually do anything about gender inequality’.

  111. 111
    throwaway

    By the way, if it’s your mission in life to let everyone know you’re an atheist black woman from Nigeria, I think I should let you know ahead of time that I don’t give a shit. (That was snark.)

    Sheesh, someone need a foam clue-by-four upside their cranium. Though it doesn’t surprise me that Pitchguest pretends not to get the purpose of pointing out racial, cultural and gender differences leads to very different experiences regarding atheism and exposure to activism. Pitch is a great pretender. Pretending to address the point in the quote he was responding to, while instead hyperfocusing on the slight, then deflecting to some other tangentially related thing. Pretending that what they said was merely snark. Who does he think he’s kidding?

  112. 112
    Edward Gemmer

    When a black person tells me I am going to burn in hell if I do not accept his blue eyed, blonde Jesus as my personal savior and proceeds to quote from the same ‘holy’ book that was forced on his forefathers, by people who stole their land and cart them off to slavery, using the same book to justify the slavery, I have no other word beyond ‘idiots’ and stupid for them, especially when they threaten me with the same book that says they are an inferior race. So no, that is not an atheism plus thing, it is simple logic. Your skin colour won’t protect you from being called out.

    Well, that’s understandable. That said, we know why people often believe these things -- often having been indoctrinated from childhood and often living crappy lives where a promise of great things in death seems like a pretty good deal. The promise of atheism plus is, like you said, a place for atheists to hang out, free from religion, be critical of these illogical schisms based on race, gender, sexuality, and other things, and foster a community. In my experience, however, being critical of everyone seems to be the main focus, and the hanging out, learning things, and community building is thrown away at the first opportunity to insult and exclude someone.

    Personally, it can be challenging. I’m an atheist and I highly doubt that would ever change. My soon to be wife isn’t. Atheism plus, in theory, might be a good place to steer her to see that atheists care about the same things she does as a Christian person. In reality, she would probably just get called stupid, an idiot, privileged, or whatever other pejoratives of the day. There doesn’t seem to be any room for diversity in Atheism Plus. That is frustrating.

    Atheism plus can’t equally cover all the social ills bedeviling all the countries on planet earth. You are concerned about happenings in USA, I am also concerned about happenings in Nigeria, what best we can do is to be the vanguard of our own causes and seek support within our community and groups we identify with, for me, Atheism plus is just one of those groups.

    Absolutely true. This probably hits at my frustration with the movement. In theory, there are all these separate causes , so many that no one person or group could possibly know or understand them all. Atheism plus seeks to advance social justice, but that can mean many things to many people. Thus, a community truly interested in advancing social justice across multiple countries with multiple causes needs to be open, diverse, and understanding of new people and new experiences.

    In my experience with atheism plus, they are more concerned with excluding people, and focused on arbitrary rules. Personally, I hate both of these things. Excluding people is a poor way to build a diverse community, and avoiding arbitrary rules is a big reason people leave religion in the first place.

    Anyways, I’m not trying to burn the whole movement or anything, just trying to give voice to why some people have been soured on the atheism plus movement, especially me. I do think there is a lot of potential there, but maybe some better leadership would help it prosper. I think an atheist community online that is focused on the values you mentioned but also open to new people would be an excellent thing.

  113. 113
    SallyStrange

    Gemmer said he was married, but now he talks about his soon to be wife.

    Given the amount of times he’s changed his story before, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

  114. 114
    Edward Gemmer

    Gemmer said he was married, but now he talks about his soon to be wife.

    Given the amount of times he’s changed his story before, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

    This would be wedding number 2. It’s in Vegas. You should come. Free drinks for all atheists.

  115. 115
    pitchguest

    Stacy:

    Yes, tell me more about that total lack of self-awareness. You seem to have it down pat.

  116. 116
    SallyStrange

    This would be wedding number 2. It’s in Vegas. You should come. Free drinks for all atheists.

    Ahh, in that case, congratulations! But Vegas is very very far away for me. So have fun.

  117. 117
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    You asked a simple question, and got some off-topic, whiny, dishonesty from the anti-A+ people.

    Therefore, in a turnout that will surprise absolutely no one, the answer to your question was accurately predicted in comments #4 & #5.

    ++

    There are a number of legitimate concerns one could have regarding Atheism+. By far the most obvious one is the co-opting of a particular very narrow label and turning into a movement with a wide range of goals, that aren’t derived from being an atheist but having particular political and theoretical views.

    Neither of these are honest or legitimate concerns. From the moment A+ became a thing, it was made repeatedly clear that it isn’t a prerequisite to being an Atheist. It was and always has been made very clear that if you don’t want to participate, don’t.

    If for you atheism is nothing but a label, fine. For the some of the rest of us, atheism is the perfect stage on which to act against the bigotries and oppressions that find comfy homes in religion, but not exclusively. You seem to be saying that fighting for or caring about social justice is only for one political group -- i.e. not yours. is that really the message you want to be sending?

    There’s absolutely no reason for the hatred against A+, unless it is born out of the desperate desire to not examine that issue.

  118. 118
    smhll

    Let me extend a belated greeting. Hi! I’m happy to see you on Freethought Blogs, and I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

  119. 119
    Edward Gemmer

    Ahh, in that case, congratulations! But Vegas is very very far away for me. So have fun.

    Well thank you. I should have fun, though I’m not sure how Vegas and in-laws will mix.

  120. 120
    Raging Bee

    Pitchguest’s avatar looks like a cross between Batman and Mickey Mouse, and it’s a perfect symbol of the inhtellectual level of his comments.

  121. 121
    oolon

    @Raging Bee, don’t ask him if he got permission of the artist to use the image. He flounced last time I asked. But then an image used without permission of the batmouse would fit with his dishonesty as well as his intellectual level!

  122. 122
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Pitchguest:
    Does insulting a heterosexual man constitute insulting him for his sexuality?
    I think “Heterosexual Man X” is a douchebag.
    Said insult has nothing to do with the sexuality of “Het Man X” and everything to do with his attitude and persona.

    LIkewise, PZ calling Justicar “vermin” has nothing to do with his sexuality and everything to do with the type of person he is. Like you, Justicar is a douchebag.

    You pitters have worked yourselves into a frothing frenzy over your targets, and pathetic doesn’t begin to describe you.

  123. 123
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Pitchguest:

    Yemisi, I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt.

    Such generosity from someone like you. I can’t imagine what she might do without your ‘benefit of the doubt’.

    If you genuinely want to know about the “hullabaloo” regarding Atheism Plus, then I suggest you research. Read Jennifer McCreight’s blog post about it, read the blogs writing about it; get the gist. Then do some more research just to be on the safe side. Asking “why all the hate and tantrums?” if you’re not really interested betrays a principle of scepticism.

    Your condescending arrogance shines right here.
    Have you in your deeply flawed arrogance even considered that she has already done this research?
    Are you alwasy such a condescending tool to people you’re trying to “help”?

    Later when you’ve learned enough to be confident to know what the deal is, read the forum. The official Atheism Plus forum. Only when you have read the blog posts concerning A+, why it came about and the reactions (from *both* “sides”) to it, and then read the forum, only then do you start to form a consensus — and the reasons for much of the backlash.

    It came about because Jen (and later, others) decided that they wanted a space for Atheists who wanted to talk about atheism and how it intersects with social justice issues without having to constantly deal with people…like YOU. Yet you still follow them. You’re like evil demonic puppies.

    One other thing before I leave: if you see the screen name oolon, avoid. He’s a known shit-stirrer and a troll, deliberately misinterpreting and obfuscating arguments to get a reaction out of people. He’s a bit like the argument sketch in that fashion, just contradicting people for the hell of it. My friendly advice to you. Take care now.

    Oh but you are one smug pissant.
    The backbone you show telling *anyone* to avoid someone that is a shit-stirrer and troll.
    You, who cannot even understand what the position of Jen and anyone associated with A+.
    You, who associate with the Slymepittters, who are some of the most dedicated harrassing scumbags I’ve ever had the displeasure to interact with.
    You who obfuscate and misinterpret arguments to get a reaction out of people.

    You people seem to comment for no other reason than to dispute anything said by anyone at FtB or Skepchick.
    What the hell would you do with all your time if FtB and Skepchick were not in your lives? How would you cope? Would you, Justicar, Hendricks, Bumblebee, Porter and all the harassing dictionary atheists and Special Skeptics have any purpose in life?

  124. 124
    Cleveland Suffridge

    I might move to Hawaii and then travel the world.

  1. 125
    Meet the neighbors » Butterflies and Wheels

    [...] new colleague Yemi welcome. She wrote a post on What are Anti-Atheists+ afraid of? and along came Damion Reinhardt and “pitchguest” and john greg to [...]

  2. 126
    Lessons from #AtheismPlus | Reality Enthusiast

    […] conscious atheist activism is needed and wanted. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, […]

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