Bi Any Means Podcast #113: “Divisiveness” in the Atheist Movement with Stephanie Zvan

My guest for today is Stephanie Zvan. She’s a blogger whose blog, Almost Diamonds, can be found on The Orbit. She’s also one of the organizers for Minnesota Atheists, and one of the hosts of the Atheist Talk radio show. Today we’re going to talk about a recent blog post she wrote about “divisiveness” in the atheist movement.

The post was written in response to Dogma Debate host David Smalley’s recent talk at this year’s Gateway to Reason conference. As I tell Stephanie in the interview, at first I thought he did a good job talking about how not to let different opinions divide the movement. But as Stephanie explained, when people in the atheist movement talk about divisiveness, they’re not talking about the “Everyone I don’t like is Hitler” meme.

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Another Day, Another Atheist Asshole

You may be wondering what the “Fuck Joey Lee and Lindsay Kirkman” line from yesterday’s episode of the Biskeptical Podcast is all about. Well gather around, kids, because I’ll tell you all about it.

Allegedly a “PSJW mob” (the p stands for “pseudo”) insulted Joey Lee Kirkman’s wife Lindsay last week (who these people were, I don’t know), so Joey decided he had had enough. He decided to fight fire with fire and attack two people who had absolutely NOTHING to do with insulting Lindsay: Callie Wright and Ari Stillman from The Gaytheist Manifesto.

First Joey posted this meme insulting Wright:



Fatphobia and misgendering for the price of one!

But the real cherry on the shit sundae was when Joey shared a screenshot of a friends-only post Stillman recently made about feeling uncomfortable after a guy tried to flirt with them. (He eventually took it down, but then re-posted the screenshot, only this time blocking Stillman’s name.) Apparently according to Kirkman, being uncomfortable with a strange guy hitting on you automatically makes you some sort of radical extremist feminist who goes around falsely accusing people of rape at atheist conventions.


Strawman much?

I knew Joey had an ax to grind against what he calls “PSJWs,” but I don’t want to be the one who always gets defensive whenever someone says SJW. I want to know what one means by “SJW” before I jump to conclusions. I also have no problem with disagreements about beliefs and ideas. If I have a belief that contradicts what the empirical data says, then I want the empirical data to squash it.

But what Joey did goes way beyond criticizing a belief; he resorted to personal attacks like a child. He posted someone’s personal information for the sole purpose of bullying them. He attacked random people that had nothing to do with anything. Overnight Joey turned into a YouTube Atheist without even having a YouTube channel.

I know I probably shouldn’t say much since I’ve had my fair share of Facebook temper tantrums. I can’t stand on my high horse and act like my hands are clean. But the difference between Joey and me is that when people I respect tell me I fucked up, I believe them. Joey, on the other hand, has been told by many of my fellow atheist activists that what he did was wrong, yet he still refuses to see it.

So congratulations, Joey Lee Kirkman: You are now part of the elite club of Atheist Assholes Who Are Ruining It For Everyone! Here are your complimentary butthurt cream and bucket for your white tears.