One of the ways religious offenders defend themselves is by falling back into the arms of their co-religionists. “Why, when they attack me for molesting that girl, they are attacking the sanctity of Jesus Christ and his Holy Church!” It’s a way to gather allies by telling them that the criticisms against you are actually assaults on your entire belief system and all of your fellows.
Keep that in mind while reading Krauss’s response to accusations of sexual harassment. He is openly recruiting us atheists and skeptics to side with him.
On February 22, reporters from BuzzFeed published a libelous story defaming me specifically, and by association the skeptical and atheist community in general. To those friends, colleagues, and others who have written me kind notes of support, I want to thank you sincerely. To those who have expressed anger, I understand the disappointment you may have experienced upon reading the story. It has been very hard to remain silent thus far as my integrity and the integrity of the academic and skeptical communities, which I care about deeply, have been impugned.
My first thought is to defend myself — #NotAllAtheists, Dr Krauss! It’s you that is being accused, not me or my friends, so how dare you drag me into your community.
But then…damn. I think I’m being too optimistic about the quality of this community. I have to stop that. It ought to be easy to be cynical, since atheists are so happy to help. For instance, self-labeled atheists are proud to step forward and pull this kind of crap.
PSA: Being an asshole is a choice made by assholes pic.twitter.com/nL8aa6PSmL
— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) March 12, 2018
Some of you will dismiss this blatant sexism by saying it’s just one guy, one particularly repulsive guy. That’s true. Except…
TJ Kirk AKA the “Amazing Atheist” has been around for over a decade, and he’s been this repugnant since he first popped up. He has over 100,000 followers on Twitter. He has a million subscribers on YouTube.
You want to defend the skeptical and atheist community? We’re going to have to face up the fact that the popularity and persistence of terrible people who wave the banner of atheism has already compromised us, and realize that when some of our ‘heroes’ go further and commit sexual harassment, that doesn’t mean that they’re exceptional, but are perhaps more representative than we like to admit. At the very least, we have to recognize that being a misogynistic scumbag does not disqualify you from claiming to be an “amazing” atheist.
Further, that so many atheists insist that no moral stance can be assigned to atheism means that the awful people can not be repudiated as atheists; we can do so as individuals, as human beings, and as humanists, but the lack of any principle but “there is no god” in atheism means there are no grounds for forswearing or dismissing these people within the atheist movement.
So what’s the point of the atheist movement? There is none. It’s killed itself.