A response from the "vacuous shitbag troll" (updated)

                          In which I am called a "vacuous shitbag troll" (link embedded below)

Following my criticism of FreethoughtBlogs blogger 'Lousy Canuck' calling D.J. Grothe a douchebag and making some of what seemed to be homophobic comments about D.J., [note: this isn't calling 'Lousy Canuck' a homophobe and I never called him one like he claims - after all a homosexual person can make homophobic comments...there's a distinction to understand] instead of an apology/concession, blogger 'Lousy Canuck' offered what some are calling a 'not-pology' post in which he labeled me a "vacuous shitbag troll."

I get it. I speak out about someone levying seemingly homophobic comments and personal attacks at D.J. Grothe -- president of the James Randi Educational Foundation -- and I am the one who has a problem. That makes me a troll and I am bad for doing that. Following this (and objecting to a really, really, really bad argument from Stephanie Zvan), I was blocked by Lousy Canuck in addition to Stephanie Zvan and my label of "vacuous shitbag troll" has been reaffirmed. No dissent is allowed! 'Lousy Canuck' and Stephanie Zvan, considering the ongoing personal attacks and the banning from a blog network under the label 'freethought,' look as bad or perhaps even worse than the Christians who send me hate mail.

If anything, this is one indication -- if you didn't already get the memo -- that atheism is no guarantee of civility, high intelligence, great critical thinking skills, etc. Stephanie Zvan and 'Lousy Canuck' control the narrative and don't welcome dissent...in fact, they block people like me who dissent labeling them as 'trolls' and 'tone trolls' who are 'manufacturing controversy' with no justification for either. I am no 'random guy on the internet;' I host a podcast which has featured (and continues to feature) well-known persons in the secular movement, I am very much involved with church/state activism, am the co-organizer and spokesperson of a local atheist group...

Instead of welcoming criticism and demonstrating a willingness to revise one's own beliefs (as skeptics should do), Stephanie Zvan and 'Lousy Canuck' dismiss everything to the contrary and attack those who offer the criticisms.




'Lousy Canuck' is even willing to conjure wild lies to justify his position claiming I am spamming DJ and 'his compatriots' and have been doing so for two days. This isn't even remotely true. My initial blog posts weren't even sent to 'his compatriots' and the only tweeted post was sent to nine other Freethought bloggers on Twitter (which is nothing outside of the ordinary). Following this, Natalie Reed objected to 'Lousy Canuck's' comments and a conversation ensued via Tweets from Natalie. ...and she was the only Freethought Blogs blogger that I know of who rebuked Jason.

Sadly, many writers for the Freethought Blogs community -- many of whom often quickly object to the use of language that seems problematic (and sometimes for good reason) -- have been mostly silent on this issue. Ophelia Benson blocked me on Twitter after claiming I was worse than grasping at straws. Greta, Jen, and PZ -- three people who I thought would be likely to rebuke 'Lousy Canuck' -- have remained silent. Do the Freethought Blogs bloggers get a free pass on anything while others are fair game? I understand that bloggers do not have all of the time in the world to author posts or write about any given topic, but when a writer for Freethought Blogs continues to call the president of the James Randi Foundation a douchebag and makes some really uncouth comments pertaining to his sexuality, I would expect to see something.

From all who write about how words matter so much (and are objecting to the words of D.J. that matter so much), it seems quite odd that the nastiness from 'Lousy Canuck' and Stephanie Zvan is excused away. "Vacuous shitbag troll," "douchebag," and seemingly homophobic comments are are fair game while -- as they say -- what D.J. had to say is totally uncalled for; they are using what they call the horrible comments from D.J. as a 'cover' to deflect criticism against their words. Should, too, the bank robber be immune from criticism because others are murderers?


Although all of the below people do not necessarily agree with D.J. Grothe's responses to the issue of sexual harassment at conferences or with anything I have said about the matter or related issues, I can 'live with that' and appreciate their willingness to stand up and call out the nonsense. Here are some responses for starters:

As the lyrics of Epica's song Deter the Tyrant say, "wild efforts to gag dissidents will ever fail in the end." While many won't read this post -- in comparison to the amount of people who will read the posts from 'Lousy Canuck' on the platform he doesn't deserve -- and ignore or perhaps excuse comments from 'Lousy Canuck,' eyes have been opened.