• Reasons to Support Ron Lindsay

    There is little that I can add here that hasn’t already been better said elsewhere, but nevertheless I feel compelled to publicly extend my support for Ron Lindsay, for three reasons.

    1) He challenged people to think critically about their own beliefs. 

    The primary reason that Ron has been taking so much flak from certain quarters is that he dared to suggest that there are some memes (e.g. “shut up and listen”) that are quite popular in the online social justice crowd that don’t mix well with CFI’s historical dedication to discussion, debate, and critical inquiry. If you support CFI’s mission statement, as I do, then you must believe that “[n]o topic should be placed off limits to scrutiny,” especially those “which have an enormous influence on beliefs and conduct” within our own communities. I believe that feminists and various other -ists should feel  welcome within the humanist and skeptic tents, but they should not expect to be exempt from the same standard of scrutiny as everyone else when they propagate bad ideas or try to stifle discussion using the tools of callout culture. When you bring any -ism into the skeptic tent, you should expect to encounter some skepticism from those residing therein.

     2) Vitriolic attacks on Lindsay are massively disproportionate to his offense

    Even if you do believe that his opening talk was ill-timed or somewhat over the line, it is difficult to imagine that he deserves to be mocked with intemperate language like this:

    You assholes make me sick. It’s time for you to extract your heads from your laps, stop performing your self-congratulatory self-fellatio, spend a few minutes thinking clearly about what sort of man gets that rabid over women calling them on sexist bullshit, and decide if this is really the kind of man you want to be.

    Or like this:

    …we should stop dealing with them, because they’re awful, misogynistic people who are actively undermining the secular cause by excluding 50% of the population.

    Or like this:

    CFI … and other organizations like them are a huge, huge joke to me, full of patriarchal filth that just harasses minorities in order to continue their societal oppression of us. I stay far, far away from freethinker movements offline for these reasons. These people are not interested in inhabiting statistical reality and are nothing but a bunch of manchildren that need to grow the fuck up.

    Or like this:

    How do you know Lindsay isn’t a member of “the hardcore misogynist fringe,” just sophisticated enough to know you have to throw in a few sops toward the center?

    Or like this:

    His clear misogyny derangement syndrome is about way more than just Ms.Watson. But, she’s a convenient target of his hatred, malice, lies and hypocrisy, because she’s the fashionable target.

    Or like this, or this, this, this, this, this, and of course this.

    I could go on and on here, with ever more examples of how Lindsay is just an old white misogynist guy who should shut up, step down and listen, but you get the idea. A whipped-up mob in a frenzied rage should be feared, but they surely cannot be reasoned with and ought not be placated.

    3) Your favorite secular organization might well be next 

    As I pointed out earlier on Storify, this latest round of attacks on a secular leader for failing to be properly deferential to the norms propagated by social justice bloggers is nothing remotely new, it is just the next in a series of targeted attacks on high-profile skeptics and humanists. Should Lindsay be able to weather this round of attacks, he will join the ranks of Dawkins, Grothe, Shermer, and a few others who have withstood similar barrages of nasty accusations and hyperbolic attacks. Should CFI choose to throw him under the bus, they will not only lose support from those of us who truly believe that no topic should be placed off limits to critical inquiry, but they will have handed the online mob their first major victory. What better way to encourage them to go after anyone and everyone who dares to disagree?


    Category: FeminismSecularismSupport

    Article by: Damion Reinhardt

    Former fundie finds freethought fairly fab.