Over at En Tequila Es Verdad on Freethought Blogs, author Dana Hunter has recently published the most recent of many blogposts in celebration of splitting the atheist movement in twain. She is evidently not taking questions from those who remain skeptical of this divisive approach, but I felt the need to speak up somewhere . . .
Dana puts up two fingers to Atheist Ireland, American Atheists, and the Secular Policy Institute for failing to properly and thoroughly shun SlymePitters (“his mates attack me and mine”), pro-life conservatives (“cons who want to take my bodily autonomy away”) and Michael Shermer, respectively.
Supposing for the sake of argument that all Pitters, conservatives, and founders of the Skeptics Society really ought to be shunned from polite society in general and no-platformed out of movement atheism in particular, the problem remains: Who curates the shun list and how many names are on it? Can we trust Dana and her allies to be fair and impartial about this, given their long history of smearing opponents and their vested interest in holding on to the commanding heights of atheist beigeland?
I’m trying to keep an open mind here, but at the moment I’m leaning towards an unqualified “No.”
A far better policy might be to shun those whom you please in your own spaces (e.g. disallowing unsavory people like me from commenting on your blog) while refraining from judging others to be guilty on account of their associations. Judge people on their own words and actions, rather than those with whom they associate (Pitters at Nugent’s blog) or those to whom they reach out (AA at CPAC). This will help ensure that you are directing your ire at something people meant to do rather than, say, unexamined friendship.