And how can a blogging network have so little regard for the truth? Stephanie Zvan cyber-stalks and bizarrely documents every encounter with the creature from the black lagoon and the slymepit. Apparently Becky was deeply offended by being placed on a block list for having covered a story concerning PZ and Michael Shermer with journalistic integrity. Unfortunately, PZ has taken to declaring Becky a part of a conspiracy theory that PZ controls minions who control twitter and blogging and other stuff. If only PZ understood psychology and the law then this might not be a problem.
What really happened
I don’t really have enough time in my life to rebut whenever PZ attacks someone (that’s what Michael Shermer’s lawyers are for) but I feel obligated to speak out on behalf of Becky Garrison again. She’s not a blogger, not an atheist, not a theist, not a freethought bully, nor involved with either side of this story. The problem is that according to one side you must pick sides (their side) or you are on the other side. It’s a place where a journalist can’t go. Unless of course we are the American Cable News Media.
So Becky was covering the story via twitter about the controversy surrounding PZ and Shermer when she was demanded by another twitter-er to denounce Shermer, pick PZ’s side, and fall in line with Team PZ or else be an enemy of feminism forever. A little hyperbolic about the enemy of feminism…but you get the drift. I interjected at a certain point in the defense of this woman of character. I jumped directly to insults, as I’m just over the debate about feminism these days…another issue I’ll probably never cover again – but I digress. It cause me no end of trouble as I waded down a deep and dipshitty rabbit-hole.
Nonetheless, this is about Becky. She was placed on the block bot at the request of someone who had nothing to do with the block bot (but is friends with people who run the damn thing – hmmmm). She was told that she was an enemy of A+ and that she was essentially a rape apologist. Later Oolon redacted the placement of Becky on the block bot, which I suppose was a good thing, although it still does not lend credibility to the thing itself…whatever the block bot is.
So why did PZ write about Becky so long after the incident? Oh yes! Because Becky has compared the mentality of all the A+, FTB, Rad-Fem drama yo-yo’s as that of the same hive-mind that has destroyed and derailed other movements. I believe I read that somewhere else recently…
I’ve had many conversations recently with Becky about the future of the atheist movement, secular movement (yes they are separate things), progressive Christian movement, and the fundamentalist movement. My ultimate concern is what is left of the tattered shreds of our Constitution. It’s been sorely eroded and I’d like to ensure that whatever is left of it is kept intact, as much as is possible. And all of these groups play a major role in that. These side-issues about A+, and progressive Christianity, and whatever else are just that – SIDE ISSUES. But they are important because they set the tone for the backdrop of that Constitutional conversation in the political playing field. And who covers that? Who keeps us informed of that? Who is involved with these issues from every single group?
But Becky, who I admire and respect, has been covering this since long before the blogosphere was a place for anyone with a minute amount of literary skill to gain a following. Becky is a class act and anyone should be honored to work with her if she ever reaches out to them to cover any religious piece. She treats people fairly, gives an accurate representation of both sides of any given story, and usually is given the same courtesy by the people she interviews even if they do not see eye to eye….unless you’re Stephanie Zvan – who publishes those questions and interviews on her own blog without any regard for the journalist. Wait – what?!?! Yeah, Becky reached out to Stephanie a while back and asked questions to make a fair and accurate piece about some of the goings-on within the freethought community only to see her questions answered in a published blog a few hours later.
The parallels between the atheist movement and the Republican Party are pretty staggering. That’s the future if the leaders don’t grab some intestinal fortitude and shut out the crazies to the sidelines. I’ll just keep doing what I do.
Oh YEAH! The question –
Who the hell is @Becky_Garrison?
Becky Garrison contributes to a range of outlets including The Washington Post‘s On Faith column,The Guardian, Religion Dispatches, Free Inquiry, The Humanist, Believe Out Loud, and American Atheist. Her seven books include Roger Williams’ Little Book of Virtues, and Red and Blue God, Black and Blue Church (PW, starred review). From 1994 to 2008, she wrote for the now defunct Wittenburg Door, the nation’s oldest, largest and only religious satire magazine where she rose to the rank of Senior Contributing Editor.
I’ll now go back to my regularly scheduled duties of military stuffness. Carry on!