People's Blog Court: Mark

So, Mark has been a vocal Christian commenter here for a while.  Recently he took a steep descent into Slimetown on LGBT issues.  He doesn’t really contribute much, if anything, to the conversation, and he mostly has just gloated over the misery of others lately and how cheerfully he supports it.

I’m thinking it’s time to smack him right between the eyes with the ban hammer.


GAY RIGHTS: Indiana governor changes gears, won’t give up on anti-gay bill.
PERSONAL: Mid day lab pics from the wife.
Welcome three new science bloggers to WWJTD!
About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • eNeMeE

    A link would be nice…

    Not all of us read everything. Aaaaaaah, the laser eyes!

    • eNeMeE

      Given the links provided I’m going to vote no, with a caveat of “Not at all sorry to see it go”.

      It seems like easy meat, really, and a reasonably easy way to get accustomed to troll burning…

  • http://iamaperture.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger

    Does he inspire high quality rebuttals? If so, he contributes to the quality of comments here. If not, he’s a boring troll.

    • Drakk

      I would say yes he does. Tony’s response to him was a joy to read.

  • Loqi

    +1 if it crits.

  • http://www.freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd Christina

    Give him to me. I’ll take care of him. With words, mind you.

  • http://www.atheist-faq.com Jasper of Maine (I feel safe and welcome at FTB)

    I think it depends on how much he clogs the system with distracting and derailing comments. I haven’t been that aware of him so I can’t really say.

  • Newfie

    They always seem to fit the ‘methinks he doth protest too much’ catagory, eh? Take up a collection and get the closeted self loather a proper rogering by a male prostitute… before he turns to paedophilia? Nothing like cherry picking Bronze Age mythology to justify one’s bigotry. And if he trims his beard or temple hair, we all get to huck rock at him… his rules, let’s teach him to live by them. They never see that hypocrisy. Stupid gullible fucks.

  • JSC_ltd

    I second the motion about providing links. I recall Mark; he’s been annoying, but I haven’t seen anything loathsome enough to bring the hammer down.

  • machintelligence

    It barely seems worth the effort, but if it will make you feel better…

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Proceed with the presentation of the evidence.

  • BCat70

    This issue definitely needs some cites or at least quotes so we can vote yea or nay…

  • ibelieveindog, the silent beagle

    I read his comments on


    (Sorry, I don’t know how to link directly to his comments.)

    He prompted some replies that I found edifying. Thank you to those who replied to him.

    Ban him if you want. I won’t miss him.

    • Makoto

      Thanks, I hadn’t read that thread much.

      As an aside, clicking on the date to the right (under the avatar, if any) should get you the link to their comment.

    • F

      Like so:

      See the linkified blue datime thingumie? That is teh permalink.

      And such a winning comment it is.

    • Daniel Schealler

      You can link directly to comments by using the timestamp link on each comment.

      Your previous comment displays to me as:

      ibelieveindog, the silent beagle says: August 5, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      The timestamp link goes direct to your comment. Pretty sure it works for everything on FTB.

  • ibelieveindog, the silent beagle

    Um, yeah, blockquote is my friend.

    Mark @ 21 on the above post:

    I think understanding that sin and the person committing the sin are not one in the same is the key to the controversy. It is not about hating a person, but making them aware that their actions are wrong, which is the first step to freedom from their bondage. If you deceive people into thinking that is the way they are and cannot change, you have created a hopeless situation. It is not like the civil rights movement. It is a choice to act (unlike race) and it is a choice to make it known to other people (unlike color).

    • Robert B.

      But I like bondage!

    • IslandBrewer

      I thought safewords were the first step in freedom from bondage.

      • Robert B.

        Indeed so, if that’s what you want. You use a safeword, which makes your partner aware that his actions were wrong, and so he unties you and releases you from his bondage.

  • Sunny Day

    Everyone needs somone to sharpen their rhetorical claws upon.

  • (e)m

    For anyone who is interested
    Mark’s comments here

    The only reason ze should be allowed to stay for now is because ze inspired this comment by Tony •King of the Hellmouth

    But dropping the banhammer in the future shouldn’t be ruled out

  • Rory

    If nothing else, I’d like to see this fetid bag of trash banned for his multiple posts about how lovely Chick-Fil-A is, and how much he enjoys spending his money in support of their wonderful values. Particularly vile are his posts about how god has rained down blessings on Dan Cathy for his principles (in the form of CFA Appreciation Day this past week).

    I don’t see anything worthwhile about that–it’s small-minded, mean-spirited, and contributes nothing of substance to the discussion. I say ban him. The posts you’ve produced in response to Facebook and Twitter postings of idiots give us more than enough Christian grist for our mills without letting this jackass hang around.


    • (e)m

      I hadn’t seen those. Thank you. JT Drop the banhammer with extreme prejudice if you would be so kind.

    • Sunny Day

      Shit, if thats the best hateful things you can find said by mark and are willing to Ban him maybe I should leave. I’ve said much worse insulting things to christians when they’ve gone explicitly & repulsively fundie on me.

  • Johnston

    A bit offtopic, any word on the Leah Libresco debate? You were saying in June that it’ll happen in 2 weeks?

    • anteprepro

      He stated in a previous thread that he hasn’t heard anything from her since setting things up.

  • Drakk

    I’m not sure. To me he’s like the rubber knife for the new people to cut their teeth on. I’m going to say no purely because I think it would be funny to watch him flounce if he gets tired of the vitriol we sling at him.

    • Rory

      I’m not sure you’re ever going to see a flounce, because he’s either purely trolling, or he just doesn’t care to engage with any honesty. Case in point, after the epic beatdown which Tony delivered to him the other day (see upthread for link), he didn’t make any kind of reply. He didn’t argue, or protest, or even toss back some insults. No have any of the previous times he’s been slammed produced any improvement in the quality of his argumentation.

      I get the point about wanting somebody around to sharpen claws on, but somebody who doesn’t respond isn’t a sparring partner; he’s a tackle dummy. JT has produced a number of quality posts highlighting poor argumentation from bigoted idiots without us having to keep our own pet moron in house.

      My two cents, for what they’re worth.

      • Drakk

        He did, though, not on this issue where he’s just being a slimeball, but before when he demonstrated ignorance on some scientific concepts or other. I recall having an actual discussion with him – admittedly he was as thick headed then as he is now.

        I’m still going for no ban though. He’s not a major nuisance (to me) and he doesn’t derail other threads.

        • Rory

          Fair enough. I admit I’m a bit invested in this for no good reason. He’s like a turd in a punchbowl to me.

  • jenny6833a

    Mark @ 21 on the above post:

    I think understanding that sin and the person committing the sin are not one in the same is the key to the controversy. It is not about hating a person, but making them aware that their actions are wrong, which is the first step to freedom from their bondage. If you deceive people into thinking that is the way they are and cannot change, you have created a hopeless situation. It is not like the civil rights movement. It is a choice to act (unlike race) and it is a choice to make it known to other people (unlike color).

    Although I disagree with the above, there’s nothing in it that would justify banning the guy. It’s a calm, well written summary of standard Christian views containing no hint of vitriol.

    If anyone is to be banned, ban those whose replies were vitriolic.

    • Rory

      I think you have it exactly backward, to be frank. If you look upthread you’ll see three posts from Mark which I’ve highlighted where he expresses simple delight in CFA and his enthusiasm for them. He also makes clear by comparison to the Boy Scouts that it’s the homophobia he supports, and not just the fried food. I don’t see a lot of value in that. Nor do I see a lot of value in his ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ post which you highlighted–is there anything there we haven’t seen one hundred times.

      Contrast with Tony’s post (also linked upthread). It could maybe be described as vitriolic, but I’m glad I read it, and I think other people probably agree. Give me vitriol with substance over cheerful bigotry any day of the week.

    • anteprepro

      Hah. You can’t be fucking serious. Calm bigotry is still bigotry. Bigotry that tries its damndest to hide itself is still bigotry. “Hate the sin, not the sinner” is the flimsiest disguise, the thinnest defense, ever concocted in the history of bigots hiding their bigotry. Why? Because they simply aren’t just “hating the sin” and they are “hating the sin” of homosexuality far more than most other (supposedly equal) “sins”. They aren’t just against homosexual sex, as squicky as that makes them. They are against homosexuality itself. They are against people being attracted to the wrong people. Attraction isn’t a behavior. That isn’t something that can be changed.

      But people like Mark don’t care to note that. They don’t care about the reality of homosexuality. They don’t care that there is nothing objectively wrong with it, that it causes no harm. In fact, they will actively conflate homosexuality with sexual attractions that actually cause harm if acted upon. They don’t care that it is unlikely for them to be able to change who they are attracted to. They are absolutely fine with pretending that it is a choice, but that suits their rhetoric even if it is absolutely inconsistent with facts. That is a fucking slimeball move, and cannot believe that you are defending it.

      You think the people who react strongly to this cliched, thinly-veiled bigoted bullshit should be punished and the person uttering it is A-Okay? You seriously need to reconsider.

  • B-Lar

    Perhaps he should go into infinite moderation until he has had a chance to reply to the “charges” brought against him in this court.

    If he can be shown to be not willing to engage in future honest dialogue then the hammer should fall.

    I believe that he is unable to even consider the possibibility that he might be wrong and I think that this is breaking the first rule of critical thought. That should be the grounds for being put on the hammer block, although Im fairly certain that in his case other grounds could be found too.

    Also, I love the idea of a Peoples Blog Court. if the hammering can be shown in a lengthy comment section to be justified then it ceases to be a badge of honour and becomes more of an embarrassment to the hammered.

    • Rory

      I actually like this idea even better than banning him. If JT was willing to do this, I’d be perfectly satisfied even if the decision is ultimately made not to ban him.

  • kim

    If Tony agrees, what about posting his comments and thoughts as a post? It would make it easier for others to find and would reach a wider audience.

  • anteprepro

    Do what you will. He wasn’t a very honest debater even when he seemed like he gave a fuck. Now he is just blatantly trolling.