Petition Week: The Comments (Updated)

As you probably know, I keep a few people in moderation around here. They’re generally convinced that their comments are somehow very important to the public discourse, however, so I let them out from time to time. It also allows me to clean out my queue.

Here are the vitally important missing comments on my original post about the petition.

But please remember! This isn’t a blacklist. We don’t do blacklists. That’d be just awful. No we never, ever do anything questionable, it’s just all those meanies who unaccountably don’t like us who do that nasty stuff.


Dear Stephanie,

Knowing that you are a skeptic par-excellence, of the first-water even, I hope and, dare I say it, expect that you will react with alacrity to my respectful request for evidence to justify your various claims, notably this one from your comment on Butterflies & Wheels:

[Do they] want to be represented by someone who will represent his positions as dishonestly as Vacula did with:

2. The slur on Jason as being “homophobic”. Yes, what he said can sound bad–if you ignore the fact that Jason retracted it because it could be interpreted in ways he didn’t mean.

More specifically, I’ve read, in some detail, Jason Thibeault’s “Apology” and Justin Vacula’s comments in Jason’s previous post and can find nothing that justifies Jason’s claim that Justin was asserting that Jason was homophobic. Consequently it would be most appreciated if you would be so kind as to quote the exact statement(s) from Justin that justifies that specific conclusion of yours, particularly as I know you would never be so unkind or so careless as to make an assertion based on a dearth of evidence or on hearsay.

Thank you in advance for your kind attention to this trivial matter of due process.

Yours in skepticism ….


Oh, fuck you FTB/A+ assholes. You just can’t stand it when anyone who doesn’t kiss your asses actually accomplishes something, so you try to drag them down. You people are pathetic.


Hello Stephanie,

Natterer of negativism here again! Thanks a bunch for the additional information about Justin Vacula’s supposed accusation of homophobia against Jason Thibeault. Although the “supposed” is crucial as all I see from that post of Justin’s is “Jason seemed to make a homophobic comment” and “what seems to be a homophobic comment” along with a request or two to Jason to clarify what he meant by his comments. Sorry, really doesn’t seem to me to be any smoking gun.

And, in passing, as I am banned at B&W and can’t query you directly there you might want to consider answering me directly in your own threads the next time this situation arises. Or you could brave the treacherous waters and shoals of the Pit and answer me there as I tend to copy my posts that wind up in moderation to that site ….



@ thomasfoss

… But Stephanie Zvan *is* trying to get Justin Vacula fired.

And you have to like the irony of signing fake petitions on a petition to ban Rebecca Watson from a conference, only to decry when it happens to their own petition to remove Justin Vacula from his position on Secular Coalition of America. What’s more is no one outside of FTB has tried to get an FTBer fired from their job. *shakes head*

With Justin Vacula, not only have they done it on their blogs, but Rebecca Watson even used a panel discussion — abusing her power of the microphone yet again — to slimily attempt get Justin fired. It’s actually quite pathetic how common the practice of trying to get someone fired from their job occurs on this place.

Greg Laden tried to get Abbie Smith fired from her job. In what category should we file it in? Are you marginalising what happened to her because she’s not an FTBer? If that’s the kind of rhetoric you’ll choose, I don’t think SCA gives a shit what you think. In fact, they shouldn’t give a shit what you think. Good riddance.


Oh, and Stephanie Zvan has *still* not apologised to Richard Dawkins for her letter to him about rape victims.

Comments on the post about the Twitter reactions to the petition.


Correct me if I’m wrong, didn’t you do the same thing to a petition to get Rebecca Watson removed from a conference? No, the irony is not lost on me. Thanks for asking. Also, I couldn’t help but notice that Justin Vacula himself wasn’t featured in that Twitter nest, therefore I don’t see the connection of that nest and you calling him a troll. I realise I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt (perhaps fruitlessly), but I’m just not sure what kind of logical leaps you want me to make here.

It’s cool you wish to misrepresent issues on social justice and feminism in order to (among other things) get people fired or removed from their positions. It’s cool you wish to make a petition about it, to pretend it has weight in order to pressure the group to give in to your demands. That’s your right. I’m just not sure it’s constructive or even helping. (Sadly it seems your petition is not going as well as you had planned. Maybe next time, Stephanie.)

BarfSimpson (among his other ‘nyms)

Make up your mind. Either it’s a few deranged loners, or it’s everyone who’s not an FTB Kool-aid drinker. Which is it? Evidence is starting to pile up that you don’t have many bridges left to burn. But that’s the cult life cycle for you.

On the post to clean up confusions and misunderstandings.


The comment that Jason highlighted is not from ignorance. The point of that argument is that the controversies that happen inside the blogosphere and twitterverse is not easily followed by many activists in the movement and is therefore not relevant to their particular interests. I am absolutely obsessed with the perpetual controversies and am apt to attempt to strike up conversation about this with other local activists but I know that I would have to explain SO MUCH in order for my conversation partner to have any kind of opinion. I mean, how many people had even heard of Justin Vacula before he started getting in to it with PZ on his blog?

It’s not to say that what happens on the internet is not important but that it’s not necessarily the deciding factor. Justin has been an activist for a long time and has shown that he’s willing to bear the brunt of attacks from locals (as evidenced by his willingness to continue activism after his bus ad campaign warranted him many threats) and I imagine that weighed heavily in his favor when he volunteered to be a representative for the SCA.

The blogosphere is a major component of atheist activism but it’s not the movement so when Rebecca Watson and Free Thought Blog followers voice their outrage it doesn’t mean that SCA needs to immediately change their strategy. How about everyone wait and let their results speak for how well they fight to maintain the wall that separates Church and State?


I said that Justin Vacula has been an activist for a long time but that is wrong. I think he only became atheist in 2009 so sorry for that bit of hyperbole.

On the post about the petition to remove me from a leadership post within a book.


If you want to partake in these silly petitions then I guess it’s fair for the other side to partake as well. I will refrain from both, of course. I say, let them organize as they wish and I will judge the results.

@Roweenie and Ibbica, you think it’s fine for Zvan to start a petition to have an individual removed from a private organization but you don’t like it when they do the same to Zvan? And you want to silence them by going to the site where these petitions are started? Just let them fail in this silly venture without trying to use the authorities.

Finally, Laden was not using a “vague colloquialism”. Yeah, maybe he wasn’t going to literally kick Justin Griffith in the ass but he made it obvious that if they were to ever meet in person, Greg wished to do Justin harm (I say wish, because if Greg were to attempt anything, Justin would have broken a limb of Greg’s on accident). But, go on. Create some escape hatch your friends have special access to that the rest of the blogosphere does not.


That Twitter harassment of people he doesn’t like is dandy?

You mean Surly Amy ? If so – she was no longer interested in talking to him somewhere along the line and blocked him, how is that harassment ? (would you count the behaviour of Surly Amy and Melody Hensley towards Sara Mayhew as harassment as well ?)

That misrepresenting people on the podcast of the group he leads is swell?

Yeah… that was indeed an asshole-move.

That feminism is taking away the rights of men?

Haven´t heard that before… Where did he say that ?

Steve Schuler

Ahh, I do love the smell of witch-burning, no matter the time of day!

In honor of this glorious atheist accomplishment I think that Stephanie Zvan, Greg Laden, Ophelia Benson, and Jason Thibeault (at least) should be awarded with some really ornate, tall and pointy hats to distinguish themselves as valiant defenders of the movement against heresy and be acknowledged henceforth, at least semi-officially, as “Grand Inquisitors Deluxe of the True Atheism”!

But seriously, I do feel for Justin in this regrettable situation and trust that, in the long run, his contributions to the advance of humanity will far outpace those of his detractors in this absurd and deplorable power play.

PG (morphing to try to get around the moderation)

he does. he just can’t let perceived slights go.

Holy shit, you just said that. You just said that. Perceived slights. On a blog post by Stephanie Zvan. *head asplode*

PG (morphing once again)

Stephanie, you lied and attacked Justin Vacula. Just how far removed from the real world are you?

Does everyone feel enlightened now that the comments have seen the light of day? Have they filled the hole you didn’t know existed in your life?

Update: Comments like this get you taken out of moderation–and put into the spam folder–and published with the details that anyone else can use to pre-emptively put you in their own spam traps.

Any comment that I send to you is written with the full expectation that it will not be published. Still, on occasion I find myself compelled to express my disagreement with your thoughts or behaviour, well satisfied to think that you alone have read them. Like Fox News you provide a seemingly endless source of entertainment for folks blessed with a sufficiently developed sense of humour. For that, Stephanie, I thank you. In the interest of transparency I hope this does get published, but I certainly do not expect that to be the case.
Enjoy your transparency.

You’re not entitled to my time and attention. You’re definitely not entitled to use it to “satisfy” yourself. The fact that you think you are should really tell you to go get some perspective.

Update2: This one came in while I was dealing the the other. Welcome to train masturbator territory, Steve.

Wow!!! That was the quickest deletion ever! You certainly do continue to amuse, my dearest Stephanie.

Petition Week: The Comments (Updated)

20 thoughts on “Petition Week: The Comments (Updated)

  1. 1

    Suddenly I feel a great sense of peace. No longer will I be a feminist; I shall spend the rest of my days passing out cookies to men who don’t believe in Bigfoot.

    And they won’t even have spit in them.

  2. 4

    They do seem to wander from blog to blog repeating themselves no matter who has answered them elsewhere. One might almost start to think they’re not interested in discussion.

    Oh, wait. That’s why I have them in moderation to begin with.

  3. 6

    I think this is the quote Steersman didn’t find.

    “Jason, care to explain your mentioning of how DJ “cares little about women’s vaginas?” Are you seriosuly bringing his sexuality into this or attacking him because of it? I really hope not. The comment, regardless, in light of DJ being gay, is really off-color.”

  4. 7

    … But Stephanie Zvan *is* trying to get Justin Vacula fired.

    But wait, wasn’t the party line that he wasn’t “hired” in the first place? How can he be fired, then?

  5. 10

    What’s the deal with Sara Mayhew? I thought I was up to date with all of this but I’ve seen mentions of something involving her once or twice now but never with any details. Can someone point me in the right direction on this?

  6. 11

    Jeremy, you’re looking for the second bullet point and associated documentation and comments here: To the best of my knowledge, Sara has not corrected the record. I don’t know whether she’s still claiming the lie.

    EllenBeth, I’d be more amused if birdterrifier, Steve Shuler, and PG (in yet another morph) hadn’t all commented within hours of me posting this to try to claim that right.

  7. 12

    It really amuses me that these people think they have an absolute right to post abusive comments on other people’s blogs.

    Well you see they have a freethinkers and sceptics paradise over at the slymepit where no comments are banned and all discussions are allowed! Well almost…

    Actually they have an ignore function so you can ‘ignore’ all comments from any commenters that you like. Which is obviously totally different to Stephanie ignoring users (banning) on her blog and not at all in detriment to their perfect ‘open’ discussion /sarcasm. I found this out mainly because they got really bothered when my account there broke and I had to keep posting using the ‘guest’ form rather than as a registered user. Apparently you cannot block comments from guests and some got rather hot under the collar that they couldn’t ban block me. One ‘FtB-troll’ (Slimepitters please note in quotes as I am not trolling you) got them quite paranoid, if only they had to handle as many as Stephanie etc do…

  8. 15

    oolon @12:

    Apparently you cannot block comments from guests and some got rather hot under the collar that they couldn’t ban block me. One ‘FtB-troll’ (Slimepitters please note in quotes as I am not trolling you) got them quite paranoid, if only they had to handle as many as Stephanie etc do…

    Interesting, so I’m not the only one to notice that hypocrisy. I got banned from an MRA’s YouTube channel in two posts, for quoting inconvenient statistics that contradicted his arguments. I got blocked from “Is God a Squirrel” for much the same thing. Trivial errors are massive failures, when done by “FTBullies.” Yet when they make a major error, such as Vacula’s Slyme Pit post, I’ve seen one person bend over backwards to re-interpret and minimize it*.

    Feminists would call that “unchecked privilege.” Skeptics prefer “selective skepticism.” I call it “a sign we’re probably right.”

    * I find that one endlessly amusing: “using comments from people about [what] they did […] is the second worst form of evidence on the planet. The worst, of course, is just making stuff up.”

  9. 16

    “Actually they have an ignore function so you can ‘ignore’ all comments from any commenters that you like.”

    Um, and here I thought blocking people on twitter was a savage violation of the right to free speech.

  10. 18

    Flewellyn, think those guys who get extra “satisfaction” from the fact that women are trapped during their commute and can’t get away from seeing them as they masturbate. Then think about something else, quickly.

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