Thursday, February 26, 2009

One (Hopefully) Last Time...

Since someone calling himself "Strong Atheist" over at Democratic Underground has taken it upon himself to be a one-man lynch squad for the last two and half years, let me clear the air once again.

First, my apologies for addressing the previous post to all DUers. I'm sure you can understand the anger, but it was inappropriate.

1. I did not join DU to weigh in on "Strong Atheist's" psychotic circle jerks. I was a member for a very long time, stopped participating because of the "scandal" and couldn't remember my original (very old) screen name and password since I haven't used it in about 2 1/2 years. I rejoined specifically to lodge a complaint.

2. No, I am not anti-atheist. I'll refer you to many of the posts I've written here in defense of atheists. See April 2007 for a few examples. Unfortunately, neither my print work nor my years as an activist can be proven with a link.

3. No, I did not call for a "purge" of atheists from the Democratic Party. I am not a member of the Democratic Party and haven't been since the 90's. Virginia doesn't have party registration. My last non-Virginian voter registration listed me as "other: democratic socialist." The one before that also listed "Democratic Socialist." Not to mention the fact that it is impossible to "purge" anyone from a political party in the United States.

4. No, the word "purge" did not appear in some imaginary "original version" that disappeared into the ether. Both the first and second draft were posted here in March/April 2006. The third, which I thought was just another draft since I was struggling with the piece, was published on Raw Story. When I realized that and saw the response, I took full responsibility, apologized and attempted to explain.

5. No, I did not condemn all or most atheists in that column. I referred multiple times to the fact that most atheists were NOT extremists or whackjobs. Yes, the term whackjob was inappropriate, but I previously apologized for that.

6. No, I'm not a Christian. It states here and in the column that I'm Jewish. This "Christian" rumor is proof that many who condemn me did NOT read the column.

7. Yes, I do believe that some atheists are extreme in their views and behavior. I also believe that some Jews, women, gay people, etc. are extreme in their views and behavior. I've spoken out against them too, although I've probably done a better job on those occasions.

8. Yes, I did vote McCain/Palin and it was NOT an easy decision to make. That vote is the only vote I've ever cast for a non-Democratic, non-liberal candidate. It doesn't make me a bigot. Nor does it make me a PUMA, since (once again) I'm not a Democrat. I felt then and feel now that, considering the status of the current Democratic and Republican parties and the complete obliteration of an influential American left, we'd be better off with a mixed government. I also have serious concerns about Obama's ability to do what must be done. Unfortunately, we've seen in the last month how Obama's stumbles have been presented as validation of Bush policies.

9. Yes, I stopped writing for Raw Story after that piece. That was my choice based on a.) not wanting Raw Story to pay for my failure to prepare/write the column as it should have been, b.) a serious disagreement with how the situation was handled, and c.) a desire to be rid of the constant harassment/threats/stalking behavior I experienced for months afterwards. Although I no longer write for them, I am still a big fan of the great work that Raw Story does.

10. I believed that this would blow over. I was obviously wrong. But as many have pointed out, people like Strong Atheist (and the much discussed rabid atheist gang over at DU) prove beyond a shadow of the doubt that, while I could have presented my points more clearly and in a less offensive way, I WAS RIGHT!

Now, please allow this to be my final word on this subject.

And, to those of you who start calling my house and hanging up every time Strong Atheist posts one of his Melinda-bashing rants, if this continues, I will have the police and other proper authorities investigate and I will press charges. Don't end up in jail over something so petty and pathetic.


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