Posted: June 21st, 2012 | Author: Darwin Harmless | Filed under: How Weird is our Culture, Personal issues, sexuality, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
I was contacted recently by Tanya Simmonds, who asked if I would be interested in publishing an essay by her husband, P.D.. As anybody who reads this site regularly might know, I am an advocate of shame free masturbation. It is incomprehensible to me that the practice was seen as harmful and evil, and the battle to prevent it lead to such perversions as infant male circumcision. This is all the product of sick minds. Masturbation should be taught in school, and encouraged. It’s a teenager’s only form of safe sex.
Tanya turns out to have some very heavy credentials. In her words she’s a “qualified academic theologian (B.th)(hons) and a rabid atheist.” She was also a criminal defense lawyer for twenty-five years.
In her introduction to this essay, Tanya wrote: “My husband was the victim and is the primary author of this. I merely provided the theology.
My knowledge of theology led to a deep bonding between my husband and me in the early days, as I helped him through his trauma. Unfortunately, this disgusting form of torture is still being practiced throughout the world through various Christian and Islamic organisations. The latest to jump on board the anti-masturbation band wagon is the truly insidious Catholic monster, Michael Voris. His rantings on the subject are out there on You Tube right now.
I feel that it is vital that people learn the truth, because innocent children are being psychologically damaged for life by this sadism. Knowledge is the only means by which we can vanquish the monsters of superstition.”
Here here, and without further ado I shall leave you to read their article while I march off to YouTube to check out “the truly insidious Catholic monster, Michael Voris”
The Final Frontier of Tyranny
An Essay by P.D
With contributions by Tanya Simmonds
When I was 16, I was an impressionable, credulous teenager who was lonely. I was taken in by a Church near to my home who introduced me to the Bible and to Jesus. They taught me the doctrine of hell, and the idea that if I became born again, I would be saved from it. A sign that I was reborn, I was told, was that I would no longer feel the need to masturbate.
By now, my hormones were raging. I would pray, in my terror of hell, that Jesus would deliver me from masturbation, but the urges persisted with a vengeance. I attempted to suppress those urges with pain by mutilating my arms with a razor blade, but it was futile. I lost sleep at night thinking that if the urges were still there, that meant I wasn’t ‘born again’ and so I was bound for hell. I wanted to commit suicide but was afraid of doing so for fear of going straight to a place of eternal torture. I petitioned God to reach back in time and prevent me from ever being conceived so that I would never have existed in the first place.
Ultimately, I suffered a nervous breakdown at the age of 17.
I seek to educate people about the truth of this insidious doctrine and appeal to Christian ministries around the world to cease and desist promoting this cruelty. It is my learned and experienced opinion that this teaching is evil, primitive, sadistic, opportunistic, predatory and without any merit whatsoever. When inflicted upon impressionable adolescents, I believe that it quite possibly qualifies for child abuse.
This argument is a matter of reason and compassion. My wife is a qualified academic theologian (B(th.)(hons)) and we ask the reader to consider our words in the context of his/her personal freedom and the threat this teaching poses to our democracy.
What Causes Masturbation?
Masturbation is caused by a series of hormones known as androgens. An adolescent will begin to masturbate often before he/she even knows what masturbation is. The hormones are secreted into the blood at puberty and suddenly the urge strikes – overwhelmingly. It happens for a reason. Humans are genetically hard-wired for orgasm, which is how human life continues. Repression of it indefinitely will also result in detrimental health issues. Studies show that abstinence can result in increased stress (climax lowers stress and blood pressure) which leads to heart disease – the world’s greatest killer! Orgasm has been shown to boost immune system function (Human Reproduction, Vol 12, 2200-2207, Oxford University Press) and is highly effective in the treatment of migraines. A study in 2004 to show a causal link between frequent ejaculation and prostate cancer indicated that male orgasms of five times per week or more actually reduced the risk (Leitzmann MF, Platz EA, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC, Giovannucci E. Ejaculation frequency and subsequent risk of prostate cancer. JAMA. 2004 Apr 7:291 (13): 1578-86.) This was additionally affirmed in studies by Professor Graham Giles of the Cancer Council Victoria in Melbourne, Australia in 2003 and 2011. Masturbation also facilitates the release of the hormones serotonin and dopamine, thereby assisting in the alleviation of depression. (F.C. Denison, V.E. Grant, A.A. Calder, and R. W. Kelly Seminal plasma components stimulate interleukin-8 and interleukin-10 release. Mol Hum. Reprod., March 1, 1999; 5(3): 220-226.) A 1997 study at the Queens University in Belfast (among others) concluded that regular orgasms can significantly increase longevity. For these reasons, nature gives us this overwhelming urge – one that is so powerful, it is almost never conquered even by the most zealous of Christians. Pornography will aggravate it, of that there is no doubt – however, it is not the root cause of it. Masturbation is purely biological in nature.
The anti-masturbation doctrine rarely ever results in anything other than the torment of innocent people, unwarranted guilt and hadephobia (the fear of hell) and extremely busy psychiatrists. Guilt can arise from masturbation – but this is largely the result of the religious influences on our culture. The Bible has an effect on the views and feelings of all Western people, even on the most secular. Guilt over masturbation is not natural – it is acquired. One of the more famous cases of this is that of Kip Eliason, a 16 year old, deeply committed Mormon follower. Under the strict, anti-masturbation doctrines of his church, he found himself unable to resist the pressures imposed upon his body by his hormones. Filled with self-hatred over his ‘weakness,’ he took his own life on March 2nd, 1982. This is a true case of mind-control leading to self-torture, and the death of an innocent child.
The body is biologically conditioned to respond to self-stimulation. It is an inherent instinct. As a mere action, it has been shown on ultrasound that foetuses masturbate in the womb. THAT is how natural this is! After puberty, it becomes a matter of need.
Indeed, sex is a relational experience – as eating can be. To say that orgasm absolutely must only be shared with a partner can be likened to saying that a person shouldn’t eat unless they have someone to dine with.
One of the Christian arguments is that a person cannot become intimate with another if they masturbate. This is an absurdity. That would make 99.9999% of the human population sexually dysfunctional and yet we now live in a world of unprecedented overpopulation.
Prima Facie, it is difficult to imagine why an individual would attempt to pressure others into torturing themselves in such a cruel way.It is bewildering how the suggestion that teens and single people should abstain from masturbation isn’t viewed as a contender for the single most sadistic doctrine in history. It is to deny any form of sexual outlet to those who need it the most – to those whose androgen levels are 20 times normal and to those who are lonely – to literally sentence them to a torment where they should strive to turn their own bodies into instruments of hormonal torture.
If masturbation (in males) is abstained from for long enough (around 30 days – after the necrotic cells have had time to release carcinogenic toxins around the prostate gland) it will be expelled in the night to the accompaniment of an involuntary erotic dream. Ejaculation is a bio-cerebral connection. This is how sexuality works, which is why people are drawn to sexual imagery.
It isn’t a ‘sin.’
A Question of Compassion
Understanding how the Christian God can give life to a species independent of its own request, shape it in such a way and then throw all of the rules in opposition to that design, under the threat of hell fire to any who dare to disagree is a troublesome question – especially when He is described as a God of love, compassion and great kindness.
Matthew 5:28 (committing adultery by looking at a woman with a desire to possess her) is often quoted as the endorsement of criminalizing sexual thoughts, but in its historical context, it is actually a re-iteration of the tenth commandment – do not covet your neighbour’s property (his wife – included among land, oxen, maid-servant, slave and any other chattel.) The word ‘lustfully’ as it appears in Matthew 5:28 is actually a fraudulent mistranslation found in more recent editions of the Bible. The passage is actually referring to ancient Jewish proprietary rights and the objectification of women and has no relevance to twenty-first century teenagers masturbating to pornography. In our civilization, we no longer view women as property, just as we don’t accept slavery as moral (as Jesus apparently did: Colossians 3:22.) It is also worth remembering that during biblical times, men married at an age considerably below today’s age of consent. It is arguably unconscionable for a person, (especially one who is married,) to suggest that single people must have no sexual outlet whatsoever and suffer it indefinitely, until they marry, which today can often be into their thirties, if at all.
No one person is guaranteed a partner. Such unions are the result of chance and can depend on many factors: financial, an individual’s self-confidence and in some cases – whether or not someone finds them attractive enough to marry. However, the libido is guaranteed and it will show single people absolutely no mercy! Relief is solely in their own hands – until religion pressures them into torturously abstaining.
It is also worth considering that Jesus went on to recommend castration in Matthew 19:12. Despite apologists attempts to retranslate this to mean simply ‘permanent celibacy’ (which is even crueller) the exact translation from the original Greek shows that the word ‘eunuch’ is clear and unambiguous. According to Eusebius – a man who was instrumental in the compilation of the New Testament, the early church scribe Origen of Alexandria, around the year 220 AD, took Matt: 19:12 literally and set about his own groin with a sharpened blade in response to what he read.
So how far is the fundamentalist Christian right prepared to take this? And once again – why? The history of the Catholic Church and its extra-curricular activities provides a good indication of what this particular brand of chastity-sado-masochism can lead to.
Masturbation can become compulsive for some – of that there is no doubt. However, these people are not common if they are taken as a percentage of the overall populace. Similarly, there are people who eat compulsively to the extent that they suffer obesity, high blood pressure and ultimately, an early death. It doesn’t follow that the remainder of the populace must embrace a policy of starvation. The more zealous Christians go as far as to suggest that all pleasant-tasting food should be avoided. St. Paul’s doctrine on people not ‘being mastered’ by their own bodies can lead to extremism as has been shown throughout the history of the church with practises such as self-flagellation. Most are mastered by food to varying degrees, yet some have clearly managed to overcome it, as shown on fashion catwalks around the world. But is it healthy? As aforementioned, there are serious health risks associated with overcoming masturbation also.
Despite the Christian claim that orgasm is for marriage only, it is worth remembering that St. Paul, the founder of Christianity as it is today, suggested that he wished for all people to remain unmarried as he was – going on to cite marriage as the refuge of those who were spiritually weaker. (1 Corinthians 7: 7-9.)
No one would even be able to debate this issue if Paul had had his wish.
He also repeatedly preached that people should flee all sexual desire and ‘deaden their bodily members to their passions’ (Colossians 3:5). It could be argued that these passages are encouragements of global genocide.
It should also be taken into account that when Paul said: ‘Take a wife, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion,’ a woman’s consent to being ‘taken’ was not considered to be a factor in Middle-Eastern culture.
For the most part, it still isn’t.
If Christians decide that they once had a problem with excessive masturbation, they have a tendency to inflict their policy of total abstinence on all others, where the idea that anybody can be different from them is unimaginable. They argue that they are only acting in the best interests of the people, but therein lies the dark side of the agenda. If the people unrepentantly refuse to comply, the Christian God will send them to hell for not acting in their (hypothetical) best interests. Christians have always failed to explain how torturing somebody in fire eternally is in their best interests, which is surprising given that hypocrisy seems to have been the source of Jesus’ ultimate rage.
Given the malevolent nature of this God, it is difficult to comprehend why any person, other than an unimaginably extreme form of masochist, would wish to spend eternity with him.
Assuming, hypothetically, that masturbation had no biological function or health benefits – that it was purely a pleasure for the sake of pleasure, it is so very difficult to understand why aloving God would wish to deny his children this. To give them feelings, senses and an intellect – and then demand that they ignore all of the above poses serious questions about the morality and decency of this deity.
The Morality of the Bible
The Bible illustrates, in detail, God’s ‘perfect’ morality quite clearly with his ordering and endorsing slavery (the denial of an individual’s right to self-determination by another,) the beating of slaves to death (Exodus 21:20-21), multiple accounts of divine-endorsed mass infanticide, including snatching innocent babies out of the arms of their mothers and joyously crushing them to death against rocks (Psalm 137:9; Isaiah 13:16; Hosea 13:16), countless orders of genocide and the destruction and displacement of others, insidious cruelty to innocent animals – and most shocking of all to most (presumably because its easier to relate to) – the rape of thousands of innocent women, whether they were innocent young virgins (Numbers 31:18 et al) or God-sanctioned rapes of innocent women simply to punish their husbands (2 Samuel 12:11-14; Zechariah 14:1-2)
In the Old Testament, these types of incidents are too numerous to list. However, in the New Testament, Jesus seemed to be in total support of them. He clearly endorsed beating slaves (Luke 12:47-48), Paul endorsed slavery (Ephesians 6:5-7 et al) and Peter demanded that slaves find joy in the unjust cruelty of their masters (1 Peter 2:18-21.)
Jesus endorsed all of the cruel laws of the Old Testament (Matt: 5:17-18.) These would include the rules that unruly children, homosexuals and anybody who eats shellfish or collects sticks on the Sabbath must be bludgeoned to death with rocks, how much money to charge for a slave (there was a requirement that females must cost less than males, by the order of God!) and how to identify slaves by driving nails through their ears (Deuteronomy 15:17), etc.
Jesus also implied that any who do not accept him as King should be slain in his sight (Luke 19:27.)
Once again, and exclusive to the New Testament, there is the doctrine of Hell.
Christian apologists use what we call the Trinity of Delusion to justify these atrocities. The first is – It doesn’t quite mean that. This is a self-contradictory proposition. If we add up everything in the Bible that doesn’t mean what it says, then the entire book – God’s vital message to mankind – doesn’t mean what it says.
The second is – You’re taking it out of context. They will then offer either no alternative context, or one that is clearly manufactured with absolutely nothing to verify it. It is also worth noting that different apologists will offer completely different and often immoral contexts to the same biblical atrocity, all failing to present reasons for believing their position other than ‘We’ve just made that up.’ One of the World’s leading Christian apologists, Dr William Lane Craig, when asked about the morality of the slaughter of the Canaanite women and children under the orders of God, responded that those women and children weren’t really the victims. He said that the Israelites who had to commit those acts were really the victims and then asked the audience to imagine how terrible it would have been for them to have had to have done such a thing. This affirms a statement by Nobel Prize winning physicist Steven Weinberg when he said: “Good people do good. Bad people do evil. But for a good person to commit evil – that takes religion.” While Christian apologists don’t necessarily commit evil – it is very clear that they are willing to defend it!
The third and probably most transparent is the ultimate cop-out – You don’t want to listen, so I’m not going to explain it.
Despite these painfully weak attempts at reconciling the Bible with morality, there is no choice in Christianity. According to its tenets, people must follow the way – or they will suffer infinitely. This is the most immoral suggestion in human history. Firstly, a human being cannot commit acts of evil in a finite life that would merit INFINITE punishment. Secondly, the Bible doesn’t say that ‘acts’ are, necessarily, the offences – beliefs are.
What moral God of unconditional love, compassion and great kindness would judge a man on his beliefs over his deeds? And after giving him an intellect that would enable him to learn facts that either contradict, or find NO evidence for the extraordinary events claimed in his anonymously-scribed holy book?
In the case at hand, masturbation must be substituted for indefinite, unjustified struggle. Failure must be followed by repentance or the penalty will be eternal torture.
For the majority of people, these teachings fall considerably below their minimum standard for morality. This is everything that the democratic West claims to be opposed to: cruelty, totalitarianism – and terrorism. And yet there are many democratic citizens who embrace these teachings, whose ability to reason has been compromised into accepting the denial of their very fundamental human rights on account of it.
Yet, they always seem so happy.
The elation Christians display could be likened to the joy of the ‘Stepford Wives’ and is reminiscent of a scene from Monty Python’s The Life of Brian, where a bearded prisoner was shackled to a stone wall in a Roman gaol crying out joyously: “Great race, the Romans!” – Literally worshipping his own captors.
There is a term for this. It is called Stockholm syndrome, which occurs when people are subjected to terror at the hands of others. Reports show that victims of kidnapping and hostages whose lives have been threatened by their captors can develop an empathy with those who oppress them (Nils Bejerot: The six day war in Stockholm New Scientist 1974, volume 61, number 886, page 486-487.) Accounts show how such victims have even provided legal defence for the terrorists who have held them at gunpoint for the very crimes committed against them, corresponded with them in prison – and have even gone on to marry them! They develop a joyous euphoria born out of absolute terror when their minds try to latch onto the hope that their captors ‘can’t be all that bad.’ This can eventually evolve into: ‘They’re actually quite good,’ until it reaches: ‘There must be a good reason why they’re doing this. I must help them.’ Similarly, Christians will go to any lengths to defend the atrocities of their imaginary God and attempt to justify why, in his loving mercy, he wants them to torture themselves with the ‘gift’ of chastity. This so-called ‘blessing’ is in fact the malady that presents itself as the cure, resulting in countless incidents of shame, neurosis and psychological damage, whilst those responsible continue to indulge the delusion of their born-again euphoria.
The anti-masturbation doctrine so often appears to be promoted by individuals who have, in some way, experienced a sense of powerlessness in their lives. Having no control over one’s circumstances can be traumatizing, but to what extent is it moral to regain empowerment by seeking to control others and to leave a trail of mental anguish in one’s wake? There is no doubt that this teaching damages far more people than it ‘helps,’ given its astronomical failure rate. The proponent’s defence to this is usually to attribute that failure to the ‘sinful nature’ of the victim and indefinable clichés such as ‘they are not fully walking in the spirit.’ Advocates of the doctrine always claim that they are merely doing the ‘Lord’s work’ thereby establishing a continuous policy of zero-accountability for the harm that they cause.
Occasionally, they simply blame other churches. – “You’ve been damaged. I’m so sorry. We’re not like that…but you still shouldn’t do it!”
The Libidinous Power of Denial
One of the arguments Christians use against masturbation is that it is fuelled by pornography – an industry many claim is rife with the abuse of women (although there are even more first-hand accounts of porn stars to contradict those claims.)
If the claims of abuse within the porn industry are true (which seems to be highly questionable,) the issue of cruelty on set must be addressed as with any other form of abuse. If an impoverished woman is asked to endure brutal sexual acts for the camera and told by producers and directors that she will never work (earn) again if she doesn’t comply, that is coercion, leading to compromised consent. Ultimately, it would be a form of cruelty, rape and terrorism.
But at what point does this heinously extreme view of masturbation NOT become cruelty and terrorism on the opposite end on the scale?
There is cause for suspicion when Christian evangelists continue to promote the anti-masturbation message. Take account of the fact that prohibiting or shaming it will cause a conscious desperation for it, subsequently increasing the desire one hundred fold. Nobody wants anything more than that which they can’t have. It is likely even more arousing than pornography itself. Statistics show that pornography use among Christians is considerably higher than among the secular community.
This adds yet another layer of suspicion to this entire doctrine. In Catholicism, many believe that the masturbation rule to have been implemented as a congregation trap, with the knowledge that nobody would be able to live up to it. Consequently, this creates a continuous line of attendees at the confessional and tithe-offering repenters. If people can be persuaded to surrender their rights to their own bodies and thoughts, it becomes child’s play to persuade them to surrender the contents of their wallets.
The potential financial benefits of the anti-masturbation doctrine should not be discounted.
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
Masturbation is a natural biological function. This is attested to by a wealth of academic, medical research and knowledge. However, Christianity uses the words of unqualified, completely anonymous and falsely-ascribed authors from the Bronze Age, most of whom had a clear political agenda, to argue against that knowledge. In so doing, it inflicts unjustified guilt and shame upon the innocent and unlearned, along with maddeningly heightening their libidos. If the guilt-trip proves to be ineffective, it shifts its game to terrorism with the promise of eternal damnation.
There is a truly serious issue here if we value our freedom. Brainwashing negates free choice. Totalitarianism is the unlimited application of authority that strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible. Totalitarian policies include restriction of movement, restriction of reading material and entertainment, and the prohibition of certain inter-personal relationships.
However, when people are pressured into embracing doctrines that say they have no right to their own thoughts (Exodus 20:17 and Matthew 5:28) and no right to their own bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19) under the threat of hellfire for any who refuse to repent; that truly is, not only sadistic, but the final frontier – of tyranny!
Posted: June 20th, 2012 | Author: Darwin Harmless | Filed under: freedom of speech and rule of law, Personal issues, sexuality, Uncategorized | No Comments »
I usually try not to comment on stuff that’s being thoroughly covered by the Freethought bloggers. So I’ve had nothing to say about Elevatorgate. But this issue just won’t go away. Now Ophelia Benson has withdrawn from TAM because of death threats. Some idiot commenting on Greta Christina’s Facebook page said he’d need proof before he’d believe her. Greta told him to go fuck himself. Naomi Gutierrez defended the idiot, and dissed Greta for reacting to him. And the whole exciting skeptic/atheist community seems to be bitching at each other and forming contentious factions. Must be time for me to comment.
First of all, let me say that Richard Dawkins is a major hero of mine. I’ve read all his books. I think the man is brilliant, and has given the whole atheist movement considerable visibility and credibility. It breaks my heart to see him being pig headed and stupid, but there you go. He was wrong. He should have apologized. He should have apologized and meant it.
Richard Dawkins says that nobody has explained to him why he should apologize, but this is not true. It’s been explained, and explained very well. He’s just too steeped in white male privilege to be able to understand why he was wrong. So, Richard, on the infinitesimal chance that you will read this, here’s why you were wrong. Rebecca Watson was not making a big deal out of the guy on the elevator, certainly not a big enough deal for you to suggest a contrasting comparison to Middle Eastern victims of abuse. She was simply pointing out that if we want women at conferences, we should think about what kinds of behavior make them uncomfortable, and not do it. Your comment trivialized a very legitimate issue for many women. Your after the fact justification is downright fatuous. “No escape? I am now really puzzled. Here’s how you escape from an elevator. You press any one of the buttons conveniently provided. The elevator will obligingly stop at a floor, the door will open and you will no longer be in a confined space but in a well-lit corridor in a crowded hotel in the centre of Dublin. ”
Richard, it was three in the morning. All a man has to do is reach over and flip a switch and none of those buttons will work anymore. But that is beside the point. Rebecca was just pointing out that the situation made her uncomfortable. That was all. She didn’t deserve to have a man of your standing and reputation publicly call her an idiot. I don’t think you know who you are, Richard, or how much weight your opinion has. On this issue you came down solidly on the wrong side, on the side of jerks who think that any opportunity for a proposition is okay, as long as they are meek and mild about it and will take no for an answer. Well, it isn’t okay in an elevator at three in the morning, and you stepped out of line to legitimize such behavior.
Without making this about myself, because it isn’t, it’s about women, let me see if I can explain vulnerability in a way that you could understand. I’ve felt it only once in my life. Years ago I had a back spasm that left me nearly crippled. I could barely move. I was walking with baby steps, standing carefully very upright, in incredible pain. I came out of a physiotherapist’s office and made my way down to the sidewalk, holding the hand rail. Then I started to make my baby steps way homeward. At that point, an obviously demented and filthy street person confronted me, making animalistic growling noises. I realized that if the man attacked me, I was completely helpless. Normally I would feel no fear at all in such a situation, but that time I was freaking out, trapped in a body that could not protect me. And for the first time I felt what many women must feel. Vulnerable. Defenseless. It is a horrible feeling, Richard. Now, if I were to complain about this some people might tell me that I’m over reacting. After all, nothing happened. The man didn’t touch me. I just felt uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable. But that was enough. Most people would sympathize with my feelings, and allow me to think that the man’s aggression justified some concern. Few would tell me that my situation was nothing compared to, say, what black people feel at a KKK rally.
Many women feel vulnerable. It is in our own best interests, as concerned and caring men, to recognize their feelings and to try to accommodate them. This means don’t make them feel vulnerable. This means don’t proposition them in an elevator at three in the morning unless you’ve been getting unmistakable come fuck me signals all evening. Even then, don’t do it. If she wants further company, let her ask for it.
Richard, you should have thanked Rebecca Watson for bringing this to our attention, and letting us know that we shouldn’t proposition women in elevators at three in the morning. It’s something I could have done, and obviously you could have done, without giving it a moment’s thought. But instead of thanking her, you belittled her and trivialized her feelings. In public. With all the weight of your considerable reputation and authority. That’s why you are wrong, and that’s why you should apologize.
It’s fine to think that Rebecca’s issue is trivial. But don’t say that out loud. A man in your position should have the good sense not to express this thought. You came off as mean spirited, inconsiderate, and lacking empathy. And these are also reasons why you should apologize. Why is this so hard? You were wrong. Just admit it, and let’s all move on. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. But please, Richard, if you finally come to your senses and decide to apologize, please don’t give us all a notpology. Don’t try to justify or explain, you’ve already done that and it only made you look worse. Just admit you were wrong and say you are sorry. Because you were wrong.
As for the recent Ophelia Benson with TAM and death threats situation, please guys, do not even think about suggesting that you need proof before you will believe her. Why the hell would you not believe her? Do not for a minute trivialize her concerns, or the concerns of other women. Most of all, do not tell women to shut up about this issue. We need to hear them. We need to do something when a man makes inappropriate comments, calls women sexist names, or otherwise creates an unpleasant atmosphere for women in the skeptical/atheist movement.
Finally, women, please keep in mind that we have enemies. Before you react harshly to something a man says on the Internet, please try to make sure you aren’t reacting to some right wing Christian sock puppet who would like to see our movement founder in vitriol and strife over bullshit. Do not put this past them. We know that while they have the morals of pond slime and no integrity at all, they are not stupid when it comes to promoting their beliefs, or discrediting ours. Let’s try our best to cool emotions and be nice to each other.
It’s very sad to see what is happening with TAM. James Randi deserves better. We all do. So let’s clean up our act. Publicly and quickly. Please.