So he responded to that last email with:
On Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 7:25 AM, robert white <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
There is no message when the delivery is so repugnant.
And here’s my response.
Precisely. When you talk about the tone of an atheist’s comments using sexualized and demeaning language, you have no message.
I’m glad we can agree on that point.
Your delivery was repugnant; it lacked any demonstration on your part to show “responsibility to be as dignified, intelligent, rational, measured and believable as possible”. Those are your stated standards, by the way, not mine. If you are really committed to being dignified, intelligent, rational, measured and believable in your protestations of atheism to a deistic world, why be undignified, immoderate and hidebound towards a fellow atheist? The deists are clever buggers on occasion, and they’ll catch you being inconsistent and give you a hard time.
By your own standards, you have given everyone who reads that note to Skepchick permission to dismiss it because it’s repugnant and even if it wasn’t, there’s no argument / debate / dialogue / call for clarification. Arguments against tone aren’t arguments. They are, and always will be, an acknowledgement of rhetorical failure. Throwing sexual insults into the mix while clinging to words like dignified makes you look … how? How do you wish to be perceived? On one hand you’re claiming the moral high ground, and then you throw it all away by the atheist equivalent of sectarian violence. (Which of course leaves no one dead, making it intrinsically superior).
As for you being a militant atheist while alternately ignoring and railing against how your public speech and attitudes are not in step with the more forward thinking aspects of contemporary atheism, good luck with that. You remind me of the Catholic priests who continued to celebrate Mass in Latin after Vatican II. Most Catholics were happy to ditch the Latin, but there will always be traditionalists. Your version of atheism isn’t mine; mine is messy, fluid, raucous, fun loving, and inclusive of strange and queer and diverse and under-represented voices, even yours, if only as a cautionary sample of how the unscientific and undignified ways of misogyny penetrate even our lofty halls of intellectual superiority.
There was precious little reasoning or dignity in what you said to Skepchick, and you completely dodged any questions I asked. I did not seek to censor, merely to understand, and if you can’t see how being a misogynist in public doesn’t serve atheism, I can’t see how talking to you any further would help either of us.
Good day to you, sir.
I am wondering if Robert really is an atheist at all. Some of what he says just don’t ring true. However, trolls come in all shapes and sizes, I’ve been a troll meself, so I know.