Will the Friendly Atheist Ever Learn?

As we all know, the Friendly Atheist blog has long promoted The Satanic Temple.  Yet Jex Blackmore, who had been a national spokesperson for the satanic social justice group for some time, recently wrote an article where she publicly accuses the organization of being racist and sexist and claims that she and other women in the group have been sexually harassed:

View at Medium.com

As one of the few visible and prominent female voices in TST, I endured countless threats, harassment, and violations.

[…]

Over the years, members and chapter heads have requested and proposed the implementation of a gender, sexual, and racial diversity policy to ensure equity within TST leadership and alignment to the mission. The demand was not simply ignored but completely dismissed. The demand was not hollow; there was a clear and pressing need for this policy. While I was part of the organization, I witnessed male members of the organization exploit their position and influence to behave inappropriately and disrespectfully towards women. I myself experienced harassment and abuse from members who have now left the organization. I was not supported by leadership during these times, but was asked to let it all “blow over.”

Blackmore even implies financial issues:

Members of the public donate money to support TST’s campaigns in regards to women’s rights and religious liberty lawsuits and events. However, despite many requests from Temple chapters, the organization refuses to share how these donated funds are spent. Currently, there is no way of knowing if the money donated actually supports their legal actions. In fact, as far as I know, members do not know how they fund the products in their store, the gallery in Salem, or the many lawsuits they’ve taken on. Countless lawsuits have been announced or “planned,” many have not been followed through, and often times, the legal actions are strategically sloppy. Dozens of dedicated, supportive chapters across the country regularly commit their time and resources to raising money for the Temple. Yet members have no voice in how the money is spent, they do not decide how it’s allocated, and they do not know where it goes. Unlike other charitable groups, there is no public organizing board or regular financial disclosures and there’s zero oversight.

What’s more, several years ago, Blackmore drew attention to some old podcasts with Lucien Greaves (Doug Mesner), leader of the satanists. According to someone who listened to it, Greaves mocked the 911 victims and  Oklahoma City Bombing:

I’ve listened to some of the first link in that thread. Its a marathon show that is literally 24 hours long, so I haven’t had time to listen to the whole thing. That said, what I have heard is disturbing and terrible. They start out mocking 9/11 victims, exactly as the original post describes. Later, Greaves/Mesner says the only mistake Timothy McVeigh made when committing the Oklahoma City bombing was killing the kids in daycare center and that the media played that aspect up to villianize McVeigh. The he kind of half walks that back when Shane says that the only mistake McVeigh made was making sure the children’s parents weren’t in the building to die with them, and that since those children were cop’s children, who gives a fuck. Shane says fucked up racist, homophobic, anti-semetic, violent shit constantly and Greave/Mesner giggles beside him, except when he chimes in to use racial/homophobic slurs himself.

You would think that activist Hemant Mehta would be savvy enough to distance himself from this hateful group, but then again, Mehta has a history of promoting people like Lawrence Krauss and David Silverman.  Perhaps he is used to the egg on his face.

But here’s the thing – I can’t seem to find any place where activist Mehta has commented on Jex Blackmore’s public accusations and claims (at least according to Google).  Given how Mehta is so plugged in to the activist scene, and given his consistent promotion of TST over the years, he surely knows about it.  So why the silence?

When she writes, “I endured countless threats, harassment, and violations,” doesn’t Mehta believe her?

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12 Responses to Will the Friendly Atheist Ever Learn?

  1. unclesporkums says:

    Well, he’s on the chauvinist side, I guess. Loser.

  2. Kevin says:

    Atheists such as Mehta have one principle: undermine Christianity. Anything else is acceptable collateral damage until they get caught, apologize, and then pretend it never happened.

  3. John Branyan says:

    Is somebody going to get around to asking Blackmore what sort of ideals she was expecting from pro-Satan group? I’m having a hard time feeling sorry for her.

    Mehta doesn’t think. If he did, he couldn’t be an atheist. I’ll guess the answer to the question is, “No. He will never learn.”

  4. Dhay says:

    Kevin > Atheists such as Mehta have one principle: undermine Christianity. Anything else is acceptable collateral damage until they get caught, apologize, and then pretend it never happened.

    There’s a lovely little book which I chanced upon recently, it’s the Rev. David Robertson’s “The Dawkins Letters: Challenging Atheist Myths”. In the first letter, written to Richard Dawkins in the Winter of 2006/7 concerning The God Delusion, he writes:

    Well, I have read it. I did expect to be challenged You are after all ‘one of the world’s top three intellectuals’ (as the book jacket reminds us). Of course The God Delusion was well written, very entertaining and passionate. But at an intellectual and logical level it really misses the mark. Most of the arguments are of sixth-form schoolboy variety and shot through with a passionate anti-religious vehemence.

    What is disturbing is that your fundamentalist atheism will actually be taken seriously by some and will be used to reinforce their already prejudged anti-religion and anti-Christian stance. Your arguments will be repeated ad nauseum in newspaper letters, columns, opinion pages, pubs and dinner tables throughout the land.

    You will forgive me saying this but it seems remarkably similar to the kind of thing that ‘intellectuals’ were putting out in 1930’s Germany [**] about the Jews and Judaism. Just as they claimed the Jews were responsible for all the ills in Weimar Germany, so according to your book religious people today are responsible for the majority of ills in today’s society.

    When I read this I recognised it as describing a US website which is virulently anti-Christian and whose “fundamentalist atheism will actually be taken seriously by some and will be used to reinforce their already prejudged anti-religion and anti-Christian stance”; a website, which is crammed each and every day with the strongest attacks upon Christians, a website according to which “religious people today are responsible for the majority of ills in today’s society”.

    It’s the Friendly Atheist blog.

    (Among a number of other virulently anti-Christian blogs and FaceBook groups.)

    The parallel Robertson draws between 1930’s attacks on Jews and current attacks on Christians is sobering.

    *

    [ ** Robertson was so perturbed by how a society like Nazi Germany could develop, he made Weimar Germany his specialist study at university.]

  5. unclesporkums says:

    That is just too good (or bad as the case may be)

  6. TFBW says:

    Kevin said:

    Atheists such as Mehta have one principle: undermine Christianity.

    That’s not a principle: it’s a goal — an end. Principles are what put constraints on the acceptable means to reach the end. Thus, “the end justifies the means,” is the ultimate repudiation of principles.

    It’s not clear to me whether Mehta has any principles. I can’t identify any, but I don’t pay him so much attention that I can attest to the actual absence of them. Unprincipled behaviour seems to be increasingly common, though.

  7. Dhay says:

    > Blackmore even implies financial issues:

    “Members of the public donate money to support TST’s campaigns in regards to women’s rights and religious liberty lawsuits and events. However, despite many requests from Temple chapters, the organization refuses to share how these donated funds are spent. Currently, there is no way of knowing if the money donated actually supports their legal actions. In fact, as far as I know, members do not know how they fund the products in their store, the gallery in Salem, or the many lawsuits they’ve taken on. Countless lawsuits have been announced or “planned,” many have not been followed through, and often times, the legal actions are strategically sloppy. Dozens of dedicated, supportive chapters across the country regularly commit their time and resources to raising money for the Temple. Yet members have no voice in how the money is spent, they do not decide how it’s allocated, and they do not know where it goes. Unlike other charitable groups, there is no public organizing board or regular financial disclosures and there’s zero oversight.”

    http://www.medium.com/@JexBlackmore/the-struggle-for-justice-is-ongoing-6df38f8893db

    We’ve seen financial mismanagement and misdirection of funds before, at the Richard Dawkins Foundation in the Josh Timonen fiasco; more recently, David Silverman seems to have been off promoting his book on American Atheists time. What’s new?

    Evidence that The Satanic Temple has lived up to the Jex Blackmore description is their Baphomet statue. It cost $100,000, raised by crowdsourcing, and instead of adorning their HQ as an idol or symbol, as you would expect of something so costly, was commissioned with the specific intention of erecting it opposite a Ten Commandments monument outside Oklahoma City’s Capitol Building:

    The bronze statue is nearly 9ft tall and depicts a winged hermaphrodite known as Baphomet, flanked by two smiling children. It cost $100,000 (£64,000) to make and hundreds of Satanists turned out to see it unveiled.

    Long term, the Satanic Temple wants to move the piece 900 miles (1,450km) south-west and erect it opposite a Ten Commandments monument outside Oklahoma City’s Capitol Building.

    This plan was thrown into doubt when Oklahoma’s Supreme Court ruled that the use of state property to benefit a religion is banned under the state constitution – the fate of both the Satanist statue and the Ten Commandments monument is now unclear.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-33682878

    They commissioned a $100,000 statue (as an ‘up-yours’ to go opposite a Ten Commandments monument) knowing full well there was a court case in progress which could make it redundant; as it did. They’ve got more money than sense, I’d say, and I’d certainly say they lack some very basic management and financial management skills.

    But the Blackmore quote looks like it refers to much more than that one-off, a more pervasive problem.

  8. stcordova says:

    Question: “Will the Friendly Atheist Ever Learn?”

    Answer: “No.”

  9. unclesporkums says:

    lol, the abbreviated answer

  10. Dhay says:

    The Friendly Atheist blog, specifically Hemany Mehta himself, is now claiming that “Indiana Residents Are Furious That Satanists Are Picking Up Trash on the Highway”:

    http://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2018/09/13/indiana-residents-are-furious-that-satanists-are-picking-up-trash-on-the-highway/

    They’re not furious that the Satanists are picking up roadside trash, the linked news article makes plain what they are pissed off with is having a sign advertising The Satanic Temple outside their homes. Apparently only one sign would have a worse effect on the residents’ house values, and that’s a Klu Klux Klan sign.

    Go figure the esteem the The Satanic Temple is held in.

    But when it goes out of its way to be in-your-face offensive to Christians — and Mehta’s plainly delighted each and every time it does so — it’s hypocritical of Mehta to complain when Christians are in-your-face offended.

    As it is hypocritical of Mehta to misrepresent local residents.

    *

    The Satanic Temple is plainly a darling of Mehta’s:

    http://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/?s=Satani

    If they so much as clean a road verge or a beach [**] Mehta gives it glowing publicity. Not forgetting to link to the ethical Tenets. Do I detect Mehta is a closet Satanist?

    *

    ** Do the Satanists clean etc because they are nice ethical people or because they are publicity hungry seekers after more PR — good PR on those occasions, for a change. I do wonder. In my area of the UK there’s volunteers out cleaning road verges on a regular basis, as needed; there’s no signs bar the ‘workers in road’ warning signs for their safety, no publicity for them, they’re just community-spirited people.

  11. unclesporkums says:

    Again, just like his little orphanage ploy, Mehta is a dishonest creep.

  12. Dhay says:

    Dhay > There’s a lovely little book which I chanced upon recently, it’s the Rev. David Robertson’s “The Dawkins Letters: Challenging Atheist Myths”.

    I find the entirety of that lovely little book — his response to Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion — is online, with a chapter navigation panel near top left, at:

    https://www.bethinking.org/atheism/the-dawkins-letters

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