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Monday, August 27, 2012

Atheism+: The New New Atheists

By Rick Pearcey • August 27, 2012, 12:00 PM

"This new movement has an energy that makes it hard to ignore," booms the New Statesman.

But before you drink that last drop of atheistic Kool-Aid, note that "a number of incidents have served to crystallise the sense that all is not right in the world of unbelief."

That would be incidents involving females. For example:

Most notoriously, there was "Elevatorgate", an late-night incident in a lift during an atheist conference in Dublin during which the blogger Rebecca Watson was propositioned. Her subsequent public complaint about the man's behaviour and sexual harassment within the Skeptic movement drew criticism from Richard Dawkins himself and fuelled an ugly flame war. She received, and continues to receive, rape and death threats. 

And then there's the unfortunate aftermath of "boobquake," which made Atheism+ creator Jean McCreight wake up, from her elevatorist slumbers, as it were.  

"The first item on the Atheism+ agenda, then, is a cleansing one," forewarns New Statesman

"McCreight herself says: 'We need to recognize that there’s still room for self-improvement and to address the root of why we’ve been having these problems in atheism and skepticism.'"

Another female, Greta Christina, "has gone so far as to devise a checklist of goals to which atheist organisations should aspire, including anti-harassment policies and ensuring diversity among both members and invited speakers. 'To remember that not all atheists look like Richard Dawkins.'"