Jen McCreight gives birth to AtheismPlus

Posted: January 16, 2013 in The highs and lows of pseudo-skepticism

August 18th 2012

Jen McCreight (JM) was an ambitious student who was deeply involved in her local campus activism. Her conception and launch of the Society of Non-Theists at Purdue University could be looked at as the start of her leadership role in the community. Jen continued to expand her footprint by volunteering as a board member of the Secular Student Alliance.

Jen later remodelled her role in activism to include topics of feminism and social justice.

As part of her ever increasing vocal activism on social justice issues, Jen set into motion a response to news reports claiming Iran’s Hojatoleslam Kazem Seddiqi blamed women who dress immodestly are the primary cause of earthquakes. Behold. We now have Boobquake.

This stunt backfired spectacularly as Jen claimed she started receiving vulgar and sexist emails and sexual invitations from strangers around the country. Jen claims that this sort of behaviour continued during the course of any speaking engagements she attended.

Jen continued to blog about feminism and social justice issues and as a result noted the relentless bombardment of negative comments and sexist insults filling up her ‘comments’ space.

As a writer, Jen covered some stories circulating around the blogosphere relating the aggressive campaigns and discussions on the elevatorGATE episode and several discussions focusing on what she understands is sexual harassment at skeptic conventions.

Jen McCreight was of the opinion the current atheism movement is considered to be very much a boy’s club. Although she feels she was accepted, however, only conditionally, as a brick of diversity in the wall of white male cisgendered middle class privileged leadership.

JM makes claims her attendance at TAM was welcomed, as long as she joked and giggled about boob jokes, but immediately became persona non grata at any mention of sexual harassment issues.

Jen McCreight decided once and for all that the current atheism movement was indeed in need of an overhaul with the implementation of social justice and feminism undertones.

I’m working with others to hopefully start an atheist/skeptical organization specifically focused on issues of equality.

The “first wave” of atheism were the traditional philosophers, freethinkers, and academics. Then came the second wave of “New Atheists” like Dawkins and Hitchens, whose trademark was their unabashed public criticism of religion. Now it’s time for a third wave – a wave that isn’t just a bunch of “middle-class, white, cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied men” patting themselves on the back for debunking homeopathy for the 983258th time or thinking up yet another great zinger to use against Young Earth Creationists. It’s time for a wave that cares about how religion affects everyone and that applies skepticism to everything, including social issues like sexism, racism, politics, poverty, and crime. We can criticize religion and irrational thinking just as unabashedly and just as publicly, but we need to stop exempting ourselves from that criticism.

The Boy’s Club may have historically ruled the movement, but they don’t own it. We can.

.

Jen believes it’s time for a new new new new wave of atheism and thus Atheism Plus was born.

August 19th 2012

The brain child published a brief description of what Atheism+ stands to represent.

We are…
Atheists plus we care about social justice,
Atheists plus we support women’s rights, (what about men’s rights?)
Atheists plus we protest racism,
Atheists plus we fight homophobia and transphobia,
Atheists plus we use critical thinking and skepticism.

The following excerpts are published on the Atheism+ FAQs page.

What is Atheism Plus?

Atheism Plus is a term used to designate spaces, persons, and groups dedicated to promoting social justice and countering misogyny, racism, homo/bi/transphobia, ableism and other such bigotry inside and outside of the atheist community.

Isn’t this an attempt to redefine atheism?

Atheism Plus does not attempt to conflate atheism with feminism or any other ideology. It does not call for the incorporation of liberal values into the definition of atheism. The “Plus” should be understood as meaning “in addition to” the dictionary definition of atheism, which is still respected as being no more or less than a conclusion on the matter of the existence of gods. It is up to each individual to determine which values they wish to connect to their atheism if any.

Both words are synonymous with combine. Thanks for clearing that up, kinda.

 

Atheism Plus prides itself on this mission statement.

Atheism+ is a safe space for people to discuss how religion affects everyone and to apply skepticism and critical thinking to everything, including social issues like sexism, racism, GLBT issues, politics, poverty, and crime.

The forum is listed on public search engines and is accessible by anyone who wishes to participate. The profound idiocy of the claim such a forum can be considered a “safe space” is beyond all measures of stupidity. The description of a “safe space” could be understood correctly if the forum was accessible to only those who receive private invitations for registration thus keeping the forum underground and away from public access.

Several discussions emerged on the validity of the label adopted by the new snowflake forum.

Does Atheism+ represent atheism? Does Atheism+ represent feminism? Does Atheism+ represent minority groups? Does Atheism+ apply critical thinking? Does Atheism+ plan to be the new wave of atheism? Does Atheism+ hope to replace the current list of heroes advocating for atheism?

Some interesting facts and figures about Atheism+

The statistics gathered for the purpose of writing this blog were collected on Monday 14th January 2013 AEST.

Since it’s launch in August 2012, the membership has grown to just over 2400 members and a respectable 62442 posts covering 3111 topics.

  • 2404 registered members.
  • 812 members have not contributed to any posts or comments.
  • 304 members have posted just once on the forum. If the forum rules are to be observed correctly, this first post must be used to introduce yourself before posting any content on the forum.
  • 169 members have registered a grand total of just two posts/comments since the launch of the Atheism+ forum.

Above is listed the top 15 commenters on the forum. This elite group of forum huggers populate 39.13% of the total forum content.

“Ceepolk” has the prestigious title of Kingpin @ 4.61% of the entire board content. (2881 posts).

I can understand the high volume of posts from Kingpin Ceepolk, as he (or she) has the role of  moderator who’s job it is to sniff out each and every trigger warning and incorrect use of privilege. Thanks to Ceepolk, the forum members can be assured Atheism+ is as safe as homeopathic medicine.

“maiforpeace” comes in at a close second with 4.04% of total posts throughout the board. (2510 posts)

That’s an average of 13~14 posts per day since the site’s launch.

Some funny and useless facts about the site.

  • 104 banned members. 13 of these members have a zero post count.
  • The queenbee herself “BlagHag” siteadmin (Jen McCreight) has a total post count of 35, but digging deeper using the advanced search feature, this post count drops to a grand total of 14.

The forum has received negative reviews from all over the interwebs including Twitter, Facebook and many blog publications.

Approximately six months has passed and Jen McCreight’s genius invention lovechild is no longer a project she feels deeply concerned about.

Jen jumps ship and drops a few comments on twitter about it.

Jennifer McCreight ‏@jennifurret
@JerryConlon @eclint leave me alone. I haven’t looked at the atheism+ forums since they were made. I don’t care. I’ve moved on from atheism

Jennifer McCreight ‏@jennifurret
@D4M10N No, hence why I have nothing to do with it. I can’t stand any of you atheists any more, even the “liberal” ones

Jennifer McCreight ‏@jennifurret
@idebunkforme @JerryConlon @eclint I’m still an atheist, I’m just sick of the atheist movement

So, what’s next for Jen’s aborted genius baby? Only time will tell.

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