This wasn’t a story I expected. I don’t really keep track of PZ Myers, among Atheists, he isn’t really on my radar. That said, it seems he was given an unfortunate task.
Someone he knows, a woman who remains anonymous, has called out atheist Michael Shermer for rape. The woman says that Michael Shermer not only raped her, but she was dismissed by the staff at the conference they were both attending at the time.
It seems that Myer’s relationship with Shermer is not the best, so there has been some talk that this may be a grudge action. It also isn’t something that can be so easily dismissed.
Me? I don’t know what to think, and I’m thankful that my own thoughts on this matter won’t carry much weight.
The first thought I had when I saw this was the history of sexual abuse in the catholic church (surprise, atheist thinks of criticizing religion). Not as if they are equal, but that they stand in an odd contrast.
To defend brothers, and out of fear of damaging the public view of their faith, and other reasons likely personal to each priest, the priesthood has tried to hide away its shameful acts.
PZ Myers has done the opposite, for the same reason. Without the full facts, he sees himself as having no choice but to call out Shermer’s (alleged) disgusting acts. It is to defend the image of atheists, secularists, humanists, that he had to act beyond the law, instead of remaining silent.
Of course, this could all be a lie, and Myers could be trying to destroy another man’s reputation.
My hope, before anything else, is that there is some investigation. If it is true that a rape happened, even if it was a long time ago, I would want the facts in the open. Only with the truth peered into can we clear or punish Shermer, and protect innocents.
I don’t think there are many people who would ask for anything different, even among my religious brothers and sisters.