From 15 June 2016, Atheist Ireland is moving our Facebook discussions from our existing Atheist Ireland Connect group, which we are closing, to a private Facebook group which will be open only to members of Atheist Ireland. We will continue to post articles on our Facebook page. We are always happy to discuss our work elsewhere with anyone who wishes to do so constructively.
Recently some people online have decided to invent increasingly bizarre and serious allegations against Atheist Ireland and our members. Even by the lowest of Internet standards, where words effectively cease to have meanings, these claims are both despicable and delusional.
In a kafkaesque reversal of reality, while we have been consistently working for an ethical secular world with freedom of religion or belief, freedom from discrimination and equality before the law for everybody, these people have associated us with racism, fascism, neo-nazism, paedophile apologism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, transmisogyny, hate speech, bigotry, ‘Islamophobia’, Stormfront, Pegida, Scientology, and leaving battered women in hijabs on the street.
We have learned from repeated experience that the internet is not always conducive to truth seeking or civil dialogue, that some people seem to have no problems with reversing reality and ignoring basic ethical concepts such as empathy, fairness and justice, and that it is an exercise in futility trying to engage reasonably online with such people.
Atheist Ireland will from now on be focusing on our work of promoting atheism, reason and ethical secularism, through our political lobbying, our social and information activities, and our work assisting individuals facing prejudice and discrimination. We are all volunteers, and we are working on many important national and international projects that require our close attention.
We will be using our online presence to promote our work, not to provide online forums for people to undermine our work. We are closing the Atheist Ireland Connect Facebook group, as some people continue to try to discredit Atheist Ireland by misrepresenting and falsely attributing to us sentiments that are posted there by people who are not members of Atheist Ireland. Only members of the management committee are spokespersons for Atheist Ireland.
Atheist Ireland as an organisation will from now on either ignore what we consider unconstructive online interactions, or else we may direct people to this statement or, if necessary, respond otherwise as we see appropriate. Individual members, including management committee members, may of course choose to interact personally with people in ways other than this. If they do so, they are speaking on their own behalf and not on behalf of Atheist Ireland.
You can join Atheist Ireland at http://atheist.ie/information/join/
Atheist Ireland is voluntary organisation. We receive no State funding and employ no paid staff. We rely entirely on membership fees and donations to continue campaigning for ethical secularism, the rights of atheists and the separation of church and state. We have already made a big difference in the campaign for freedom of religion and belief in Ireland and internationally for atheists and religious minorities. Please join Atheist Ireland and help us to intensify this work.