I’m really saddened by all this infighting, not because there is disagreement on how to approach these matters — such disagreement is inevitable, even healthy — but because it is becoming so personal and nasty. I think John has done and continues to do very important work; I would not have invited him to join FTB in the first place if that were not true. And I do understand his decision to leave FTB and do not harbor any ill will at all over it. I hope he continues to do the great work he’s always done at his own blog. But it is also clear to me that John is incredibly thin-skinned. Even civil disagreement, such as Natalie’s post, is called an “attack” by “mean-spirited” people who are out to get him. Natalie may well be wrong in her criticism — who among us has not been at times? — but that is easily responded to in an equally civil manner rather than with “Oh my god, they’re attacking me!”Okay, let's give this a rest, please, please. I value the contributions of Freethought Blogs immensely. It seems they value mine. Great. Now let's move on. I dispute that I'm thinned skinned though. I've taken the heat from the other side for years. I do however, feel that the criticisms coming from my own side have more of an effect on me because I don't want to feel like I'm going it alone. Sometimes it feels that way.
At the same time, I think some of his worst critics have been every bit as ridiculous; anyone who thought his declaration that he was going to “turn his guns” on some of the people here meant he was going to actually shoot someone is massively overreacting. He clearly meant that metaphorically. Is there anyone who hasn’t used such a metaphor at one time or another? Did anyone really think that John Loftus was going to kill someone? I simply can’t imagine anyone could believe that. It was just a convenient way to bash him and unfair to the point of absurdity.
I wish everyone would just back away from the ledge a bit. John Loftus is a very important member of the atheist community. Yes, I think he can be a bit of a prima donna and has a persecution complex that is too easily triggered, but that doesn’t detract from the brilliance or necessity of his writing. And John, I wish you’d stop taking any criticism so personally. We have disagreements among us, both on substance and on tactics. PZ and I went 10 rounds over this a few years ago, calling each other nasty names in an episode I think we’d both like to take back. But we decided to put that rancor in the past and behave like adults. There are disagreements among the FTB bloggers on many issues, and we have often debated them on our blogs in a civil manner. The fact that John is no longer at FTB should not change that dynamic at all, for either side. Link.