Okay, now my own encounter, which is in the form of an open letter to Roseanne.
Dear Roseanne Barr,
Having become aware of your comments you may remember I tweeted the following...
Note that I wasn't offensive and did not swear, nor did I do so at any time during our exchange, however much you wished to provoke me. This was a courtesy I extended you but that you neither reciprocated nor, in hindsight, deserved.
As you'll have seen from the blogs above, you made a very poorly worded tweet that implied that atheists are anti-Semitic and then compounded the situation. This didn't stop your sheepish followers wading in defending you with such lovely comments as this...
See? No 'many' there so maybe Paul should look in the mirror and go bye bye.
This is the tweet that caused the initial trouble and one that you, Roseanne, quickly deleted when called on it and replaced with one saying 'many atheists are anti semitic'. Had you displayed the common decency and apologised for the original tweet it would have been bad enough, but you didn't and instead you went on the offensive when anybody dared confront you on this disgraceful accusation. Saying 'many' hardly makes the tweet any more acceptable, especially when you refuse to substantiate it with a single study that confirms atheists are any more anti-Semitic than any other group, which is all you were asked to do. Hardly unreasonable was it?
Imagine I had posted on Twitter something like this “Jews are money grabbing Shylocks”
(please note this is an example based on a stereotype I know is NOT accurate, so don't go whining!)
I would, quite rightly, be attacked by anybody with an ounce of decency. If I deleted it without apology and instead Tweeted that “Many Jews are money grabbing Shylocks” it would not make my words any less offensive and I would be expected to give some level of evidence to back up my slur. When posting anything in a public arena such as Twitter it behooves us to think first, type later.
I'll repeat for the hard of thinking that these categorically are not my opinion of Jews, I am using it as an example I do not agree with.
In a tweet to another user fruitlessly trying to reason with you I made the observation that maybe you are confusing anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism. After all, even many Jews don't agree with the extremist Zionists who are seemingly hell-bent on expanding Israel and even reinstating the Temple on the Mount regardless if doing so causes all out war with her neighbours in the process.
Your response to this tweet was astonishing...
You called me a “Nazi Toad”!? At no point had I even voiced my personal opinions on Judaism, Jews or Israel so how did you come to this conclusion? Oh, yes, because I disagreed with being labelled anti-Semitic by somebody who has never met me much less asked my opinion. You throw this disgusting name at others, too. I can only surmise you resort to this tactic either due to a lack of intellect or a paucity of evidence with which to back up your claims. Whichever it is, it's rather pathetic in a public figure of your stature.
Roseanne, you also have a habit it seems of playing the misogyny card …
No, Roseanne, I don't give a damn what gender you are, nor do I care what religion you are, so stop hiding behind red herrings. All I care about is that you felt the need to post something so offensive about atheists and then deemed it appropriate to hurl abuse and insults at anybody who dared approach you about it. You could have been a male atheist making your original comment and I'd have confronted you, because such bigotry needs confronting – especially when coming from a high profile celebrity with influence.
Please drop the whining 'they don't like a strong woman' act, it's rendered hypocritical when your next trick, one pulled on numerous people, is to block us and run away to tweet about us where we cannot respond. If you had the courage of your convictions you would debate reasonably with some maturity, offer evidence for your position and, yes, maybe even earn a little bit of respect from those you're openly maligning.
I was a fan of your show, I considered you a talented writer and comedian. I expected you to behave like a grown adult capable of sustaining an adult conversation. Instead you behave like a vicious, poisonous, narrow minded little narcissistic bigot with a chip on your shoulder so big it could feed the starving children in Africa, the ones your precious God doesn't seem to give a damn about.
You have also claimed that atheists attack Jews more than any other faith, another claim for which I suspect you would struggle to find proof. Persecution complex much? I've been debating theists of all faiths on Facebook for years and I rarely see Jews come under fire from atheists. To their credit, most Jews I've encountered seem genuinely decent people and so get treated with the respect they deserve, I've even defended them on occasion when Christians and Muslims have been attacking them. There is, obviously, good and bad within any group, but in my experience Jews are not usually extremists or self-righteous morons like you.
May I suggest that you have formed your twisted opinion by behaving towards atheists elsewhere in the same tone you use with them on Twitter, in which case is it any wonder when they turn on you? You cannot expect to repeatedly kick a dog and not eventually get bitten, however placid the dog may otherwise be. Perhaps you would rather atheists sat by silently whilst you malign us publicly. Sorry, we stopped doing that when theists stopped being able to torture and murder us for heresy. It's not just Jews who have been historically persecuted, nor is it Jews barred from holding office or serving on Juries in many US states. As wonderful as America is, I'm thankful I was born in a country where my atheism isn't used as a stick to beat me with and where I am not forced to hide my lack of belief like it's a dirty secret. When was the last time you, as a Jew, had to hide your faith to avoid ridicule or worse from a majority population of Christians? Exactly!
Roseanne, you also accused atheists of trying to censor you. No, we're not. We're expecting you to treat us with the same level of respect and decency with which you expect to be treated, and not throw out unsubstantiated propaganda and lies. Again, your persecution complex and transparent plea for support from your followers is laughably risible. Do you realise that, if anything, your atrocious behaviour on Twitter is likely harming the Jewish cause? Perhaps think on that before being so unbelievably stupid in future.
I doubt you've bothered to read this far, if you read any of it, so I'll end with another of your tweets...
At least you got this much right – Twitter does make it easy for imbeciles. You prove that every time you comment on there.
Now I've got that off of my chest I think I've earned a little swear, so here it is.
Fuck you, Roseanne, you deluded mooncalf! Fuck off back to the 90's and go look for your career. Maybe it fell down the back of the sofa during that disappointing final season nobody liked?