As readers of Snarly Skepticism, or any one of my other three hundred blogs know, I don't like skeptibunkie debunker pathological skeptoid randi-bots. Not one damn bit. But fair is fair, and, while I hate to do this, I will say that I applaud Thompson'g recent blog entry, In Defense of Chip Coffey. Well, not the whole post, hardly any of it, but this part, yes, very much so:
What I won’t tolerate, however, is some of the ignorant bigotry being thrown Coffey’s way by several posters on skeptical message boards across the interwebs. The vast majority of the reaction against Coffey and Psychic Kids comes from a place of reasonable outrage and disgust, but there have also been some disturbingly homophobic remarks as well. There’s really no polite, delicate way to put this, but Coffey seems to be a gay man. Whether he is or isn’t shouldn’t matter to anyone at all. And the stupidest remarks have come from morons who equate homosexuality with pedophilia. Yes, reinforcing a child’s mental delusions without the supervision of a medical professional constitutes psychological abuse. But to imply anything further than that is not only baseless, it’s juvenile, brain-dead, and reprehensible. If you’re an ignorant homophobe, you have no place defending science and reason in any way.
I'm very glad Thompson said so, good for him.
Although, I will quibble about this:
Now, I know I’m going to receive some criticism for speaking against ridiculing Chip Coffey’s sexuality while having previously ridiculed his physical appearance. There are many reasons why one is okay and the other isn’t—mostly having to do with fighting a widespread and irrational hatred toward an entire group of human beings—but I’ll leave you with a simple one: Chip’s sexuality does nothing to hurt these poor children, but those creepy googly eyes might just give them even more nightmares.
We can't much help the way we look either; oh we can lose weight, get in shape, if you're so ignorant you have a comb over you can get a clue, things like that. But we're not responsible for being short, or tall, or having "bug eyes" and all the rest of that stuff. Making fun of the way people look (except for comb overs and a lack of fashion sense) is falling back on ad homs.
But yes, Thompson is correct in saying that Coffey's gayness (if he is, and well, he does seem to "be a gay man" indeed) has nothing to do with anything.