And then a stranger rode into town

As I mentioned in some comments on Strident and Combative, there’s this new Mystery Commenter who goes by “Hammill,” who has been making me increasingly suspicious. It’s an odd bird. It turned up only recently, as far as I can tell – the first times I know of were to comment on a few posts at Josh Rosenau’s, which were about – oh what do you know – me, and Jerry Coyne, and me again.

Gosh, what does that remind me of?

I’m being sarcastic. I know damn well what that reminds me of. I know damn well who else had a decidedly peculiar obsession with me and Jerry Coyne, often to the exclusion of anyone else.

“Hammill” turns up elsewhere too – but always on places Jerry has been posting on, or I have, or both. It’s been getting like being followed, to write a post about something and an hour or two later find “Hammill” there, as if summoned by a dog-whistle.

“Hammill” is very concerned. Very very concerned. Hammill is worried that it will be associated with the dread gnu atheists. It was worrying about that on Rob Knop’s post yesterday, right after Jerry posted on the subject.

I can agree with much of the substance coming out of the gnu atheist community but cringe mostly at its delivery. At times the rhetoric and invective makes me embarrassed to even be associated with them, however tangentially, as a nonbeliever.

Aw, really? Is that right? We embarrass you do we? That’s a shame. I tell you what: why don’t you set up a blog, maybe a group blog with a bunch of your imaginary friends, and start really getting to work on the subject of what it is you don’t like about new atheists. That would be fun, don’t you think? And you could have more of your imaginary friends write lots and lots and lots of comments, all saying things like “Oh golly gee, I thought I disagreed with you until I read that terrible post you linked to by that awful Coyne or that horrible Benson, and then by god I realized you were right and I think the whole thing is simply shocking.”

But maybe that sounds like too much trouble, and you’d rather just spend all your time posting comments at Rosenau’s and BioLogos and Rationally Speaking and Galactic Interactions. They will all keep your IP address secret, I’m sure.

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