It turns out there’s another atheist in the New Hampshire State House! A “preacher’s kid” who eventually left the faith! And he’s a Republican! (That makes two in the NH House!)
The downside — and this story only gets more disappointing from this point forward — is that State Rep. Robert Fisher also appears to be the creator of “The Red Pill,” the subreddit known as a haven for misogynistic men who think women have all the power, who think feminism is a dirty word, and who trade pickup-artist (PUA) techniques with each other (because they despise women… but they want women).
The Daily Beast‘s Bonnie Bacarisse did some incredible detective work to make the connection and her piece is worth reading in full.
Her conclusion is that Fisher, who goes by the username “Pk_atheist” (preacher kid atheist), is the creator of that subreddit.
… He blasted women for their “sub-par intelligence.” He said that women’s personalities are “lackluster and boring, serving little purpose in day to day life.” And Fisher once commented, “It is literally the [female] body that makes enduring these things worth it.”
On r/TheRedPill, Pk_atheist admitted in December 2012 to supposedly video-taping sexual encounters with women in order to protect against false rape allegations.
Men, Fisher said, should always take action to protect themselves against a past partner accusing them of rape. Online, Fisher advised another user to be careful not to offend prior flings whom he’d ghosted. Insulting a woman, he maintained, was likely to set off a deluge of sudden false accusations. “…If she feels insulted, your incidence of false rape accusations or pregnancy scares go waaaaaaaaay up,” he counseled.
Fisher said he was not paranoid, but rather “statistically I’m overdue for a false rape allegation.”
“You can’t have sex with this many women without getting one,” he argued.
After initially denying the connection to his statements, Fisher backed down last night, telling WMUR that he’s not going anywhere despite calls to resign:
In his email, the lawmaker wrote: “Here’s my message to the public: I am not disappearing. I will continue to stand strong for men’s rights and the rights of all, and I intend on introducing new legislation in 2018 to push back in the New Hampshire courts and finally bring relief for New Hampshire parents and citizens who face these very real but under-reported issues.”
I bet he thinks “all lives matter,” too…
For what it’s worth, he hasn’t broken any laws. And many of these statements were made before he ever entered public life. And there is a difference between voicing unsavory beliefs online and sponsoring/voting for legislation that explicitly hurts women, which, as far as I can tell, he hasn’t done.
But what does all of this say about his character? Do his female constituents feel comfortable being represented by someone who sees them as dumb victims, only useful from the neck down, just waiting to accuse someone of rape? If Fisher doesn’t resign, he’ll have to face voters again in 2018.
This is Fisher’s second term in office. He was first elected in 2014, after losing in 2012 (when he ran as a Democrat).
Incidentally, I asked Brandon Phinney — the other New Hampshire House Republican who’s an atheist — if he had anything to say about his colleague. I haven’t heard back yet.
The whole story should remind us that being an atheist doesn’t mean you’re rational in all ways. You can be logical in one area and susceptible to conspiracies and bullshit thinking in another. It’s disappointing, personally, that one of the few atheist politicians in the country isn’t someone worth supporting. But that’s not nearly as upsetting as seeing another elected official holding women in such contempt.