CPAC Reverses Course, Boots Atheist Booth

Atheists: 'This Is Exactly the Problem'

Washington, DC—On Tuesday, American Atheists President David Silverman received a phone call from American Conservative Union Executive Director Dan Schneider informing him that the ACU board is breaking its agreement to permit American Atheists to host an information booth at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), March 6-8.

According to Silverman, Schneider cited “the tone” in the quote “The Christian right should be threatened by us.”, which was in a Tuesday CNN article, as the reason for the revocation. This reversal came just hours after a press release from American Atheists announcing the booth, one week before the conference.

Silverman repudiated Schneider’s assertion: “This is exactly the problem. The ACU, which has invited CPAC speakers such as Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Sarah Palin, is afraid of my tone? My ‘tone’ was clearly an excuse to back out after our press release angered religious conservatives.”

“Continuing to conflate religion and conservatism is not a viable strategy; this was apparently too scary for CPAC attendees to hear,” Silverman said. “America’s religious conservatives can deny it all they want, but soon they’re going to realize that ignoring the growing number of atheist constituents is a losing proposition.”

In the weeks after American Atheists registered for CPAC, a member of the American Atheists board met with CPAC organizers to discuss CPAC 2015. “Our input was well-received and the atmosphere was positive. We suggested several atheist speakers for 2015 and welcomed the opportunity to engage about conservative issues,” Silverman said. American Atheists also planned a special promotion allowing anyone attending CPAC to sign up for a free one-year membership and a discount to the American Atheists National Convention, April 17-20 in Salt Lake City.

Silverman left the door open to reconciliation. “We still want to attend CPAC. If the ACU will invite us to exhibit as previously agreed, we will be there to talk about the importance of religious equality,” he said.

The CPAC conference comes just six weeks ahead of American Atheists’ own 40th National Convention, which will take place Easter weekend in Salt Lake City. The convention will feature such speakers such as former NFL punter Chris Kluwe, Survivor®: Philippines winner Denise Stapley, Grammy-nominated Spin Doctors bass player Mark White, Oscar-nominated director David A. Silverman, astrobiologist Dr. David Morrison, Reverend Barry Lynn of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, Maryam Namazie of the Council of Ex-Muslims, popular bloggers PZ Myers and Greta Christina, and American Atheists President David Silverman. The convention will also feature a costume dinner, live music, stand-up comedy, an art show and silent auction, national and local exhibitors, and childcare options for attending families. The convention takes place the weekend of April 17-20, 2014.

 

  • LoudGuitr

    David Silverman is a national treasure. His even demeanor and reasoned responses set an outstanding example for the rest of us, who may not be as measured in our discourse.

    • Raphael Argos

      Really though, who would enjoy being at that booth?

      • LoudGuitr

        Nobody. :)

        • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

          You guys know each other?

    • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

      More like a national embarassment – being mean and whiny is not helping the cause of atheism. Too full of himself for his own good.

      • LoudGuitr

        I challenge you to provide a link of Silverman being mean.

        • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

          You’re joking, right? His whole mission in life is to insult people who think differently from him. There is no live and let live when it comes to David Silverman.

          • LoudGuitr

            That’s a lot of talk. Where’s the link? I’ve never seen him be anything but courteous and measured, even in the face of incivility. Still waiting to see you make your point.

          • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

            It’s scary to think that your thought process and knowledge of the world around you is based on the availability of a hyperlink.

            I suppose you think the Times Square billboards aren’t “mean”? If I posted a billboard that said “Who needs women in government – Nobody” that would be a courteous and measured statement, right?

          • LoudGuitr

            Sorry, our distinguished panel of experts have disqualified you from this debate after having failed to receive any evidence you might present. It wasn’t until the end, that they noticed that self-absorbed was part of your name. We could have saved so much time. And, no the billboards aren’t mean or whiny. You lose.

          • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

            Life is so simple when you’re pompous and assume you know everything. The sad part is that it’s probably not an act.

            The “you lose” part is particularly enlightening: it suggests a deep insecurity which requires you to imagine yourself “winning” arguments instead of having an intellectual discussion.

          • LoudGuitr

            Hey, friend, I didn’t start there. I gave up trying to elicit some substance from you. After several attempts to get you to substantiate your assertion, I gave up.

          • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

            So if I spend money to put up billboards saying “Who needs gay people in America? – Nobody!” then you would be okay with that? I certainly wouldn’t consider that okay. Or would that be (as you put it) “courteous and measured”?

            Don’t feel obliged to share your reasoning behind why you might feel these are not analagous situations — just convene your “distinguished panel of experts” (rolling eyes) and tell me I’ve “lost” again …. (sigh)

          • LoudGuitr

            You bring nothing to the discussion. My topic was David Silverman. You have digressed and avoided any cogent discussion. I’m done. Best to you.

          • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

            - David Silverman is meam
            – I disagree. Give me an example
            – The billboards in Times Square
            – That’s not mean
            – So if I used the language in those billboards to describe gays, etc., that also isn’t mean?
            – “You bring nothing to the discussion. You lose.”

            Wow, I guess that settles it, eh?

          • LoudGuitr

            “Who needs Christ during Xmas?” is anything but mean. It isn’t attacking anyone or launching a personal strike. It poses a philosophical question that is meant to provoke thought and a discussion. Your definition of mean doesn’t meet the criteria of the dictionary. Isn’t that obvious?

          • LoudGuitr

            Who’s the mean one?

            http://youtu.be/zlhSyB7ouJ8

          • Sarah

            It *does* actually matter what subject is used.
            Example: “Who needs corruption in government? Nobody.”
            That’s not mean, is it?
            Part of the point is to get people thinking about what is really necessary, and what is only a personal preference that should not be forced on everyone – because the religious will perceive religion as a positive thing to put in government, Xmas, whatever… But maybe they can be reminded that others perceive religion more negatively, as oppression.

          • HorseshoeNail

            The phrase “Who needs X – Nobody!” is not offensive when X is universally recognized as undesirable, e.g. X = breast cancer, child abuse, acne, etc. But when it comes to (most) opinions or beliefs held by other people, it’s nothing more than a personal attack. I would find “Who needs atheists – Nobody!” equally unhelpful and offensive.

            I have absolutely nothing against atheists and I sincerely wish them well, but almost everything the atheist “movement” puts out is simply an attack on other people and their beliefs, usually based on false or misleading stereotypes. It also seems that instead of addressing specific issues (such as gay marriage), atheists simply attack religion as a whole.

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  • Fernando Aguilar

    SelfAbsorbedAtheist writes to say that David Silverman is mean spirited, but self absorbedatheist is actually a xian believer that uses his denigrating pseudonym to impersonate Atheists in comment boards in an effort to highjack posts, and generate hateful speech. The real mean-spirit is exemplified by SelfabsorbedAtheist.

    David Silverman has done a great job for American Atheists.

  • NICK BAKKER

    I THINK DAVE IS A GEM OF A GENTLEMAN ON HIS DEBATES. I HAVE WATCHED SEVERAL. AS HE CONFRONTS THE HATERS FROM RELIGIOUS GROUPS AND NEWS CHANNELS, ESPECIALLY FOX NEWS, NEIL CAVUTO, BILL OREILLY, AND OTHERS ON FOX, HE SIMPLY STATES HIS POSITION AND HOLDS TO IT. THE OTHER SIDE DOESN’T AGREE, FINALLY TURNING TO NAME CALLING, BASHING, LIES ABOUT NON-THEISTS, AND THE SUCH. IT SEEMS WHEN HE HOLDS HIS GROUND, BRANDISHING THE TRUTH INSTEAD OF FICTION, THE OTHER SIDE GETS TESTY, NASTY, HAS TEMPER TRANTRUMS, AND IN THE CASE OF BILL DONAHUE, BILL IS BERY ABUSIVE TO DAVE. I HAVE WATCHED DEBATES FROM SEVERAL GROUPS IN THE MEDIA, AND ALL THE MEDIA FOLKS DO THE SAME THING. FRANKLY, WE, NON THEISTS, DON’T WANT RELISION PUSHED ON US IN SCHOOLS, COURTHOUSES, OR ANY OTHER PLACE THAT IS PUBLIC, FOR WHICH “WE” ALSO PAY OUR TAXES” AND EXPECT TO BE TREATED AS SUCH. IT IS NOT HATE ON OUR PART, IT IS SIMPLY WANTING TO BE TREATED EQUAL. IF YOU THINK SENDING THE BIBLE READERS INTO A SCHOOL OF CHILDREN IS LEGIT, IT IS NOT. PRAYING SHOULD BE OUTSIDE PUBLIC EVENTS, HOME, CHURCH, WITH YOUR FRIENDS, ETC. THAT IS A SIMPLE CONCEPT, ONE IN WHICH RELIGIONISTS REFUSE TO ADHER. HENCE, THE DAVE SILVERMAN’S ARE GLADLY STEPPING UP TO REPRESENT THE OTHER SIDE OF THE EQUATION.

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