Press Release: CPAC Boots Atheist Booth

Atheists: 'This Is Exactly the Problem'

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday February 25, 2014

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.


AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that defends civil rights for atheists, freethinkers, and other nonbelievers; works for the total separation of religion and government; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy. American Atheists was founded in 1963 by Madalyn Murray O’Hair.


American Atheists, Inc.
P.O. Box 158
Cranford, NJ 07016
Tel: (908) 276-7300
Fax: (908) 276-7402

Dave Muscato, Public Relations Director 908-276-7300 x7, [email protected]



  • Adam A

    Is it so hard for the US to embrace freedom from religion, and equality? This nation is growing scarier by the week, with it’s punishment against anyone who isn’t flowing with the ‘mainstream’ of tradition and crowd mind mentality.

    • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

      So you’re not free because other people choose to believe in God? I suppose when an atheist forces his ideas on others, that’s okay, right?

      • Adam A

        Your nickname is misleading, viewing your comment history, you’re doing your best to shame the “atheist” view as more than what it is. Pity.

        No atheist has ever FORCED our ideas onto others, point and fact. Go away troll, I will not reply to you anymore.

        • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

          Uhm, yes, that’s exactly what American Atheists is trying to do, and they spend lots of money on billboards, ads, and lawsuits trying to force their ideas onto people.

          Please don’t respond to me – like most atheists, you already have all the answers and are smarter than everyone else, right? Why bother exchanging ideas with people who are obviously inferior to you?

          • wysinwyg

            If putting up billboards, ads, and launching lawsuits count as “forcing ideas onto people” then guess what: Christians still do more of each of those three things than atheists do. Plank in your eye, yadda yadda.

            Of course, claiming that billboards and ads constitute “forcing ideas” on other people is ridiculous on its face. Then again, your comments demonstrate that establishing credibility is not your strong suit.

          • HorseshoeNail

            Perhaps I should start using the phrase “yadda yadda” when I’m trying to “establish credibility”.

            The difference is that almost all atheist PR-type activities are negative — they are attacks on belief. This is, to a certain extent, unavoidable, as atheism isn’t really a belief system at all: it’s a denial of other peoples’ belief systems and as such almost requires attacking and denying those beliefs.

            As I have said multiple times, I am equally opposed to billboards like “turn to Jesus or burn in hell”. But I guess your stereotypes and/or prejudice don’t allow the possibility of Christians who simply want to live and let live instead of attacking each other. Sad.

      • Bob

        I dont recall Atheists knocking on peoples doors asking them to join them in their rejection of deities. Nor do I see Atheists attempting to bring in laws that allows bigotry and hatred towards others who are different to them. Also, the last time I looked, Atheists are not burning people at the stake, hanging folk or committing all manner of attrocities to their fellow man in the name of no-religion.

        • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

          1) Forgive me for asking, but wasn’t the whole purpose of the CPAC booth to spread th message of atheism? How is that different from knocking on people’s doors. Frankly, I don’t have a problem with door-to-door atheist “missionaries” if that’s what they wanted to do.

          2) If “burning people at the stake” is your best anti-Christian argument, you might want to reconsider your approach. On the other hand, North Korea publically executed people last November for owning Bibles.

          3) If you don’t like “anti-gay” laws, then work to stop those laws – don’t attack all believers because some of them oppose you on a single issue. You may also be aware that some Christian churches/denominations also have openly gay clergy and perform gay marriages — are you going to attack them too?

          • spookiewon

            How it’s different from knocking on doors is it’s NOT “knocking on doors,” FFS! Religious people COME TO MY HOME and try to convince me to be religious. This is a CONFERENCE where people discuss strategies to further a conservative agenda, and AA’s position is that this is best done by leaving religion out of it. Not promoting atheism, just acknowledging that conservatives come in all belief systems and if you’re only including outspoken christians in your tent you’re missing the boat. People core to discuss strategies, they’re not sitting in their homes minding their own business, like I am when some religious nutter knocks on my door to “share the good news” with me.

            And this conference is in and about the US, not North Korea, no one is getting “executed for owning bibles.”

          • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

            I don’t like people knocking on my door either — are you equally upset at magazine sellers, political candidates, and Girl Scouts?

            If you want to eat your dinner in peace (something both atheists and believers can agree on) perhaps a “No soliciting” sign would be a more efficient approach than attempting to rid the country of religious belief.

          • Sherry Young

            Among the reasons I left the Republican party after 30 years is their rejection of anyone who isn’t the right kind of Christian. Tent got way too small.

            The billboards you see are mostly an outreach.
            I know you know what that is…

          • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

            Could you define “right kind of Christian?” I’m not entirely sure what you mean by that or by “outreach.”

            How do you feel about religious Democrats?

    • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

      Please cite examples of atheists being “punished”

      • Qix

        Every gay kid who has been killed that happened to be atheist. 99% of the time it’s due to being bullied by other kids indoctrinated to believe that homosexuality is wrong.

        Your move.

        • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

          That makes no sense at all. Are you saying all gay kids are atheists?

          And bullies beat up and kill people for lots of reasons – or does religion indoctrinate them into hating and harassing geeky nerds too?

          • Vladimuir

            Yes, Germany did that once with their “Master Race” campaign… religion is no different, casting out those the church doesn’t like, or just pure genocide like the Native Americans. Forcing religion down people throats is being a bully, just leave people alone.

          • HorseshoeNail

            I think it’s more than a little disengenuos to compare religion to Nazi Germany or the “genocide” of Native Americans.

            But we do agree that no one should be forced to believe. As for”bullying” and “leaving people alone” does that also apply to atheists who attack belief? I can be a believer without attacking atheism, but atheism is, by definition, an active denial of belief.

      • Life is interesting

        It is really interesting though that there are gay Christians that cannot get legally married in a church in many states still because the definition of marriage is between man and woman per the bible. So although they may be free to be with the one that they love, it can be a certain psychological torture and in the view of some, punishment, to know that the acceptance of ones love can be determined by another. Yes I know that they can go to the justice of the peace but why can a Christian not get married in a place that is open to those who accept God. I am not religious nor am I and atheist but that is enough to make me a bit sad. I am married to an atheist and even within my family there can be discord at times and wanting to try and push religion on my kids even though as a parent that would not be my choice (puts one in an awkward position of loving my family but also wanting to parent in my own way lol)

      • es35

        Are you telling us that you don’t know that atheists are the most hated and discriminated group in the US?

      • Cthulhu21
        • HorseshoeNail

          That’s not “punishment” – that’s bullying and criminal behavior.

          The word “punishment” implies legal or other authority to use force against people who have violated a law or rule. And in that sense, I hope the people who threatened that individual are tried, convicted and severely “punished.”

          No one should have the authority or the right to “punish” people for being atheists. Is that specific enough? 🙂

          • Cthulhu21

            Sorry about that, here’s an example I should have posted:

          • HorseshoeNail

            Thanks. I do agree that this was handled improperly, but I also want to point out that the people “punished” also included Christians, Muslims, etc. In fact, I didn’t see the word “atheist” or “nonbeliever” anywhere in the article.

      • netizen_james

        “DES MOINES (AP) — A math teacher fired from a Fort Dodge Catholic school because she joined an atheist website and noted on Facebook that she didn’t believe in God said Friday she never imagined it would lead to her losing her job.

        Abby Nurre, 26, was fired last December from St. Edmonds Catholic School. She was hired in August.”


        • HorseshoeNail

          Wow – a CATHOLIC school that requires its teachers to believe in God. What next? Will atheists be prohibited from attending Catholic seminaries and becoming priests?

          I suppose if I applied for a job at American Atheists and they later found out I was a devout Catholic, they would be okay with that, right?

          • Gene

            How about atheist being discriminated against?

            Arkansas, Article 19, Section 1:
            No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any Court.

            Maryland, Article 37:
            That no religious test ought ever to be required as a qualification for any office of profit or trust in this State, other than a declaration of belief in the existence of God; nor shall the Legislature prescribe any other oath of office than the oath prescribed by this Constitution.

            Mississippi, Article 14, Section 265:
            No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this state.

            North Carolina, Article 6, Section 8
            The following persons shall be disqualified for office: Any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God.

            South Carolina, Article 17, Section 4:
            No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office under this Constitution.

            Tennessee, Article 9, Section 2:
            No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state.

            Texas, Article 1, Section 4:
            No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.

          • HorseshoeNail

            How many atheists have won an election and then been prohibited from taking office based on these laws?

            That said, as a believer I fully support repealing all of these laws / articles.

          • Lana

            You don’t get it, do you? Is one thing that you have decided to “believe”. That is your prerogative and you have every right to do it. Trying to undermine reality and brushing off facts are completely another. Having a right to “punish” others and actually doing it are two very different things. People often do NOT do the right thing. Don’t turn a blind eye to what’s going on…oh, I forgot, one can’t make anyone see what they don’t what to see. Feigning ignorance is bliss…

          • HorseshoeNail

            I’m not quite sure what you’re trying to say. I work in a scientific field and am VERY fact-oriented. The fact is (unless you have data to thr contrary), that NO ONE has ever been denied the right to hold office because they were an atheists, regardless of what (in my opinion) misguided laws might say.

            Perhaps you could be more specific?

      • Lana

        Your comments are completely and utterly ridiculous. Atheists as well as skeptics, agnostics and people who just do not believe in any god, are “punished” on a daily basis. No, they are not beheaded, burned or lynched like they used to, but they are severely discriminated against, shunned and ridiculed by the “faithful”, including friends and family. There are some instances and some places where this is so predominant and severe that it is very difficult for unbelievers to get housing, jobs, ect. Well, I guess not being able to pursuit happiness and live a normal life is not punishment enough for you. This is exactly the kind of mentality we must fight against. It is unacceptable, unconstitutional and immoral.

        • HorseshoeNail

          I’m very much opposed to any kind of persecution, but I think you’re grossly exaggerating. Having come from academia, I can say with absolute certainty that in higher education being a believer is a much greater stigma than being an atheist.

          It’s troubling that so many atheists have an irrational persecution complex. People are bullied, ridiculed, and discriminated against for all sorts of reasons, including involuntary things like height or appearance. American Atheists and the posters here are constantly riduculing believers — do you find that equally offensive? Or are you only opposed to discrimination against some groups of people and not others?

    • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

      Please describe the “punishments” you suffer as an atheist.

      When did “atheism” become a synonym for “persecution complex”?

      • wysinwyg

        Christians already locked that one down, actually. Maybe you should get off your cross.

        • HorseshoeNail

          Childish — I asked for a description of the “punishments” one suffers as an atheist. If no such punishments exist, then a persecution complex is indicated.

  • batteryinme

    Sad to hear it…….first that atheism is now entangling itself in the conservative vs. liberal fray…..and secondly that CPAC extended an offer to a group as open and inclusive as AA to begin with. Certainly, trying to change the conservative, god loving, science hating monster from within is a noble, but useless strategy.

    “All logical arguments can be defeated by the simple refusal to reason logically” Weinberg

    • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

      Too many atheists are haters, pure and simple. Atheists like to portray religious people as angry and intolerant, and then go and act the same way. No dignity, no maturity, just hate, hate, hate.

      • Dust

        A very many people, no matter how they are labeled or describe themselves, I’d wager even the majority of humanity, in spite of their perceived self-identities are not emotionally mature to a significant degree. Whether a person believes in magic sky-pixies or flying spaghetti monsters, or nothing at all, the odds are pretty high that they don’t have doctorate degrees in emotional maturity.

        • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

          Especially the unemployed ones who create dozens of Disqus handles.

          • That guy you hate

            Raphael Argos, do you know what HAARP is, and how it is used?

          • spookiewon

            HOW it is used, or “what it is used for?”

            It’s a great conspiracy magnet, for one thing.

      • Solen

        wow…project much? One can just as easily say too many Christians are haters, pure and simple. Or that conservatives are haters, pure and simple.
        The main difference between your assertion and mine is that there is much much more evidence for mine than for yours. All one has to do is turn on TV, read a conservative site, a right wing Christan site, and so on.
        While there are jerk athiests (what group doesn’t have jerks?), they have far more dignity, far more maturity and far more respect for people, considering what people like you throw at them.

        • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

          That’s an opinion, unless you have verifiable statistics to back your statement up.

          If you ask a religious person to describe what makes them religious, they will usually say things like they believe in God, believe that God speaks to us, believe in an afterlife, etc.

          If you ask an atheist what makes them an atheist, there is really only one answer : they don’t believe in God. Atheism defines itself by saying what it DOESN’T believe. For some atheists this is sufficient, but for many it also means that they feel compelled to attack other people as wrong.

          No believer says “Being a believer means not being an atheist”.

          My apologies if that distinction is too subtle for you.

          • Question the question

            I do come from a Very religious family (both extreme Christian and also very understanding Christian). Both side have tendencies to view the other as automatically and antithesis to their belief. These opposing views often, albeit many times unconsciously, rear themselves as preconceived notions of the other. The statement you made above if I may reference “they believe in God, believe that God speaks to us, believe in an afterlife, etc.” is the same argument that an atheist does not believe in God, Does not believe that God speaks to them, and does not believe in an afterlife. Also choosing an absolute phrase such as “No believer says “Being a believer means not being an atheist”.” as I know several people old and young, prior co-workers and college mates that have in fact stated that exact thing. Just as some atheist find it their right to attack others as wrong, there are also religious people that do the same, no religion or non religion can escape this fact because as you said above that is free speech; some things flat out not need not be said nor do they warrant rebuttal or argument. I am not atheist and not religious, I am married to a white republican atheist (I am black and not democratic or republican), my best friends are Catholic, Baptist, Taoist, Atheist, Agnostic and Buddhist and the best thing of all are the amazing thought provoking conversations that we have

          • Question the question

            Also I am not trying to sound condescending or sound like a jerk at all so if my response comes across that way please accept my preemptive apologies as it is not meant in any negative way

          • Solen

            Considering you have no verifiable stats to backup your position…
            Atheists believe there are no gods, period. There is no proof of deities, so it is incumbant on the believer to show the proof. In North America where a lot of peopel claim to believe in God, it’s probably easier just to say what you claim they say. But it’s non-belief in any deity. is that too subtle for you?
            Actually, being a believer implicitly means that one is not an atheist.
            or was that to subtle for you?

      • Solen

        how much more hateful are Athiests when CPAC invites people like Limbaugh? Coulter? Palin?
        Those three alone have nore dignity, maturity, and simply run on hate.

  • Mike

    Why do you want to go there for anyway? To be burned at the stake or hung?

    • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

      I think you mean “hanged” — but don’t let a stupid Christian correct you.

      • Your Mom’s Cancer

        Raphael Argos, please exert control over your emotions.

  • Domush

    Let’s face it, conservatism is the losing strategy, not only their marriage with deity worship. It would be great to get the word out in a place filed with people who entirely live with their heads in the sand, but the CPAC knows reason is their worst enemy, just as the faithful do.

    • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

      Wow, stereotype much?

    • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

      Blindly following atheist propaganda is just as dangerous as blindly following religious propaganda.

      You can’t make sweeping generalizations about conservative or religious people and then claim that you’re above stereotyping, generalizations, and demogogery.

  • jcchurch

    The ACU is missing a great opportunity here. Instead, they’ve turned away a number of atheists who want to remain open to conservative ideas.

    This only underscores the quote, “The Christian right should be threatened by us.” If you are going to turn away potential members with your behavior, don’t be surprised when they actually leave.

    • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

      Atheists seem to derive some pseduo-sexual excitement from the notion that they are “threatening” to believers or that they “scare” the religious with their (imaginary) intellectual superiority. Truly intelligent people don’t go on CNN and insult the people who host them at a conference, then act suprised when they’re suddenly persona non grata. Not very smart.

      • Guest

        Christians are “scared” yet atheists are still the ones in the closest. Right.

        • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

          Why not come out of the closet? I don’t mind if you’re an atheist — let’s just not tell each other what to believe, deal?

          • Solen

            Ironic…you say “come out of the closet”. but by coming out of the closet you claim Athiests are forcing their beliefs onto others.
            Can’t you get your story straight?
            And they are not telling peopel what to believe. They’re offering information and choices. They are not going to take conservatives, hook them up to a clockwork orange device and forcibly convert them. offering information, putting up billbords, etc is not forcing themselves onto others.
            Unless you wish to be consistant and similarily condemn religious billboard, booths, etc?
            Can you be consistant?

          • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

            I’m sorry, but I’m having trouble figuring out hat you’re trying to say. I just want a society where people live and let live. Atheism seems to be mostly about telling people that their beliefs are wrong. If not, what does being an atheist mean to you?

          • Solen

            An atheist mean believing in no gods. Period. Unfortunately many Christians insist that they atheists actually believe in god (by being angry with it) or are devil worshippers (which also doesn’t exist).
            Atheists have come out of the closet to tell other atheists that they are not alone and that they have others to talk with. Hence the booth at CPAC.
            But since you seem to believe that outreach is “telling people their beliefs are wrong” (something Christians really love to do), then Atheists aren’t the ones woth the problem here. I suggest you actually try to learn about it.
            Unless that piece of advice is too oppresive to you, and you will believe I’m “telling you your beliefs are wrong”?

          • HorseshoeNail

            I don’t think Christians are “insisting” that people believe in God, and I’m really sure that they don’t equate atheism with “devil worship”.

            I do think there are two types of atheists – the ones that you describe (share their ideas and build a community of nonbelievers) and the ones who actively attack religious belief as wrong and even dangerous. I’m completely and totally okay with the first group (which you seem to be a part of), but do not care at all for people whose ideology seems to be nothing more than attacking other ideologies.

            We could discuss which percentage of atheists fall into each category, but one only has to look at the comments on this website to know that the “anti-religion” atheists are certainly not underrepresented in the atheist community.

          • Solen

            first paragraph…you’re not listening closely enough.
            2nd paragraph…replace atheist with christian there…do you still have problems with the second “group”. If no, then look at your attitudes, not the atheists.

            3rd paragraph… so?
            You seem to be the one overreacting to an out-reach booth at CPAC. You have been claiming it’s an attempt by the supposed group 2ers as opposed to simply an outreach.
            What do you have against simple outreach?

          • Solen

            Considering it’s Christians who tell atheists that they “are angry with god”, implying that they secretly believe in that deity…or that they worship the devil, meaning that they are not atheists at all…who here is telling people what they believe?
            Consistency is not your strong suit, is it?

          • HorseshoeNail

            It’s ironic that you say things like “it’s Christians who tell atheists that they “are angry with god …or that they worship the devil” then complain about “telling people what they believe” and “consistency”.

            Having been a believer for many, many years, I can tell you that I have never, not once, heard anyone say atheists are “angry with God” nor that they are “devil worshippers”. I’m not doubting you’re heard them from some (nutcase) believer, but 99% of believers would disagree witih that.

            This is exactly why I come here: the amount of incorrect information and grossly inaccurate stereotyping of believers here is astonishing. If you’re basing your attitudes towards believers on the information that’s repeated here, it’s no wonder you’re prejudiced against them.

            Why not go to a mainstream Christian discussion site and ask people what they believe instead of relying on one-sided propaganda?

          • Solen

            You claim to not have heard that. Then you havn’t been listening. I hear it and read it all the time. And it’s not nutcase believers, it’s from christian leaders of what passes for mainstream denominations.
            Obviously you just don’t want to pay attention…or you’re just trolling.

          • HorseshoeNail

            Please post a reference to a Christian leader of a mainstream denomination (Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc.) who says either (a) that atheists really do believe in God but are just angry with him, and (b) that atheists worship the devil. Since you say you hear this “all the time”, it should be easy to find these quotes, right?

            As for “not paying attention”, you seem to use that phrase to mean “not agreeing with you”. Is it possible to pay attention to you and think you’re wrong?

          • Solen

            Pat Robertson. All the time but since you’re too lazy to look…

            Alex Jones for one.

            Now…to hate something is to accept that it exists. Do you hate Santa? The Easter bunny? No, because it’s stupid to hate something that doesn’t exist. But every time a Christian leader says Atheists hate god they are implicitly saying that atheists actually accept that this deity exists because they’re supposedly angry with it.
            yes, it’s easy to pay attention and think one’s wrong. That’s how one learns. Have you actually learned anything here?
            You still haven’t explained how a information booth is forcing atheism onto Christians. Have you forgotten you origional bugaboo? Or are you using these tangents to avoid answering that simple request? How does an information booth force atheism onto Christians?

          • HorseshoeNail

            “But every time a Christian leader says Atheists hate god they are implicitly saying that atheists actually accept that this deity exists because they’re supposedly angry with it.”

            That’s completely illogical.

          • You’re a troll

            You can hate me, I exist. I can hate you, for several reasons, one being that you exist. I can’t hate your god, because it doesn’t exist; just like you can’t hate my Martian robot-ninja for getting its balls sucked by the pope’s undead zombie mother. So yes, I agree with you. It’s completely illogical for anyone to say that atheists hate god.
            Do you believe in gravity? I don’t, gravity is something you simply understand to exist in reality. Just like any reasonable person simply understands that no gods exist in reality.

          • Solen

            So…only what leaders say count? Amusing.

          • HorseshoeNail

            So you Google around trying to find a website that supports your opinions instead of FIRST doing your research and THEN forming opinions. Then all you can find is some obscure message board where anonymous posters make outlandish statements. Point proven, eh?

            Given that you’re barely out of high school, I understand why you think that finding a link, ANY link, “proves” your point — you’ve grown up in a world where truth is defined in terms of hit counts and hyperlinks. No need to actually get up from your keyboard and actually experience anything firsthand.

            By the way, you do realize that if people don’t agree with you, it’s not because they “aren’t listening”, right? I guess at 23 you have it all figured out.

          • Cthulhu21

            Unfortunately, it most likely isn’t trolling.

          • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

            I was quoting the OP when I said “out of the closet” — it’s not an expression I ever use.

            I have no problem at all with atheists publically expressing their views. I do have a problem with people who want to restrict the right of believers to express their views. Free speech belong to everyone.

            I’m fine with a billboard that says “God loves you”. I’m most definitely NOT okay with a billboard that says “Turn to Jesus or burn in hell”. Likewise I’m okay with “Seasons Greetings from American Atheists” but not okay with “Dump the Myth”. How about we all keep our messages positive?

          • Solen

            In what way are atheists “restricting the views” of believers? Really? From what I see, such believers believe their views are restricted by the mere presence of atheists.
            Really? If Christians really did restrict themselves to “God loves you” I might agree with you. Might. But since they don’t, and the most tamely worded billboard, bus sign, park bench signs get vandalised or complained about by Christians, why should Atheists do anything less than what Christans do?
            You are arguing for Christian Privilige here. You are claiming that an atheist booth at CPAC, handing out literature and lettign conservative atheists that there are others they can interact with is the equivalent of Atheists taking Christians to a booth, strapping them down a la clockwork orange, and indoctrinating them.
            After all, it was a Christian president who claimed that Atheists shouldn’t be citizens. And why do Christians say atheists hate america?
            Why do Christians lie so much? Isn’t there a commandment against that?

          • HorseshoeNail

            Do you even read my posts before replying? You claim I say things I didn’t say and believe things I don’t believe and make wildly inaccurate generalizatons. I won’t accuse you of lying, but you’re saying an awful lot of things that simply aren’t factually accurate.

            I think you might be overdoing the “strapping down / Clockwork Orange” thing — it’s clear you really liked the movie (I found it disturbing and unpleasant to watch, myself), but it’s hardly an effective analogy.

          • Solen

            Yes…I read them. I responded. Now you’re flapping your arms like a panic’d chicken.
            and my clockwork orange thing is in direct response to your assertion that a booth at CPAC was forcing atheim onto believers. That is what your supposed fear is akin to…not what was actually goingto happen.
            If it disturbs, look to your attitudes, not mine.

          • HorseshoeNail

            Why do you feel the need to imagine that you’re creating fear, panic, and anxiety in other people? This is exactly what got AA uninvited from CPAC in the first place — a pathological need to feel that you you somehow frighten or intimidate people. Usually this is a sign of a serious self-image problem or inferiority complex, or both.

            Panic? Fear? Fragile? Actually, I feel pretty sorry for you — not because you don’t believe in God (that’s your business and I’m happy if you don’t), but rather because your need to feel “feared” points out some serious deficiencies in other parts of your life. I’ll pray for you.

          • Solen

            Excuse me. You’re the one claiming a booth was forcing atheism onto people. I satirized your claim, and now you’re projecting. I don’t need to feel feared…but you obviously feel the need to be afraid. Why is that?

            Just answer the question. How is an innocent information booth threaten Christians?

            Your fake pity holds no truck with me. You’re just avoiding the question.

          • HorseshoeNail

            [SIGH] It’s clear you’re either not reading my posts or intentionally distorting what I’ve said.

            It’s also clear you’re unhealthily fixated on fear, threats, etc. and believe that everyone else sees the world in this way.

            My “pity” isn’t fake — I genuinely hope that someday you learn to live without seeing everything in terms of fear, anger, threats and panic … it must be a very lonely and unhappy way to spend one’s existance when you think that everyone is trying to bully everyone else.

            [I could go out on a limb and suggest that your mentality is due to you having been the target of bullying yourself, but that would be pure speculation]

          • GuestGuest

            This is embarrassing. I surely hope your discussion here on this site doesn’t negatively affect your overall opinion of atheists. I’d like to think the majority of people that consciously identify as atheist are not so thick headed as this Solen individual. Unfortunately, they come in all forms.

          • Solen

            Why are you afraid of an information booth?

          • HorseshoeNail

            I’m sorry to be so blunt, but you just don’t get it — no one is “afraid” of atheists or their information booth … in fact, most people don’t even care at all. It was Mr. Silverman who got on CNN and talked about how people should feel “threatened” by the booth. It seems nothing gives some atheists greater pleasure than the notion that they “frighten” believers.

            Saying “you better be afraid of us” is childish and counterproductive … and, honestly, there’s not a single believer who’s in any way intimidated by the temper tantrums of Mr. Silverman and company …

  • David Richardson

    Way to keep me voting Libertarian, GOP assholes! I am a hard core atheist and fiscal conservative who opposes all actions by the federal government not granted by the constitution.

    • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

      Guess you don’t drive on those taxpayer funded roads either, do you? Nothing about them in the Constitution.

      • David Richardson

        That is why building roads should be the responsibility of the state governments alone. The tenth amendment
        states that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the
        Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the
        States respectively, or to the people.”

    • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

      Do you mind if I ask you a sincere question? Does being a “hardcore atheist” mean that you actively oppose religious belief or are you more of a live-and-let-live type of atheist? How does being a Libertarian fit into your views of religion (if it all)?

      Sorry to ask, but my impression of Libertarians (a few of whom I’ve voted for, when I was given the opportunity) was that they were okay with whatever people did as long as they didn’t harm each other.

      No leading questions or agenda here — just really curious.

      • David Richardson

        I oppose religious beliefs personally, because they do cause harm. My political views have nothing to do with how I view religion, I do not want the government involved with religion whatsoever. I was only making a point that not all atheists are liberal and CPAC really is alienating potential supporters.

        • HorseshoeNail

          Okay, fair enough, thanks.

          Do you mind if I ask one more question? What harms do you believe that religion causes and would you be okay with religious belief if it weren’t for those harms?

          For example, a lot of atheists seem to be hostile towards religious belief because they claim that anti-gay attitudes or laws are based primarily on religious belief (which I’m sure is at least partly true). So if that were the case, would they have no objection to religion if religion were “pro-gay” or does it go deeper than that?

          Again, sorry for the questions – I’m very intrigued.

          • David Richardson

            I am heterosexual so it certainly goes deeper than that. People dying because their parents chose “faith healing” over going to the hospital is a good example. Trying to pass laws that try to make religious beliefs law is my biggest concern though. I should not be forced to follow rules set for followers of a religion I do not even believe in.

          • HorseshoeNail

            Thanks. I agree completely on the “faith healing” example, especially when it comes to children being denied treatment (which I consider criminal).

            Could you give me examples of what laws you think are based on religious belief? Obviously there are some laws that seem to be pretty clearly religion-based or -influenced, such as “blue laws” (store hours on Sunday, dry counties, many laws affecting consentual sexual behavior between adults, etc.) but there are also secularists (so to speak) who oppose things like abortion and gay marriage.

            I’d also be curious how this differs from laws based on a certain ideology or other non-religious belef system. If I think marijuana should be leglized or guns should be banned and you don’t, isn’t one of us going to impose our value system on the other? Gun control is another example.

          • David Richardson

            The blue laws, and laws against sodomy, indecency and such, as well as “sin” taxes are the laws I consider to be most religion-based.
            People trying to impose their values on one another is the reason I am a libertarian. I don’t want the government to impose on people practicing their faith as long as they aren’t harming anybody. I also don’t want them granting privledges, such as tax exempt status, to churches.

          • HorseshoeNail

            Okay, makes sense. Thanks for taking the time to share your positions on these things – much appreciated.

  • axnyslie

    Jesus was kicked out too for being “too liberal”

    • Guthridge Austin

      According to some not-so-well-documented “history”.

  • Pete Day

    Here is the problem. He keeps threatening the Christian Right. What about the Christian Left? Lets keep our eyes on the prize. For some reason the Atheist movement has tied itself to the left. This is a natural reaction for the Evangelicals tying themselves to the right, but it really isn’t helpful to tie the Atheist movement to Obama care, tax reform (except for going after tax exempt status of churches etc.), or gun control, and other left wing/right wing issues. There are a lot of non-democrat leaning atheists out there who do not join American Atheists or other secular organizations specifically because they ally themselves with other organizations and parts that we disagree with.

    American Atheists, please stick with religious issues and equality issues that come from discrimination by the religious. Let other organizations deal with those other issues. It’s the only way you can break back into the Republican party.

    • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

      “For some reason the Atheist movement has tied itself to the left.”

      Yes, because the left also believes that anyone who disagrees with them is stupid (and is not shy about saying it).

      • Pete Day

        Granted, but so does the right. I think that the Atheist movement is too (an yes I know it sounds silly) “anti god”. Lets be more “pro-reason”. The anti-god spin puts Atheists against the “christian right”. A more focused “pro-reason” puts us on better footing and higher ground. All the right-wing pundits claim to be logical or reasonable, and for the most part they are, except when it comes into conflict with a religious belief.

        • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

          Yep. I am a believer but I think that everyone would benefit from more reason, logic, and facts, and less ideology and demagogery. There are far more “rational” believers than many atheists believe. I believe in God, but also in the Big Bang, evolution, global warming, etc. My beliefs influence my morality and priorities in my life, not my willingness to accept scientific facts.

  • Allen White

    You just have to love those christian FASCISTS ! If it ain’t christian, then it ain’t allowed in America.

    • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

      Yep, those fascists invited the atheists to their show and instead of graciously accepting and maturely sharing their ideas with the fascists, they got on CNN and started bragging about how those fascists should be “threatened” by the atheists. Really, really, really smart.

  • Leland Fisher

    Lol silverman is in the list twice

  • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

    So a large conservative organization gives the atheists a chance to present their views at a conference, and the atheists then turn around and start talking about how their target audience should feel “threatened” by them. Then they act suprised and outraged when they’re uninvited after insulting their hosts.

    Kind of dispels the notion that atheists are smarter than other people, doesn’t it? Either that, or the people in charge of American Atheists let their egos get the better of them yet again.
    You have no one to blame but yourselves.

    • PrimeCutt

      I have to agree with you on your first point. However most atheists know that not all atheists are intelligent.

      To quote Maher, “I’m sure there are some atheists out there that believe pony tails looks good on men.”

      • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

        “However most atheists know that not all atheists are intelligent.”

        Yes, but do most atheists also realize that there are intelligent believers, or does being a believer automatically disqualify you from being considered intelligent?

        Atheism (n) : A way to make yourself feel intellectually superior to other people.

        • PrimeCutt

          I’d say some atheists feel this way because the vast majority of people on this planet are stupid and the most outspoken people are also moronic. The fact that most people on this planet are religious usually makes it seem that most religious people are moronic. That’s not to say that we all think this because I certainly do not. My sister is probably the smartest person I’ve ever met but she still believes in a creator.

          And either you’re trolling or you’re not reading how civil our replies to your comments are. I’m going to back off now but feel free to reply and if you’re not being nasty about this whole thing I’ll gladly keep replying.

          • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

            I’m all about civility – treat others as you like to be treated, right?

            And there are plenty of stupid, intolerant Christians who give all believers a bad name. I think we should be careful not to judge a group of people by heir loudest members.

          • PrimeCutt

            Right and right.

            Word of advice though, if you would like to actually reach angry atheists about stuff like this don’t immediately reply with sarcasm and angry retorts. You’ll just piss them off even more. In fact I’d say it’s not very christian to behave the way you have on this board. I don’t mean to criticize you I just mean to offer my advice. If you really want to help atheists change their beliefs you should be a bit more polite about it. Even if they are being nasty.

            Edit: I guess I do mean to criticize. But I mean to do it in a positive and constructive way and not to insult you.

          • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

            No offence taken – I agree with you.

            I can assure you there is absolutely no anger at all on my part, but will admit to the sarcasm in some cases.

            You will notice that I’ve not insulted anyone’s intelligence, used profanity or threats, or simply tried to shout people down. I’m interested in having a rational discussion, not exchanging propaganda.

            Thanks for the feedback – and I mean that sincerely.

          • PrimeCutt

            I do have to contradict you here. This quote from above: “Atheism (n) : A way to make yourself feel intellectually superior to other people.” really is more about anger than any positive discussion. It implies that all atheists claim to be atheists purely because they are conceited and not because they actually don’t believe in a god.

            This too, “Atheists like to portray religious people as angry and intolerant, and then go and act the same way. No dignity, no maturity, just hate, hate, hate.” leads to anger between both sides.

            You often express a generalized distaste for atheists while also claiming that we all think that all theists are stupid and how awful we are for insulting theists.

            Statements like these coupled with your sarcasm ends up creating a wall between you and us that first has to be taken down before anyone will take you seriously. I am not saying you have nothing to add but you are seemingly intentionally bringing up a wall between you and your targeted opponents.

            Save yourself the trouble and don’t bother with any negativity at all. Whatever point you are trying to put across, just leave the anger to yourself or vent to your friends about it. It won’t lead to anything productive in a discussion.

            You’re acting perfectly civil with me now but it took a few replies for me to know for certain. Treat this as your own public image problem, if you’re inclined to take my advice.

          • SelfAbsorbedAtheist

            Well said, but to be clear, I don’t have a distate for atheists or atheism — I do have a distaste for the ugly bigotry toward and, frankly, ignorance about religious people in the comments made by both posters and AA leaders themselves.

            I also feel the need to very clearly reiterate that I am not “angry” at anyone or anything and am not “venting” here or anywhere else. This is not an emotional issue for me. Given the clearly angry tone of many of the posters here, I understand why people assume everyone shares their own anger. What I am (vanely, it appears) trying to do is to respond to some of the specious logic and brazen hostility. Please read the posts by atheists here and see how many you would classify as truly open-minded, tolerant and constructive vs what you might call “angry venting”

            I have said MANY times that I believe atheists have the right to believe what they wish, without interference, and that I have no tolerance for religious people who behave inappropriately either. Perhaps you could try to convince some of the more “outspoken” posters here to make a similar statement on the atheist side? THAT would go a long way to dispelling my attitudes towards the atheists who speak out here at AA (present company excluded, of course).

          • PrimeCutt

            I’m going to leave you with one more point that makes me think that you’re not wholeheartedly trying to extend an olive branch.

            Your screen name screams angst. Whether you mean for it or not, it does. I recommend you simply change it. You don’t owe me anything but it’s just another thing that peeves me.

            If you’re looking for polite atheists this is the wrong place. I’d recommend /r/atheism at reddit. I was hoping what they had said about AA was wrong but they were right. AA is a bit too aggressive for my taste and I wish they dealt with things with more finesse. AA does seem to me like an organization that is too interested in money over actually having interesting discussions. Silverman always seems convinced that religious people don’t enjoy religion and it makes us all come off as snarky to those who do. (I know I did enjoy the church up until my deconversion). I don’t know if you like O’Reilly but the “debates” between him and Silverman always end up in yelling and both sides just get even more heated. Maybe I should have expected as much from the website.

            There are much better representatives for my personal ideals out there and I wish Silverman would cool his jets for a bit so we could maybe get people like Dawkins up with O’Reilly more often.

          • HorseshoeNail

            Thanks for the reddit pointer. The name was meant to get people’s attention – there’s no angst at all – but I agree and will change it to a less provocative one.

            In all honesty, I’m simply trying to better understand how atheists think and MAYBE to get them to drop their stereotypes — there are too many of those on both sides of the issue. Believe me, there are plenty of things that I find equally (if not more) objectionable among some believers as well.

            Thanks agin.

    • TommyNIK

      No. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council hate group opened his mouth and misquoted Jefferson, as usual.

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  • Jesus loves you

    It’s good though, right? What happens if you “help” a chick by removing the shell of its egg for it as it begins to hatch?

    • KLampp

      I do not have a problem with the AA having a booth at CPAC. AND I AM A EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN! I also believe that a Evangelical Christian group should attempt to have a booth at AA’s convention! If I lived in Salt Lake, I definitely would try!
      I love the opportunity to hear ideas outside of my own. It has sometimes, in the past, proved to me that I held onto something that was not true. If you only listen to those that share the same view, how do you learn to defend your view?
      I look forward to opportunities to discuss/debate why Atheism is wrong and Christianity is true. Since I hold to that worldview ……Why would I be mad at an Atheist speaking to me about hi/her worldview? I appreciate it! So far, all it has done was to make me a stronger Christian!
      Contrary to what some will say……True Christians do not have to fear Atheist(We have the TRUTH) and Atheist do not need to fear True Christians!True Christians would not hurt you. (We are instructed to love you and live at peace with others as far as we are concerned.) Now we are commanded, and I believe should “Spread the Gospel” But you should not fear that…You hold to the view that there is no God.
      .Just as I don’t mind or fear an Atheist sharing and giving evidence to support his view. I appreciate the debate.

      • HorseshoeNail

        Please stop — you’re ruining the stereotype that Christians are closed minded bigots who are afraid of atheists. And please also stop saying nice things about other people or adopting a live-and-let-live attitude. Everyone here KNOWS that’s not what Christians are like — in fact, many atheists are so smart and well-informed that they don’t NEED to talk to normal, mainstream Christians to know what they’re like. 🙂

        Just go back to burning witches and all those other violent things buried in the Old Testament ….

        [Just in case : that was meant to be sarcastic. As a believer myself I feel exactly the same way that you do, but only a very small percentage of the posters here seem ready to accept the idea of living in harmony with rational, loving, and tolerant Christians. Best of luck and God bless]

  • It’s me, Mario!

    American Atheists’ next convention REALLY should be held in Raleigh North Carolina.

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  • TiredOfYourIdiocy

    This “SelfAbsorbedAtheist” is exactly the type of web user that should be disbarred. From all of the net. Clearly someone has a need to incite anger, arguments and hatred. Why are you even here darling? Go choke on rocks.

  • mgardener

    Doesn’t the tea party ‘threaten’ the republican party on a daily basis and aren’t proud of it?

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  • Question the question

    I consider myself to be neither atheist nor religious. I am not agnostic nor spiritualist. If I were to consider myself anything I would say that I am inquisitive. I like to question everything, and after reading many of these comments I can say one thing. Belief and non belief are equally interesting in that, much like the political sphere in the country, there are several factions and extremes within atheism and religion. Several of which I do not understand, not because of a lacking in intelligence on my part but rather the inability to see an absolute in anything especially the concepts of there being or not being a supernatural consciousness beyond our current levels of understanding. SelfAbsorbed I do understand your take in that persecution is a strong phrase that requires definite backing but at the same time I understand the other views in that we live in a country where the separation of church and state is almost non existent; case in point the pledge of allegiance still states one nation under God and many courts still swear in on the bible, and also the whole pro-life pro-choice movement which is a topic on which deserves its own page on here. The human condition has grown closer to what could be hoped to be a common collective but this discussion board has still proved that there is a much to be learned still in this world. Humans can learn SO much from one another, we all just need to listen to each other with an undeniable and unquestionable willingness to stride forward in understanding without needing to change or coerce one another from what they view. I truly appreciate a very thought provoking discussion much like you SelfAbsorbed devoid of sarcasm but with true understanding so I hope that this will not only inspire response from you but many others

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  • HorseshoeNail

    ““The Christian right should be threatened by us.”

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  • Cthulhu21
    I think this needs to be noted.

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