Controversy: Should American Atheists have been booted from CPAC?


Nothing like a little controversy to spike attendance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) an annual event attended by 10,000 faithful conservative activists. They will gather on March 6 – 8, just outside Washington D.C. to hear speeches from practically every leading Republican, including the entire bench of 2016 presidential hopefuls.

“Faithful” is the operative word here because a group without faith is generating many pre-CPAC headlines after being booted from an information booth they had recently purchased. That group is the American Atheists and their mission statement taken from their website says:

American Atheists fights to protect the absolute separation of religion from government and raise the profile of atheism in the public discourse.

Here are the facts surrounding this little kerfuffle between the American Atheists and CPAC.

On February 25, 2014 American Atheists announced via this press release that they “will sponsor an information booth” at CPAC. According to CNN,
American Atheists paid $3,000 for booth 439 in the event’s exhibition hall.

However, the Atheists led by their activist President, David Silverman (a nice Jewish boy who was “forced to do his Bar mitzvah”) was a little too excited about the CPAC booth and used it for bragging rights to CNN.

Here is exactly how the press release read:

Atheists March Into Lions’ Den at CPAC Organization     Confronts Conservatism’s Religious Image   

Does anyone besides me find it ironic that the headline in the Atheists’ press release used a Biblical reference from the story of Daniel in the Lions’ Den? After all, the God that Atheists believe does not exist miraculously saved Daniel from being devoured by hungry lions.

Moving along, on the evening of February 25, Silverman told CNN the following:

“Conservative isn’t a synonym for religious,” Silverman said. “I am not worried about making the Christian right angry. The Christian right should be angry that we are going in to enlighten conservatives. The Christian right should be threatened by us.”

Well, those “fightin’ words” were not kindly received by the American Conservative Union (ACU) the organization that sponsors CPAC. Thus, the Atheists’ next press release  read like this:

CPAC Boots Atheist Booth
Atheists: ‘This Is Exactly the Problem’

On Tuesday, American Atheists President David Silverman received a phone call from 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.

Now, this entire saga has been widely reported and is causing quite a stir bringing more attention to both CPAC and the Atheists. This is really good news for the Atheists because they will fundraise off the controversy, just in time for their annual convention to be held in April in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Seriously? Their annual convention in “Mormon Mecca?” Salt Lake City residents must rank among the most devout of any city in the USA.

Which begs the question, “What is with these people?” Either they are amazingly brilliant, savvy, strategic thinkers and what they are doing is beyond my comprehension — or they are completely clueless imbeciles who intentionally want everyone to despise them. You decide!

Personally, I believe that the ACU’s board should have let the Atheists keep their CPAC booth because there would have been some fascinating, passionate discussions stretching over those three days in early March.

Furthermore, according to the original press release, “A special promotion will allow anyone attending the conference who visits the American Atheist booth to sign-up for a free 1-year membership.” And who could have resisted that offer?

So now that you have all the facts and links to the pertinent source material, do you think the ACU board should have booted the American Atheists from their booth at CPAC?

Only God, who saved Daniel from the lions’ den, the God who Atheists do not believe in (but like to reference anyway) knows the correct answer to this question, but your answer will be appreciated.

For some CPAC humor read A CPAC survival guide for moderate Republicans also by Myra Adams.

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