CPAC Yanks American Atheists’ Booth

American Atheists had an agreement with the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for a table at the event, but the conference decided at the last minute to renege on that agreement because, they disingenuously claim, they didn’t like the “tone” of a press release AA put out about it.

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.”

He’s certainly right about that. If you’re going to invite Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh to speak, you forfeit any right to complain about anyone’s tone from now until the inevitable heat death of the universe. None of this is remotely surprising, of course. In fact, I’d have placed a sizable bet on CPAC doing this, as they did to GOProud a couple years ago.

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  • justsomeguy

    Not surprising. The heart of conservatism is the preservation of the status quo, and the current status quo is very pro-religion (pro-jesus specifically).

  • Mr Ed

    CPAC: These colors don’t run*

    *does not include ideas or facts that don’t fit our preconceived notions.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Assuming GOProud has a convention, would they allow AA to set up there?

  • mikeyb

    Will there be any booth for Ayn Rand libertarian atheism, the de facto economic nuttery of the vast majority of right wingers. Maybe we can call this evangelical neo-Randianism – Randian libertarianism + God.

  • D. C. Sessions

    The heart of conservatism is the preservation of the status quo

    s/the status quo/privilege/

  • Chiroptera

    Heh. This sounds a lot like asking the Klan to allow the SPLC to set up a booth at one of their rallies. The question is why would anyone even try?

    Or are some people still under the illusion that contemporary US conservatism is a consistent ideology based on the reasoned analysis of contemporarys issues based on a ration set of values, and so they might be interested in occassionally comparing and contrasting themselves with other viewpoints

  • eric

    @6 – maybe not that exactly, but I expect some moderates and even conservatives may still be under the illusion that the “business” side of the GOP is in control and the religious side is being manipulated by them for support. Gestures like this help to show the public that the reverse is pretty much true: it’s the wall street folk being played.

  • sinned34

    Eric @ 7:

    it’s the wall street folk being played.

    Unfortunately, that just is not true. The Wall Street folk are rich enough that they live in their own bubbles, almost completely unaffected by the havoc that the True Believers are wreaking on the United States. They are the modern day aristocracy, who aren’t beholden to the same morality that the religious demand from the rest of the plebes.

    They don’t care if the crazies burn down the entire village outside the castle walls, so long as their status and wealth isn’t affected.

  • felidae

    Silverman should have kept his mouth shut and went in under the radar and waited for the inevitable kerfluffle when they tried to kick him out after the event started–would have generated coverage on both left and right media

    Strange how thew Randians get a pass on the atheism issue

  • Ichthyic

    Strange how thew Randians get a pass on the atheism issue

    that would be because most of them aren’t atheists.

    when HAVEN’T you known xianity to steal ideas from other realms and co-opt them for their own use?

    it’s how it formed even, let alone how it has survived and thrived over the last millenia.

  • Michael Heath

    Another pratfall by AA. You don’t win by lowering yourself to Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh’s standard, but instead by practicing a laudable standard. See Jackie Robinson, MLK Jr., and Ellen Degeneres.