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.