Ellen Johnson Steps Down as American Atheists President

Some bittersweet news.

Ellen Johnson is stepping down as president of American Atheists.

In the spirit of obtaining all that she (and any other Atheist) can from one life the elegant, energetic and outspoken Ms. Johnson will now focus her passions on a new adventure. Just what that might be we do not yet know. We know, however, that it will be something splendid!

No real reason is given. But there doesn’t seem to be any animosity or bad blood. Ellen will still remain on the AA board.

She was a controversial figure but a visible voice for atheism, appearing on several national news programs during her tenure.

There is one piece of good news that comes with this announcement: For the time being, Ellen will be be replaced by Frank Zindler.

Frank is the editor of AA’s magazine, the author of several books about atheism, and a fantastic spokesperson for the cause.

It’s only temporary, though, until a permanent president is appointed. (Unlike other organizations, American Atheist’s leader is not elected.)

You’ll be hearing more about this story soon enough.

No doubt there will be a lot of changes made to the organization and how it is run.

(via NoGodBlog)


[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

  • http://www.bolingbrookbabbler.com William

    Does AA have any elected positions, or are the officers all self-appointed?

  • http://atheistrevolution.blogspot.com/ vjack

    Maybe you should run, Hemant.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Hemant Mehta

    Does AA have any elected positions, or are the officers all self-appointed?

    As far as I know, the positions are appointed. It might be done differently now; I’m not sure.

  • http://blackskeptic.wordpress.com blackskeptic

    I hope they get a nicer looking website soon.

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  • Rose

    No real reason is given. But there doesn’t seem to be any animosity or bad blood.

    Doesn’t it seem a little odd that she would resign in the middle of the Freedom Walk? Puzzling… I hope more information will be available soon…

  • erf stone

    Please be aware, all, that Ellen Johnson was fired and there was nothing amicable about it. It was done in a very hurtful way, while she was in the midst of her Freedom Walk. It would be nice to have the correct facts on these blogs. While, yes, she is still a Board member, one has to wonder how long that will last?
    Whether or not her continued time as President was best for the organization or not, this was a very inappropriate and, as said, hurtful way to fire her. I hope the Board shows better judgment in selecting a new President (who, BTW, should NOT be Frank Zindler – a dedicated, devoted atheist but the wrong man for this job).

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  • Stephen Bauer

    Dear Reader,
    I liked Ellen. A lot of us Atheists’ even ones that were not members of American Atheists felt she spoke for us.
    I feel you are making a mistake in not being more forthright in describing what occurred.
    When atheists do not feel that they have been given enough information to make up their own mind they become angry at the person/s withholding that information.
    When you refuse to explain to us what happened ; our default position is going to be that ” you fired our friend without even telling us what she did wrong “.
    If you do not care what Atheists’ think of you then your actions are fine, it is your organization and you can do as you please.
    If you do not want a hostile attitude from Atheists’, then I suggest you be honest with us and tell us why you fired Ellen.
    . You know it is only a matter of time before everyone knows anyway. (This is the internet )
    The only difference it will make is how the ” Board of Directors ” and ultimately ” American Atheist” is perceived by us.

    ” The OWL “.

  • Pacotheus

    Something happened about which we remain unaware. Most likely – judging from other situations in which these sorts of things happen – the AA board made some kind of decision about the future of the organization with which Ellen did not agree. Might have been all sorts of things – to become more activist, to become more activist or elss activist on one or another issue, or maybe even to openly support or not support Obama or McCain (as a nonprofit, it “can’t” support either but it certainly could indicate which one it believes would be more state-church separation-friendly), etc. Maybe in a few months or years someone will talk and we’ll find out what happened.


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