“Thank you for writing to American Atheists concerning the dismissal of President Ellen Johnson. Please be assured that this was not an action that was taken lightly or without an immense amount of agonizing on the part of all members of the board. Two special meetings of the Boards of Directors of American Atheists, Inc., and its four affiliated American Atheists corporations were held for the purpose of allowing Ms. Johnson to discuss policies concerning which she and the boards disagreed. For reasons known only to Ms. Johnson, she did not take part in those meetings and did nothing to resolve the issues in question. Consequently, at a third special meeting of the boards, a majority of the directors felt it their fiduciary responsibility to remove Ms. Johnson from the office of President, although she has not been removed from membership on the boards themselves.”
He also mentions that the board requested that Ellen not complete Bill Moore’s march under the AA banner (due to “complex legal reasons”), but she did anyway.
He adds that he has nothing but respect for Ellen and what she has done for AA and the atheist movement in general:
“I agree with you perhaps more than you can appreciate that Ellen Johnson has been a brilliant and effective leader of the Atheist movement and has made many extremely important contributions to the cause of reason, Atheist civil liberties, and separation of state and church.”
So, a few questions are answered. We’re not completely in the dark like we were last week.
The responses won’t satisfy everyone. But it does put some of the blame on Ellen for not following what the board requested. This wasn’t a coup or a blindside. It seems like the firing was building up and the time finally came for the board to make a difficult decision.
I’d still like to know more details behind the vague language but I’m doubtful we’ll be hearing much more from AA about this.