National Atheist Party Cancels 2012 Convention

It’s hard to top the Reason Rally as far as getting atheists to come together and getting media attention, but the National Atheist Party wanted to replicate that feat by holding their own convention.

Yesterday, though, president Troy Boyle announced that it would be canceled due to lack of support and funding:

NAPCON 2012 was supposed to be our biggest and best public event; our chance to show the U.S. that we could fund and organize a large, noteworthy and impressive “Secular Summit” that would attract media buzz and even more interested members and donations. The reality is that we can’t. The donations simply aren’t there and if we went ahead with the event as planned, it would bankrupt us. As a member-driven organization, we want to be responsible with your money and spending every last penny on a single event cannot be considered responsible. As my Grandmother would have said, “Our eyes got bigger than our belly!”

I won’t bore you with the long litany of reasons that this convention hasn’t come together. Suffice it to say that too many critical players have backed out of the event, and too few donations and sponsors have committed to supporting it. Whether that is our failure to market the event properly or we simply didn’t have enough seed money to insure its success is moot. The plain fact of the matter is that we have to cancel the event and spend more time and careful planning to make our 2013 convention a solid and better organized success.

That’s not much of a confidence booster in a year when a political party created to bring together Secular Americans should’ve had a banner year. And since this is the public admission of what happened, it stands to reason that there was a lot more chaos happening behind the scenes.

But how do you build up an organization like this one when your biggest event is a no-go and the election will be over in a couple of months? Rebooting in a few years is not much consolation.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.