President of the National Atheist Party Issues An Abrupt Resignation

Less than a month after his group had its first-ever convention, Troy Boyle, the co-founder and President of the National Atheist Party, abruptly resigned from his position on Saturday:

He made the announcement on Facebook and explained the reason why in the comments:

An increasing lack of cooperation by the Executive Board; and a need to concentrate on my two careers of Law and Comics.

The organization released a statement on their website, though the explanation (as you might expect) doesn’t really go into a lot of detail about what happened behind the scenes:

This of course comes not only as a shock to the staff and members of the party, but especially the Executive Board who had no warning of the decision. The ‘increasing lack of cooperation’ cited has also stunned the Executive Board as the Charter, written by Boyle, clearly spells out that “The President forms decisions on the basis of input and recommendations from the Advisory Council, Executive Board, and all VPs”.

Susi Bocks, newly elected Treasurer of the NAP said, “I am saddened that Troy’s life situations have to be his focus now and am surprised at the other comment as to the reason for his resignation, but can appreciate that his priorities are for himself and his family. The Executive Board wishes him well and much success with his completion of law school, his comic book venture and his upcoming position with Homeland Security in Washington, DC. Unfortunately, the stress of personal factors endured this last year and, in addition, an upcoming move to a new state has precipitated this decision, but we wish him much success.”

The NAP has a constituency of approximately 8,000 members (online) across all 50 states. While there have been severalbumps” along the way, the NAP had done a really great job of asking candidates for public office what they will do for atheists if elected.

With a new President taking office soon, let’s hope the group can get back on track to bring together a sizable voting bloc. You may laugh off the idea of a political party for atheists, but if it helps some atheists get energized and excited about voting for certain candidates, it may help all of us in the long run.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Gotta Stay Sane

    Based on my observations on the atheist community via blogs and postings/comments etc. it is clear that trying to organize or bring concensus to us is akin to the proverbial cat-herding round-up; it is an impossible and thankless task.

    And the numbers show this new Org to be young (8000 members is not a huge number) but I would guess one of the components to his decision to quit is an in ability for the board to agree on anything vis-a-vis co-opting of social issues that should not be dealt with YET as an atheist organization. Couple in the fact Troy looks like a white guy and I am betting he was taking shit from the female board members and being made to feel like a second rate citizen.

    Can I prove this? No, of course not. But based on the rhetoric and overtly PC attitudes that permeate the atheist “organized” side I would be willing to bet the house on it.

    I wish him luck, and I wish theNAP luck as well. I sincerely hope the NAP gets clear focus and Troy succeeds in his two chosen aspects of life.

    • Kengi

      Can you prove this? No, of course not, but that doesn’t stop you from taking a cheap shot at women and minorities.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

      well, i’d have a hard time being a member. i love the idea of running atheist candidates. in some regions of this country the number one issue is too much religion in politics and the political leadership failing to do right by all their constituents in the name of promoting religion first.

      but a national party is not going anywhere with just atheism as an issue. if i were a board member, the first motion i’d make is changing the name of the party to “the American Party of Reason.” because in lots of places all over this country, *that* is what we need. reason. science. thoughtful debate. history. facts. logic. and, acceptance of nontheists and the diverse nature of the polity when it comes to religion, not just the emphasis on one sub-sect of one faith.

      here’s the ad for the platform for the new party:

      /fade into faces of all sorts of normal looking americans. bold easy to read font each para beginning with new party logan, to images rotating in the background of various examples contained within them (image of people shouting, images of gay couple holding hands, images of happy people going to church, images of damaged environment, etc. light, upbeat nonvocal music in the background/

      We your neighbors. We’re your coworkers. We’re Americans, and right now, we all have the same needs. We’re the APR, and we want to offer you an alternative to the same two parties that have failed us so badly for the last decade and more. We’re all facing the same terrible challenges, and we’re all going to have to work together to solve them.

      we need to be reasonable and admit diversity is a good thing and strengthens our nation and economy. we need reasonable laws on things like immigration reform and religious toleration and educational and employment diversity, giving everyone a fair chance to participate and succeed.

      we need science based policy to move our economy ahead and compete in a global reality. we need to accept and act on pressing scientific issues like water conservation, alternative energy, and the environment. we need to teach science in science class, and nothing else. we need to fund scientific research so we retain our premiere position on global science issues.

      we need thoughtful debate, instead of childish shouting and ‘got ya’ arguments between our policy makers and media figures. we need to be governed and informed by adults who discuss facts and the priorities of both a majority, and a minority. we need an end to hateful rhetoric and misrepresentation of those who think and believe differently on the important issues of our times.

      we need to remember history, for those who don’t are failed to repeat its mistakes. we know what doesn’t work, what didn’t work in the past, and what won’t work now. we have the resources to discover exactly what that is at are literal fingertips. we need less opinion and polemic, and more analysis of what does work and how we can do it here. we need less fantasy and mythology masquerading as history.

      we need to have policy based on facts and logic. facts aren’t the same thing as opinions. logic isn’t the same thing as emotional response. it’s a free country and everyone can and should have all four in their arsenal. but it’s time to stop pretending that too many of our officials and media representatives substitute emotion for logical analysis was they construct or opine about policy. and facts are not debatable, no matter how uncomfortable they may make some people. wasting time on made-up histories unfounded, wild fears isn’t going to get us anywhere. the world didn’t end when gays started legally marrying, nor does an angry divinity cause earthquakes when we allow children to pray in private, and keep it out of official school events.

      We are the American Party of Reason and we want your support for our candidates, each of whom subscribe to and pledge to implement these policies and attitudes if elected. Join us today, for real solutions to all our common challenges. /fade

      I but the atheist hooks in italics, in case you can’t tell. run with that in atheist/nonaffiliate heavy areaa/markets, if you want.

      there, NAP. run with that. when you raise a little money, send me a check for $1k in consulting/lobbying fees. I’m good, but i work cheap for friendly orgs with good causes.

      • Humanist within the Atheists

        Everything that happens within the organisation that affects it as a whole gets voted on by every by the members of NAP, not just the EB. A name change was proposed once already (American Secular Party) and brought to vote. There was even a [funsies] debate posted to Aron Ra’s YouTube page where he and CA chapter leader Justin Light discussed their opposing views to the proposed change. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeLuST-SDVM&list=UUAJfDidJyukTekgSRZrjadw&index=1 Unfortunately for those who were hoping for it, it was voted down (although by a tight margin).

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

          thanks! i’ll check that out later. right now, i’ve got to go shoot a bunny and toss a piece of melting chocolate at a guy in a cave. /naughty

      • This

        That is actually a really good idea and a fantastic post! I agree with about &5-percent, but the key thing is the name change and refocus!

        Kudos!

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

          you only agree with 5%? wow, thank you. i guess i’m getting thru.

          • Grood

            DOH! I meant 75-percent!!!!!

            Dang gorilla fingers at the keyboard…

      • http://www.facebook.com/bernie.kellish Flash Kellish

        Would you be willing to discuss this further in PM? I like your suggestions.

        https://www.facebook.com/bernie.kellish

      • Fredom Fighter

        Keep pushing your candidates, Dyke. They will lose.

    • jdm8

      “Can I prove this? No, of course not.”

      That’s code for “I’m talking out of my ass here”.

    • Reginald Selkirk

      And the numbers show this new Org to be young (8000 members is not a huge number)

      The numbers show this new org to be small. FIFY.

    • RobMcCune

      Odd how the less you’re able to prove the more the world conforms to your view of it. Even stranger all those people you hate are the cause of all the problems you’ve just learned about. You must be psychic.

    • Thegoodman

      “Couple in the fact Troy looks like a white guy and I am betting he was
      taking shit from the female board members and being made to feel like a
      second rate citizen.”

      As a white guy I take offense to that. Also, I don’t “take shit” from females. I listen to them and work with them. I am also empathetic to the challenges they face that I do not but realize that business must be taken care of regardless, in every case in my life they realize this as well.

      Please go troll some feminist forums and learn something man, you are embarrassing yourself.

  • Kimpatsu

    If Troy is taking a post with the racist and authoritarian Homeland Security, where exactly on the political spectrum does t
    he NAP fall? I had expected it to be a liberal, freedom-loving party, but evidently I was wrong.

    • Jason Loveless

      Your “evidence” of the philosophy of the party as a whole is the rumored employment destination of the former president? How did you manage to convince yourself that that was a reasonable inference?

      • Freedom Fighter

        Its a reasonable inferences because his emploers at that authoritarian organization obviously thought he would be a good fit for the job.

        • Jason Loveless

          I reject your naked speculation and substitute my own.

          Let’s see… Troy misrepresented his views to the NAP and when they found out his true colors, they invited him to resign.

          Or better yet, DHS isn’t actually a thoroughly “racist and authoritarian” organization, and simplistically overlaying that flawed characterization onto the individual Troy is merely ignorance upon lies.

  • http://twitter.com/nicoleintrovert Nicole Introvert

    I think they should fold and focus their efforts into the Secular Coalition for America. Political party… no. Advocacy group…. yes!

  • Kimpatsu

    You know, I hate the Patheos system. How do I edit my post? Why is so so hard to post under my nom de blog? Where are the markers for highlights, bold, and italics?
    This sucks.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

      put INSERT YOUR TEXT
      and at the end of your text repeat the process but with a / in front of the letter.
      but obviously without the spaces and only one letter for i= italics, b=bold and u=underline.

      • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

        Actually, given how this system has worked in the past, you might want to use <em> for italic and <strong> for bold.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

          i’ve always used i and b (shorter to type) and it’s always worked for me.

          • Thegoodman

            Is thing on?

  • Reginald Selkirk

    You may laugh off the idea of a political party for atheists…

    NO, I don’t consider it a laughing matter. Theocracy is bad. Atheocracy is bad. Neutrality is the only supportable view government should have on religion. This is Enlightenment 101 stuff here.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

      no, actually it’s not and anyway, the Enlightenment folks couldn’t all agree about what the right form of government should be, and it’s not a question that’s been conclusively answered. compare Voltaire, Helevitius, Montesquieu, and Rousseau. they had wildly different positions, and those are just the French giants. our Founders were all over the map too.

      i’m not saying a government should not be “neutral” about religion in general. it’s a good place to start. but the government has to be active in making sure religious minorities receive protections, and that’s active legislation and the creation of protected legal classes. some will argue that it’s perfectly OK to farm out charity work with taxdollars to a religious org, so long as that org has a good track record providing relief. others will argue that governments should tax all property, sales, income and wealth, regardless of whether that group/individual is in the religion business. etc. some will say religious clubs have no business on state school campuses, while others will say proselytizing is protected and should be in the classroom. courts have not been perfectly consistent and clear about these questions, either.

      it’s not a simple question and that’s why it’s so hard to make atheism a central focus for a political party.

  • Sven2547

    Heh, I wasn’t even aware there is a “National Atheist Party”.
    Personally, I’m not a fan of identity politics. Even if the platform is good, I have little intention of joining any “National X Party”, where “X” is a specific subset of Americans.

  • Freedom Fighter

    This guy is going to be with homeland security? Figures.


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