In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Atheist Leader Attends CPAC After They Banned His Booth

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"I said that the Christian right should be threatened by the rise of secularism and they said we threatened people of faith. But that was the line, the fact that I used 'threatened' in a sentence. They just took out and assigned it do a different thing," Silverman told TPM on Thursday.

Silverman said that wasn't what he meant. He and some staff and supporters planned to still attend the conference and hand out information for their organization.

"We're not threatening any people. We're threatening the Christian right's hold on conservatism. We're here to do that," Silverman said. "That doesn't mean we're attacking Christian people, that doesn't mean we're attacking people of faith. We're attacking the notion that you need to be Christian in order to be conservative. And that's a false notion. There's lots of conservative atheists out there and they deserve to be heard. And if the conservative party wants to grow they should solicit the atheist vote and dump the stuff that is literally pushing atheists away like prayer in school and gay marriage."

In late February organizers for CPAC confirmed that Silverman and his organization had lost its booth after he said that " The Christian right should be angry that we are going in to enlighten conservatives. The Christian right should be threatened by us."

Photo by Jeff Mallet

About The Author

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Daniel Strauss is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He was previously a breaking news reporter for The Hill newspaper and has written for Politico, Roll Call, The American Prospect, and Gaper's Block. He has also interned at Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and The New Yorker. Daniel grew up in Chicago and graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in History. At Michigan he helped edit Consider, a weekly opinion magazine. He can be reached at daniel@talkingpointsmemo.com.