Atheist Leader Attends CPAC After They Banned His Booth

Jeffrey Malet

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Even though they lost their booth at the Conservative Political Action Conference, the president of the American Atheists decided to still attend the conference.

In an interview with TPM, David Silverman, the president of the atheist advocacy group, said that his booting from the conference was based on an unfair claim.

“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