American Atheists…expelled!

Just today I mentioned that American Atheists were going to have a booth at CPAC, which prompted many of you to say that you’d rather atheists didn’t attempt to recruit from that mob of sanctimonious assholes. You didn’t have to worry. CPAC had their own idea.

On Tuesday, American Atheists President David Silverman received a phone call from American Conservative Union Executive Director Dan Schneider informing him that the ACU board is breaking its agreement to permit American Atheists to host an information booth at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), March 6-8.

They’ve been kicked out, even before the convention started.

The conservatives cited Silverman’s “tone” as a problem, to which Dave makes the perfect reply:

Silverman repudiated Schneider’s assertion: “This is exactly the problem. The ACU, which has invited CPAC speakers such as Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Sarah Palin, is afraid of my tone? My ‘tone’ was clearly an excuse to back out after our press release angered religious conservatives.”

This is actually the best possible result. We aren’t at risk of tainting atheism with any more of those jerks, and American Atheists has effectively highlighted their intolerance. Win win!

Comments

  1. anuran says

    Always thought the angry demands for “civility” by conservatives were tone-trolling.
    Hypothesis confirmed

  2. says

    That’s too bad because I know far more conservative atheists who would fit right in with CPAC. They are the anti-authority free market types who hate any government support of poor people.

    Now who will Paul Ryan hang out with?

  3. mikeyb says

    One itty bitty little atheist booth in a sea of non-stop racist sexist homophobic theocratic propaganda, too terrifying to contemplate!!!

  4. Sven says

    In case there was any doubt that the American right-wing is increasingly defined by a platform of Christian-supremacy…

  5. Menyambal --- making sambal a food group. says

    They’re not Christians, really. They are all Old Testament, except for the bits of the New that don’t feature that Commie fruit, Jesus.

    What can we call them? Jehovists, maybe?

  6. mikeyb says

    Came across an interesting comment on this American Atheist booth scandal.

    Apparently some religious conservative thinks American Atheists, (and atheists by proxy) are “devoted to the hatred of god.” First of all devoted is not an expression any atheists I know would use, awe/wonder are better non-religious words as it applies and only to some aspects of nature. Second isn’t it kind of irrational to hate something that doesn’t exist. Describing some rather hateful features about non-existent beings is not the same as hating the non-existent being. Discrediting superstitions is not hating imaginary gods. It’s not even hating believers in god either, radical dissent from many of the policies and activities we’re forced to abide by living in a country governed by a majority of the faithful as a consequence of many of their superstitions irrational unexamined beliefs, and pointing these out continually yes. Is that hatred – no.

    I find it revealing the lack of imagination of typical believers. They have to describe non-believers with the same language: devotion, hatred, god, it’s like they are incapable of imagining something other than the mirror image/antipodes of themselves.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/brent-bozell-american-atheists-devoted-to-the-hatred-of-god

  7. raven says

    Apparently some religious conservative thinks American Atheists, (and atheists by proxy) are “devoted to the hatred of god.”

    Standard fundie xian babbling.

    We atheists get along really well with the gods. Couldn’t be better. They’ve been so quiet for centuries that it is almost like…they don’t exist.

    Or

    Brian Bozell hates almost all the gods. Thor, Zeus, Ahura Mazda, Marduck, Odin, Osiris, Brahma etc. He doesn’t worship them or even call or write anymore. They are very disappointed in Bozell.

    It’s not that fundies don’t have any imagination. They don’t. But they don’t even care that they don’t. These are meat robots running on automatic pilot.

  8. raven says

    Saint Ayn Rand was an atheist.

    A few of her cult still are.

    But most libertarians are cafeteria libertarians. Picking and choosing whatever they want to believe. Rather like most xians.

    I didn’t think this was going to end well. It wouldn’t have surprised me if AA and Silverman were assaulted or something at CPAC. These are not nice people.

  9. csrster says

    Obviously, as an atheist I don’t hate God. But if somebody ever manages to convince me he actually exists then I would have to give serious consideration to the possibility of hating him.

  10. Ichthyic says

    What can we call them? Jehovists, maybe?

    what did we call them before?

    oh, that’s right… demented fuckwits.

    why did we stop doing that?

  11. anuran says

    @5 Marcus Ranum writes:

    Sounds like time for some conservative islamists to ask for a booth…
    The Christofascists wouldn’t even bother complaining about “tone”. They hate Muslims with a passion usually reserved for bestial sub-human *shudder* Negroes and Christ-killing Jews.

    Before Shrubus Minimus became The Commander Guy Muslims tended to vote Republican because of religious values and so on. The last twelve years have seen a quick about face on that.

  12. raven says

    Apparently some religious conservative thinks American Atheists, (and atheists by proxy) are “devoted to the hatred of god.

    This is the near universal xian lie.

    That there is only one god.

    There are really thousands of gods at least. Maybe millions or billions if you count sockpuppet gods that people make up in their heads.

    It’s really meaningless to accuse people of hating god(s) unless you specify which god(s).

    I rather like a few of the old ones myself. There are so many that you can mix and match and create your own pantheon. Right now, I’m into Athena, Gaia, Estre, Isis, Freya, and Thor. They have way more class than the boring grouchy old xian Sky Monster god. And Thor has his own comic book series and a few movies.

  13. mildlymagnificent says

    But if somebody ever manages to convince me he actually exists then I would have to give serious consideration to the possibility of hating him.

    Join the club.

  14. jnorris says

    Exactly what is there about American Atheists that has the CPAC so afraid? Why can’t CPAC’s prayers protect them from American Atheists?

  15. borax says

    I wonder if CPAC would have welcomed a racist, sexist and homophobic atheist group. I bet they would have been ok with 3 out of 4. The four modern tenets of the republican party being racism, sexism homophobia and Christianity.

  16. Parse says

    I’m going to put on my Carnac hat, and predict that Silverman will spend the time up to the convention – and time at the convention itself, if he’s still going – documenting the tone of other known CPAC boothers, to show their hypocrisy. I’m also making the shocking predictions that rain is wet, the Pope is Catholic, and bears poop in the woods.

  17. pixelfish says

    I have a couple of conservative male friends, who are generally lovely but sometimes clueless fellows from my devout Mormon past. And on occasion, they have tried to debate policy with me, or tried to get me to relook at the conservative movements here in the States. And to a man, they all fail to realise that A reason* I left behind my Young Republican ways is because there was NO PLACE FOR ME in modern conservativism. Anti-woman policies are the big iceberg, but then you throw in things like this, and you’ve pretty much convinced me that there is STILL NO PLACE for me. Why would I want to skew conservative when nearly every vector my beliefs ride along is elided from their discourse?

    * not THE reason–so many reasons actually

  18. Bruce Fuentes says

    The situation shows American Atheist in a good light and the people at CPAC as the intolerant thugs they are.

    Now PZ if you could get that anti-Mary Burke ad off your page those of us fighting intolerance in WI would be greatly appreciative. Shame to see an ad by the political arm of the Republican Governors Association on your blog.

    I realize you don’t control all of that but I am sure you can say a thing or tow to those that do.

  19. Rex Little, Giant Douchweasel says

    We aren’t at risk of tainting atheism with any more of those jerks

    So atheism–the belief that gods and God don’t exist–is tainted if it’s shared by people whose politics you disagree with? An interesting view.

    raven @10:

    Saint Ayn Rand was an atheist.

    A few of her cult still are.

    Anyone still in her cult is certainly an atheist. Any hint of God-belief would get someone kicked out faster than coming to a meeting with a hammer-and-sickle armband.

  20. stevem says

    re “hate god”:

    The fundies are obsessed with the delusion that atheists simply DENY the existence of God, they do so to do all the things that God told us are evil. That “atheists” just want to be nasty little children. pffft. I, as an atheist myself, pity the poor fools for their inability to shed that delusion. That they are so dependent on being told what to think and how to behave “good”. That they seem incapable of, just figuring it out themselves what the right thing to do would be. I spend so much time looking at what I do and asking myself if that was a good thing to do that I just have to project that as the best way to live, that what I do is the best thing to do. And fundies have just taken that to the extreme; they don’t *ask* themselves any questions, they just *know* that their way is the right way and everybody else is WRONG. That is why they expelled the “atheist booth” from the “conservatives” convention, they can’t stand to hear any dissenting voices telling them they’re wrong or that there is any other way to look at things other than their way, which is the only Right Way (pun intended) to look at things.

    I have to re-iterate that “Atheism” does not “believe” God doesn’t exist. Neither do they claim to “know” it. Atheism is just “I don’t believe it, prove it exists then I’ll accept it”. “Atheism” is just “no faith”, that’s all. Believing God does Not exist, is very different from “Not believing he does exist”. Maybe I’m just hung up on distinguishing that syntax is important while everybody else disregards the syntax, but what the hey, that’s all I got to say, YMMV.

  21. Rex Little, Giant Douchweasel says

    Stevem, I agree that your description of atheism is more accurate than what I wrote above. I was in a hurry and trying to be brief.

  22. Rey Fox says

    Why would I want to skew conservative when nearly every vector my beliefs ride along is elided from their discourse?

    Because freedumb.

  23. says

    So atheism–the belief that gods and God don’t exist–is tainted if it’s shared by people whose politics you disagree with? An interesting view.

    Oh, come the fuck on. Clearly what’s intended here is not the abstract concept of atheism, but the atheist movement; the community of actual living, breathing human beings; the movement that already has its fair share of assholes and don’t need any more.

    This is not the first time we’ve discussed the difference between dictionary atheism and atheism as lived by actual human beings. Feel free to go back and read earlier threads.

  24. says

    Bruce:

    I realize you don’t control all of that but I am sure you can say a thing or tow to those that do

    Nope. The ads are not under PZ’s control in any way. IIRC, it’s a third party advertiser.

    ****

    Rex Little:

    So atheism–the belief that gods and God don’t exist–is tainted if it’s shared by people whose politics you disagree with? An interesting view.

    I thought it was obvious that the atheism in question is the Atheist Movement.
    Moreover, your simplistic “politics you disagree with” is dishonest bullshit. The three people PZ cites-Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin, and Rush Limbaugh–support policies that would have a devastating effect on millions of Americans. They’re virtually immune to the logic that shows their ideas are horrible. They appear immune to evidence of any short that shows their ideas are horrible. If their political views were fully enacted, it would fuck over LGBTQI, children, the poor, the elderly, immigrants, workers, college students and more. And ye gods, don’t be black.
    This isn’t just a “difference of opinion”. These people are divorced from reality. They continually demonstrate that they’re severely empathy deficient. When one of the prime goals of the Atheist Movement is shoring up the foundations of secularism, having people who share the views of Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin, or Rush Limbaugh onboard would be a hindrance. Moreover, it would push away many of the people who support the movement (in much the same way that the opposition to social justice + atheism has pushed people away).

  25. qwerty says

    CPAC got all upset when the Log Cabin Republicans showed up once. I remember meeting the man who was the head of the LCR at a post don’t ask, don’t tell repleal party in NYC.

    Most of CPAC would love to bring back the ban of lesbians and gays in the military.

  26. coffeehound says

    The new Republican policy of inclusion in all its glory. On to crushing victory a la 2012!
    and, Anuran,

    Shrubus Minimus

    Yeah, I’m stealing that….

  27. says

    what did we call them before?
    oh, that’s right… demented fuckwits.
    why did we stop doing that?

    You certainly didn’t stop out of respect for my grandparents, who both died of dementia. They chose to be religious, but the dementia chose them. Now that they’re dead your ableism doesn’t matter, but I don’t think comparing religion to dementia is a witty putdown.

    Why not call them indoctrinated and willfully ignorant? It sounds pretty nasty and has the virtue of being ttrue and therefore harder to argue with. They clearly aren’t demented, so calling them that is both a lie and unkind to those who suffer from a terrible disorder.

  28. Azuma Hazuki says

    CPAC is loaded with the worst elements of humanity. Here is one lovely specimen whom I and several friends have recently been fighting off on FB: http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/41742_About_Scott_Terry_-_CPAC_Slavery_Defender_and_Disenfranchised_Whites_Illustrated/

    This man is ten thousand times viler in person than he is presented here. His blog is a carnival of narcissism and bile. He has said, on air, live, that he would rape a baby if he thought God were telling him to, then expressing surprise at the idea that we thought it odd a Christian would obey God.

    And he got handshakes and backslaps for his comments on slavery at CPAC.

  29. Rex Little, Giant Douchweasel says

    Tony @33: Sorry to take so long to reply (or to be replying at all, depending on what you were hoping for :) ). I’ve been busy.

    your simplistic “politics you disagree with” is dishonest bullshit. The three people PZ cites-Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin, and Rush Limbaugh–support policies that would have a devastating effect on millions of Americans.

    Fair enough. Replace “whose politics you disagree with” with “who in all other respects are pure evil” and my comment still stands. Stalin was an atheist–does that taint atheism? Religious types sometimes claim it does, but I wouldn’t expect PZ, or you, to agree.

    I thought it was obvious that the atheism in question is the Atheist Movement.

    It’s obvious now that I’ve read the links that LykeX provided, but it wasn’t when I read the post and wrote the comment. If PZ wished to avoid confusing those outside his in-group, he could have written “the Atheist Movement” instead of “atheism”; it doesn’t take that much longer to type. (If he didn’t care about that, of course it’s his blog and his prerogative.)