Like a meteor!

David Silverman’s fall has been spectacular. A few years ago, he was running the US’s largest atheist organization with panache — he was not uniformly beloved, but he had influence and a loud voice and was shaking things up. He was the face of atheism. He was regularly on Fox News, punching back at the buffoons running that crapshow. He was the brash, arrogant American at international conferences. Top o’ the world, Ma!

Then it is discovered that he’s using his position to pressure women into having sex with him.

Boom, that was it. He lost his job, he lost his family, he lost his platform, they aren’t inviting him on Fox News anymore. If he hadn’t been such a terrible abuser, I might be feeling some pity for him, just because the contrast was so stark. And now look what he is reduced to: desperately looking for affirmation from Republicans, who are mostly far-right Christian Evangelicals any more, and moaning about how so few atheist organizations want anything to do with him.

And now, in the name of skepticism, he is defending Donald Trump, trying to suggest that he didn’t actually incite an insurrection, because he didn’t literally use the words “storm the capital”. This is pathetic. You know, Hitler didn’t ever actually say out loud, “Round up all the Jews and murder them,” either. It’s the effect and the actions that count.

As a former friend to David Silverman, I would say…David, snuffling about in the garbage bin is not the way to regain honor and respect, but is only a way to foul yourself further. I know you want to make a comeback to some degree, but aligning yourself with Trump Republicans is not the path. You are especially not going to ever acquire the regard of humanists, intellectuals, progressives, and the kind of people who think all genders and races are equal. You are aligning yourself with bigots, racists, misogynists, and the worst kind of Christians.

Further, I would add that you’ve made no amends and obviously haven’t accepted that your past actions were wrong, or you wouldn’t be associating with the kind of people who would assure you that your abuse of power and treatment of women was appropriate and right, and that that kind of behavior isn’t a major obstacle to their acceptance of you, personally. In other words, hanging out with ignorant rat bastards doesn’t make you less of an ignorant rat bastard.

This whole mess…if they made it into an opera, I’d say it was a little too overblown, melodramatic, and histrionic.


  1. Bruce Fuentes says

    He is not a stupid man. So I am surprised he doesn’t realize, or maybe does not care about the same thing I tell POC, LGBTQ, and non-fundie Christians. If these RWNJs they support, ever achieve the level of power they strive for, they will kill you. Atheists will be one of the first groups sent to rehabilitation camps in a fascist USA. It will take them a while to find people like me, but high-profile atheists like him will be locked up early.

  2. raven says

    You know, Hitler didn’t ever actually say out loud, …

    Hitler never actually even killed anyone. Himself anyway. It was all his millions of willing followers.
    Neither did Charley Manson.

  3. raven says

    Hundreds of thousands were peaceful. A hundred were crazy. He told his crowd to go home, he loves them, and you call that evil.

    Silverman can’t even count.

    .1. The crowd was around 10,000 not hundreds of thousands.
    He is off here by at least a factor of 20.
    It still a lot and well over the number needed to overwhelm the US Capitol building police.
    .2. The FBI is looking for 500 people and they have already arrested and charged 300.
    Facts matter.
    .3. Trump told his followers to go home after the Capitol building has been stormed, people were dead, the Washington DC police had regained control, and the National Guard had gotten there too late to do anything needed.

    Yeah, Silverman we call that evil.
    You, on the other hand, aren’t even significant enough to call evil.
    Boring maybe, worth avoiding maybe, wrong a lot of the time.

  4. HappyNat says

    He just positively retweeted Candace Owens on prageru if you want to know how far from the truth he has sunk.

  5. robro says

    Why do these folk make up stuff? (Don’t tell me, I know.) “Hundreds of thousands were peaceful”? While the crowd at the rally may be deemed large the permit was for 30,000, and that’s the Park Service estimate. So, maybe more than that, but hardly “hundreds of thousands”. As for the number who actually stormed the Capitol, the Feds have already arrested more than 300 and that’s just the easy pickings. They estimate that 10,000 rioters entered the grounds, which may be illegal itself, while 800 breached the building. Mr. Silverman should do a little fact checking before using made up numbers to defend the situation.

  6. microraptor says

    Of course, the only reason he’s no longer invited to be on FAUX Noise is because he got booted from his job- it’s hardly as if they care about someone coercing women into sex on that channel.

  7. Bruce says

    A minor point, but the original reason he was fired from AA was financial wrongs regarding net money from his book tour going to himself vs to AA. The sex accusations came after that got started, and the Board said they decided from just the finance stuff, before looking at the sex stuff.

  8. says

    Pfft. No one abandoned ex-Muslims. The community suffered from being represented by only one organization, which then made a big bet on conservative political strategy just as humanism reclaimed its place in the broader movement. Ex-MNA still exists, but it doesn’t want much to do with the rest of us and our priorities. But if you bother to look rather than whining, you’ll see the rest of us are still working with other ex-Muslims.

  9. rorschach says

    “Then it is discovered that he’s using his position to pressure women into having sex with him.”

    I had not heard about that, am not aware of the gory details, but I can’t say I’m surprised. I found him creepy the couple times I met him.

    “And now, in the name of skepticism, he is defending Donald Trump”

    I very much doubt it’s in the name of skepticism, more like in the name of relevance. Trying to align yourself with a religiofascist crime cartel because your former tribe kicked you out because your behaviour was deemed unacceptable is a reflection on your character and lack of convictions. If you do skepticism, you don’t go to CPAC.

  10. unclefrogy says

    apparently he is just another loud mouthed phony looking for fame and attention.
    uncle frogy

  11. ORigel says

    P.Z., Silverman was going to be fired from American Atheists anyway, because he had used AA funds to promote his book, Fighting God.

    I wish that was all he had done…