Just Like That, American Atheists Booted from CPAC February 25, 2014

Just Like That, American Atheists Booted from CPAC

After a Republican gay rights group had problems getting into CPAC, I was stunned that American Atheists managed to get a booth at the uber-conservative conference so easily… and it appears that CPAC finally realized what they had done.

Less than a day after AA made the announcement, CPAC has booted them from the conference. Why? Check out this reaction from Christian Right leader Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council:

“CPAC’s mission is to be an umbrella for conservative organizations that advance liberty, traditional values and our national defense,” said Perkins, who spokes at CPAC in 2012. “Does the American Conservative Union really think the liberties and values they seek to preserve can be maintained when they partner with individuals and organizations that are undermining the understanding that our liberties come from God? Thomas Jefferson warned against such nonsense.”

The social conservative leader added: “If this is where the ACU is headed, they will have to pack up and put away the ‘C’ in CPAC!”

What Perkins wants, Perkins gets. So CPAC is now telling American Atheists they will not be allowed to attend:

Dan Merica of CNN has the updates on Twitter:

***Update***: American Conservative Union Executive Director Dan Schneider, the head of the team organizing CPAC, called Dave Silverman up today to explain the decision:

According to Silverman, Schneider cited “the tone” in the quote “The Christian right should be threatened by us.”, which was in a Tuesday CNN article, as the reason for the revocation. This reversal came just hours after a press release from American Atheists announcing the booth, one week before the conference.

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.”

“Continuing to conflate religion and conservatism is not a viable strategy; this was apparently too scary for CPAC attendees to hear,” Silverman said. “America’s religious conservatives can deny it all they want, but soon they’re going to realize that ignoring the growing number of atheist constituents is a losing proposition.”

I would assume AA is getting back its $3,000 booth fees, but I can’t confirm that yet. (Edit: The money will be returned.)

(via Joe. My. God.)

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