Why the change? It probably has something to do with the fact that, after saying they wanted ‘nothing but positive dialogue’, their President, David Silverman, said (in an interview with CNN), that “I am not worried about making the Christian right angry. The Christian right should be angry that we are going in to enlighten conservatives. The Christian right should be threatened by us.”
And after the rescinding of the offer, American Atheists continued with their ‘positive dialogue’:
”American Atheists called on the conservative movement to sever its "close ties to dogmatic religious beliefs.”So much for ‘positive dialogue’.
“We want to raise the question about the close ties between conservatism and religion[.]”
“We want to bring the message to CPAC that there are millions of conservatives out there who are turned off and alienated by the conservative movement's close ties to dogmatic religious beliefs[.]”
‘”Religion is counterproductive for conservatism[.]”’
'“Conservative atheists deserve freedom from discrimination-against-atheists just as much as liberal atheists. Conservative atheists want evolution taught in science classes; they do not want Ten Commandments monuments on government property, and they want 'because the Bible says so' discarded as a justification for any law[.]”’
Now, say what you want about the rescinding: as far as I’m concerned, CPAC acted properly. American Atheists, by professing to want ‘nothing but positive dialogue’, misrepresented themselves to CPAC – Mr. Silverman’s interview proves that, at least to me.
Of course, now there will be people – atheists and not – who will inevitably say, “Well, American Atheists doesn’t speak for all atheists.”
Then I want to hear an en masse denunciation by atheists of American Atheists and Mr. Silverman; lacking that, I (and many others) will consider silence tacit agreement with Mr. Silverman and his groups’ statements.
Sorry, but that’s just how the world works. If you don’t speak out, you’re as guilty as they are.