The anger, fear, and outrage in his voice was palpable, especially when looking into his eyes. The intensity in his glare expressed either fear or hatred – or both.
David Silverman, an exhibitor at CPAC, is President of American Atheists, “the oldest non-profit organization by and for atheists.” (Audio clips below.)
During our interview, Silverman used emotional arguments, engaged in historical revisionism, played the victim card, and distorted American precepts in order to attack American traditions.
Silverman Not a Conservative
His booth was bannered: “Conservative Atheists MATTER” (cleverly merging “Black Lives Matter” with “matter” as building blocks of the universe). The banner suggested its members are naturally conservatives.
Asked, “from where do you draw your conservative values,” Silverman admitted: “This is not really about me being a conservative. We’re here to raise awareness of the fact that atheist conservatives exist and that conservatism isn’t synonymous with Christianity.”
But is Silverman a conservative? No.
“My political views are kind of centrist. I will tell you that I am one of the people who never votes Republican because of all the religious influence.”
So, why did Silverman have an exhibit at the Conservative Political Action Conference? To convert people, politically, from conservatism, and to silence Christians.
GOP is a Theocracy!
Did you know that the GOP seeks to create a Christian theocracy?
According to Silverman, “17-20 million people are atheists who would vote Republican don’t because of the theocratic tendencies in the conservative platform.”
Did you know that the conservative platform has theocratic tendencies? I didn’t.
In our interview, Silverman expressed absolutely no concerns about the many efforts by Muslims to establish sharia law as law of the land in America. Nevertheless, it is people of the Christian faith that Silverman fears.
John Stossel and Greg Gutfled are libertarian atheists who do not fear faith. S.E. Cupp, a conservative atheist, decried the marginalization of Christianity in her 2010 book, Losing Our Religion.
In contrast, Silverman actually believes that Christians who exercise their faith in the public square are one step away from establishing a tyrannical theocracy.
Second-Class Citizens and Anti-Americanism
Silverman introduced a straw man argument, asserting:
“If we start with, ‘Well, we’re a Christian nation,’ or ‘We have a Christian heritage or a Judeo-Christian heritage,’ you start from a place of inequality, because the next part of that sentence is ‘We are a Christian nation, therefore, we deserve more rights. Therefore, we can do something you can’t. Therefore, we are unequal,’ or, in the words of Animal Farm, ‘we’re more equal than you are.’”
This is, of course, nonsense. Simply stating an historical fact regarding America’s Christian heritage in no way suggests the inferiority of non-Christians. Being faithful to the truth, the Christian concept contained in the Declaration of Independence – that “all men are created equal” – actually disproves Silverman’s contention.
But Silverman, who denies America’s Christian roots, reverses the truth, claiming, “So, the rhetoric around ‘We are a Christian nation’ or ‘We are of a Judeo-Christian heritage’ is inherently anti-equality and that is anti-American by default.”
In other words, to accurately connect America’s Christian heritage with the Creator-endowed human rights we cherish and protect in America is to be somehow anti-American and anti-equality.
Silverman was adamant in insisting, “Conservatives need to drop all of that dogma. They need to drop all of that stuff, not only because it is not true, but because it is anti-American and anti-equality.”
He continued, “I don’t think conservatives need to take an anti-equality approach. They should take a pro-equality approach.”
Naturally, the rational “pro-equality approach” Silverman advocates is to deny Christians a place at the political table in the public square.
GOP Should Stop Being the GOP
In fact, Silverman wants to liberate the GOP better by shackling its religious underpinnings.
He advocates, “If conservatism would revert back to the way it was back in the days of Barry Goldwater, where you’re just talking about small government, a strong military, and gun rights, and things like that, and leave the ‘We are a Christian nation, we are anti-choice, we are anti-gay marriage, we are anti-science in the classroom.’” [I’ll unpack that last sentence in a moment.]
Except, the GOP has had a religious component from its inception, providing the rationale and motivation for personhood and liberty extending from slaves to the unborn.
Clearly hostile to faith, Silverman stressed the eradication of religion from the public square. He argued, “If you left all that stuff out, millions and millions of conservative atheists would start voting for you again.”
Indeed, he advocates purging Christianity from politics:
“We think that it is a detriment to conservatism that it has adopted Christianity as part of its platform and we think it should be purged from the conservative platform. Christianity, religion has nothing to do with politics.”
[Actually, the Christian faith was foundational and fundamental to America’s birth, as will be discussed in Part II.]
GOP is Anti-Science
Is Silverman correct in his description of the GOP as anti-choice, anti-gay marriage, and anti-science? (Two out of three ain’t bad.)
In reality, the science Silverman worships actually supports the GOP’s positions on abortion, gay marriage, and other science-related matters.
Anti-Choice. Silverman supports abortion and thinks the GOP should, too. But science proves the humanity of the unborn. If Silverman is truly “pro-equality” as he asserts, protecting the unborn should be of paramount concern to him.
Every year, medical science demonstrates ever more clearly the humanity of the unborn. This is irrefutable. Silverman claims Christians make him feel like a second-class citizen, but what class of citizenship does he offer the unborn? None. He only offers them death.
Anti-Gay Marriage. Silverman supports gay marriage, whereas biology does not. Biology supports the GOP position on gay marriage. The civic purpose of marriage is procreation and, by definition, same-sex couples cannot procreate.
Homosexuality is anti-science: “Evolution is all about perpetuating and advancing the species. Homosexuality does not accomplish this necessary evolutionary requirement, making it anti-evolution and thus anti-science since we are told that evolution is the basis of modern-day science.”
Even Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, both gay, say, “The only family is the traditional one. No chemical offspring and rented uterus. Life has a natural flow; there are things that cannot be changed.”
Anti-Science. Silverman was not specific on exactly how the GOP is anti-science, but let’s look at some of the usual suspects. Presumably, he supports the Big Bang Theory, evolution, and climate change. Let’s briefly look at all three.
Atheists promote the Big Bang Theory as a means of removing God from His creation. However, the God factor is real. Cosmologist Stephen Hawking believes “some form of intelligence” – which he calls the “God factor” – brought about creation.
Climate change is a hoax. As Stephen Moore observes, “Nearly every environmental scare of the 1970s backed by hundreds of scientists as well as media, like National Geographic, was proved to be a hoax. We were assured then by the ‘experts’ that the world was overpopulated, running out of energy, food, water, minerals, getting more polluted, and that the end result would be massive poverty famine and global collapse. Every aspect of this collective scientific wisdom was spectacularly wrong.”
Moore adds, “In 2010 the Climate Depot identified more than 1,000 international scientists doubting the science of global warming.” (Moore’s column brings us right up to the present.)
Silverman argues for inclusiveness, saying, “We are all in this together. Let’s shrink the size of government.” But, in his arguments, he excludes people of faith – doing so in the name of inclusion.
Clothing himself in the mantle of the victim – without actually offering any tangible evidence of victimology – Silverman contends, “I have only one party to vote for as a matter of self-defense, as a matter of self-preservation. … I always vote for the party that will preserve my full citizenship, my full equality.”
Once again, no one is denying him even one iota of citizenship or equality. Rather, Silverman is using our own love of liberty, equality, and the American experience to fundamentally transform America into something the Founders never intended (and that most Americans don’t want).
Silverman’s website contains a mission statement: “American Atheists, Inc., is organized to stimulate and promote freedom of thought and inquiry concerning religious beliefs, creeds, dogmas, tenets, rituals, and practices.”
Their mission includes: “the complete and absolute separation of state and church; … the establishment and maintenance of a thoroughly secular system of education; … [and] a social philosophy in which humankind is central.” [Emphasis added.]
Notably, American Atheists admit to having their own religion: “Materialism’s ‘faith’ is in humankind and their ability to transform the world culture by their own efforts.”
Rational debate with someone bordering on emotional hysteria never works. Silverman’s emotions were raw. When I countered several of his contentions, his hostility grew even as his denials of historical fact became more shrill.
As Christians, we should be careful about our message. We certainly should not cause others to feel like second-class citizens. We are called to be lights and salty in a darkened and decaying world. As ambassadors, we should be approachable.
Yet, we must also remain vigilant, remembering that truth is what liberates and preserves the world, and that truth is a hallmark of our ambassadorship.
[Parts II and III in this series will examine Silverman’s contention that America was never a Christian nation and that Christians are terrorists.]
 The writer, using the term “evolution,” may be doing so as a way of demonstrating the fraudulence of their arguments. I would use the term “procreation,” rendering his explanation even more valid. Same-sex “couples” cannot procreate and, thus, cannot perpetuate the species, highlighting the absurdity of same-sex “marriage.” (Only extra-marital means, in vitro fertilization, adoption, etc., can offer offspring to such a union – means which do not derive from the “married” people themselves.)