America's Top Atheist Aims To Build Jewish Support for Ungodly Agenda

David Silverman Says Many Back Push for Church-State Divide

courtesy of fox news

By Nathan Guttman

Published March 20, 2014, issue of March 28, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

David Silverman considers himself a conservative. Yet organizers of the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, a massive gathering held yearly in the nation’s capital, did all they could to make him feel unwelcome. They even took away his presenter’s booth.

It was not just that Silverman was an atheist. As president of American Atheists, a national advocacy group, Silverman was there to represent an organization that fights for the rights of irreligious Americans.

Silverman was not discouraged. Instead of sitting at a desk, he walked through the halls of America’s biggest convention of conservative activists and handed out fliers advocating separation of religion and state. The fliers reminded members of the group most closely identified with bringing God into politics that millions of American voters hold no religious beliefs.

“I thought I would enter a room full of hate, but I did not find hate at all,” Silverman said as he completed his rounds at the March 7 conference. “In fact,” he added, “more than once I met people that finished my sentences.”

Silverman is no stranger to debates. He is, in fact, always happy to engage in arguments about religious beliefs and his lack of them. It’s a skill he has honed from childhood, in arguments with his mother about having a bar mitzvah (she won, and he was called to the Torah) and at the lunch tables at Brandeis University, where the young atheist would strike up conversations with students at the kosher food tables.

Today, as he tries to translate the power of millions of irreligious Americans into a political voting bloc, Silverman relies on many Jewish troops within the atheist movement to help him reach his goal. “There are a lot of Silvermans in atheism,” he said

The decision by CPAC organizers to ban American Atheists from participating in the conference followed Silverman’s warning there that Christian right-wing organizations should feel “threatened” by the atheist movement when it comes to their hold over the Republican Party. But Silverman said his point was more practical than ideological.

The Republican Party, atheists believe, is making a mistake by alienating, or at best ignoring, conservative Americans who oppose religion, Silverman explained. Indeed, Silverman speaks of making atheists into a voting bloc that “both parties will want to solicit.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • BREAKING: Was an Israeli soldier just kidnapped in Gaza? Hamas' military wing says yes.
  • What's a "telegenically dead" Palestinian?
  • 13 Israeli soldiers die in Gaza — the deadliest day for the IDF in decades. So much for 'precision' strikes and easy exit strategies.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.