Don’t know if anyone saw, or even cared, but David Silverman has been hired as an Executive Director for Atheist Alliance International. No kidding. Wasn’t it not that long ago, about a year and a half., when he was fired from his position as President of American Atheists for, well, things. Things he’s recently even admitted to doing, but of course, all of us need to take into acooint of the context of what happened. No, he doesn’t deny what happened, happened. It just didn’t occur the exact way it was told by his accusers.
Now, I’m not one for not giving aomeone who’s made a mistake, or two, another chance, but I question AAI’s decision making here. Certainly David has (or had) a hight profile with atheists and non-atheists as well, and I do believe he was a very good spokesman for atheism, overall. But is this the type of person, someone that cannot seem to avoid the adoration of college-aged girls, or other women that want to have something else going on with him? Seriously, if you’re married and have a family, do you allow those encounters to happen to you? Well, of course, people do everyday. and I cannot just condemn David when there are probably thousands of those interactions going on daily. But in his case, he was a leader of a prominent organization, and like any other, man or woman, should have some level of maturity to not allow these types of encounters to occur.
No moral statement here; just a statement about leadership ability and if this is the kind of person that atheists want representing them, especially now, Internationally. I’m not a member or supporter of AAI so I probably shouldn;t care, but I do simply from the stand that leaders, recognized leaders in atheism, should be held to the same standard as any other leader in any organization. We rail about the religious who are caught in circumstances, and we should denounce pedophiles and adulterers there. Should we then not apply the same standard within?
As I read earlier, there’s already been a bit of controversy about his hiring. I can understand that although I hope people will look at not just his indiscretions but what he has done for atheism during his long career. Then, come to a judgement of some sort as to whether they believe this is the best person to represent atheists (No one really represents atheists, as much as they’d like to believe.) in a high profile position where he will be in the media?
I have to say that at some level., I have an affinity for David, if only because he stood up to the stupid (remember on Bill O’Reilly – tides come in tides go out?) and just laughed at those people? Even his attempt to attract conservatives a few years ago at CPAC. Even though he took a lot of heat for that, I respected him for that attempt. He seemed to want a “bigger tent” for atheists.
Lately, though, he seems to have gone completely “woke” and is not interested in being anything but what atheist organizations have become: a refuge for professives. Here’s a recent tweet:
My freedom of speech trumps your freedom not to be offended for one very important reason: My right to Freedom of Speech is in the Constitution. Your right not to be offended is in your imagination.
Of course he’s referring to his current (past?) situation here and what’s interesting is what my friend David Osorio said about that tweet:
Funny how you rediscovered the best arguments once you’re no longer in a position to influence policy-making.
That’s true. He drifted at American Atheists, in my opinion, far from just advocating atheism towards being a spokesman for Social Justice. What does that have to do with atheism? Well, of course, nothing.
Since this announcement , there have been the haters (of course, not unexpected) that have never been kind to him, but then that same person thought he should’ve been the newq “Fourth Horseman” after the death of Hitchens. Sorry, but you’re not even in the same class as Hitchens. Therefore, bitterness to anyone and everyone.
I do wish David the best. No, I really do! I just don’t believe he’s the best person, right now, as the public (and media) face for any atheist organization. He may well prove me wrong, and if so, I will be back here saying so. Atheists have always had a mountain to climb, like Sisyphus, and what we need are people that face the public that are without any stain upon their reputation. We all have skeletons, but most of us don’t have our closets opened to the general public for scrutiny.