- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Social media exploded Tuesday after news broke that an atheist outreach organization would be allowed at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference.

Just hours after the story broke, however, CPAC organizers reversed the decision to allow American Atheists to set up a booth, CNN’s Dan Merica first reported.

“The key reason CPAC says @AmericanAtheist was pulled from the event appears to be tone. Organizers didn’t like in-your-face comments,” Mr. Merica tweeted Tuesday.

David Silverman, president of American Atheists, said he was “surprised” and “saddened” by the decision.

“I think this is a very disappointing turn of events. I was really looking forward to going,” he said. “It is very obvious to me they were looking for a reason to say no. Christianity is bad for conservatism and they did not want that message out there.”

CPAC spokesperson Meghan Snyder told CNN that American Atheists “misrepresented itself about their willingness to engage in positive dialogue and work together to promote limited government.”

“He pledged that he will attack the very idea that Christianity is an important element of conservatism. People of any faith tradition should not be attacked for their beliefs, especially at our conference. He has left us with no choice but to return his money,” she said.

Representatives of CPAC called Mr. Silverman Tuesday afternoon and said they would be returning the group’s money.

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