WASHINGTON - The annual gathering of conservative activist Americans will take place next week in Washington D.C., but not before allowing atheists to participate stirred controversy. Two members of the CPAC Board - including Illinois' Jameson Campaigne Jr. - criticized CPAC's decision to allow God-deniers into the fold.
CNSNews.com reports ACU Board member Jameson Campaigne, Jr. of Illinois criticized via email, "...Odd [American Atheists] were even allowed to have a (mere) booth in the first place. Too many new young staff at CPAC, including a subcontractor thousands of miles away who knows nothing of politics."
Campaigne has been a member of the ACU board for forty years, serving as Secretary and a member of its executive committee for three decades.
A second board member said CPAC should never have welcomed a group openly hostile to other established CPAC participating groups.
Morton Blackwell, a longtime member of the American Conservative Union’s (ACU) Board of Directors, said that American Atheists should not have been invited to participate in the ACU-sponsored Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which will be held in Washington, D.C. March 6-8th.
“My answer is no,” Blackwell replied when CNSNews.com asked him whether, as a matter of principle, the atheist group should have ever been invited to the annual conservative conference in the first place.
“CPAC was originally supposed to represent the conservative movement, and that means the principles of American conservatism in many ways embodied by Ronald Reagan: limited government, free enterprise, a strong national defense, and traditional values,” explained Blackwell, who is also president of the Leadership Institute, an official sponsor of CPAC.
And while “we certainly should not insist that every participant in CPAC is in agreement on every public policy question," he said, they should “not be openly hostile to any other elements of conservative principles,” including “attacks on traditional values, including religious faith."
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