American Atheists President Fired Over Sexual Misconduct

American Atheists President David Silverman Fired Over Sexual Misconduct

American Atheists President Fired Over Sexual Misconduct
By BDEngler [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons
Silverman is credited with raising the profile of American Atheists.

[tweettit]David Silverman, a charismatic atheist, has been sacked from his president post at American Atheists.[/tweettit] American Atheists is one of the most prominent secular organizations in America. The AA board held an emergency meeting on April 11 and decided to fire Silverman. The vote was unanimous, with all voting members deciding to relieve the 51-year-old of his duties. The evidence leading to his dismissal centered on written allegations of undisclosed interest conflicts and sexual assault.

American Atheists President Fired Over Sexual Misconduct[/tweetthis]

Silverman was appointed the AA presidency in 2010. He is credited with raising the organizational profile. One of the highlights of his career was organizing in Washington the highly regarded “Reason Rally.” Other than thousands of atheists who attended the rally, celebrities like Richard Dawkins, Adam Savage of MythBusters, and Eddie Izzard, the comedian, also came.

A statement released by the AA board said that Silverman has promised to fully cooperate with the investigation which will happen in the immediate future. Neal Cary, the Chair of AA Board of Directors, reassured everyone that he along with Kathleen Johnson, the Vice President of  AA to take up duties erstwhile done by Silverman. The statement continued to say that AA will keep its work of protecting the distinction between government and religion. It assured that the organization would support atheist communities and members all over the United States. When it came to Silverman, the statement reiterated that AA is committed to transparency on this issue. It added that the organization will adopt a policy of openness regarding this issue. AA will make public more information as it gets them.

When contacted by the media for more information, Nick Fish, AA's national program director, said the allegations are linked to a violation of alleged AA code of conduct. Fish, in his email, said that since this is a personal matter, it is not possible to reveal detailed information about the case. Since AA takes all allegations seriously, the board decided immediate action to fire Silverman. A formal investigation will be initiated on this matter.

Sebastian Ionno, the lawyer representing Silverman, said his client “denies any wrong doing and has never had a non-consensual sexual encounter.” The lawyer claimed that his client's sexual encounters, all of them, were consensual. He said that the alleged events took place at a time when his client was in an open marriage with his wife.


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