I recently wrote a blog where I pulled an article from the UK Telegraph saying that our movement is nothing more than the "least inspiring movement in recent years".
I am adamant that one of the main reasons for this and other types of negative press out there is because of the billboard campaign by American Atheists. The billboards are inflammatory. They are not thought provoking or lead to thoughtful debate or discussion. They are insulting and I am frustrated that this is how American Atheists think our movement should be perceived and represented. I have wrote to the Chairman of the Board of AA and asked him to reconsider this campaign. Although the idea of the billboard I'm all for, what they say needs to make people say or think "wow, that's great, and it's something I want to check out further". We need to do better!
What are your thoughts on this? Do we need to write to American Atheists via petition?
Perhaps I wouldn't go so far as to say, 'not the way to act', but I'm certain you really meant that in the context of 'goes against the perception that I would like people to have of me as an atheist'.
To that end, I fully agree. There are always going to be really confrontational atheists out there who do a poor job of backing up that confrontation with the intellect to support their position, and I'm actually glad to stand beside them, behind them, or just stay away from them - whatever they like. The big difference with Silverman is that he's perceived as not only representing a large body of atheists, but being representative of that large body of atheists. In that regard, I think he has at least somewhat of an obligation to better prepare for prime time media appearances so he can put forth an image that more of us can respect - even if he is being smug, insulting, arrogant, or whatever. I could actually respect a smug, insulting, arrogant representative that could make an argument for his stance by showing that O'Reilly is just as smug, insulting, and arrogant although without grounds because of his Bronze Age understanding of the world.