David Silverman (activist)
Dave Silverman in 2011
13 August 1966 |
Marblehead, Massachusetts, United States
|Residence||Cranford, New Jersey|
|Known for||Atheist activism, Separation of Church and State, Criticism of religion|
David Silverman (born August 13, 1966) is the current president of the American Atheists, a non-profit organization that supports the rights of atheists and the removal of expressions of religion in public when possibly interpretable as governmental endorsement, in accordance with the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
David Silverman began publicly challenging religion in high school and often states in interviews that he became an atheist at the age of six. Although he was never in the closet about his disbelief, he was forced to do his Bar mitzvah. He calls this the turning point in his life where he decided never to lie about his atheism again because he had gotten up on stage and told all the people he knew that he believed in God. Seventeen years later his father admitted to him that he also was an atheist. He received a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Brandeis University and a Marketing MBA from Penn State University. Silverman is an inventor with seventy four patents, and has authored several articles, including a cover story for Inventors Digest.
Silverman has worked with the American Atheists organization since 1996, and has held a variety of roles, including: New Jersey State Director, Communications Director, and Vice President. He was elected president of American Atheists on September 16, 2010, following Ed Buckner. Silverman also cohosts the Atheist Viewpoint television program, writes for the NoGodBlog, attends protests, debates and conferences for atheism and freethought, across the country.
During his tenure as Communications Director and Vice President of American Atheists, Silverman made several media appearances, but has been especially visible since becoming president. An atheist awareness billboard campaign launched in the December 2010 sparked controversy and increased media exposure for the organization. As a result of this campaign, Silverman has appeared on a number of television shows since late 2010, most notably, The O'Reilly Factor on January 4, 2011.
It was under Silverman's direction that the American Atheists group sought to block the preservation of a cross-beam section of the World Trade Center skeleton that resembled a cross. Silverman opined: "The World Trade Center cross has become a Christian icon. It has been blessed by so-called holy men and presented as a reminder that their God, who couldn’t be bothered to stop the terrorists or prevent 3,000 people from being killed in his name, cared only enough to bestow upon us some rubble that resembles a cross."
Silverman attended and spoke at the 2011 American Atheists National Convention, in Des Moines, Iowa  During his speech, he announced Reason Rally, scheduled for Spring 2012. On March 24, 2012 the Reason Rally took place at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Silverman has been married for nearly two decades to publisher Hildy Silverman, who is an active worshiper in Judaism. The couple has one teenage daughter. There are about 100,000 New Jersey license plates that are specialised vanity plates. When Silverman requested a plate with the letters ATHE1ST it was denied by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission as "objectionable". He appealed and the plate was issued.
- "Dave Silverman - MasterMedia Speakers Bureau". MasterMedia. 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
- Merica, Dan. "Atheist organizer takes ‘movement’ to nation’s capital". cnn.com. CNN. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- Pakman, David. "TDPS: American Atheists' David Silverman Fascinating O'Reilly Behind-Scenes, Agnostic vs. Atheist". Daily KOS. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- "American Atheists - Dave Silverman, President-elect". American Atheists. 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-09.[dead link]
- "American Atheists - Media Releases". American Atheists. 2010. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
- "NPR - War on Christmas Spreads to Lincoln Tunnel". NPR. 2010. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
- "Jon Stewart on American Atheists vs. Ground Zero Cross". The Daily Show. 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-25.
- "American Atheists - National Convention". American Atheists. 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
- "Dinesh D'Souza, The King's College". Dinesh D'Souza. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
- "Revealed: N.J.'s list of banned license plates". NJ.com. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
- "David Silverman: New Jersey first denies but then gives in to man's request for 'Atheist' vanity plate". Mail Online. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
|President of American Atheists
2010 - present