Last year, the American Atheists were unable to have a booth at CPAC. This year, the group not only had a booth but it also scored a spot on the speaker parade.
Jamila Bey gave a brief talk to CPAC that was refreshing to see. She's not only secular, but she's young, black, and a conservative.
But judging by what we could hear on the live feed, at least, the CPAC audience wasn't too sure what to make of her.
Well, maybe it had something to do with her message, which she no doubt intended to be an optimistic one, but which probably scared the bejeezus out of the audience.
She pointed out that among 68 million Millennials -- voters up to 34 years of age -- almost 40 percent identify themselves as secular. Another 90 million voters are "unaffiliated" with any church. Along with a lot of other demographic nightmares for the GOP, those numbers spell big trouble for the God-fearing, minority-frightening political party in the coming years. And that's maybe why CPAC had Bey up there on the first day of the conference, along with a couple of their African-American stars (Ben Carson, Mia Love), and even a conservative lesbian (Tammy Bruce).
But Bey's message betrayed that she probably wasn't welcome: "Embrace me. Let me vote for GOP candidates," she said, not only reminding us that the GOP isn't interested in the non-religious, but that it's actively taking steps to discourage minority voting.
Well, Bey took her shot. But the tepid response she got wasn't surprising. Numerous sources say the large majority of atheists are progressive liberals, and a strong minority of them are libertarians. But conservative atheists? Not very common at all.
Still, give her points for trying. Watch video of her here...