Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Just Amazing

On Tuesday's Pharyngula, PZ Myers has posted Why do we need a secular America?. It seems that the Atheist Alliance is holding a convention this weekend in Washington DC, and one of the things that they're planning to discuss is a generic atheist symbol. When they went to have a poster displaying the suggested symbols printed, a couple of print shops refused to do the job, because, as the print shops explained, they are Christian and won't do work for atheists.

What?!* Apparently the poster contained nothing but the symbols -- identified as such, not even any atheist propaganda or evil ranting. Just a few symbols for people to look at and choose from. And staff at one shop explained, very kindly, that they had also turned away work for the KKK. ?! yet again!

I'm at a loss for words. Well, no not really. I'm seldom at a loss for words.** But, there are all of these feelings mucking around inside of me, like a mixed gallon of M&Ms, ball bearings, buttons, screws, peanuts, pebbles, Q-Tips, nail clippings, pull tabs, and those dots that the paper punch punches out of paper had spilled on the down escalator. And I don't think I could possibly sort them out by morning.

I mean! To refuse to do business with an atheist?! To liken us to the KKK?! I know that it's going to be a long time before an atheist will dare run for the presidency and that people have all sorts of strange ideas who we are and how we behave. But to turn aside our money and compare us to the KKK?! I had no idea.

* In one of her books, Peg Bracken suggested a new punctuation mark that she dubbed the interobang which would combine the question mark with the exclamation mark and would be for just these situations. I could really use it here.

** I can only actually recall twice in my life I've been at a loss for words. Once my teenaged children informed me that they knew I'd had sex at least twice, because there were two of them. I never did figure out what to say to that. The other time, I was alone in the ladies room in City Hall in Stockton, and when I came out of the stall, flashing my slip with my skirt up so I could pull my blouse down, there were Geraldine Ferraro and four secret service men. My business partner was waiting in the hall and when I came out she wanted to know what I had said, since obviously I had made a good quip. It was a good two hours before I figured it out. I should have said, "They passed the ERA and no one told me!" I'll bet Geraldine would have laughed at that.


Deja Pseu said...

Or the people who insist that atheism is a religion. I guess some people can't wrap their heads around a belief system that doesn't rely on dogma.

Someday I'm going to invent a rewind button for our lives, so we can go back and say all those clever things our inner screenwriter comes up with just a few hours too late.

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

I think the closest we have to the punctuation mark you suggest is WTF!!! Kind of has the same conotation.

Actually, what we said wasn't that you had had sex 'at least' twice, we were trying to get your goat by suggesting that you had had sex 'only twice'. Ha!

The rest of your post, the meat of it, leaves me thinking, "WTF!!!" I don't understand, not in one tiny little part of me.

Angela said...

This stuff drives me to the edge, too, MG. Like pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for the morning after pill, or even birth control pills, for god's sake! Me? I believe, but I'll defend your right not to as much as my right to.

Bridget Magnus said...

I wonder if they went to the trouble of asking all their customers about their religion. Probably not, because that would be following their morals even when it was inconvenient for themselves. It's so much easier to inconvenience other people.

Seems to me Jesus said something about helping your brother get a little speck of dirt out of his eye when there was a huge plank in your own eye.....

Bridget Magnus said...

Oh, and How to Type Interrobangs.

Rain said...

That would have been more amazing before we entered this fascist, christianist era in the United States. Now nothing like that surprises me. Appalls yes, but surprises no... I feel about like I do when I drive through some small western towns and on some motels will be a sign saying this motel owned by Americans... I'd sleep in my car before I'd stay at a place with such a bigoted sign.

Maya's Granny said...

I can find the interrobang in Wing Dings, but can't get it into Blogger. I copied and pasted, but Blogger gives me a _ instead.
Thank you for the direction -- I will be able to use it in other writing.

Bridget Magnus said...

I may be wrong about this, but you may have to use the "edit html" option and actually put in a font change manually (and of course change back again afterwards). Blogger and WordPress are both very good at assuming most people want the simplest possible thing unless specifically told otherwise.

Maya's Granny said...

I can't figure out how to put in the font change when I go to edit html.