I'm curious, what does everyone think about 'Gelatogate'?  In the words of Ray Comfort, what are your "thorts"?  Here are my thoughts about the incident:


See part two of this blog here: http://pixelstampede.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/gelatogate-22/

Also see the Springfield Newsleader article

If you've been keeping up with Skepticon this weekend, you may have seen this image. In Springfield, Missouri, the owner of Gelato Mio took the time to write this sign and place it in the store's window.

I want you to look at this sign. Read the words aloud. “Skepticon is NOT Welcomed to my Christian Business.” Why aren't they welcomed? Well, the underlining of 'Christian Business' may give you a hint, and knowing that the audience of Skepticon consists largely of a variety of non-theists may also clue you in. It appears that Gelato Mio doesn't want non-theists in their midst.

Let's examine the sign, scratched boldly in red ink. First, 'Skepticon' is on its own line. An attempt to ensure Skepticon attendants notice the sign before entering? Next, look at 'NOT'. It is written in all caps, the text version of shouting. Note the quantity of strokes needed to create such a bold font. This looks like it was written in anger, and it is underscored with two aggressive lines.

We move on to the last two words 'Christian Business', also both underlined for impact. The word 'Business' is barely squeezed onto the sign. Evidence of the haste and an eagerness to get the message out before the 'others' got in?

What would anger a person enough to make such a sign? Hundreds of extra visitors to your place of business, wanting tasty gelato? Critically thinking individuals entering your place of business? Or is it that the patrons were non-theists? By the underlining of 'Christian Business', my bets would be on the latter.

Andy, the owner of Gelato Mio, removed the sign and today issued an apology. I doubt the sincerity of his note and assume that someone pointed out his illegal action to refuse service based on his Christian criteria. Take note of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.”

We cannot idly stand by and allow any bigotry to be allowed. By letting him slide with an apology, it makes his actions acceptable. It doesn't matter if the sign was up for minutes, hours, or days. It is a fair estimation that the intent of this sign was to restrict patronage based on religious affiliation. The most effective way to ensure that business owners will not repeat/mimic such actions is through their wallet, and I support boycotting of this and any business that acts in a bigoted manner.

Here are three organizations working to protect our rights and keep the wall between Church & State: Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) and American Atheists and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).


via emilyhasbooks' pixelstampede


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"@Jim DePaulo  - His sign whether it was up for 10 minutes or a week speaks to his mind set."

Have you actually read his apology?

Have you never lost your temper and done something stupid that you regret?


"Unless, of course, he was tempted by the Devil."

He never said that.  He explicitly is not making excuses.


"I stand by my undocumented opinion."

This is deeply irrational.  Unless you have additional information about Andy (and I'm assuming  you're not a mind reader) then you have no justification for calling him a "dyed in the wool bigot."

I say what he has done is so horrible that he should pay for it with losing his business. Don't you? Isn't that the way we do things in America?

I really feel that we made our point and we should accept his apology. If he wasn't sincere at first, the fear of losing his business sure made him sincere after the barrage of opinions from all over the world. Does he deserve a second chance? I think so.

As for me, I ran out of chances long ago, but that's not to say I haven't learned anything.

My first reaction was a wry smile. Being a real white guy, I’ve never been (with one exception) a target of bigotry. I’ve never seen a sign like “no atheists allowed” or “atheists use back door”. Or . . .

[atheist drinking fountain --->]”

I saw the sign as somewhat amusing, like, how would he know?
Maybe we atheists ought to start wearing little buttons, or we could make commercials like the “I’m a Mormon” ads.*
Ya know, that’s not a bad idea. An atheist lapel pin (like a flag pin). When someone asks “what’s that?” you could say, “Oh, that? It means I’m an atheist”.
I wonder how fast something like that would spread.

(*Don’t know how wide spread these TV commercials are, but here (Colorado, U.S.A.) there are several one minute spots . . . testimonials from folks intent on displaying what good, normal people they are, and they all end with: “and I’m a Mormon”. It is hard to imagine that these ads have nothing to do with the fact that the leading Republican contender for his party’s nomination for President is a Mormon.)

Reverse the situation:

"Christians NOT welcome to my atheist business"

There would have been public outcry, media controversy, law suits, picketing and more than likely, the establishment probably burnt to the ground. I think those atheists who are offended have already shown their lack of bigotry by not behaving as christians would have if the situation was reversed.

I never really liked blood of christ gelato anyway....

"There would have been public outcry, media controversy, law suits, picketing and more than likely, the establishment probably burnt to the ground."

Can  you name some similar examples? In the US at least?  

Really, that is quite my point. There is no precedent where an atheist has posted a sign banning anyone from their business, but many from christians.

I think he was just being an asshole and not thinking things through and when he realized that it would negatively impact his business or even cause legal problems, he faced logic.  Plain and simple.  His apology may or may not have been sincere, that is really irrelevant.  What is relevant is that he took the sign down and faced life as a grown up.  What people choose to do with it from there is their business.  Personally, I wouldn't have gone near the shop after the sign, apology or no.  His opinion was stated and I believe that it remains his opinion.  That's just me though.

John D

That's it! It should satisfy us that we have made our point. Whether the apology is true or not, he knows that athiests are not to be taken for granted. I do not think that he wii embark again on such a mis-adventure.


bullshit mini-war(s) gate same old broken wreckcords of faithbased phobias as influence to control masses... no pun. well if you like.
Comfort? Fake arse name...
That guys running a front operation for something more private, off radar, flourishing in monarchy theocracy somewhere in the world; more adult in nature perhaps... betcha. total creep scumbag sure he's feeling the heat but coveting it and figuring out how to make money )or launder....

Yes, there is a fundamental bias against non-christians in this country. Yes, he shouldn't have done it.


However, he apologized for what he did and I don't see the utility in excoriating this small business owner any further. His actions were a sympton of the underlying disease. He has no power to change the culture as a whole. If we go after anything, it should be the institutions which led him to initially believe that his actions were just.

I say go that shop and proudly state you are an atheist

If the apology is sincere, no problem.

If it is not, their constant, helpless hatred is their own punishment :)

I would accept his apology, but think twice about going into his shop.

I agree it's easy to want to attack back in some way, but we should try to be better than that.




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