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
I'm in the non-accomadationalist camp, that doesn't accept the nonpology.
He still doesn't understand that he didn't have "the right to be offended", by Brother Sam Singelton's show; just because of an assumed entitlement to special privilege as a Christian. Yet he see's this, explicitly - as a "reason" for his reaction, instead of just an excuse; for illegally excluding people from his lace of business.
BTW, I'm going to see Brother Sam Singelton's new show ("Patriarchs and Penises") tonight at a MeetUp group special event.
I find the "don't accept his apology" stance bizarre, and breath-takingly dick headed. He didn't murder anyone. Maybe his apology is sincere, maybe it isn't, but either way, accepting it won't make his douchey behavior acceptable, it makes the people accepting it look like cool, level headed folk. Unlike a certain bearded blogger.
Apology aside, it was the thoughts behind displaying the sign in the first place. It is so easy to say your sorry after. Words are meaningless, actions are very loud.
"they apologize and change their behavior... the group forgives them."
This was not evident in v1, v1.1 or v1.2 of the notpology.
You're suggesting people should never accept apologies?
Also, saying sorry isn't easy.
Also, words aren't meaningless.
"Also, words aren't meaningless."
They are, when they are mere lip service.
"don't accept his apology"
Having read, version 1, version 1.1 and version 1.2 of the notpology, I never saw anything other than regret for having broken the law. He went on to basically advocate against dissent (in the form of parody, as with Bro. Sam Singleton), as being a valid excuse for his breaking the law. So no, the rider he attached to the notpology is unacceptable. People have a right to dissent.
"it makes the people accepting it look like cool, level headed folk...."
Looks, can be so deceiving...
Save the lawsuits for people who are committed to bigotry. He apologized it may make atheists look greedy or unforgiving or something if we sue everyone every chance we get. Now if he makes a habit of that kind of thing i say sue the hell out of him but i think the apology suggests he already learned his lesson.
I agree and judging by most replies it sounds like most of us are willing to forgive this incident as long as this person does not act out badly again. It is a good example to cite to my religious sibling who would also denounce this guys actions but has a negative gut reaction to the word atheist. My example of a group of forgiving Atheists.
We have been debating religion by email lately (she's losing - but then she would probably say that I am losing).
I wouldn't advocate suing the guy (and I'm not), but sorry, I don't put much store in apologies that come with disclaimers.
"I'm sorry, but…."
I am an atheist or I wouldn't be here. But I don't have a problem with this because I believe in capitalism. If said store owner wants to cut off from his business a certain section of the market, bad luck for him and good luck for another business who is not so choosy. This will end badly for Gelato selling company wheterh or not I am outraged because by his own actions he will lose customers.
Now I am guessing that a lot of folks are going to be saying this is the new front of the civil rights movement. Something like the Little Rock high school in the 1960s.
I don't see it. It is not as if our atheism is a skin color. Any intelligent atheist who has a sense of stealth and guile is going to get his gelato and the owner will never know the difference.
for those who would say this is the unpardonable gaff (won't use the work sin). Perhaps it is worth considering that this forum is open only to non-theists, kind of the mirror image of the Gelato store.
"If said store owner wants to cut off from his business a certain section of the market, bad luck for him and good luck for another business who is not so choosy."
Well, there's that "it's against the law" bit.
"Now I am guessing that a lot of folks are going to be saying this is the new front of the civil rights movement."
It has been part of it all along. Discrimination on the grounds of religion was written into the act, no need to append it.
"Perhaps it is worth considering that this forum is open only to non-theists, kind of the mirror image of the Gelato store."
Except, it isn't a store, nor is it a public place. It's a privately owned website, with a specific purpose. The privilege to participate here involves meeting certain conditions, see: The Civil Rights Act (1964) Sec. 201 (b).