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 agree with The Nerd. We should positively reinforce bigots who realize their error and recant, instead of holding a grudge.
I am with you on that one. We are too often portrayed as haters anyway. Why give them more ammo?
I think I would've ordered something and said "Thanks for serving this heathen" and winked @ him as I left just to tick him off.
Not to put too fine a point on it I've always thought of a Heathen as someone with a religion other than Christian, Jewish or Islam. I see that as different than Atheism
You are probably right, but I don't think someone of that caliber would think that much anyway.
heretic might carry the meaning you'd want.
Generally when I see things like that I'm inclined to tell the business owner "Thank you for warning me you're a bigot. I don't like giving my money to bigots." Then I warn my friends and family to avoid the business.
In a case like this, if the person really did remove the sign quickly of their own volition and issue an apology I might be inclined to let it slide. Sometimes people do make rash decisions they end up regretting, and it shouldn't cause long-term effects if they correct them.
I find the expression 'Gelatogate' annoying. Not every little incident has to be a -gate.
"It doesn't matter if the sign was up for minutes, hours, or days."
Yes it does. It was up only for around 10 minutes (according to his account), and he issued an apology. I agree with The Nerd.
I applaud the sentiment of 'lets forgive the error of judgement and anyway it was only up 10 mins and no harm done' yadda yadda yadda...
That neatly avoided the obvious ...it was a bigoted and irrational action...simples!
That Andy was so committed to a bronze age myth is one thing...but that he obviously has no belief in the ability of his invisible friend to smite the unbeliever for 'insulting' his godliness is quite another.
Put another way if Yahweh was quite happy enough to allow such a performance that denigrated his existence why would one of his legions go into bat and decide to 'play god' on their own to exact retaliation?
Surely any decent figment would make an example of such blasphemy of his name...but nope...he leaves that to pompous knee jerk clowns with less sense then ice cream to do his dirty work.
The same clowns with the same mind set deface the bus posters around the country.
The same clowns with same mind set threaten companies to not allow them to do business with an atheistic organisation or allow an atheistic organisation to partake of a fair market place.
The same clowns with same mind set close their conference centres to Richard Dawkins at such short notice because the same clowns with the same mind sets encourage Fox news to do what Fox news does.
The same clowns with same mind set refuse donations from atheism for charity work.
The same clowns with the same mind set trample over the US constitution every time they pray at a governmental meeting.
It seems the only lesson to draw from the debacle is that Andy, and his ilk, have so little faith in their own delusion.
And if you think for one moment that Andy has learnt his lesson...think again...Christians do not do contriteness.
I rather suspect that realising it was a breach of law played a bigger part in him removing the sign then any 'calming down' he might boast about.
A godly business requires cash incoming not fines out going!
Someone deluded enough to react in such a ridiculous manner in the first place do not change their attitude by calming down...they simply let the perceived hurt fester and find other less public less confrontational ways to kick out at the ones they despise.
Forgive by all means....but be aware Christians are no friends of atheism..it is unlikely that such forgiveness would be forthcoming if the knee jerk reaction were the other way around.
I was pissed, but I think I've made that known ;)
I personally wouldn't support the business, I would still boycott it.
It reminds me of the time I went to the Occupy Chicago protests and someone from one of the high floors of the Board of Trade Building wrote a huge sign that said 'We Are the One Percent'. Within 20 minutes, pictures of the sign went viral on the internet. The sign was removed, but STILL now we all know of their class consciousness and hostility towards the 99 %.
Why would we want to support a business that so openly expresses hostility against us? I'm sure there are other, competing business we can support.
Andy is a dyed in the wool Xtian bigot – his apology is a lie (it's alright to lie to unbelievers). His apology should be taken for what it is, an attempt to get his big foot out of his mouth, the idea of money not coming in and the specter of lawsuits (he probably has a lawyer magnitudes smarter than he is). I would take his apology for the lying bullshit it is because there's no way he believes it. High road or low road I prefer staying off that road.