I wear atheist-type t-shirts to offend and/or to get laughs. So, I really don't care should people point to hatred, as I hold that quite rightly for the church. But the primary reason for wearing these T's is to let other atheists, or those who are questioning their beliefs, see that it's OK to wear your thoughts on your sleeves. So to speak.
A couple of months ago one night, I stepped outside my apartment and I took a walk up and down Brady street here in Milwaukee while wearing the 50% COTTON 50% SHROUD OF TURIN t-shirt I've designed. It's really one of the few areas in Brewtown that has hustle and bustle, a city vibe. And gentrification has been kind and fair to this street except for the hideous Walgreens anchoring the east end strip mall. A church at one corner is another eyesore. But there are plenty of interesting restaurants and bars and funky clothiers and two tatoo shops that draws a great mix of people from Old School Italians still living in the 'hood to the college kids lookin' for a Saturday buzz. Head shops once ruled, cannabis clouds rolling down the thoroughfare.
Women were out and about wearing sundresses and less. A silly pod of streetpunks were called on their bluffs of intimidation with just a few calm words and a well-practiced gameface. Someone else tried to bum a smoke.
One of three guys standing outside the Up and Under tavern, a blues joint where I once sank the eight ball on consecutive breaks, started reading my shirt, out loud, as I stopped to ask if he 'got' the joke. His small smile turned into a wide grin as he explained the joke to one of his friends. I explained that I sell these shirts with some of the profit going to the FFRF, the organization responsible for bringing about the National Day of Prayer lawsuit.
As I walked away, I heard the third guy say to the shirtreader: You're a catholic. You hypocrite.
Smiling, I turned around and went to look for the guy who tried bumming a smoke.