atheist parade

‘Ask an Atheist’ event replaces participation in St. Patrick’s Day parade

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (RNS) Among the constant flow of people wearing green, toting beers and milling around the bars in Kansas City’s Westport neighborhood on Sunday (March 17), a man in a red plaid kilt held a sign that said, “Kiss me – I’m a Left-handed, Red-headed, Kilt-wearing Irish Atheist Stepchild!”

The Kansas City Atheist Coalition was denied participation in Sunday’s Kansas City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. An email it received from parade organizers stated: “We are an Irish Catholic parade.”

But the parade website specifies that parade events are “open to all, Irish or not, Catholic or not.” In response to the denial, coalition members created an event they called “Ask an Atheist.” The group held homemade signs on a popular corner near the parade route and fielded questions, complaints and even prayers from bystanders.