atheist parade
The Kansas City Atheist Coalition held signs, fielded questions and handed out science-related toys to passing children in Kansas City, Mo. on Sunday (March 17, 2013) during St. Patrick's day celebrations. The event, which they called "Ask an Atheist", was organized as a response to the Kansas City St. Patrick's day parade organizers' denial for KCAC to participate in this year's parade. RNS photo by Sally Morrow

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

atheist parade

The Kansas City Atheist Coalition held signs, fielded questions and handed out science-related toys to passing children in Kansas City, Mo. on Sunday (March 17, 2013) during St. Patrick's Day celebrations. The event, which they called "Ask an Atheist," was organized as a response to the Kansas City St. Patrick's Day parade organizers' denial for KCAC to participate in this year's parade. RNS photo by Sally Morrow


 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

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.

KCAC members said on Sunday that the protest was about more than just exclusion from the parade.

“We just want to be treated the same as everyone else,” said Sarah Hargreaves, president of the KCAC. “There have been and are multiple organizations participating in the parade who do not explicitly line up with Catholic beliefs – the International House of Prayer and K-Love Radio being prime examples in the past.”

atheist parade

A KCAC member talks to a passing woman. The Kansas City Atheist Coalition held signs, fielded questions and handed out science-related toys to passing children in Kansas City, Mo. on Sunday (March 17, 2013) during St. Patrick's Day celebrations. The event, which they called "Ask an Atheist", was organized as a response to the Kansas City St. Patrick's Day parade organizers' denial for KCAC to participate in this year's parade. RNS photo by Sally Morrow


 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

 

 

 

 

Last year's participants included the Kansas City Renaissance Festival; Bob Hamilton Plumbing, the Kansas City Sheltie Rescue, an animal-rescue group; and Pepsi Beverages Co., all secular organizations.

According to the KCAC’s website, their goal was to keep the signs light and friendly: “We want to engage in respectful and civil discussion about atheism while also bringing attention to the parade organizers’ discriminatory actions.”  Sign slogans included “Why am I not in the parade? Ask me,” “Kiss me I’m an Irish Atheist” and “Dear God, do leprechauns go to Heaven?”

atheist parade

The Kansas City Atheist Coalition held signs, fielded questions and handed out science-related toys to passing children in Kansas City, Mo. on Sunday (March 17, 2013) during St. Patrick's Day celebrations. The event, which they called "Ask an Atheist," was organized as a response to the Kansas City St. Patrick's Day parade organizers' denial for KCAC to participate in this year's parade. RNS photo by Sally Morrow


 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

In addition to the signs, the organization handed out toy dinosaurs, dinosaur temporary tattoos and toy compasses to passing children to promote science.

According to Hargreaves, some people gave high-fives or fist bumps in passing, while a few others shouted, “I believe in Jesus Christ!”

AMB END MORROW

Comments

  1. What have a Catholic man the right to make another man a “Saint”???

    Patrick was just a man, he is NOT a “saint”

  2. I especially liked the moron in the kilt. Do these people have any idea how boring they really are?

  3. I didn’t say he was an idiot. He clearly knows how to put silly but attention-catching clothes on, so he is at least at the mental level of a moron.

  4. They are there to draw attention to their exclusion from the Parade. Are there many better ways for a large man to draw attention than to wear a bright red kilt?

    So… is that all you have to complain about, how the guy in the photo must be a moron because you would never dress as he did?

    Turn your nose back down before it rains.

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