Scenes from Outside the Kansas City St. Patrick’s Day Parade

You’ve read the story by now. The Kansas City Atheist Coalition was rejected by the organizers of the St. Patrick’s Day parade out of “respect for the legacy of St. Patrick.” Interestingly enough, the “Missouri Gay Rodeo Association” met the criteria (PDF), but KCAC did not.

Despite getting rejected, the group still set up an Ask an Atheist booth nearby the parade route to help dispel stereotypes and, judging by their signs, it was a rousing success:

Jozef Hanratty with his new preacher friend

Joshua Stewart stares lovingly at his new pamphlet

About 20 members of the group held signs to protest the snub, in a St. Patrick’s way.

One said: “Kiss me, I’m a left-handed, red-headed, kilt-wearing, Irish Atheist Stepchild.”

Andy Beals said the sign had earned him two kisses before the parade was even over.

“People have been really great,” Beals said. “Most think we didn’t get treated right.”

This is how you handle a snub. Instead of just getting angry, the atheists, by being there with colorful signs and smiling faces, made a strong case for why the organizers made a bad decision. Why would anyone kick out a group of people with this much exuberant Irish pride?

(Thanks to Veronica for the images!)

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