FastSigns initially refused to print THIS atheist sign!?

A local FastSigns store refused to print this sign:

Yeah. Nothing in there attacking religion at all. It’s simply ‘atheist’. That one word. What the hell? They eventually changed their minds, after my team member fired off an angry response to this:

From: FASTSIGNS 243

Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 10:04 AM

Subject: MASH banner

Thank you for contacting us regarding your banner needs for your upcoming event. Its certainly something we could do for you.

I was not aware that we had been contacted by your organization until yesterday, and should have interceded before now.

At our staff meeting this morning we discussed this job, and several members of my staff, myself included, are not comfortable printing this banner, as we are strong in our religious beliefs and faith, and do not want to be a part of this event.  Area churches and religious non profits are a large part of our clientele also.

We have supported the military and Ft. Bragg strongly over the last 16 years and will continue to do so.

We hope you understand and if you need our help to steer you in another direction for your sign needs, please let us know.

Thank you.

Jim Pittman, Owner

FASTSIGNS 

2703 Raeford Road

(across from Harris Teeter)

Fayetteville, NC 28303

The reply

This was the instant response from my ‘second in command’. And it’s spot on. I’m proud of her.

Mr. Pittman,

While I can understand that members of your staff hold religious beliefs, that is not justification to deny business to an organization.  It has been over a week since we first contacted you about being able to provide us with this banner.  We are not asking any member of your staff to leave their faith or even to participate in the event on Saturday.  Unfortunately, we will be forced to contact our legal team if you choose to pursue this further.  Discrimination  is not something that should be tolerated. 

If you wish to talk further, we can set up a time to do so.  Please feel free to contact me anytime.

Scared man abandons his ‘strong religious beliefs’

What are the chances of us getting an apology?

From: FASTSIGNS 243

Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 1:33 PM

Subject: RE: MASH banner

Your banner will be ready tomorrow (Thursday) by 4pm or before from the file that was provided by your organization. We will not change/enhance/or otherwise alter that file.

The credit card number provided on our form by your cardholder will be charged today in full for the invoice as stated. We will call you when ready.

Have a nice day.

Jim Pittman,

FASTSIGNS ®

2703 Raeford Road

(across from Harris Teeter)

Fayetteville, NC 28303

Yeah, no apology… just an empty broken man gritting through his forced ‘have a nice day’ smile. As strongly as he felt about discriminating against us, it’s so strange that he capitulated and ‘abandoned’ his religion / god so quickly. We didn’t even contact our legal team, or his bosses. We sure as hell would have, though – so perhaps his ‘backsliding’ is understandable.

On the plus side, the sign looks great. We just picked it up. See you at Fort Bragg on Saturday for the groundbreaking festival.

 

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About Justin Griffith
  • ‘Tis Himself, OM

    Funny how his strong religious beliefs didn’t stand up to the magic words “legal team.”

  • http://atheistcamel.blogspot.com/ Bart

    Excellent! Good for you guys for holding that “good Christian’s” sanctimonious feet to the fire.

  • John Porgal

    I am very surprised, Our local Fastsigns is the one that prints all our stuff here at Tallahassee, Florida. (Tallahassee Atheists)

  • Alverant

    No doubt someone will be crying “christian persecution” over this because you threatened legal action. It’s too bad such action is necessary. I would have contacted his supervisor immediately. Perhaps a reminder about the obligations of a business from someone who could fire him would have been better.

    I do find it interesting they said they didn’t “alter/improve” the file. I would think that would have gone without saying. Maybe they thought they’d be suspected of vandalism as retaliation.

  • Justin Griffith

    Maybe they thought they’d be suspected of vandalism as retaliation.

    They thought correctly. When someone is that crazy over nothing… it’s been my experience that they ‘accidentally screw up’ on purpose. Though for a second I thought they were going to undo the minor edits we had discussed, as a fuck you that they could wiggle out of.

    But that wasn’t the case. I’m too used to the chess game I’ve been playing with Fort Bragg. FastSigns Store 243 was playing checkers.

  • James

    You’ve seen the sign? And it’s *ahem* kosher? My first thought when I read the “print it as it is” (paraphrasing) reply was that they maybe found a typo in your request. Damn my cynicism! We all know how well those types spell; perhaps they thought atheist is spelled “athiest” as so many of them do and that’s why they finally agreed. Damn my cynicism!

    Justin, if you need a runner for anything in the morning or if I can help out in any way (not adverse to manual labor), call me. I’ve got nothing going on before/after the festival. I’ll shoot you my cell number on your AKO.

  • Len Blakely

    Take your victory, leave the poor man be.

    This is a good example of what 2IC’s can do. Delegate your 2IC the power to make decisions based on your left and right of arc. Explain your aim to your subordinates. They will make mistakes, and they will get 20 things done for every honest mistake they make. Now and again they might just surprise you.

    Well done Justin’s 2IC.

  • James

    *averse.

    Lol. I’m humbled. But my offer stands; I’m neither averse or adverse to manual labor.

  • Hamilton Jacobi

    Jim Pittman probably still burns on the inside when his local diner allows those uppity Negroes to eat in the same room as him, too.

  • Zinc Avenger

    Their god is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.

    Lawyers demonstrably exist.

  • ChuckVonDerAhe

    Get a sharpie and add “Donated by Fastsigns243″ in the lower corner :-)

  • rrpostal

    This is hardly surprising as it’s quickly becoming trendy to get out of anything at all you don’t want to do based on “I don’t wanna ’cause I’m christian”. As mentioned, they probably think that when they can’t discriminate it means they’re being persecuted. They really need to be shaken from their fat and comfy mainstreamed bigotry. Every time I hear something like this it makes me dig in my heels that much more. I wish I could attend this event. Being a veteran, I’d have gone to this before the reason rally even.

  • Josh Elder

    Shame that a company here in Lexington, KY is doing the exact same thing. The local organization that runs the Gay Pride Festival contacted (and was given a quote) a printing company to make shirts for the event. After the quote was given, one of the owners said they wouldn’t do the job, their reasoning? Because we are gay.

    The mayor of our city is gay and it’s a huge college town. So needless to say, issues will be arising. ;D

  • http://scaryduck.blogspot.com scaryduck

    Of course, in this case “Have a nice day” means “Fuck you”. A big, old-fashioned Christian “Fuck you”.

  • shakie4u

    I own a FASTSIGNS center. I would have taken your money, made your banner and smiled with delight all the way to the bank.

    I don’t care what you believe. You appear to have a very strong “faith” in what you believe to be true. Hey, that is fine with me.

    What bothers me about (to quote one of the postings above) “your type” is your near-paranoid sense of superiority. Wow, it must be great to think you are THAT smart.

    I think thou protests too much. …what a scream for attention.

    But the bottomline is that I would take your money and respect your right to believe whatever you want, every single day, as you live in your parent’s basement. (you can take down the Valtamort posters now)

    f.y.i. there at 500 FASTSIGNS stores all around the world with differant owners in nearly every one. We are every color, sex, age and religion. Who cares…

    Thanks for the google ad. It will surely bring business to every location. You can buy advertising like that!

  • Marta

    De-lurking to tell you how much I appreciate the work that you’re doing, Justin.

    Wishing you all the best on your upcoming festival. I wish I could be there.

  • James

    You can have my Valtamort poster when you pry it from my cold, dead hands shakeit4me. (And don’t pretend you don’t know how to spell Voldemort; you’re not fooling anybody.)

    Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t meant they’re not out to establish their religious doctirine as our national and foreign policies.

    Might be my PTSD that keeps me there, but it’s ever so safe and warm in Mother’s basement. And there’s this one spot near the boiler where I can’t hear the voices.

    Thanks for playing.

  • Aquaria

    What bothers me about (to quote one of the postings above) “your type” is your near-paranoid sense of superiority.

    Do you even know what words mean?

    Paranoid superiority is a christslime problem. You guys have all the privilege in the world, and then you whine and snivel about anybody asking to be accepted for what they are. Even saying “atheist” gets you scumbags whining and murdering people, you bigoted dipshit.

    Wow, it must be great to think you are THAT smart.

    We’re not the ones who think that by sucking up to an imaginary genocidal scumbag in the sky makes us THAT speshul.

    IOW: Look in the mirror, bigoted dipshit.

    I think thou protests too much. ..what a scream for attention

    Look in the fucking mirror, christslime.

    But the bottomline is that I would take your money and respect your right to believe whatever you want, every single day, as you live in your parent’s basement.

    You do realize you’re talking to a US soldier, christslime? Show some fucking respect for your betters, you stupid piece of shit.

    (you can take down the Valtamort posters now)

    So much for free expression. And it’s Voldemort, dumbass. You’re so stupid that you don’t even know how to spell something that basic.

    f.y.i. there at 500 FASTSIGNS stores all around the world with differant owners in nearly every one. We are every color, sex, age and religion. Who cares…

    Obviously this christslime bigot cared, or he wouldn’t have needed a promise of legal action not to discriminate. Try to keep up.

    Thanks for the google ad.

    Good grief, are you really that fucking stupid? Nobody picks Google ads! Google picks them based on keywords mentioned on the site, dumbass!

    Are you sure you’re in the advertising business? You’re certainly appallingly ignorant about how it works to be that phenomenally stupid about it.

    It will surely bring business to every location.

    Don’t be so sure of that. It’s a reminder that we have all the cards in dealing with bigoted dipshits like you when you’re acting like bigoted dipshits. This will encourage other atheists to challenge your unearned bigoted dipshit privilege, rather than putting up with it anymore.

    Sucks to be christslime like you.

    You can buy advertising like that!<

    It's not advertising. It's a Google ad. Most people will ignore it, block it, or click on the ads only to give money to people like Justin, dumb ass. Most of us will never do business with a scumbag like you.

    Fuck off.

  • James

    ^^ I’m a combat lifesaver, shakes. I can dress that sucking chest wound or show you a little trick to take your mind off the pain.

  • annie

    Well played. It’s situations like this that make me think maybe the Christians are right… perhaps they can’t possibly be good without a bible or laws.

  • starstuff

    “Your banner will be ready tomorrow (Thursday) by 4pm or before from the file that was provided by your organization”

    “We went with another vendor. Buh Bye.”

  • The Lorax

    Next headline on The Onion: “Almighty God soundly defeated by team of ACLU lawyers.”

  • http://iamcoleslaw.blogspot.com/ coleslaw

    If they are “strong in their religious beliefs and faith”, I imagine most of them at least attend churches. I wonder how they would feel if they took a new church van to an auto body paint shop to have the church name and logo painted on it, only to be told:

    ” At our staff meeting this morning we discussed this job, and several members of my staff, myself included, are not comfortable printing this banner, as we are firm in our humanist and atheist convictions, and do not want to be a part of this project. Area secular humanist groups are a large part of our clientele also.

    . . .

    We hope you understand and if you need our help to steer you in another direction for your sign needs, please let us know.”

    I imagine loud screams, but privilege affects people that way.

    The reply from your second in command was tactful yet firm, but it would have been so tempting to have responded by saying You wouldn’t have dared discriminate against a Mulsim group this way! Although I suspect that bit of satire would have gone over their heads.

  • http://iamcoleslaw.blogspot.com/ coleslaw

    Aargh! “Muslim”, not “Mulsim”.

  • Buffy

    No doubt they’ll be whining to anybody who will listen about how they were “bullied” by mean old atheists into violating their Deeply Held Religious Beliefs. It’s so sad when bigots have to follow the law just like everyone else.

  • carlie

    I would imagine that they get a certain amount of tax breaks for operating a business in the town, and they certainly get federal tax benefits for being a small business. Tax breaks means someone else is paying your share, which means you aren’t allowed to discriminate against those someone elses when they try to use your business, which they helped pay for. Why can’t they understand that? It’s called a social contract, people.

  • had3

    On behalf of lawyers defending your freedoms, you’re welcome. Of course, those wishing to infringe upon them also hire us. It’s nice to be wanted.

  • robertkarma

    It is a sad commentary on how comfortable the conservative Christians are in denying the rights of others claiming they are “offended” as an excuse to deny rights, service or even common human decency. Thankfully, we were founded as a secular Constitutional Republic with a Constitution and Bill of Rights to protect the minority against the tyranny of the majority. Many on the religious right whine that we Secular Humanists are always running to the courts to file lawsuits. What they fail to see is their own illegal behavior as the cause of our legal actions.

    I would love to live in a country where the civil liberties of every American were respected but alas we do not therefore we can either turn to violence to assert our rights or we can try to be reasonable adults and use our right to petition the courts to enforce the law of the land. If these Christian zealots would realize and accept that their faith does not give them any special legal privileges under the law we wouldn’t have situations like the one described in this blog. Until that day of Enlightenment occurs Secular Humanists and other minority groups are forced to use the court system to defend our Constitutional rights.

  • Egaeus

    That’s definitely a location-specific problem. Our local FastSigns printed our group’s banner with no problem whatsoever. It’s even made international news recently.

  • Ferrous Patella

    I’d say they deserve a *very big* thank you at the event. Be sure to mention Jim’s name several times. Get a video and send it to him.

  • ZachPruckowski

    Aquaria – Not helpful. Probably fun, and definitely a stress relief, but not helpful.

    shakie4u – Can you explain what part of that demonstrated a “your near-paranoid sense of superiority”? It’s in no way a claim of superiority to threaten to invoke one’s civil rights – indeed, it’s a claim of equality.

    Also it’s kind of hard to not feel superior to someone who admits to violating federal law in an email to the victim of their discrimination. You’d maybe have an argument of near-paranoia if Justin’s 2IC responded to an offered excuse (my printer is overheating) with claims of religious discrimination, but when the guy comes right out and confesses…

  • James

    Well, Zach, there are times to be helpful and times to be whatever the opposite of helpful is. Everybody needs to be ranted at once in a while; it lets the rantee know that he’s fucked up like polio. I, for one, am tired of being a calm, reasonable debater. I’m tired of giving every (any) idiocy equal (any) respect. I’m tired of providing covering fire for christstains and the non-christstains who defend them. If it’s stupid, I’m gonna call it “fucking stupid” and I don’t give a great big god damn who I piss of or offend.

    Also, I believe shakeandbacon was talking about a post in which someone, possibly a militant atheist bastard who gives exactly this much () of a fuck about religiots and their fucking dogs, might have criticized “those types” and their spelling abilities. In fairness to shakers, I do feel superior and paranoid. Superior because I can spell real good and paranoid because I’m sure those fucking religitards would go all medieval on us and if they had half of a chance.

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  • James

    ^^Lulz! Or maybe it’s your machine. Seems to be working fine for me.

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