And I see this young man walking through the food court wearing a big Christian cross on his T-shirt. That’s not unusual in Fresno – there are a lot of people who wear religious clothing. But the difference was THIS cross had the circle-slash symbol on top of it – the universal sign for “No”!
“Very brave of him,” I thought to myself. I watched the reactions of others around him. As he walked through the crowd older people would talk to each other. Younger people ignored him.
I was thinking that our organization needed more young people, and perhaps he’s never heard of us. I decided to give him one of our cards. I waited for him to sit down at a table at the food court, and then walked over to speak with him.
“Excuse me. I noticed your T-shirt, and thought you might like a card for a local organization.” I pulled out a “Get Out of Hell Free” card that had the CVAAS website info stamped on the back of it.
“Not interested,” he said – without looking at me or the card.
Ah! I know how it is! I’ve been witnessed to and proselytized at myself. He thinks I’m a Christian come to talk to him about his evil ways!
“Uhm. I’m not a Christian, I’m an Atheist. And the card is for a local Atheist organization.”
“Really?” Where before he was dismissive, he now showed a small bit of interest. For a moment.
“I figured you were an Atheist from your T-shirt.” I waved vaguely at the shirt.
He sat back a little, and straightened the shirt. “It’s a band, dude. You know, ‘Bad Religion‘?” I saw the words “Bad Religion” on his shirt. I’ve never heard of that band! A band? Oh drat!
I gave him the card anyway. He thought it was somewhat amusing – in a bored teenager sort of way.
Oh, and yes, I do know about the band “Atheist“. (sigh) I need a lawn so I can yell at the kids on it.