Kansas City atheists barred from participating in St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Normally when you think of St. Patrick’s Day, images of green beer, girls in t-shirts that say “kiss me, I’m Irish”, and drunken revelers usually pop into your head. Over the decades since we’ve been ‘observing’ these liver destroying traditions, the religious elements of the holiday have generally fallen to the wayside, replaced instead with a party to celebrate the fact that Irish people exist. Hey, I’m part Irish, so I totally approve!

What I don’t approve of, however, is this recent story: an atheist group in Kansas City has been denied permission to participate in the parade for the simple reason that they aren’t religious. Here’s the statement they released to the press:

Kansas City’s parade celebrates the Feast Day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, and the Christian teachings and beliefs that he lived and suffered for. The Atheist Coalition’s published mission is to advance godlessness through activism, and its stated intent regarding the 2013 parade was to carry banners with phrases such as “positively godless” and “morals without mythology.” It was with respect for the legacy of St. Patrick that the parade committee turned down the Atheist Coalition’s application to participate in this year’s procession. “

Is this the new excuse to prevent us from participating in public activities? Out of ‘respect’ for dead saints that have almost nothing to do with the modern, secular version of the holiday? If they somehow have a problem with the fact that St. Patrick was a Christian, why are those Christ-killing Jews allowed to come? I would think St. Patrick would have a pretty big problem with those guys. And what about Protestants? Do they count? Should Italians not be allowed in the parade because ancient Romans enslaved the poor guy?

So, despite assurances from organizers that this isn’t a state sponsored religious event, they seem intent on not allowing any ‘godless’ messages to be seen or heard, and that should tell you all you need to know about whether or not it is a religious celebration to these people.

Here’s hoping the kind of national attention they receive teaches them a lesson about messing with atheists. We own the Internet, bitches!

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