Thursday, August 14, 2008

Out and Proud Atheist Shirts

As part of my resolution to be more out this coming semester at school, I have bought two shirts from The Affable Atheist store.
First, a parody of Abercrombie and Fitch:

And then just a shirt with Atheist written all over it:

I plan to wear these out and about and see what kind of reactions I get. While the south can be bad at times, I do not anticipate a violent reaction. Maybe I'll get some stares and catcalls, but most of all, I hope that it gets people to think.


Shane said...

I have that first shirt. In a olive colored t-shirt. Don't get many compliments on it except one positive comment at a PFLAG (parents and friends of lesbians and gays) picture taking event.

By far my most popular shirt is my dino Jesus (Jesus cuddling a velociraptor) and my "God is Imaginary". Mormons came to my place while I was wearing my "God is Imaginary" shirt, and they haven't been back. I also got a 5-second interview spot on the local news wearing my "God is Imaginary" shirt. Spreading the word.

I actually haven't had really anything but compliments about them. But then I live in Canada and the extent of my excursions lately includes nothing much more than the grocery story and the university.

FreshGhetto said...

Being in Greenville, South Carolina (home of the Bob Jones Cult *ahem* university), I can't help but wonder how much unwanted harassment would come from wearing one of these shirts, at least in my corner of the bible belt. It is nice to think that witty clothing can help spawn healthy debate and discussion, but in my experience this is usually not the case at all.

First of all, I am an atheist myself, and I should also say that I'm not specifically talking about these shirts here. Anyways, about six months ago, I bought a shirt from an online vendor featuring the traditional likeness of Jesus, thorny crown and all, holding an old school Nintendo controller. Above and below the picture it says "Jesus Saves....after he passes each level".

I thought the shirt was downright hilarious and just had to have it, and in spite of a few compliments and some honestly good conversation it spawned, I just grew tired of all the negativity I caught the brunt of just because of a Tshirt. I guess I just don't like the fact that as soon as I put the shirt on, like it or not, I had to be in "confrontation mode" for the rest of the day. It got tiring, so I retired the shirt to the back of my closet...sadly.

On one hand, I feel a little defeated, like I shouldn't have given in and let a few threats of bodily harm deter me from expressing myself (yes, I was on one occasion threatened with a genuine Southern "ass-beating", as the gentleman called it). But then again maybe that's exactly why things like tshirts, bumper stickers, and podcasts (shout out to the Non Prophets) are necessary. It's pretty important for the person who says to himself, "Oh, dear. I am surrounded by people who believe absolute nonsense.", to know that he is not alone.

Shucks, I'm fired up, folks. I'm digging back out the old Jesus shirt after all.

Microbiologychick said...


Your shirt sounds hilarious, but it is easy to see why it provokes reactions. Blasphemy is a bit more in-your-face than a simple assertion of personal atheism.

as for my shirts, there is also the fact that I am a girl, and far less likely to be threatened with a "whupping."

But if you do dig up the shirt, I'd love to hear about it.

PhillyChief said...

I used to have a Tori Amos shirt that had "Recovering Christian" on the back. That was about 12 years ago or so. It's funny how something like that would get people pissed off more than a Black Sabbath shirt or anything with pentagrams and devils. I guess even devil worshippers are preferable to atheists.

Going Churching said...

I know the guy who runs "The Affable Atheist." He's the organizer of the Houston Atheist Meetup. I used to attend his meetings when I lived down there. He is a great guy and I'm glad you chose Affable Atheist!

Ian Hewitt said...

You should post a few photos of yourself modeling these shirts... maybe we could all respond with our own.

I have a rainbow shirt with Lennon's words: "Imagine no religion" - I have the same quote on my checks and engraved on the back of my iPod.


Kazim said...

Microbiologychick can't model a shirt unless she keeps her face out of the picture. You may remember she's trying not to be accidentally outed to her family.

Mick said...

When you wear that shirt, be sure to wear it in the general, publicly acceptable fashion. Rather than wearing it as a head scarf, arm band or tucked in your back pocket. Otherwise, you may provoke reactions for very different reasons.

I wouldn't want the results of your public experiment skewed in any way.

InTheSkyGirl said...

These shirts help us to find one another - if nothing else. I have one that simply says 'Atheist' in a lovely script. It is a little hard to make it out at first glance but a second or two later, the word is discernible. I've only gotten 1 evil eye from an old lady - the rest of the time a smile or nod or nothing at all. Can't say I've been treated any differently while wearing the shirt.

I'm always on the lookout for others wearing freethought messages. I will give a thumbs up to the next infidel I come across. We need to out ourselves - and this is only one way.

Brigit said...

Nice shirts! There are also cool ones at FeebleLance.
I'm planning to buy the one that says: "Godless- keep your fairy tales to yourself" as soon as I get my stipend!