Reactions To My Scarlet "A" Pin
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14-11-2012, 01:51 PM
Reactions To My Scarlet "A" Pin
I wear my scarlet "A" pin most of the time:

http://store.richarddawkins.net/products/1-a-lapel-pin

This is one of my small personal contributions to the civil rights aspect of the atheist movement: one of the most important elements of any such movement, and probably the most basic element, is letting the "rest of the world" know that we exist. When people see "real people" who are nonbelievers, it makes atheism more personal, rather than abstract, and may therefore potentially make people think about it differently. Most of the time, people who ask about my pin simply nod and don't seem to think too much about it.

Today, though, the HR Director and the President of my company both stopped by my work site, and during the chit chat, the President asked me about my pin. I smiled and said, "Oh, that? 'Atheist'." They both laughed. I'm not sure what to think about that... that's not a reaction I've ever seen before. Has anyone else had this kind of response? What did you think or say or do?
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14-11-2012, 01:54 PM
RE: Reactions To My Scarlet "A" Pin
(14-11-2012 01:51 PM)pianodwarf Wrote:  I wear my scarlet "A" pin most of the time:

http://store.richarddawkins.net/products/1-a-lapel-pin

This is one of my small personal contributions to the civil rights aspect of the atheist movement: one of the most important elements of any such movement, and probably the most basic element, is letting the "rest of the world" know that we exist. When people see "real people" who are nonbelievers, it makes atheism more personal, rather than abstract, and may therefore potentially make people think about it differently. Most of the time, people who ask about my pin simply nod and don't seem to think too much about it.

Today, though, the HR Director and the President of my company both stopped by my work site, and during the chit chat, the President asked me about my pin. I smiled and said, "Oh, that? 'Atheist'." They both laughed. I'm not sure what to think about that... that's not a reaction I've ever seen before. Has anyone else had this kind of response? What did you think or say or do?


Maybe they thought you were joking.

Or they were just relieved that it wasn't for "Adulterer".

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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14-11-2012, 01:54 PM
RE: Reactions To My Scarlet "A" Pin
(14-11-2012 01:51 PM)pianodwarf Wrote:  I wear my scarlet "A" pin most of the time:

http://store.richarddawkins.net/products/1-a-lapel-pin

This is one of my small personal contributions to the civil rights aspect of the atheist movement: one of the most important elements of any such movement, and probably the most basic element, is letting the "rest of the world" know that we exist. When people see "real people" who are nonbelievers, it makes atheism more personal, rather than abstract, and may therefore potentially make people think about it differently. Most of the time, people who ask about my pin simply nod and don't seem to think too much about it.

Today, though, the HR Director and the President of my company both stopped by my work site, and during the chit chat, the President asked me about my pin. I smiled and said, "Oh, that? 'Atheist'." They both laughed. I'm not sure what to think about that... that's not a reaction I've ever seen before. Has anyone else had this kind of response? What did you think or say or do?
They were both laughing because they knew that they would soon be firing you.
Or it was just nervous laughter after an unexpected answer to a personal question.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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14-11-2012, 02:00 PM
RE: Reactions To My Scarlet "A" Pin
(14-11-2012 01:54 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  They were both laughing because they knew that they would soon be firing you.
Or it was just nervous laughter after an unexpected answer to a personal question.
Heh. The former does not seem likely; the President is an open Sikh (turban, the whole bit), so he's probably pretty sensitive to the issue of dismissing someone over a religious position. The latter might be possible, though, I guess, although I would think that anyone giving it even a moment's thought would realize it's not as strange as all that. Lots of Christians wear crosses all the time, Jews wear yarmulkes, and of course the President himself wears his symbol as well.

They also asked whether there wasn't "something nicer" than the pin. I briefly described Seth's logo of the head with the light bulb but said I hadn't seen a pin of that one anywhere.
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14-11-2012, 02:02 PM
RE: Reactions To My Scarlet "A" Pin
(14-11-2012 02:00 PM)pianodwarf Wrote:  They also asked whether there wasn't "something nicer" than the pin. I briefly described Seth's logo of the head with the light bulb but said I hadn't seen a pin of that one anywhere.
This feels to me more of a red flag than the laughter. That seems to be a passive-aggressive way to say they don't like you wearing the pin.
What field of work are you in? Do you work with customers? Do you have a lot of co-workers?

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
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14-11-2012, 02:08 PM
RE: Reactions To My Scarlet "A" Pin
could it be related to this? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114345/

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14-11-2012, 02:12 PM
RE: Reactions To My Scarlet "A" Pin
(14-11-2012 02:00 PM)pianodwarf Wrote:  
(14-11-2012 01:54 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  They were both laughing because they knew that they would soon be firing you.
Or it was just nervous laughter after an unexpected answer to a personal question.
Heh. The former does not seem likely; the President is an open Sikh (turban, the whole bit), so he's probably pretty sensitive to the issue of dismissing someone over a religious position. The latter might be possible, though, I guess, although I would think that anyone giving it even a moment's thought would realize it's not as strange as all that. Lots of Christians wear crosses all the time, Jews wear yarmulkes, and of course the President himself wears his symbol as well.

They also asked whether there wasn't "something nicer" than the pin. I briefly described Seth's logo of the head with the light bulb but said I hadn't seen a pin of that one anywhere.
Something nicer in what sense? More artistic? Prettier jewellery? Less offensive?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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14-11-2012, 02:13 PM
RE: Reactions To My Scarlet "A" Pin
(14-11-2012 02:02 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  This feels to me more of a red flag than the laughter. That seems to be a passive-aggressive way to say they don't like you wearing the pin.
What field of work are you in? Do you work with customers? Do you have a lot of co-workers?
I'm the Help Desk Lead with an agency of the Federal government. There are three other people on the help desk staff, and we support about 200 people or so. There's not a great deal of customer interaction in my position -- I see maybe two to four people on an average day, and maybe the same number of people again in telephone support.
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14-11-2012, 02:14 PM
RE: Reactions To My Scarlet "A" Pin
(14-11-2012 02:12 PM)Chas Wrote:  Something nicer in what sense? More artistic? Prettier jewellery? Less offensive?
They seemed to think that a plain old letter "A" wasn't, as you say, very artistic or stylish. As if a Christian were just wearing a letter "C" -- like that.
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14-11-2012, 02:20 PM
RE: Reactions To My Scarlet "A" Pin
(14-11-2012 02:14 PM)pianodwarf Wrote:  
(14-11-2012 02:12 PM)Chas Wrote:  Something nicer in what sense? More artistic? Prettier jewellery? Less offensive?
They seemed to think that a plain old letter "A" wasn't, as you say, very artistic or stylish. As if a Christian were just wearing a letter "C" -- like that.
That's the problem with a non-belief, we should have a zero or something like that as a symbol... but it wouldn't work either No

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