A case of mistaken identity

So, the other day I'm walking through the local mall and decide to stop for a bite to eat in the food court.

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.

I felt like Emily Litella. "Nevermind!"

Nothing good ever happens to me in a mall.

Oh, and yes, I do know about the band "Atheist". (sigh) I need a lawn so I can yell at the kids on it.


R. Moore said...


You cannot talk directly to teenagers, you can only make yourself available to meet their needs. This is the only time they are willing to translate.

Anonymous said...

How funny. When I was younger, I met my friend, Ivan at a Bad Religion show.

He turned out to be a fundamentalist.

Not Important said...

I have a flower pot with grass growing in it on my desk at work. You could do the same and put a small doll in it that you could yell at to get off your lawn.

Now that I've said that "out loud," it seems sort of sad.