Missouri ice cream shop owner feels the heat after briefly barring atheists

ANDY Drennen, 28, got a double scoop of the humps when he realised that a convention in his hometown of Springfield, Missouri, was, in fact, a gathering of non-believers.

He was so pissed off over the Skepticon event – organised by the local chapter of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster – that he taped a notice to the window of his ice cream emporium, Gelato Mio, which stated:

Skepticon is NOT welcomed to my Christian Business.

But he quickly cooled down and removed it, saying:

Even small business owners make mistakes, and I sincerely apologized to those whom I offended.

But, according to this report, its removal came a tad too late. Someone snapped a pic of the notice, and within hours it had gone viral on the internet.

Much to Drennen’s surprise, emails and comments flooded in from as far as South Africa and Switzerland the next day, and he was forced to disable the store’s Facebook page.

Emily Dietle, a Houston, Texas-based blogger who was following the weekend convention, commented:

I think his apology is a great first step. Still, the act itself is unacceptable. The message behind the sign is unacceptable. I feel it’s our moral obligation as citizens to speak up whenever we see bigotry toward any minority group or any group.

And according to this report, Ryan Culbertson-Faegre, captain of the local chapter of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, said the act was disturbing. What’s more:

It’s flagrantly illegal. It’s flagrantly un-American.

He added the act temporarily violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which forbids discrimination based on race, religion and national origin. He expects no legal action against Gelato Mio, especially as Drennan had publicly apologised.

As humanists, we have to forgive other people for their trespassing. I personally accept the apology. Forgiveness is very important to humanism.

Drennen said he mistakenly assumed Skepticon had something to do with UFOs, and that he had welcomed the convention by offering attendees a 10 percent discount. He said he served about 250 convention-goers on Saturday before venturing out when business slowed to find out more about it. He “was surprised and offended” when he heard disrespectful comments about Christianity.

There was this guy who made very vulgar comments about my faith. He was just really disrespectful. Very, very disrespectful toward my Christian views.

Do you think there’s any chance that we’ll now get an apology from Victoria Childress, the Christian cake shop owner who refused to make a cake for a lesbian couple?