EARLIER this year a group of atheist designers based in Berlin hit on the idea of creating a top quality, retro-styled range of footwear that would appeal to atheists.
Imprinted on the soles would be “Ich Bin Atheist” and “Darwin Loves”.
The response they got after floating the idea on the Internet was so positive that they then used Kickstarter – an Internet-based funding platform for creative projects – to call for investors.
Amazingly, in just under a month, they raised almost $60,000 dollars, which enabled The Meaningful Shoe Company to immediately start production and start selling their products – including “Ich Bin Atheist” totebags – via a delightful website simply called AtheistBerlin.com.
The driving force behind The Meaningful Shoe Company is Irishman David Bonney from Dublin, who now lives in Berlin.
The company’s website says:
We’re lucky to live in Berlin, a city where roughly two thirds of the population are atheists , but we’re conscious there are still places where it’s difficult to be godless.
The site is far more than just a sales platform for atheist shoes. It’s a joyful, well-written celebration of godlessness.
For example, under the heading “We don’t believe in any God”, it declares:
We enjoy happy, full lives without god(s) and we don’t often think about religion. But, when we do, we find it a bit weird and depressing; like a silly game of make-believe that’s gone too far, threatening the things we hold most dear, like independence, reason and love.
The number of atheists is rapidly growing, yet we’re often passive or isolated, facing ‘god’ with just an apathetic shrug, whilst religion is organised, in your face… with symbols, rituals, community… all of which give it more power to make more of a mess.
We’d love it if more atheists were to ‘come out’ and to find each other.
Maybe our shoes will make it easier to spot the sexy, free-thinking people you like to hang with? No more hours wasted chatting up a pretty stranger only to discover they believe some invisible, magical sky-daddy is looking down and holding a view on whether they should sleep with you or not.
And, under the heading “Taking the God out of Good”, it says:
If we manage to make any money out of selling atheist shoes, we’d like to do something worthwhile with it.
We’d like to give a proportion of any profits we make to secular charities – particularly those seeking to clean up the mess made by religion. One cause we’re seriously interested in supporting is the fight against Female Genital Mutilation – a particularly disgusting practice, often coupled with religious tradition and seeking to deprive young women of the capacity to enjoy sex. And we’d also like to support the wonderful work of Medecins Sans Frontieres. If you can think of other causes we should consider supporting, please get in touch!
The company also has a presence on Facebook here.
NOTE: A page on the site – “You don’t have to be Atheist to wear Atheist” – features a photo of a woman called Emilia and says:
Amongst many other things, she’s a Christian. Nonetheless, Emilia knows she looks super hot when she wears ATHEIST shoes. And we care about the world looking hot even more than we care about atheism. So, if you’re not an atheist, please don’t worry… we’d be delighted for you to wear our shoes!