I am launching two new blog categories for 2012 — Skeptics Behaving Badly and Christians Behaving Badly. We all make mistakes and I think it’s valuable to notice them and make efforts to do things differently.
Today, we get to hone in on one very bad decision by the Christian owner of an ice cream shop in Missouri, Gelato Mio. Andy was lucky enough to become an overnight Internet sensation by posting the picture seen here in his window during the weekend of the Skepticon conference held in his town.
After this decision, Gelato Mio’s reviews online tanked and the shop got an instant reputation for being what it so clearly is in my opinion — bigoted, discriminatory and un-American. He has since issued an apology that reads just like what it is; a backpedal for a damaging business decision. He claims it was a knee jerk reaction that lasted only a few minutes before he came to his senses. I think there is little evidence of impulse in the block letters created and colored-in for the word, “NOT,” nor is there much sincerity or humble generosity reflected in this sentence, “The event that greatly offended me was conducted by one man and I shouldn’t have reacted the way I did.”
Conducted by one man you should love and attended by, supported by, many more you should love. But it seems to me, Andy only loves their dollars and star ratings. The apology reads like a business apology often does. “Sorry I shared my beliefs and alienated your wallet.”
Andy, it’s your sincere beliefs that need re-evaluated not your decision to represent them on your businesses window. Get on your knees and spend some time discussing this with your (version of) God.