I just want to weigh in personally for a moment here. I am overwhelmingly happy that the Kansas City Atheist Coalition is being supported by so many people due to the obvious discrimination of the KC Irish Parades decision to deny our participation.
That being said, all I wanted, all I EVER wanted was to dress up as a damn Leprechaun and walk in the parade as an open Atheist for the KCAC. Seriously, the whole theme of this parade was something like “gathering of the clans.” I WANT as many other clans to gather, darn it. I WANT to walk behind (or beside if they would let me) a church that joined the parade!! I want them to tell me what they think or believe because I like people to be open! I WANT to throw candy at kids and prance about and talk in a bad Irish accent. I WANT to answer questions about who I am and, in time, be accepted for it. I WANT to represent the good of my community and everything in which it represents.
What we don’t want is to HAVE to point out blatant discrimination – but, we will because it’s the right thing to do. If we don’t do it, then it will keep happening. Other people will still not understand, and I will NEVER get to dress up as a Leprechaun alongside others who have differing beliefs. This is the reason I defend my position with such fervor and I refuse to give a single inch of footing!
— Jozef Hanratty, director of KCAC