KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Members of a local atheist group say they're being unfairly excluded from this year's St. Patrick's Day parade, but parade organizers say they're simply protecting their patron saint's legacy.
The Kansas City Atheist Coalition said they understand the parade organizers have the legal right to decide whether they can participate, but they think they're being singled out.
"If they were obviously a religious organization, we probably wouldn't have even submitted the application, (but) their website actually expressly states that their parade is not for people exclusively of Irish decent, and the parade is not exclusively for people of Catholic faith," explained Sarah Hargreaves, president of the atheist coalition. "So apparently, it's for everyone except atheists."
But parade organizers said they turned application out of respect for the legacy of St. Patrick.
"Kansas City’s parade celebrates the Feast Day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, and the Christian teachings and beliefs that he lived and suffered for," Sharon Bundy, senior co-chairwoman of the St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee, explained in a statement Monday.
Bundy pointed that in its application, the Atheist Coalition said it wanted to carry banners with phrases such as "positively godless" and "morals without mythology."
"It was with respect for the legacy of St. Patrick that the parade committee turned down the Atheist Coalition’s application to participate in this year’s procession," Bundy said in the statement.
Do you think the parade committee made the right call, or should the Atheist Coalition be allowed to participate? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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