Study: Packages Sealed with ‘Atheist’ Tape 10 Times More Likely to Disappear

Do employees of the United States Postal Service have a bone to pick with atheists? A study by a German company that crafts atheist-branded footwear claims they do.

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Atheist Shoes

Do employees of the United States Postal Service have a bone to pick with atheists? A study by a German company that crafts atheist-branded footwear claims they do — and that the USPS is “losing” packages outright.

(WATCH: California Man’s Clumsy Burglary Attempt)

Atheist Shoes calls itself “a cadre of shoemakers & artists in Berlin, Germany” that hand-make artsy shoes for “people who don’t believe in god(s).” The company describes its shoes as “Bauhaus-inspired,” referring to a German crafts and arts school that operated in the early 20th century, eschewing ornamentation and emphasizing harmony between an object’s function and design. The company also claims to have “lots of customers” in the United States.

And yet it says shipments to U.S. customers sometimes “take longer than they should to arrive” and “even go missing.” When U.S. customers began requesting that Atheist Shoes not box shipments with packing tape trumpeting the company’s name and ideology — the word “atheist” displayed repeatedly — Atheist Shoes wondered if the USPS, or at least some of its employees, might be up to no good.

Thus the ad hoc study: The company says it sent two packages each to 89 people (178 packages total) canvassing nearly every U.S. state — one package with the Atheist-branded tape, one without. And this is where the results suggest something fishy: According to Atheist Shoes, company-branded packages took on average three days longer to reach their destination and were 10 times more likely to disappear outright. An Atheist-branded package sent to Michigan arrived 37 days later than its non-branded companion. What’s more, the company ran a series of “control” tests in Europe which it claims “demonstrate no such bias.”

What’s up with the USPS? Who knows, but Atheist Shoes says it’s no longer using Atheist-branded packing tape, that delivery times are already improving and to “please order with confidence, our godless American friends!”

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99 comments
WilfTarquin
WilfTarquin

Not surprised. Then again, very little surprises me in the context of religious bigotry & the USA. This is, after all, a country which imprisons women for the crime of miscarrying.

SDRanger
SDRanger

  They should do another experiment, shipping 100 packages to U.S. locations, with GPS devices included within the product. I, for one, am interested to know exactly where these "missing" packages end up. USPS has a job to do...route and SHIP PACKAGES. Nothing more, nothing less. It is the equivalent of a pharmacist refusing to fill a LEGALLY PRESCRIBED prescription for birth control to an underage teen. It is not the job for USPS to decide what is right and "moral" for another human being. Face the front! Eyes on your own paper! Sort your mail!...and thank your God that you have a job!

hkhodges
hkhodges

@dfk295. You asked how I came to the conclusion that more bad things were done in the name of religion than visa versa. The is common sense.  Most bad things that happen in our world are due to superstitious/religious justification. Open a newspaper any day of the week.

1. Terrorist suicide bomber

2. Muslim woman stoned to the death for adultery

3. Young Muslim girl castrated at age of 7 according to Muslim doctrine

4. Japanese soldiers dive bomb USA ships before their Emperor/God told them to.

5. Kim Jung Un worshiped by his people, his father and grandfather regarded as gods and prayed to for granting of wishes

6. 9/11 suicide bombers 

7. Centuries of Holy Crusades

8. Colonization of North, Central and South America by the Spanish Catholics

9. Colonization of the East Coast of American by the Puritans

10. The burning of witches 

11. The justification of Slavery in both the new and old testament

12. The justification of putting your daughter to death for everything from going out during menstration to allowing herself to be raped.

13. The entire Caste system of India

14.  Extermination of tribes according to Gods commands

15. Going to war because God told you.

16.. Killing your children because you believe they are possessed.

17. Preaching the value of an exorcism to rid a person or persons of a Demon

18. Teaching children about Hell and scaring them into being "good"

19.Teaching your kids hate of other peoples based upon your religious beliefs

20. Justifying Murder, Stealing, Lying, Xenophobia, Intolerance, Bigotry and Ignorance by quoting your religious teachings.

There is 20 ways in which a religious person has done something immoral in the justification of his religious beliefs.

Now show me one way in which a Skeptical person could do evil to justify his absence of belief in anything supernatural.

DougIttner
DougIttner

This wasn't a study.  Studies are published and studies control for variables such as having tape that says "Atheist" or something neutral like "Shoes".  It would probably help if the company didn't mail the packages through DHL and just assume the problems were only from America.

dkf295
dkf295

10 times more likely to disappear than a normal package? This means absolutely zilch. If you seal a package with "Lutheran" or "Catholic" or "Conservative" or "Liberal" tape, how often do these packages go missing?

JuneFletcher
JuneFletcher

I had not realised that you could buy "atheist shoes" in America.  I have heard of Nikes, Birkenstocks etc but never Atheist Shoes so I presumed it was a 1st April joke.  Seems I was wrong.

hkhodges
hkhodges

Anyone who believes we get our morality from religion should read this article. There are more bad things done in the support of a religious belief than visa versa.

SandraL
SandraL

Assuming this is not an April Fools' joke (and, sadly, it's not that difficult to believe) I wonder why they're blaming USPS?  Seems to me that the U.S. Customs department is by far the more likely culprit - and with the brain-dead, fascist mindset of the Dept. of Homeland Security, anything openly marked "atheist" is probably treated as a potential terrorist attack.  

USPS can't deliver a package they never receive.

JuneFletcher
JuneFletcher

I am not quite sure how I got on to this page but I was checking posts for 1st April.  As I do not live in the USA I automatically ASS of U and ME d it to be a joke. Seems like many people did not.

harleylovinchelley
harleylovinchelley

I'm not sure how it got turned around to blaming Christians for the delay in mail shipments.

It seems several people are making unproven assumptions.

I'll break down why it is not wise to assume. Look at the word. If we divide the word into its syllables we can see why if we ASSUME it can make an  ASS of U and ME.

 There is NO proof any Christian is hiding or stealing the packages. You anti christian people could never prove that case in a court of law.

As far as Christians being horrible, you guys are wrong. Christians who you seem to enjoy bashing, spend a lot of money operating centers where they hand out food and clothing to the needy. They send millions of dollars in aid to people all over the world.

Being a Christian has been a big improvement in my life. You see, I have a lot more patience now. I no longer choke the hell out of people who really deserve it. That's my two cents worth.

Korosuke
Korosuke

Come on guys. Looks a bit like divide and conquer to me. Instead of focusing on the main important fights, some atheists get lost arguing over largely irrelevant stuff. This is pointless because:

a) You can't prove anything.

b) Even if the packages get lost, it's probably the action of individuals and not a company policy. If this is the case, there's not much the management or you can do to change this.

VincentWolf
VincentWolf

Sadly this goes on every day in every city in America by every moral majority type.  And it's happening more than ever since they are losing their grip on this country despite their despicable practice of brain washing our children--which should be outlawed.

We don't permit children to drive, drink, vote, etc until they reach the proper age when they can think maturally as adults and we should not be filling their heads by forcing religion on them from age 1.  That's how religions maintain their grip is by brainwashing and it should be illegal to introduce ANY religion until kids are at least 18 years of age.

j0nny5
j0nny5

As a business owner, I'd be pretty upset if half my packages had a tendency to just never arrive. You *know* that if the tables were turned, and a Christian small business-owner did a simple experiment and determined that half of its shipments of Keds with crosses on them were going missing, and determined that of those missing, most were in their custom printed "cross" boxes, the poop-storm would be *enormous*! The USPS would be *demonized* as "more evidence of evil SECULAR (hiss!) government mandates being pushed on us poor little innocent Christians!". Walmart would stop shipping via the USPS. People would line up outside of The UPS Store and FedEx (not DHL though, I think they're "furren") in solidarity, likely the same misguided sad-sacks that stood outside of Chik-Fil-A to "prove" how loyal they were to a company who openly denounced millions of citizens! The USPS would go broke within months, and get dismantled in a heaving, lip-licking free-market wet dream! Then, those tens of thousands that lost their jobs would get on the UI rolls, and the same dullards that got us here... would blame the "Evil, Secular Government" for the uptick in unemployment.


But you go on ahead and think that this is no big deal. Amazing how so many of us can see so well, just not inside of our own conscience.

EvanBurrell
EvanBurrell

Sadly, the supposed "separation of church and state" is all but non-existent in this country o'mine. When laws are made barring one group of peoples from civil rights due to "the bible says so" it comes as no surprise that such packaging would cause further scrutiny or molestation (of the parcel, dirty minded neiner heads!). There are countless examples of the Theistic dominance in this country and I don't see it ending anytime soon.

JennyLee
JennyLee

Who cares? Odds are if the tape had the Star of David on it, they would possibly go up missing too. Ultimately mail carriers are human beings and some human beings don't do their job properly. When did Atheists become as whiney as Christians who don't get their way? Just be happy not believing, which is what I pretty much tell Christians: Just be happy believing. Geeze, the Christians finally stopped complaining about everything anti-God and now the damn Atheists whine about everything anti-atheist. Ultimately it is a fine example as to why there will most likely never be worldwide peace.

dsgranat07
dsgranat07

@hkhodgesI hope this entire thread have brought you to realize that bad things are done regardless of race, color, religion or lack thereof. Don't be stupid, other are suppressed and killed for our own self-fish desires. We are hard-coded that way in many ways. The lion kills the zebra and her babies so his children could live another day. Human take it beyond that. We hurt and suppress other for our benefit, our children's benefit for resources etc. 


But being humans and lions were need to justify this to ourselves and to others. We then use religion, Nacisim, Fascism  Race, Superiority and everything else to justify this. That doesn't mean that we did it because of that. Hitler did what he did because he wanted to do it and he wanted power for himself, for Germany, to have other bow to them and get rid of a race he utterly hated. Don't be foolish enough to believe he did it for any of the plasters you're trying to paste on it. How Stupid..........Open you eyes. In the absence of religion, Nationalism, Fascism, Atheism and everything else we'll find other reasons. These are just excuses people use to justify there actions to themselves and others. We'll keep finding reasons.

 If you believe that God don't exist how could he have told people to kill in his name? Obviously the people killing  in 'his name' is lying. That alone proves it. They're just excuses for our stupid mind less, gene-coded survival of the fittest at everyone's expense. Don't be stupid

truelitistnot
truelitistnot

Do yourself a favor and list the number of events where atheism was used to kill people. You might be shocked. Start with 20 million in world War two. Then work through various communist take overs and revolutions (upto 200 million in China alone) and work your way back through history. You only need to do last century of you want.

Heian
Heian

@DougIttnerDidn't....read the article, huh?

"The company says it sent two packages each to 89 people (178 packages total) canvassing nearly every U.S. state — one package with the Atheist-branded tape, one without."

Also:  What’s more, the company ran a series of “control” tests in Europe which it claims “demonstrate no such bias.”

I know you were in a hurry to sound smart and superior but...didn't read the article, huh?

Heian
Heian

@dkf295 Why would this company even bother doing that? This is a shoe company. What the hell are you ranting about?

shrutigk
shrutigk

@hkhodges Evidence? None. 

And mind you, this wasn't a definitive study by any means, nor was the study repeated, nor were the reasons for the results of the study given or investigated (only assumed).  To assume automatically that the culprits - if there were even legitimate culprits who intentionally made the "Atheist" packaged get greater delivery problems - are religious and were doing so out of religious vengeance is an unproven argument. 

And all of this has nothing to do with, and certainly doesn't support, the claim that "there are more bad things done in support of a religious belief than visa versa".

dkf295
dkf295

@hkhodges I thought atheists weren't like those nasty religious types in that they brought up their own moral superiority out of nowhere whenever they had a chance. I also thought that they were much wiser in the ways of science and mathematics. Since you're presumably an atheist, care to explain how you came to the conclusion that there are more bad things done in the support of a religious belief than visa versa, or was this just a conclusion you came to based on your own bias?

Hadrewsky
Hadrewsky

@harleylovinchelley 


every time a church gets $100 they spend $80 on printing bibles to pander their faith and the last$20 to dig a well in Africa to make themselves feel good.

rfdgskj
rfdgskj

@harleylovinchelley The article never mentions the word Christian or Christianity, you were the one who made that assumption. For all we know it is fervent agnostics or Hindus that are delaying the packages because non-Christians are able to be postal workers in all 50 states. It may be that any sort of religious labeling results in a package delay, this article only mentions that Athiests are receiving in-equal treatment by a government institution. 

If you try to see Anti-Christian behavior everywhere you will and the article is hardly to blame for that.

shrutigk
shrutigk

@VincentWolf Majorly faulty argument: children are not forbidden from having political opinions, knowing about cars or alcohol before they reach the age of majority.  They are also not forbidden from being taught about any of these things, and parents can and do "indoctrinate" their kids in political opinions, and that is perfectly legal.  Religion should likewise not be forbidden to be taught, and to make it forbidden is a serious violation of human rights to the freedom of religion. 

shrutigk
shrutigk

@VincentWolf It's not brainwashing at all.  Parents can and should teach their children the moral and ethical way to behave, as their own responsibility, and their morality will come from some particular base.  For religious people, that base is religion, and thus it is fair and logical to teach that base of morality along with morality itself. It would be an unfair restriction of religious freedom and a violation of the Bill of Rights to do otherwise. 

Children are intelligent and have the freedom to make their own decisions.  Many minors - myself included, at that age - even changed their chosen denomination or faith completely, even while being raised in a certain faith.  To be exposed to a body of knowledge certainly does not force one to accept it.  


JasonNicholas
JasonNicholas

@JennyLee you'd get "whiney if you were losing packages too. atheist shoes are high dollar.

j0nny5
j0nny5

@JennyLee I understand the sentiment, but, as a business owner, I'd be pretty upset if half my packages had a tendency to just never arrive. You *know* that if the tables were turned, and a Christian small business-owner did a simple experiment and determined that half of its shipments of Keds with crosses on them were going missing, and determined that of those missing, most were in their custom printed "cross" boxes, the poop-storm would be *enormous*! The USPS would be *demonized* as "more evidence of evil SECULAR (hiss!) government mandates being pushed on us poor little innocent Christians!". Walmart would stop shipping via the USPS. People would line up outside of The UPS Store and FedEx (not DHL though, I think they're "furren") in solidarity, likely the same misguided sad-sacks that stood outside of Chik-Fil-A to "prove" how loyal they were to a company who openly denounced millions of citizens! The USPS would go broke within months, and get dismantled in a heaving, lip-licking free-market wet dream! Then, those tens of thousands that lost their jobs would get on the UI rolls, and the same dullards that got us here... would blame the "Evil, Secular Government" for the uptick in unemployment.

shengatron25
shengatron25

@JennyLee funny how you're complaining in a post telling other people not to complain. btw, there is nothing wrong with complaining.

Hadrewsky
Hadrewsky

@dsgranat07


I agree dsg.... often times killing in the name of God is a great excuse to kill for your own motives

Hadrewsky
Hadrewsky

@truelitistnot 

Spoken like a real tool who is unable to grasp that virtually nobody has been killed FOR Atheism.... In your Communist nations you were killed because your angered the party not because you were caught praying.

people like you try and cite that crap all the time without bothering to think first

hkhodges
hkhodges

@truelitistnot 

 If you are talking about the Nazis, then save your breath. They were not killing Russians and Jews in the name of Atheism, they were doing it in the name of Fascism and Nationalism, all under the grace of a Christian God.  Nazis’s claim that their “work on the Jews was done on the word of god. The Nazi soldiers had it inscribed on their belt buckles: Gott Mit Uns. With God on our side.”

The Chinese worshiped Mao like a God. Stalin was head of the Russian Orthodox Church a level just above a normal citizen and just below Christ.

The Great example of a supposed Atheistic country that is actually the most delusional superstitious religious country in the world is North Korea. Kim Jung Sun, Kim Jung Il and Kim Jun Un make up a twisted type of holy trinity. Kim Jung Sun is actually worshiped like a god. He is still recognized as the leader of North Korea, even though he died in the early 90s. 

Religion is the main source of hatred in the world; violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children, and that accordingly it "ought to have a great deal on its conscience". It is a relief that there is no evidence for a 'celestial North Korea'.

DougIttner
DougIttner

@Heian @DougIttner Thanks for your uninformed assumptions about my lack of knowledge.  Not only did I read the article but I've had many interactions with the author of the "study".  The owner of the business didn't do any control tests in Europe, he made the assumption that since he didn't have any problems in Europe that the problems arise with the USPS.  But since it's obvious that you're a troll and not really interested in the subject I could really care less what you think.

shrutigk
shrutigk

@rfdgskj @harleylovinchelley But the issue is that no one will make the assumption that agnostics or anyone else are making the delays because Christians are the majority in the United States, at least by name, and the most vocal critics of non-Christians. Of course, not all Christians are like that, but many prominent ones are, and the Christian Right is pretty strong both culturally and politically. Hindus on the other hand are amongst the world's most tolerant and pluralistic. 

JennyLee
JennyLee

@JasonNicholas @JennyLee Wah, wah! What, you think Atheist Shoes is the only company with packages up and missing. Employees not doing their job properly is an epidemic across the board. I have lost packages before, whether it be due to prejudice or incompetence. The fact that the Atheist Community wants to make it seem it is all about them, is........well as whiney as a bunch Christians complaining it is about them too. It is funny how the atheist community has totally stepped down into the same level as the whiney, proselytizing christians.

JennyLee
JennyLee

@j0nny5 @JennyLee Oh as for the whole boycotting thing. USPS already has a limited life span. As technology continues to evolve less mail is being processed. As for packages, companies are already creating warehouses and walk-in stores through out the U.S. in order to bypass all packaging companies and make their own deliveries or bring in a small private delivery company. That will increase jobs for current truck drivers and train and airplane transports, but it will reduce profit for USPS, Fed Ex, etc.

JennyLee
JennyLee

@j0nny5 @JennyLee I agree with you on the business part. Look around, I have hardly found a company that is actually functioning properly, mainly due to "human error". As for the packages going missing, I have been dealing with that since I was old enough to start mailing and receiving packages. I honestly don't care why the package is missing, but I do care about incompetent employees. No matter the reason, whether it be because the employee is careless or being prejudice about who cares what, they need to be reprimanded and/or fired. But firing people is no longer easy, I deal with the Workforce Commission on a regular basis, employees quit and then say they were layed off, they get fired for not doing their job and still get unemployment.

JennyLee
JennyLee

@shengatron25 @JennyLee I did not post a complaint. I indicated that the article pretty much consisted of useless whining. As if the rest of the people in the world have never had their shipments up and missing.

StanleyStein
StanleyStein

@shrutigk @hkhodges @truelitistnot  

Jesus, the Pharaohs and Hirohito were men ... secular ... until they were called Gods. 

The Crusades were the result of Christians preaching Love?  

Christian homophobia is an example of preaching Love?

jamie_b
jamie_b

@shrutigk 

And where do you stand on terrorists who happen to be Muslims? Are they too, not representing the Islamic religion?

shrutigk
shrutigk

@hkhodges @truelitistnot  Respect and veneration are constants; the variable is the object of veneration.  If that object is God, then that veneration could be religious.  If that object is a secular figure, that veneration is NOT religious by definition (unless it is of a religious figure) - and certainly such veneration could NOT rightly represent religious worship.  

China and North Korea are perfect examples of NON-RELIGIOUS societies in which religious freedom is highly restricted.  Hence what they do is a perfect example of what goes on in a NON-RELIGIOUS/ATHEISTIC society.  

Authentic religion itself does NOT preach hate.  Those who claim to follow a faith do NOT represent a religion just because they say so; they can only rightly represent a religion if they actually practice what the faith teaches - which the Nazis clearly didn't do. 

Hadrewsky
Hadrewsky

Doug, even with your education you sound like a tool

DougIttner
DougIttner

@DeweySayenoff @DougIttner @Heian The people with the company refer to it as a study, so if you have that problem then take it up with them. It's irrelevant that a poorly designed study/experiment (whatever needless semantics you choose to tag on) is statistically significant because it's a poorly designed study from which you can't base conclusions on since the proper variables haven't been accounted for.

Thanks for assuming my ignorance.  I have a MS in experimental psychology and work with the USPS so my knowledge on shipping and statistics is sound.  You're the one promoting ignorance since you make gross assumptions about a person and conclude the validity of a study based upon  your prejudices.

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

@DougIttner @Heian The point, I believe, is that you're calling it a study when it wasn't, and never was.  It was an informal experiment.  Further, you are holding those who did the "ad hoc study" (you should get a dictionary to look up what "ad hoc" means, since you obviously don't know) accountable for a level of scientific proof they neither needed or wanted.

As for the "experiment" (because that's really what it was), they used their usual means of shipping, apparently only changing the labeling.  Their sample size was large enough to yield a statistically significant result.  Assuming all other factors were equal (in that comparative items were sent at the same time, which it sounds like they were), the results are statistically significant in the difference between the labels.  There should have been no statistical difference, and there was one.  That makes the results valid on that level.  Further experimentation could be done to determine other reasons for it, of course, but that there was a significant different to the detriment of the "Atheist" label belies some kind of prejudicial treatment toward it.  On who's part is, of course, speculation without adequate follow-up.

Perhaps if you understood business shipping tracking, mathematics, probability and the scientific method better than you obviously do, you'd have placed this story in the proper context and come up with a conclusion that is less pretentious and considerably less obnoxious.

rfdgskj
rfdgskj

The point i was trying to make is that this article is not about 'persecuting'the Christians but about the fact that pacakges are being treated inequally. It really doesnt matter who is doing it.

rfdgskj
rfdgskj

The point i was trying to make is that this article is not about 'persecuting'the Christians but about the fact that pacakges are being treated inequally. It really doesnt matter who is doing it.

JennyLee
JennyLee

@shengatron25 @JennyLee Wah wah wah to you too honey. By your rules if you say I am complaining about the article, that would mean you are complaining about me. If I knew you personally I would care, but I don't.

shengatron25
shengatron25

@JennyLee @shengatron25@JennyLee I'm sorry, I can't hear your "not post a complaint" over your "Geeze, the christians finally stopped blah blah blah and now the damn atheists blah blah blah". I wonder if you've ever worked as a director of materials management, because you would do a great job not caring about packages not arriving at your customer's door.