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.
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!”