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Ask the Patriarch 62
Symbolism

From Orenthal

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Feedback: great site -- I just discovered it yesterday and have found most of the material quite agreeable, interesting, and occasionally humorous.

Question: Do you sell, know where to obtain, and/or would you consider for adopting for your organization a pendant, bracelet, necklace, neckband etc. with the letter "A" on it for followers who wish to wear it in public? I just thought of this (but perhaps I'm not the only one) upon seeing a woman with a cross on her necklace. After all, if it's acceptable for religious people to wear crosses, skullcaps, headscarves etc in public, why not also for agnostics or aetheists? The letter "A" has many interesting connotations consistent with a non-religious/non-Christian theme. I for one would find it a non-tacky way to reaffirm my beliefs in a non-tacky way and it could serve as a means of raising awareness of other worldviews (particularly those of us who spend time in the bible belt).

the Patriarch replies:

Orenthal:

Thank you for your positive comments about the web site. Compliments do help me keep going.

As to symbolism, I'm not sure about the letter "A." As a symbol, the letter has a long-standing association with the Anarchist movement. While some agnostics and atheists are indeed anarchists, most are not.

On our various discussion boards over the years, the issue has come up for discussion several times, and invariably, it is considered that a "?" would be an appropriate symbol for agnostics, however, I am not aware of a supplier.

Another option - applicable to atheists / agnostics / freethinkers - is the Darwin Fish. There are several suppliers of variations of this symbol and it is has been around long enough to have an established connotation with our views. I think it makes a good statement as a lapel pin / tie tack, or neck ornament.

Best wishes