Atheist Symbol Rejected By Capital One, But Jesus Is Preapproved

Consumerist reader Mike has a Capital One credit card. He’d hoped to get one of the bank’s customizable “Image Cards” printed with a big red “A” for atheism. His initial upload was rejected by Capital One, which sent him a long list of possible reasons. And when he called to appeal, things just more bizarre.

The first person Mike spoke with said they had no idea why it was rejected and submitted his appeal.

Then the image was rejected a second time.

“I spoke to someone after the second rejection that someone there said that there was a note in my file regarding the fact that they do not allow religious or anti-religious images,” Mike tells Consumerist.

And yes, far down that list of possible reasons for rejecting a card, CapOne does list “Controversial subject matter such as political or religious statements and/or images.”

But why, Mike asks, does the card-making interface on Capital One’s own website have 34 photos in a category it labels “Spiritual” and which includes several options to put Christian and Jewish imagery on your card?

There are also categories like “Patriotic” and “Holidays” that likely contain images one could deem as political or religious.

“When I asked about the Spiritual section, the man responded that he didn’t have access to the gallery so he couldn’t comment on it,” Mike tells Consumerist. “He also mentioned that the rules are handed down to them from VISA and Mastercard and that this latest appeal was final.”


Edit Your Comment

  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Religious bigotry at its finest.

    • longfeltwant says:

      That seems like a really stupid symbol for atheism. Was the FSM symbol not good enough?

    • dush says:

      how can it be religious bigotry? atheism isn’t a religion.

      • sjackson12 says:

        that’s like saying straight people attacking gays isn’t straight bigotry because gay people aren’t straight.

      • Such an Interesting Monster says:
        • Nunov Yerbizness says:

          Wow. And there’s nothing biased about that source, nosireeBob.

          That article’s claims that “ATHEISM IS TEH RELIJUN!!!eleventy!!1111!!” are based on what they allege as atheists’ promotion of evolution as a tenet of their faith, by “forcing” public schools into teaching it.

          I’d say “Citation needed” about a hundred times, but frankly, I don’t want to see what you would consider a valid citation after offering up this Christo-Taliban bullshit as evidence that Teh Atheism iz a Relijunn!!!

          • Such an Interesting Monster says:

            Obviously you didn’t read the whole thing or peruse the links. Or are you saying the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, who has in essence stated Atheism is a religion is a biased source?

            • Kate says:

              Atheism is an opinion about religion, but cannot be a religion. It has no rituals or beliefs in deities.

              • SagarikaLumos says:

                Agnosticism is not a religion. Atheism, an active belief in no god, is. It requires faith to declare there to be no god, and Atheists themselves defend it with pious zeal akin to fundamentalists of any mainstream religion.

                • jebarringer says:

                  “It requires faith to declare there to be no god,”
                  Um, no it doesn’t. Stop trying to equate “not believing in something because there’s been no evidence for it for all of human history” with religious faith; it’s an insanely false analogy that the religious folks try to push as truth. Using that logic, you are “religious” about EVERYTHING you don’t believe exists – fairies, bigfoot, aliens, the giant dragon that lives in my garage, etc, etc.

            • jebarringer says:

              Lol at you trying to push conservapedia as a legitimate source.

              Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sex position.

            • Chipzilla says:

              Old white men appointed by Reagan and the Bushes couldn’t possibly be biased, could they?

        • maxamus2 says:

          It must be true, it is on the intrawebs.

        • mehitabel says:

          +1 for Bugs avatar
          -1 for citing Conservapedia.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Is black a color?

        Because technically it’s the absence of color being reflected by the object.

        Is white a color?

        Because technically it is the absence of all color be absorbed by the object.

        • Jane_Gage says:

          Technically black is all colors in color theory and no color optically speaking.

          • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

            I believe that’s what I said. Black has no color reflected from the object, i.e. all colors of the spectrum are absorbed.

            • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

              Technically, you got it mixed up. Black is the absence of all colour, as the entire spectrum is absorbed. White is the presence of all colour, as the entire spectrum is reflected.

              • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

                It depends. If you are talking about pigmentation, then black is all colors combined and white is the absence of colors. You can’t mix all of the pigment colors together and get white. If we are talking about the light spectrum, white is all colors of the spectrum and black is no color.

          • 2 Replies says:

            Even as a pigment, the color is the result of the light cast upon it.
            Black appears as it does because it absorbs all colors.
            And the absorption of all colors means the reflection of none, so the reflection off a black object is still the (near) lack of color.

            Saying black is a color is like saying a shadow is a beam of light.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        What kind of bigotry is it then?

        • dush says:

          just good old fashioned plain vanilla bigotry i suppose. But according to atheists it clearly can’t be bigotry against a religion per se. Because according to them atheism is not a differing religious view you are being intolerant of.

      • Kuri says:

        Does it matter?

      • RayanneGraff says:

        It’s bigotry BY religious people against others.

      • tooluser says:

        Oh yes it is.

        • spamtasticus says:

          I see. so you are a member of the church of the non easter bunny believers? You must be since I’m guessing you don’t believe in the easter bunny. Non belief in the easter bunny and santa clause are both religions by your standards. Brilliant!

          • zombie_batch says:

            Citation needed.

            • Damocles57 says:

              No citation is needed in this case. All that is needed is a rational mind and the ability to understand written English in the context given.

          • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

            Fourth definition for religion fits atheism without a doubt:

            : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

            • Billy says:

              No faith. No transitory warmth of feeling.

              • Billy says:

                BTW: I’ve never understood why religious types feel the need to wedge atheism into the rubric of religion anyway. It doesn’t exactly excuse anything.

            • megafly says:

              Most atheists don’t have “faith” we have “Reason”. I understand that most religious people aren’t familiar with “Reason”, but “Reason” is defined as “the sum of the intellectual powers”. Faith is not defined as “the sum of intellectual powers”

        • deacon6six6 says:

          So not collecting stamps would be considered a hobby?

          • kc2idf says:

            No. Actively avoiding stamps, however, could be.

            Not believing in God is Agnosticism.
            Believing in no God is Atheism.

            Note where the negative is located. Atheism doesn’t negate belief, it negates God. Ig is a specific belief about God. It is a religion.

            Agnosticism negates belief, and is not a religion.

            • 2 Replies says:

              A belief ABOUT something is NOT a belief IN something.

              By your definition EVERYONE is religious because,
              atheism is a religion because atheists hold a belief that there is NO god,
              agnosticism is a religion because agnostics hold a belief that there COULD be a god but we can’t know,
              AND religious people just ARE because they believe god(s) exists.

              Religion is a BELIEF IN god or gods.
              Atheism and agnosticism are a belief about the CONCEPT of god itself. (That it’s a false human invention and that we can’t know, respectively.)

              • kc2idf says:

                “By your definition EVERYONE is religious because,”

                Fasle. Some people don’t care. That doesn’t make them Atheists.

            • Kate says:

              You have that wrong

              Agnosticism is about whether you can know about gods
              Atheism is about whether you believe in gods

              A lot of people get that wrong – look up the origin of the word agnosticism.

        • deacon6six6 says:

          So that would mean that not collecting stamps would be considered a hobby?

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        Or you could read it as bigotry perpetrated by the religious.

      • kc2idf says:

        I assert that it is.

        Atheism is not a lack of belief regarding dieties, but rather a very specific belief that there are none. If you wanted to argue that Agnosticism is not a religion, I’d agree with you, but the fact that folks are out there, not just quietly believing that there is no god, but actively going out of their way to convince others that this is so, tells me it is a passionately-held religious belief.

        It may have escaped your attention, but the OP is evangelizing.

        • drizzt380 says:

          Many atheists would assert that atheism is a lack of belief in a god.

          Many would assert that agnosticism is a position stating that we cannot know whether there is or is not a god.

          In fact, I wouldn’t even call the terms mutually exclusive. I can definitely conceive of an agnostic atheist.

          One who doesn’t believe a truth value can be placed on a god, and doesn’t believe in things that aren’t demonstrably true.

          I can also conceive of an agnostic theist. A theist who believes a god exists, but says we have to take its existence on pure faith.

          And like many movements, the atheist community is not monolithic. There are firebrands, and there are quiet people who both identify as atheists.

        • 2 Replies says:

          Your definition of religion is dead incorrect.
          Religion isn’t a belief ABOUT deities, it’s the belief in and worship OF one or more dietie(s).

          By your logic, black is a color. But it’s not. Black is the ABSENCE of color.
          (Color being the visible subset of the electromagnetic spectrum).

        • Perdair says:

          The statement that atheism is a belief, or a religion, has been shown so many times to be wrong. Please just use google. Please?
          “Doesn’t saying there isn’t a god take as much faith as saying there is?” No. It doesn’t.
          Lack of belief in something for which there is absolutely no evidence is not the same as an assertion that something exists (that there is no evidence.)
          I seriously doubt the existence of Santa, Zeus, Jehova, and all other forms of magical, supernatural creatures. I’m not 100% certain they don’t exist (how could you be? They could just be invisible, intangible and hiding from us) but the assertions that they do exist are untestable hypotheses with no evidence to support them, so, practically speaking, I don’t believe they exist.
          Is there an atheist movement? Sure there is. There should be. There was a feminist movement, an equal rights movement, there are movements to get homosexuals equal rights. Why shouldn’t atheists have a movement to try to redress the wrongs done to them, and to try to improve the society we live in?

          • kc2idf says:

            Lack of a belief in something is Agnosticism. Atheism is a belief in a lack of something.

            • limbodog says:

              Sir Thomas Huxley disagrees. Agnosticism is the belief that (specifically, the Christian) God’s existence cannot be truly known since he is presumed to be all-powerful and does not wish to provide proof but instead prefers to require faith. In that sense, agnosticism is the belief that the existence of god is unknowable.

              Atheism is the lack of belief in a god or gods. It does not require any assertions. Every newborn is an atheist until someone indoctrinates it with religious dogma.

        • RogerX says:

          “Atheism is a religion in the same way that not collecting stamps is a hobby.”

        • Solkanar512 says:

          You don’t get to define atheism for everyone else.

  2. Hi_Hello says:

    I wonder if someone made A and said it was for AWESOMENESS

    if that will get rejected..

    • LanMan04 says:

      Maybe those idiots at Cap One thought it was an anarchist symbol (because they’re both an A, and the atheist A is usually in red)? And that’s too political, maybe?

      Wouldn’t put it past them…

      Besides, the “red A” atheist symbol sucks; the one with the A within a traditional atom model is much better. SCIENCE BE PRAISED!

      • Free Legal Advice! says:

        Can you submit the symbol for angstrom in red? I think it was a capital A with a circle on the top. (High school physics was a long time ago.)

  3. wrbwrx says:

    i always wondered if people are more racist or religious bigoted, and this once again proves that people are more religiously bigoted.

    • mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

      I was going to post (just) a snide remark that Mike was denied a custom image for his credit card, whereas Trayvon Martin was shot dead.

      However, there is a fair bit of overlap in the realm of bigotry, and it goes to follow that a group of people to whom the message is preached every week to them that “The world is a sinful place” and to reject its messages and instead rely upon the “Word of God”. Which has been used to prove anything someone with an agenda wishes–Including the nonexistence of God. Hence the chief opponents of same-sex marriage, Planned Parenthood, neighborhood mosques, etc., tend to be fundamental evangelicals AKA religious zealots.

      It was this same group of people some years ago fighting against interracial marriages, integrated schools, and so on, and used the Bible to “prove” that blacks were an inferior race. So, even though it’s socially unacceptable to vocalize racial bigotry so openly, and gays and Muslims have stood in as proxies, it remains a pervasive attitude.

      • Jane_Gage says:

        I think Trayvon was shot more out of classism and agism.

        • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

          I think he was shot b/c the guy was a cop wanna be and he thought he would be a hero in some warped way. He had called the cops literally hundreds of times in recent months. He was carrying a gun on a simple neighborhood watch. He got out of his car and started chasing a kid talking on a cell phone who was also holding a drink and snack (hands were full). He was chasing a kid he was told not to chase. He was looking to do “something.” I don’t think it was a hate crime as much as he was suspicious b/c the kid was black. There is a huge difference in being suspicious of someone b/c the way they look and actually committing a crime b/c you hate blacks/gays/etc…

          • vorpalette says:

            Um, the definition of a hate crime is “committing a crime b/c you hate blacks/gays/etc…” I commit a crime against a black person BECAUSE they are black, that’s a hate crime.

    • dush says:

      I didn’t realize Atheism was a religion.

      • Such an Interesting Monster says:
        • dush says:

          Yeah but it’s atheists themselves who go around claiming atheism isn’t a religion or a belief system so it seems weird they would claim religious bigotry against something they don’t think is religion.

          • Such an Interesting Monster says:

            A belief in nothing is still a belief.

            • LanMan04 says:

              So you have a belief for every little thing in the universe that doesn’t exist? Do you have an active belief about the lack of invisible pink unicorns in my back yard?

              Do you not believe in the planet between Mercury and Venus?

            • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

              Atheism’s a lack of belief. A lack of faith is not a different kind of faith, just like a lack of water is not just a different kind of water. Actions of certain outspoken atheists aside, it is not a religion, nor are there any tenets of faith. Evolution is not a doctrine or an article of faith to believe or disbelieve; it is a Scientific Theory which one can choose to accept or reject based on the available evidence. Also, if you’re using Conservapedia as a source to back you up in this, you’re going to be perceived as stupid. Find the links elsewhere, or post them separately. Your use of that article has tipped your hand and biased people against you before you even begin. I’d say I’ve fallen prey to Sturgeon’s Law, but based on your other replies, I don’t think you’re joking.

              • Such an Interesting Monster says:

                Actually, one narrow definition of religion is a belief in a deity. But religion can also be construed as a belief system, and as such would include secular humanism, despite the latter not having a central deity. Just because you don’t believe in a single almighty god, or even a set of almighty gods and/or goddesses, doesn’t mean you don’t have a belief system, and as such a form a religion.

            • floydfan says:

              Atheism is not a belief in nothing.

          • RayanneGraff says:

            Religious bigotry is the bigotry OF religious people against everyone who doesn’t believe & behave exactly like them, genius.

            • dush says:

              More like it means bigotry or intolerance of another religion that doesn’t agree with your own. Atheists don’t think they are in a religion though so if you’re intolerant against atheism you’re not being intolerant against a religion.
              I suppose it should be called philosophical bigotry? But you clearly can’t claim that it is religious bigotry unless you are going to define atheism as a religion.

        • iesika says:

          Find a reputable source and we can talk.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Is black a color?

        Because technically it’s the absence of color being reflected by the object.

        Is white a color?

        Because technically it is the absence of all color be absorbed by the object.

  4. Chester Copperpot says:

    I guess I would classify myself as agnostic, or maybe atheist, but I don’t feel the need to go blab it to everyone I see. These guys are just as annoying as their Jesus loving counterparts.

    • dolemite says:

      True, but if a corporation is allowing religious people to be annoying with their credit cards, they should allow the atheist people to be annoying too.

    • TinaBringMeTheAx says:

      Yea, but when was the last time you saw an atheist on the subway, shouting at the top of his lungs that you need to repent and reject god?

      • ChuckECheese says:

        Instead of shouting it on a bus, they just browbeat their friends and acquaintances one at a time.

    • Smiley Massacre says:

      I classify myself as an apathetic agnostic. I have no interest and I just don’t care.

    • buftar says:

      We agnostics put pictures of Dr. Pepper or Diet Dr. Pepper on our cards – NO EXCEPTIONS.

    • drizzt380 says:

      I’m wondering one thing.

      Are you equating putting the atheist A on a credit card annoyingly blabbing about your religious preferences to everyone?

      I’d say its more closely equated to wearing a necklace with a cross on it. Do you find crosses on necklaces annoying?

      • Jawaka says:

        That depends on how large it is and whether you wear it under or over your shirt.

        • drizzt380 says:

          Well, this is on a credit card that stays in a wallet for the majority of the time.

          So i think we can safely equate it with a small cross that stays under a persons shirt.

    • nishioka says:

      > but I don’t feel the need to go blab it to everyone I see.

      Except for the times when you feel like posting “I guess I would classify myself as agnostic, or maybe atheist” on the internet, right? :)

    • Finsternis says:

      As a bonus, you get to act all smug and superior and pretend you’re better than BOTH groups!

    • some.nerd says:

      Amen! I feel the same way, brother/sister.
      Religious, atheist- either way, if you feel the need to brag about why your beliefs are superior to another’s (this comment aside), then you’re doing it wrong.

    • Tumara Baap says:

      I think one cannot be a moral person without the fear of Shiva Brahma and Vishnu in them. Do I blab about it? It’s not proper decorum and is often counterproductive. However, atheism is the antithesis of I and fellow Jesus lovers. Atheists insist on a world informed by the sunshine of reason, unencumbered by what they feel are superstitions of iron-age goat herders and employ secular humanism – a code of ethics governed by weighing harm and benefit, encouraging empathy and compassion, and banishing prejudice and dogma. I must honestly acknowledge atheist thinking and philosophy is at the forefront of modern intelligentsia. The arc of secular heritage spans from the enlightenment to its near-unanimous prevalence at the highest echelons of science today. But why atheists feel as strongly about their empiricist and naturalist world view as my own supernatural path to truthiness is a profound mystery. Delighted I so am so really really so for the agnostic who calls out the unsettling blabiness of their atheist brethren. There are better things to crow about.

      • BrienBear Thinks Stupidity Defies Logic says:

        You’re so right.

        So tell your fellow christians to stop telling me I’m going to hell for being gay, or using your religion to make laws stating I can’t be equal to fellow straight people and I’ll stop putting up billboards telling you that I can be good without a god.

        Just sayin.

    • Ben Zvan says:

      All he wanted to do was put a red A on his credit card. A surprisingly small number of people would recognize the A as an atheist symbol, so it would be more of a secret handshake than a blab.

  5. Grogey says:

    Wouldn’t an atheist symbol be anything but a religious symbol or even a symbol against religion? Its a very weird thought that I can never really put my finger on.

    • says:

      No, it’s a symbol for a philosophy that holds rational, logical thought above all else. It’s not necessarily anti-religious. With that thinking, a Christian symbol would be antisemitic.

      • El Sabor Asiatico says:

        But many atheists say that atheism is merely the absence of belief in a deity. Isn’t what you’re describing more like “rationalism”? It seems like many atheists really do simply define the term as an absence of belief, while others clearly subscribe to, not a “belief” system per se, but certainly an ethos or a model of reality specifically excluding religion or deities. There really should be a separate label for this kind of value system.

        • mommiest says:

          There is a range of beliefs among atheists and agnostics. You will find some who describe an absence of belief in gods, but those who strongly believe that there are no gods don’t see atheism as an absence of anything. They are also the ones most likely to want to identify themselves with the red A.

  6. rookie says:

    i’d go for a pic of big “johnny wad” holmes…
    nuttin religious there…

  7. Vox Republica says:

    One: stupid policy; if you’re going to open the door to one, you’ve got to do quite a tap dance to keep out others.

    Two: why not go with an image that tends to invoke the awe of the natural universe, like a picture taken by the Hubble? Maybe a 3D rendering of a DNA double helix? Surely those are more demonstrative of a secular humanist’s attitudes towards the world than a red A (adultery?).

  8. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    Reminds me of those Interstate Battery commercials…which spend 30 seconds with some kind of dippy “we need more of Gawd’s love so we can love one another” BS, and then just the Interstate logo at the end. The whole thing having not the slightest to do with batteries at all.

    …and every time I see it, it reminds me of the importance of never buying an Interstate battery.

    • Black Bellamy says:

      When I asked my mechanic about Interstate batteries, he titled his head, laughed out loud and said “I wouldn’t even give ’em out as loaners”.

      • partofme says:

        Throughout my entire youth I worked at our family’s auto shop. I never once saw an Interstate battery come back defective (key word: defective… I’m not counting ‘got reaaaally old’ as being defective). NeverStarts? They threw cells all the time.

    • RayanneGraff says:

      Ugh. I didn’t know that about them. Glad I went to AutoZone.

    • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

      What kind of backwater burg do you live in that that kind of preachy offensive crap is allowed on the air?

  9. TrustAvidity says:

    Typo in the heading? Really?

  10. Cat says:

    Why would they reject a Scarlett letter “A”? Is adultery on the list also?

  11. GMFish says:

    I before E except after C.

    • TrustAvidity says:

      Weird, Either, Science, Ancient… that I before E garbage is just that.

      • Tunnen says:

        It’s just like every other rule (guideline?) in English. English is such a ugly language that is constantly beaten to a pulp with new slang and ignorance, that it has de-evolved into the steaming pile of crap that it is now. I can hardly wait for the next generation to wreck it further.

        Honestly though, I can’t understand how ESL students are able to learn English at all. I would think that with all of the idioms and slang we use today that they’d constantly be scratching their heads understanding the words but still have no idea what we are talking about.

        For fun, take a look at this poem. It always cracks me up at the oddities of the English language.

        • mysty says:

          Thanks for sharing. I have never seen that before, but it is a good demonstration of how difficult English is for a non-native speaker.

        • The Porkchop Express says:

          Also: Dr. Seuss’s The Tough Coughs As He Ploughs the Dough.

          I think he wrote it as Theodore Giessel (or however it is spelled).

    • SissyOPinion says:

      Except when it isn’t, as Trust highlighted below. In this case, -ist is a suffix.

    • katarzyna says:

      Athiest? Meaning, you’re the most athi than any of the other athis?

  12. Jane_Gage says:

    Upload Satan, and when it gets rejected sue for discrimination?

    • Coleoptera Girl says:

      You could be a sniff more subtle and go for an inverted pentagram or an inverted cross…

      • dwtomek says:

        Inverted cross? Like the one engraved on the headrest of the pope’s throne?

      • mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

        They’d probably assume the inverted cross was submitted upside-down accidentally, and fix it for him…

        True story: of of my DH’s nicknames is “Coffee Fiend.” So when I included a gift message to go along with a burr grinder I bought online for his birthday, the enclosed card was addressed “To My Beloved Coffee Friend.”

        We still laugh about that 5 years later.

    • RStormgull says:

      I tried that, but they also reject competing companies images as well. Who’d have thought that Satan was an approved Bank of America logo?

  13. says:

    Sometimes people confuse the Atheist symbol for the anarchy symbol, so maybe that’s it. Don’t thinks so, though.

  14. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    When I asked about the Spiritual section, the man responded that he didn’t have access to the gallery so he couldn’t comment on it

    Pure BS. I hate when people try to pull that crap. AT&T phone reps try that when something on their website conflicts with what they’re saying.

  15. comedian says:

    Turns out the Capital One “Vikings” were actually Crusaders.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      It makes little sense that a credit card company whose advertising depicts pagans would not allow an atheist to put his symbol on a card, but would allow Christian symbols. This leaves me shaking my head.

  16. kaptainkk says:

    Utter bullshit. Fuck you Capital One. Mike was trying to do something right. I wish more atheists would come out. Barring that this is a private bank and it can dictate what is and what isn’t allowed on its credit cards, but last time I checked this was America. Not that I would but should I choose to, I should be allowed to display a swastika or burn a flag without reprimand, oh wait I forgot the U.S. Constitution was thrown out after The Patriot Act was enacted and with the Bush Administration and with that as a basis the sheeple would ultimately cast stones at me if I did such a thing me because of their ignorance of why the U.S. Constitution was drawn up in the first place.

    • Such an Interesting Monster says:

      Off your meds again?

    • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

      Whoah, slow down there buckaroo. Capital One *is* a private company and so *does* get to dictate what gets associated with their name. As for displaying a swastika, I’ve not seen anything making that illegal. Heck, I’ve got the German flag my grandfather took from a fallen soldier during WWII displayed in my home with his other war memorabilia. As for burning the American flag, the Supreme Court has ruled that to be a legal means of political expression (most recently, U.S. vs. Eichman).

    • Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

      Banks and religious idiots. My two least favorite groups of assholes.

  17. Professor59 says:

    Wouldn’t it be awful if we didn’t have constitutionally-protected separation of Church and State, and were ruled by intolerant religious zealots?

    Oh, wait.

    • RedOryx says:

      Show me where the phrase “separation of church and state” appears in the Constitution. Go on, I dare ya.

      • nicoleintrovert says:

        “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

      • mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

        That specific phrase is attributed to Thomas Jefferson, and repeated cited in the Supreme Court. It does not literally appear as is within the constitution.

        However The First Amendment provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” and Article VI specifies that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” Q.E.D.

        Next argument?

        • RedOryx says:

          “That specific phrase is attributed to Thomas Jefferson, and repeated cited in the Supreme Court. It does not literally appear as is within the constitution.”

          Right. That was my point.

          • ARP says:

            Interesting, Do you believe in the right to privacy? Do you believe only militias can bear arms and not individuals? Do you believe that a private individual can murder another if it’s part of their religion (it’s not the government)? None of these are written in the Constitution and the Constitution trumps state law. How on earth can we decide what the Constitution means and its limitations? We should assemble a tribunal of sorts to interpret the Constitution. We’ll call it the Supreme court.

          • mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

            Then allow me to challenge you provide any chapter/verse within the Bible which uses the term “Trinity.” –Since it is at least as important in Christian theology as “the separation of church and state” was to the founding fathers.

            • partofme says:

              The trinity was as made up after the fact as the current form of separation of church and state was. They’re both pretty flawed. There have been loooooong concurring/dissenting opinions in recent 1st amendment cases finally starting to admit this (and thankfully, there are also some Christian organizations who doesn’t do the whole trinity thing, either).

      • RedOryx says:

        Okay. Clearly my sarcastic point that the exact phrase “separation of church and state” does not appear anywhere in the Constitution was missed. I was not trying to start an argument or say that we as Americans do not have religious freedom.

    • dush says:

      Oh wait, this is Capital One and not the federal government.

  18. Professor59 says:

    Why didn’t you tell them them the “A” was in honor of your Aunt Agatha or something?

    • Finsternis says:

      Maybe he didn’t want to have to lie about his beliefs in order to get the same treatment everyone else gets.

  19. AmPriS says:

    Before passing judgment, can we get a picture of what he wanted to put onto his card?

  20. zantafio says:

    Or you could print your own sticker with your own printer and apply it on your credit card.

  21. nicoleintrovert says:

    I have been made aware that American Atheists actually has their own Capital One card:

    • TheGreySpectre says:

      That seems like a much better symbol then a big red A. A big red A just makes me think of A Scarlet Letter and adultry, a blue a inside of an atom does not have that connotation.

  22. C. Ogle says:

    Being rejected for a Cap One card is going to be the best decision you didn’t ever have to make. Now run far from them while you can.

  23. Hartwig says:

    So is consumerist going to follow up with Capital One and Visa/Mastercard? I know they used to do that, but this article mentions nothing.

    I would just choose a different Atheist symbol and hope they don’t notice… Flying Spaghetti Monster maybe?

  24. NickRayko says:

    Fuck ’em – customize your card anyway you like (graphic design skill perhaps being the limiting factor):

    • NickRayko says:

      “any way”

      FFS – will we ever get an edit button?

      • SabreDC says:

        Take two seconds to re-read your post before clicking submit and you won’t need an edit button. This topic is covered in the Consumerist Comments Code. The lack of an edit button is by design.

  25. ILoveBacon says:

    I don’t get it. If it’s just a big red “A” on the card, how would that be offensive? How would they what the A stood for? There had to have been more on the card than just an “A” because that just doesn’t make sense.

    • Auron says:

      But the FSM is the religious symbol of Pastafarians everywhere. Atheists reject any kind of religious symbolism, so displaying Him on a card would still be against an atheists beliefs.

    • Michael Belisle says:

      Stories like this need the image in question, so that the Internet jury may render a decision.

  26. Important Business Man (Formerly Will Print T-shirts For Food) says:

    A for Anarchy… Ain’t No Government Like NO Government! Anarchists unite!

  27. dolemite says:

    They were obviously not a fan of Nathaniel Hawthorne.

  28. ned4spd8874 says:

    I tried to get a custom card once. But they rejected mine too. It was my website logo, but I also had the address on the bottom of the card. They wouldn’t make it because it had the site address and also because the logo and copyright crap. It’s MY site! MY logo! Why not dammit?!?

  29. RandomHookup says:

    Jesus would never use a credit card, because we all know Jesus saves.

  30. ElleAnn says:

    I have an invisible pink unicorn on my card.

    • Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

      WAIT. Logical fallacy alert! If the unicorn is invisible how do you know it’s pink! If it’s pink how can it be invisible? Also, weren’t unicorns made extinct by Bruce Almighty because they were too busy hanging out being awesome to get to Noah’s Ark on time?

      You can’t seriously believe in invisible pink unicorns. It makes no sense. None of it adds up. You can’t just believe in something simply by faith alone, can you?


  31. framitz says:

    I would guess that a big red A might be interpreted as Adulterer.

    Just close the account if you can’t get what you want, if it really is a big deal.

  32. CubeRat says:

    OK, so why did the Atheists choose the scarlett letter for their symbol. Anyone know.

  33. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    This makes no sense to me. If Cap1 is going to offer images of Christian and Jewish faith, why should they have an issue with anyone else’s faith, or lack thereof? They should allow images of all religions, not just a select few. I may not agree with the Atheist point of view, but we are supposed to be able to practice our religions freely, and IMO, that means that the Atheist can practice their lack of religion freely as well. I shouldn’t interfere with them, nor them with me.

  34. LanMan04 says:

    I’ll upload the same thing to my Cap One card right now. Fuck those bigoted assholes.

  35. Sad Sam says:

    Doesn’t a big red stand for Adultery, i.e. the Scarlet Letter?

  36. ScytheNoire says:

    America doesn’t have freedom of religion, unless you are Christian or Catholic.
    Yet, those are the ones who constantly whine their religion is under attack, when it’s not. They are the ones attacking every other religion.

  37. VashTS says:

    Does any ever wonder why it’s always the gays or people who are angry always become atheists? I always wondered if there was a connection……

    • Lendon85 says:

      Oh yeah it’s ALWAYS “the gays” or “angry people” who are atheists. I’m sure you know exactly what you are talking about.

    • Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

      Gay people are naturally smarter than the rest of us and see religion as the fairy tale it is. Angry people are angry because religious idiots are fucking stupid and that makes reasonable people angry. Any questions?

  38. springboks says:

    This sounds like your typical militant atheist troll making something out of nothing. I doubt Capital One would know a Atheist symbol let alone associate the letter A to one of Atheism.

    • Sajanas says:

      Isn’t is funny how you get called “militant” just for wanting to be open about being an atheist? Maybe you should realize that is just as insulting to imply that this guy is a ‘militant atheist’ as it would be to say that someone trying to put a Jesus fish on their car is a ‘militant christian’.

  39. Nobby says:

    I think it’s ironic when an Atheist adopts a holier-than-thou attitude when the topic of religion comes up. LOL.

  40. thatlukeguy says:

    The satan-related interpretation of the upside down cross isn’t traditional from Christian culture or history. The upside down Latin cross usually symbolizes the cross of St. Peter who was nailed on it upside down.

  41. Boehme417 says:


  42. Coyoty says:

    It’s just God’s way of protecting atheists from bad credit card companies.

  43. ibBevis says:

    Nothing new. Happens far to often. The problem is religions are organized and have money where as atheist aren’t organized. I’m going to email Citi and let them know how I feel .

  44. makabe says:

    I just zoomed in on one of their images to make something more interesting. Granted, my wife refuses to use this card…

  45. adamf63 says:

    Big A is the symbol for anarchy.

    There is no symbol for atheism. Atheism isn’t anything; it is a lack of something.

  46. DonnieZ says:

    Being militant or proud about atheism is simply a ploy to get those of us who choose to have faith in a deity all fired up for the atheist’s personal amusement.

    If you’re an atheist, that’s fine. Be one and shut up about it – remember, you believe in nothing. There’s no reason to talk about or get all riled up about the fact that you believe in nothing.

    • flychinook says:

      Atheism =/= Nihilism.

    • dolemite says:

      I think that’s a 2 way street. Problem is, a certain religion mandates it’s members scream at the top of their lung to profess their religion and to try and convert as many non-believers as possible.

    • AtlantaCPA says:

      Let’s treat everyone the same:
      “If you have beliefs about religion, that’s fine. Have them and shut up about it.” -FTFY

    • Sajanas says:

      Yeah, atheist people will shut up about atheism when religious people stop trying to force their religious beliefs on everyone. And if you don’t think that happens, you’re really not paying attention.

  47. AdviceDog says:

    Available Emblems of Belief for Placement on Government Headstones and Markers

    Good job, USA.

    Being progressive in a place where bigots would be hard-pressed to argue.

    (tip: It’s no.16)

  48. 8bithero says:

    But…but…Christians are so very oppressed!

  49. Mike says:

    I’m having a hard time understanding why this doesn’t violate anti-discrimination laws. I’d contact the ACLU. I have to agree, to not allow religious symbols, while proffering “approved” religious symbols, amounts to a discriminatory practice.

    • erinpac says:

      I doubt any of those apply to an optional picture on a product, or they’d likely interfere with many other businesses.
      If it were part of their hiring process or something similar, it might be a problem.
      For this, it is probably would only have publicity implications.

  50. skakh says:

    I, of course, will cancel my Capital One Credit Card.

  51. StopGougingMeThere! says:

    No one expects the Spanish Inquisition. Unless they present the Red Lettered “A” Capital One credit card at the time of purchase. Bring me…the COMFY CHAIR!

    And for some reason I see the A for Anarchy letter A when I imagine how this card would look. Which seems kind of cool to me (and I’m not an anarchist nor an atheist).

  52. The Porkchop Express says:

    Try getting the flying spagetti monster on there?

  53. zibby says:

    This guy needs a nice xBox or something to fill his time with.

  54. Remarkable Melba Kramer says:

    Wouldn’t putting nothing on the check be an atheist symbol??

  55. Shinumo says:

    Because I’m sure Jesus would totally approve of his image on a credit card….

  56. kataisa says:

    Where was Consumerist’s outrage when the New York Times accepted a recent anti-Christian advertisement but rejected one promoting anti-Islam?

    Selective Imagery, indeed.

  57. pk says:

    Atheists need to get lives and stop stirring up controversy just for the sake of controversy.

  58. Ayla says:

    Well, since nicoleintrovert linked to the American Atheists Capital One Card on her post I guess we can say this story is basically BS?

    I don’t really get the “Atheist Pride” thing. I can think of tons of stuff I don’t believe in but I don’t label myself according to that non-belief.

    Proud Leprechaun denying American?

    And I don’t say this out of ignorance, my husband is an Atheist and I love him dearly. He just doesn’t slap a “pride” label on himself about it because again, it’s the absence of something in his life, not the presence or belief in something.

  59. I'm Exitor says:

    While Cap1 should allow the ahteist symbol if they’re going to allow a picture of Jesus I must say that I’m glad to see what Cap1 did. Christianity is typically mocked, it’s believers ridiculed and are often treated as second class citizens.

    It’s about time Atheism took one up the butt for a change.

    • Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

      On the contrary, it’s usually theists who ridicule, marginalize and discriminate against atheists. Almost the entire Republican party’s positions on just about anything are based on religious views or religious based morality.

      It probably just looks like atheists win simply because their arguments tend to make more sense more often. Most of the time, however, good, fact-based reasonableness is bowled over by the hordes of fairy tale-believing masses who’d rather live in the 7th century than come into the real world.

  60. cheezeit says:

    I find it funny that Athiests almost follow a similar “religious” zeal to get their own way. However, I do not see any reason here why a card holder should be blocked from putting whatever they want on their card within reason. Heck, how does CapOne not know the A was to be a stand-in for the Angel’s baseball logo…

    • Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

      No, we’re just tired of having laws, culture and morality dictated to us by idiots who believe in fairy tales.

      If you met a guy who proposed to change all the laws in your state but then found out he believed in dragons and elves and aliens would you take seriously anything he said or believed?

  61. Elle86 says:

    No matter the religion (or lack there-of) the biggest message is what folks?
    That is also what America was founded on! Freedom of Religion (or lack there-of) and the companies operating here should be open to that.
    Recently I’ve seen a deep schism between Christians and Atheists/Agnostics (and yes I do mean both)
    If we keep going in this direction there will be a religious war and we will be just as useless as the Middle East (sorry if this offensive to anyone, but honestly with the exception of the oil…M.E.=ewww)

  62. Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

    I don’t believe in things that haven’t been proven to exist. I don’t believe in invisible bearded men in the sky. I don’t believe in talking snakes, burning bushes, men living inside giant fishes, zombies, five-headed apocalyptic monsters, tooth fairies, elves, hobbits, dragons, dogs and cats living together, or eternal endless pits of fire seven times hotter than normal fire.

    In short, I don’t believe in fantasy. I am rational. I believe in science and physics and that there is a perfectly rational explanation for things we simply don’t understand yet. Therefore, my tendency to be level-headed, reasonable and skeptical of people who do makes me a more mature, civilized and adjusted person than them.

    I simply can’t take anything a religious person says or does seriously. They’ve zero credibility to me no matter how many idiot laws they enact or people they behead or “witches” they burn or how many people they dupe into writing them checks.


  63. edrebber says:

    Is the red “A” merely a symbol to tell everyone that you don’t believe in god or is a symbol to ridicule others who believe in god or a combination of the two?

    I think the main purpose of the red “A” is to ridicule others who do believe in god. I think most Capital One customers believe in god, so Capital One doesn’t want to allow their product to be used to alienate a majority of their customers.

    • Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

      Believing in fairy tales is cool for five year olds. Probably ridicule-worthy for anyone older than that.