The company, which makes its rationalist footwear in Germany, says that putting "Atheist" on the outside of its shoeboxes instead of leaving them unmarked makes no difference in shipping times within Europe, and lays the blame on the US Postal Service.
This evidence that the USPS is a hotbed of religious fervor comes as a surprise to many people, in the sense that we had no idea that the Postal Service was a hotbed of anything, merely a necessary but dwindling service that makes its money stuffing your mailbox with ad flyers and delivering items you have ordered on the Internet. They have been trying to get our attention for years by threatening to stop delivering mail on Saturday and no one I know cares if they do. Whereas if someone threatened to shut off our email or Facebook on Saturday, we would pour out of our homes, grab pitchforks, torches and paving stones and get our rabble on.
I suppose it is heartening to realize that these erstwhile government workers are not just sitting around waiting to be replaced by electrons, but are carrying on a subtle campaign against atheism, even though it is hardly an original idea. Atheists have been persecuted since the first cave atheists were discovered and immediately shoved off the same handy cliff as the mammoths. Tribes of primitives often threw a couple atheists in the volcano first, just to make sure it was hot enough to melt a maiden. Atheists were tossed to the lions in the Coliseum as an appetizer for the main course of Christians and racked, burnt, drawn and quartered to relieve centuries of medieval tedium. Making them go barefoot is a mild punishment comparatively.
The other question is, why atheist shoes in the first place? Updating our literature to reflect a preference for godless footwear would leave us with clumsy constructions like "Walk a mile in my atheist shoes," "The atheist shoes of the fisherman," and of course, "There was an old lady who lived in an atheist shoe." None of these is an improvement on the original.
Sinatra would have punched you in the face if you asked him to sing "Atheist Shoe-bee-doo-bee-doo."
Wearing atheist shoes may be a way of signaling other atheists that you are playing for the same team. Or, since these are very pricey, hand-made atheist shoes, you may merely be showing off. Not only are you proclaiming your contempt for religious superstitions, you're also saying "I'm rich, too."
That's asking for trouble. Possibly only the wealthy are resented more than non-believers. So while you may feel personally comfortable being atheist and privileged, know that most of humanity grits their teeth and curses when they think of you.
And your box of shoes is out in the bushes somewhere.