You don't need extraordinary powers of divination to predict the path that Fox "News" will take when evil, librul atheists get in Jesus' way. First, Fox's "fundamentalist barking dog" Todd Starnes writes about it on his blog. It then appears on Fox Nation where righteous Christian indignation can be further whipped up. And then it appears on Jesus' very own morning show, Fox & Friends so that persecuted Christians everywhere can nurse their perpetual victimhood. As reported by Starnes, a family owned PA restaurant is being investigated, after a complaint from a local atheist, for offering discounts to church going folks who bring in their church bulletin. Not surprisingly, the restaurant owner and her lawyer appeared on this morning's Fox & Friends where the friends were in total agreement that this is no big whoop. Not surprisingly, the Civil Rights Act wasn't mentioned. Just Fox & Friends doing the lord's work!
Alysin Camerota and Clayton Morris reported that this restaurant is "in trouble" for giving discounts to those who attend church. Just to make sure that the viewers know their enemy, the chyron proclaimed "Small Business Under Fire, Atheist Wants to End Restaurant Discount." (Ah, love that war rhetoric!) Morris mentioned that a suit has been filed by an atheist who feels that the discounts are discriminatory and that the state is investigating. He introduced the guests, the owner of the restaurant and her lawyer. Sharon Prudhomme, who doesn't feel that she did anything wrong, alluded to other discounts that she offers. She claimed that she's getting lots of support from folks inTexas and Georgia where this is done all the time.
As the chyron played up the atheist angle, "Atheist Files Suit," her lawyer said that if these discounts can't be honored, "it's like saying you can't honor the best traditions in American society." (Ah, so it is about religion?) He continued the religious focus when he noted that the reason why this case has received a lot of traction (from the usual rabidly right wing sources like Gateway Pundit.) with Americans "because we're tired of having the best of our traditions sort of relegated as a poison in society." (So attending church is one of the best traditions of our society?). It's worth mentioning that attorney Randy Wenger represents "Independence Law Center" which, like the Alliance Defense Fund and Liberty Institute, specializes in persecuted Christians. The chyron delivered the money message: Discount or Disrespect, Atheist: Church Bulletin is Discriminatory." He claimed that Prudhomme should be able to give to discounts to "whomever she wishes."
After Morris read a statement from the atheist, Prudhomme claimed that this discount is no different from contractor's discounts at Home Depot. She said that the atheist could bring in his "Freedom from Religion Bulletin." (Fox's favorite atheist group to hate, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, facilitated the atheist's complaint.) So one wonders if he can just copy their website page? In offering the discount to all religious and non-religious groups she averred that everybody has a bulletin which is an absurd statement because non-churchgoers and non-believers aren't part of organizations that have bulletins. Camerota validated the whole thing with her comment that "it's hard to see how this is discriminatory..." The chyron reminded folks of the evildoer behind this: "Atheist Files Suit." Morris said "right" as Wenger, once again, talked about how this is "honoring the best of American traditions."
As usual, the Foxies made no attempt to provide a rebuttal. If they had bothered to research the issue, they might have stumbled upon the Civil Rights Law which states that "All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation . . . without discrimination on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.” 42 U.S.C. §2000a(a). But who needs facts when atheists need bashing and persecuted Christians need validating. Welcome to the world of Fox & Friends.
It will be interesting to see where the ACLU comes down on this. My bet is they will either sit this one out, of come in on the side of the restaurant owner.
There are lots of times when things like that are unintentional. I’ve seen it happen locally in my little podunk town before. Sometimes a big stink is made(which always ends in misery for everyone) and sometimes not.
I would bet that if he approached the owners and made his complaint,he would have gotten a discount as a senior. Around here,many restaurants have ‘church nights’ where they offer discounts and things,but there are other nights for others in the community to offset that. My wife works at an establishment that does this,and everyone is happy with the place.
The restaurant is in the right if they treat a church bulletin just like they would any other coupon. We find coupons in newspapers, but commonly you don’t technically have to buy the newspaper to use the coupon. You could have it given to you, or find it on the sidewalk. It’s just a slip of paper….just like a church bulletin.
The restaurant would only be trouble if someone had a bulletin and was refused the discount on the grounds that the server had reason to believe the customer did not belong to the bulletins’ church. That would discriminatory and that would make it illegal.
But I do love the discussion!
Doesn’t sound familiar to you, does it?
I’m all for fighting against some of the instances of churches reaching into government and municipal politics, but the owners of the restaurant should be free to make the offer and run the risk of losing customers who don’t like it.
This is the kind of thing that makes atheists look like they have too much time on their hands.
This was a private business that offered discounts for various things. If he didn’t like it, he could have said something to the owner to get a discount, or even threatened never eating there with his family, friends, etc. That’s how the free market works. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to patronize it. 10% isn’t shit for a discount, anyway.
There are times when one needs to pick their battles, and I think this one was a knee-jerk, overly-litigious thing; and if you read about it, he did this out of nastiness, not concern for the law; he was quoted in a paper saying something to the effect of “There are a lot of snotty Christians around here and it just annoys me.” I mean, c’mon.
I’m all for sticking it in Christians’ collective craw when appropriate, but I feel very strongly that if this man had gone to the owner and pointed out it was a little discriminatory, she would have considered changing the policy, if not just for him. She’s quoted as sticking by her discount policy NOW, but that’s probably because she’s pissed off at being challenged on it by a guy who never really intended to patronize her restaurant in the first place. Again, he could have handled this in a personal, friendly way, if he actually gave a shit about fairness, rather than being an antagonistic evangelical atheist.
It is stuff like THIS that makes me wary about telling ANYONE I’m an atheist, and why I instead say “I’m not religious…”
I’d hazard a guess that if someone had approached the owner/s with their problem in the form of being a senior,then something would have been done. I’d also bet that this restaurant’s owner didn’t really think before they set this discount up,about how it would affect other seniors. Wouldn’t it be better to give people a chance to do the right thing first,instead of creating a stink?
I mean,it’s not like the guy was selling children,or running a prostitution ring.
Shit like this gives atheists a bad name as whiny complainers.