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Atheist files complaint over restaurant's Sunday promotion

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Apex, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    If it was a matter of prejudice I would agree with you, but the OP's discount doesn't appear to me to be founded in prejudice.

    If the discount for college degrees was a prejudice I might agree with you, but there are many apartment buildings that deliberately cater only to particular clientelle--mature living (no children), physically handicapped people, upstart families--that set conditions on living there. This is not inherently discrimination.
     
  2. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    well if you were to read the laws dealing with age discrimination you would find that only elderly are protected classes. Moreover, you would find in laws that dealt with family-type discrimination pertain to families with children. Finally, people with disabilities (for handicapped people is derogatory), are also protected whereas people without disabilities are not.
     
  3. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    That being said religion is a whole different story. Any recognized religion is protected. Therefore, we can make the argument that preferential treatment is being given to one group and consequently systemically denied to another.
     
  4. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    No, this is incorrect. Family status is a protected group, regardless of the status of the family, eg, if you are single then
    you are protected against discrimination in favor of families with children (except in the case of state run housing).
     
  5. Mr Spinkles

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    That's clearly a non-sequitur. A person can discriminate based on religion without any intention to discriminate based on religion (e.g., out of thoughtlessness). That's why the relevant section of the Civil Rights Act talks about effects only, not intentions.

    You're inserting your own words in place of the carefully-chosen wording of the law. The relevant section of the Civil Rights Act has nothing to do with violence and makes no distinction between historically, presently, soon-to-be or never-to-be oppressed groups. Your phrase "religious people" appears nowhere in the section, but "discrimination ... on the ground of ... religion" does appear (emphasis added).

    I based my argument on what the law actually says in post #514.

    I would indeed be pwned if your premises were correct. But they aren't.

    Your first premise is wrong because the law protects, and I quote, "All persons ...", not just certain groups. Anyone, of any race or religion--including people who aren't religious--could be denied equal privileges "on the ground of ... religion", and that's what the law addresses. The law doesn't forbid discrimination against certain groups, it protects "All persons" from discrimination on those grounds.

    Your second premise is clearly wrong. Draw a Venn diagram. "People with a church bulletin" is one circle. "People who are usually and likely to be out around noon on Sunday" is another circle. I myself am "usually and likely to be out around noon on Sunday" as is my wife and my father. We meet every Sunday morning for brunch and coffee at a local cafe. That's our ritual, and as former Christians, not going to church on Sunday, as we were forced to growing up, is meaningful to my wife and I and an important part of our lives and our adulthood freedom of conscience and religious affiliation. So why not include me--an admitted minority in a city of churchgoers--in any Sunday promotions? What advantage is there in having a church bulletin discount, rather than a Sunday discount for everyone? The only conceivable advantage is that a church bulletin discount promotes/endorses/advertises/rewards/celebrates going to church on Sundays. A generic Sunday discount, on the other hand, wouldn't elevate the practice of going to church above not going (or going to mosque). Again: that's a Civil Rights no-no for places of public accommodation.

    This argument is wrong on two levels. First, as I said above, all the words and phrases you put in quotes--"normal", "religious people","everyone else"--as well as other words such as "systematically" and "violence", are entirely your own. Those words do not actually appear in the relevant section of the law. Looking at the actual law, you have made a crucial concession when you admit the policy "favors ... religious people".

    Second, even if we accepted your premises your conclusion is still wrong. You say the discount "favors ... religious people" but that's not quite correct: the discount favors some religious people, but not other religious people, e.g. Muslims and Hindus. This is especially egregious considering that, according to your own arguments, the tiny Muslim and Hindu minority should be afforded extra vigilance and protection due to their historical systematic oppression in a majority Christian country.
     
    #685 Mr Spinkles, Jul 21, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2012
  6. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    I believe that if you wanted to make a case that no preferential treatment is given then you would have to illustrate that the others within this protected class had a reasonable chance at receiving the same preferential treatment. For instance, were this restaurant to offer early bird specials on Sunday during the hours of many people typically went to church, then offering a church bulletin special later in the day would unlikely be found discriminatory by any judge.
     
  7. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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  8. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    perhaps I should add that marital status might be protected at a state or city level. Similarly sexuality might be protected at a state or city level. But I was referring to federal law when I originally made the statement.
     
  9. Mr Spinkles

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    I'm afraid I don't understand your response. Please answer directly: if the restaurant policy was actually tested by a person who shows up with an atheist or Muslim bulletin, and that person was denied the same discount that is given for church bulletins, would that be legal and/or fair in your view? A simple yes or no would be appreciated. :) My answer is "no" and "no".
     
  10. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    The legality of it will depend on whether or not it is unfairness/discrimination. My answer is that it is not unfair/discrimination to turn down a discount to someone who doesn't meet the conditions of that discount.

    Okay, I'll say it one more time. It may be bad form for the restaurant to offer a discount based on "race, religion, etc." and public opinion would certainly inhibit them from doing so. Fortunately the restaurant owner didn't do that. It is is "okay" in my opinion for the restuarant owner to both offer the discount "based on church bulletin" and turn down people who don't have one, making them pay the regular price--it simply does not equate in my book to being "denied the same privileges as" the people with the church bulletin. Having a discount doesn't equate to unfairness for those not getting a discount.

    I would expect that they would not get the discount, and I would be pleased if allowance was made for them. Similarly, if an atheist brought in a church bulletin he'd get the discount.

    As I said earlier on this forum, I sure wouldn't take issue with it if it was me at the restaurant on a Sunday without a bulletin.
     
  11. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    It's not politically correct. That doesn't mean it's derogatory.
     
  12. CaptainXeroid

    CaptainXeroid Following Christ

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    I'm late to this party, but the complaint is completely without merit.

    Any business should be able to have whatever promotion they want. Any person that does not like it is not obligated to patronize that business.

    It's just that simple, and I bet if that clown actually showed up at the restaurant with a piece of paper he said was a church bulletin, they would have given him the discount.

    Some folks are just whiners and losers who seek to rain on other peoples' parades. I feel sorry for those misguided souls.
     
  13. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    They're not even obligated to take offense. :D
     
  14. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    In this case though, religion is only incidental to the issue. The issue is that the restaurant wants to boost business for Sunday noon. so they offer incentive to groups who happen to be most likely to be out on Sunday noon. The fact that those people are church goers is incidental and not the reason. If Jews were out at that time, they'd be offering them a discount. If students were out at that time, they'd be offering them a discount. And the fact remains that anyone -- religious or not -- can obtain a church bulletin easily.
     
  15. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    No, it's not, because, as I said, if Jews were out on Sunday at noon, they'd be the ones getting the discount -- not Xtians. It has everything to do targeting a group likely to be out on Sunday noon, not a specific religious group.
     
  16. Mr Spinkles

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    That's a "yes" and "yes", then. Great. That's where we disagree, as I said.
     
  17. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Don't make the law into something it wasn't intended to be. The reasons I gave are the reasons the laws were enacted. Laws are always open to interpretation, which is why we need lawyers. The problem here is one of interpretation -- not wording.

    Again: If muslims or hindi were likely to be out on Sunday noon, they'd be offered the discount. What's happening is that the restauranteur is targeting a group based upon proximity and likelihood of availability at a certain time -- not based upon religion. Your family is not included, because it hasn't been identified as part of a group that's usually available at that time. I'd wager, in fact, that most folks who don't go to church are less likely to be available at that time than those who do go to church.
     
  18. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    Yes, but qualified, as I said, to acknowledge the spin you put on it. :)
     
  19. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    I concur.
    States go farther than the fed in protection against discrimination.
     
  20. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    No, a business should not be able to hold any promotion that they want.
     
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