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Old 07-07-2012, 06:33 AM
 
Location: Concord, NC
1,211 posts, read 1,949,617 times
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Saw this on the news today. As an Atheist and a Libertarian, I see nothing wrong with what the restaurant is doing. They are a private entity they can advertise where they want and give discounts to whomever they want.

Atheist files complaint over Lancaster County restaurant's church-bulletin discount

What are your thoughts?
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Old 07-07-2012, 06:57 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,314,957 times
Reputation: 2973
Yeah I think it is a ridiculous thing to get upset over. This atheist certainly does not represent me in any way.
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Florida
19,976 posts, read 20,085,774 times
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Private businesses should be allowed to make this kind of decision and either profit or suffer from it.
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Rational World Park
4,999 posts, read 3,902,070 times
Reputation: 2372
Yeah, not a big deal unless the business gets assistance from the government. Just don't eat their.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Front Range of Colorado
1,635 posts, read 2,207,423 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sepulgeek View Post
Saw this on the news today. As an Atheist and a Libertarian, I see nothing wrong with what the restaurant is doing. They are a private entity they can advertise where they want and give discounts to whomever they want.

Atheist files complaint over Lancaster County restaurant's church-bulletin discount

What are your thoughts?
As a strong atheist, I find this annoying, but I would not have chosen this battle to fight. It's just not worth it.
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:29 AM
 
39,800 posts, read 11,125,718 times
Reputation: 5150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sepulgeek View Post
Saw this on the news today. As an Atheist and a Libertarian, I see nothing wrong with what the restaurant is doing. They are a private entity they can advertise where they want and give discounts to whomever they want.

Atheist files complaint over Lancaster County restaurant's church-bulletin discount

What are your thoughts?
There are a lot of issues with restaurant policy, attracting custom or the kind it prefers, democratic choice (if the nation prefers Christianity, can you blame business for appealing to it) and also the issue of religious discrimination and the freedom of people to file complaints. Bottom line is, I would not sign a petition to prevent such 'discrimination' and I have eaten in subsidized (by whom I know not for sure )cafes where religious literature was available.

I certainly would be steamed if I was asked at the door of some eaterie whether I was religious, and would not get a discount if I said I wasn't; and I would be happy to see such a place go belly up very quickly.
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:23 AM
 
Location: SC Foothills
8,830 posts, read 10,050,981 times
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Well that's definitely discriminatory, but not a crime. Guess it's no different than giving Senior discounts, which I very much look forward to.
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:55 AM
 
1,114 posts, read 1,031,129 times
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I personally don't care for it. It may be "legal" but I don't think it appropriate for someone to pay more (or less) for their meal based on whether or not they believe in god (or go to church). I don't think senior discounts are discriminatory because many seniors are on a limited budget and all people will eventually have access to this discount since we will all become seniors at some point in time.
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Hyrule
8,398 posts, read 9,939,188 times
Reputation: 7446
It's a publics right but yea, I bet they lose a couple of regulars who are atheists. If they want to draw church goers then they are doing the right advertising. I would never eat there again. Obviously.

I can't imagine the fuss the Christians would put up if the discount was for Atheists. ha ha Can you imagine! They might light it on fire!
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Vermont
10,348 posts, read 11,305,822 times
Reputation: 14312
The first question is very straightforward: does the law in Louisiana prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion in public accommodations? People always say "that's discrimination!" without realizing that the question is not whether a certain practice is discrimination, but whether it is prohibited discrimination.

This is why the analogy to discounts for old people is unavailing: typically, age is not a protected characteristic in public accommodations laws, so a public accommodation may discriminate on the basis of age. (I disagree with this as a matter of principle, but the law is what it is.)

If religion is not a protected characteristic for public accommodations then there is nothing the person can do. Not only can the restaurant offer a discount for religious believers or charge higher prices to Methodists than it does to Baptists, but it could lawfully deny admission completely to members or nonmembers of certain religions. (You can think of an analogous practice of providing discounts for white people or black people; although there are posters here who would support a restaurant's being able to do this, that would be clearly illegal.)

The second question is whether this practice is discriminatory. The restaurant could make the claim that it is not, because anyone, regardless of religious belief, could obtain a current church bulletin and qualify for the discount. I think this is a hard argument for them to make out, though, because the impact clearly falls more heavily on people who would not ordinarily be attending church, which is where people mostly get church bulletins. Thus, if discrimination on the basis of religion is prohibited the plaintiff probably has a good case.

This case also illustrates why religious discrimination tends to be invisible to religious believers and all too obvious to us atheists. The restaurant owner seems to be taking the position that he is not trying to discriminate against nonbelievers, he's just trying to stimulate Sunday business by telling people that if they stop by on their way home from church they will get a discount.

What he, like most religious people, fails to see is that this practice is not targeted to his stated goal. Even in a place like New Orleans, where church attendance may be pretty high, offering a discount for presenting a church bulletin probably misses a lot of potential customers. If he took another approach, and either distributed coupons or just established a practice of offering a 15% discount on Sundays he could attract not only the people who might go to his restaurant after church, but also anyone else who might be a potential Sunday customer. In other words, a nondiscriminatory practice would actually be better business.
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