Author Topic: North Carolina Diner Drops Praying in Public Discount after FFRF Threatened Law.  (Read 4771 times)

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Raylight

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" The North Carolina diner that gave customers who prayed before meals a discount will no longer be offering the promotion. Mary’s Gourmet Diner reportedly received a letter threatening legal action from the Freedom From Religion Foundation if owner Mary Haglund did not stop awarding the discount to praying patrons. "

http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/north-carolina-diner-drops-praying-in-public-discount-after-ffrf-threatened-lawsuit.html

Raylight

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What this Freedom From Religion Foundation really wants ?!?! Almost every time a company or a restaurant...etc do something that has a religious purpose. Look, look, look, the FFRF gang are coming with their threats.

Lord Have Mercy.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 06:53:48 AM by Raylight »

Offline quietmorning

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When did Freedom OF Religion become freedom FROM Religion?
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Offline biro

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When did Freedom OF Religion become freedom FROM Religion?

Uh, they're charging different amounts for the same products depending on whether or not you are seen to pray.

There's no law that says you have to pray in order to save money. There's also no official religion in the U.S.

When did Jesus say you should pay more for something because you don't pray?

Or, what if you just take very seriously the verse about not praying on the street corner, to be seen of men, as the hypocrites do? Should you have to pay more for your burger because of that?

This was a publicity stunt. They got what they deserved.
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Raylight

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When did Freedom OF Religion become freedom FROM Religion?

Uh, they're charging different amounts for the same products depending on whether or not you are seen to pray.

There's no law that says you have to pray in order to save money. There's also no official religion in the U.S.

When did Jesus say you should pay more for something because you don't pray?

Or, what if you just take very seriously the verse about not praying on the street corner, to be seen of men, as the hypocrites do? Should you have to pay more for your burger because of that?

This was a publicity stunt. They got what they deserved.

I disliked the idea as well. It is really bad thing to give people discount if they pray. That is so wrong. BUT, the FFRF gang are also crossing the line with their countless cases where they sue people just for practicing their faith.

You pray in a school, here is FFRF gang. You pray in public, here is FFRF gang. You put a religious sample somewhere, he is FFRF gang. They seem to have some issues where they are obsessed with religion. They claim that they want to be free from religion, yet they still dream about day and night. So pathetic.

Offline biro

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They are suing because the restaurant and schools have created situations where you can't get out of praying. No one has the right to force you to pray.
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Offline Cyrillic

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They are suing because the restaurant and schools have created situations where you can't get out of praying. No one has the right to force you to pray.

Then don't go to that restaurant. Their place, their rules. It's that simple.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 08:33:46 AM by Cyrillic »

Offline biro

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If they expect one set of customers to pay more than another, they are by implication making one group pay more in sales tax.

You bet that's an invitation to get sued. Everybody finances the state, and the state, as we saw, has no official religion.
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Offline Cyrillic

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If they expect one set of customers to pay more than another, they are by implication making one group pay more in sales tax.

You bet that's an invitation to get sued.

Groups of customers get discounts all the time for all sorts of reasons. Bars have Ladies' Nights and many grocery stores give discounts to customers who come often.

It's not an invitation to get sued.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 09:09:39 AM by Cyrillic »

Offline scamandrius

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They are suing because the restaurant and schools have created situations where you can't get out of praying. No one has the right to force you to pray.

Where was the force? 
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They are suing because the restaurant and schools have created situations where you can't get out of praying. No one has the right to force you to pray.

Then don't go to that restaurant. Their place, their rules. It's that simple.

To people like biro, your property and business must be managed by well intentioned do gooder nannies.
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Offline podkarpatska

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In America, a restaurant open to the public is a place of public accommodation that may not, by law, discriminate against customers on the basis of race, religion, national origin and so on. If you are providing a faith based discount to some on the basis of public expression of devotion you have a problem.

If a deli sold bagels to Jews at a lower price than to a Christian, we'd be full of "sturm und drang."

If you want a faith based discount, open a private club or sponsor meals at your church and open them  with a prayer.

There's  lot of posturing here between both sides here, all for publicity's sake, in my view.

Offline Cyrillic

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If a deli sold bagels to Jews at a lower price than to a Christian, we'd be full of "sturm und drang."

No. Why would we? If anyone is bothered by it he could go to a shop that doesn't give discount to Jews. I wouldn't mind going to a Jewish-owned (or Muslim-owned, Indian-owned, etc.) shop that gives discounts to their own.

In America, a restaurant open to the public is a place of public accommodation that may not, by law, discriminate against customers on the basis of race, religion, national origin and so on.

Does "and so on" include gender? Lots of bars and clubs have Ladies' Nights and they seem to get a free pass. Some states have upheld its legality when it was challenged in court. When you can get a discount because of something you can't choose - gender - surely you can get one for proving that you belong to a certain group the owner happens to belong to, whether its a religion or a golf club.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 12:12:51 PM by Cyrillic »

Raylight

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My point is that the FFRF gang are true bullies and pathetic.

One time they sued a church for putting Christmas decoration outside. Seriously ?!?! As if the legal authorities have nothing to do other than hearing their silly and pathetic complains.

We all know who the FFRF gang really are, and what are their beliefs and goals.

Offline podkarpatska

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If a deli sold bagels to Jews at a lower price than to a Christian, we'd be full of "sturm und drang."

No. Why would we? If anyone is bothered by it he could go to a shop that doesn't give discount to Jews. I wouldn't mind going to a Jewish-owned (or Muslim-owned, Indian-owned, etc.) shop that gives discounts to their own.

In America, a restaurant open to the public is a place of public accommodation that may not, by law, discriminate against customers on the basis of race, religion, national origin and so on.

Does "and so on" include gender? Lots of bars and clubs have Ladies' Nights and they seem to get a free pass. Some states have upheld its legality when it was challenged in court. When you can get a discount because of something you can't choose - gender - surely you can get one for proving that you belong to a certain group the owner happens to belong to, whether its a religion or a golf club.

Actually "Ladies Nights" are illegal in some American states - depending on local laws and regulations.

Race, religious preference and national origin discrimination in places of public accommodation are barred by Federal law in the United States.

I have sympathy for neither religious show boaters who know better nor publicity driven antI religion advocacy groups. They deserve each other.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 12:34:13 PM by podkarpatska »

Offline Ebor

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They are suing because the restaurant and schools have created situations where you can't get out of praying. No one has the right to force you to pray.

Where was the force? 

In the case of public schools a teacher initiating prayer as part of a class or having her/his personal religious beliefs as part of lessons would be a kind of force.

 There was a recent case in Louisiana in which one of the students was Buddhist.  The teacher had a test in which a question's correct answer was God/the Lord (Christian).  According to the case the teacher told the student that Buddhism was "stupid".  It took place in Sabine Parish.  Please note that in the state of Louisiana the civil area called a "parish" is the equivalent of counties in other states.  There is no inherent religious meaning to the term in this case so the Sabine Parish School Board is not part of a religious/church school.

Here is a pdf. of the legal document submitted to the U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana. Shreveport Division: 

https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/assets/complaint_-_final_0.pdf
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Offline podkarpatska

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And if my children or grandchildren were forced to join in Protestant based school prayer or activities in a PUBLIC American school I would support efforts to block the same. I didn't say "Catholic" out of any pro Catholic bias...there just aren't examples of the same...it's always coming from the evangelicals and their teachings.

Offline Valekhai

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My point is that the FFRF gang are true bullies and pathetic.

One time they sued a church for putting Christmas decoration outside. Seriously ?!?! As if the legal authorities have nothing to do other than hearing their silly and pathetic complains.

We all know who the FFRF gang really are, and what are their beliefs and goals.

When did they sue a church for Christmas decorations?

Offline Porter ODoran

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I'd be very, very surprised if the Freedom from Religion Foundation could have argued a successful case. Mary's Diner management just didn't want trouble.
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Offline biro

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They are suing because the restaurant and schools have created situations where you can't get out of praying. No one has the right to force you to pray.

Where was the force? 

The fact that the law says everyone must go to school until a certain age.

The fact that the state by law collects sales tax at the diner.

You know, the thing that you in your imaginary libertarian faery kingdom believe doesn't exist?
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Offline Cyrillic

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The fact that the state by law collects sales tax at the diner.

How does that even matter here?
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 01:56:44 PM by Cyrillic »

Raylight

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My point is that the FFRF gang are true bullies and pathetic.

One time they sued a church for putting Christmas decoration outside. Seriously ?!?! As if the legal authorities have nothing to do other than hearing their silly and pathetic complains.

We all know who the FFRF gang really are, and what are their beliefs and goals.

When did they sue a church for Christmas decorations?

The decorations was statues of The Virgin Mary, St Joseph and baby Jesus...etc. It is a Christmas cave, and they claimed that it was on a public land...etc. I can't recall when exactly.

Offline Rambam

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The restaurant should've stood up for itself. Giving discounts for praying does not equal religious discrimination or endorsement.

Unless the restaurant is monitoring the content of the prayers and selectively giving discounts based on the prayer's contents, there isn't a problem here.

Looks like the restaurant is just a few minutes from me in Winston-Salem. Maybe I'll pop over, buy some grits and pray a "Our Father" out loud. Come try to stop me.

Offline Porter ODoran

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My point is that the FFRF gang are true bullies and pathetic.

One time they sued a church for putting Christmas decoration outside. Seriously ?!?! As if the legal authorities have nothing to do other than hearing their silly and pathetic complains.

We all know who the FFRF gang really are, and what are their beliefs and goals.

When did they sue a church for Christmas decorations?

The decorations was statues of The Virgin Mary, St Joseph and baby Jesus...etc. It is a Christmas cave, and they claimed that it was on a public land...etc. I can't recall when exactly.

I think most of us thought you were claiming a church was sued for its own decorations.
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Offline biro

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The fact that the state by law collects sales tax at the diner.

How does that even matter here?

If you don't pray, you don't get the discount. You therefore have to pay more. You therefore have a higher bill, which accrues more sales tax.

Ergo, if you don't pray, you pay more in taxes.

Would've thought a tax-hating neocon like yourself would not like that. But it seems fine to you, because in your world, them durned heathens who don't wanna pray deserve it.  ::)

Everything is fine with the neocons of today as long as it's someone else who pays for it.

Consistency used to be the hallmark of conservatives. Now? Pshaw.

Love your neighbor has turned into overcharge and goad your neighbor. Make him show he does his religion like us, or he should pay more!

Next, I'll have to have a letter from my bishop just to get a salad.

I know the neo-right Eurokids don't give a hoot about anything, but in the U.S., states have laws against discrimination on the basis of religion for a reason.

When you use your religion as an excuse to make more money off people who aren't in it, you are asking for trouble. It makes these "Christians" sound mean-spirited and dumb.

What did Jesus say about hypocrites who stand and pray on the street corners, that they may be seen of men?

What did he say about moneychangers in the Temple, who have made His house into a house of prostitution? What did he do to them?

Again, the restauarant is charging less for those who do their chosen act to demonstrate a religion. If you don't do it, you by default have to pay more.

Nobody cares, of course, because in the name of religion, or being conservative, you can make anybody do anything. Ha ha.

Meanwhile, if a cafe had a sign that said, "You pray and I'll throw you out," you bet you'd sue his butt off.

In neo-con world, only those who agree with you have rights.

Before you reply to this post, see the link:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,60163.msg1171259.html#msg1171259

Thank you

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« Last Edit: August 12, 2014, 01:32:10 PM by minasoliman »
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Offline biro

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Quote from: Rambam


Unless the restaurant is monitoring the content of the prayers and selectively giving discounts based on the prayer's contents, there isn't a problem here.



Uh, that is exactly what they're doing. That's the point.

Pity the poor agnostic, sitting next to you, who has to pay 15% more because he's weird enough to believe he has the same freedoms as you.

You don't seem to have much concern for him. Are you going to pay the extra part of his tab, because you're so concerned about his freedom?

Waiting...
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 03:07:40 PM by biro »
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Offline Rambam

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Where are you seeing that she monitored the content of the prayers? I don't see it in the story linked in the OP. Is there any evidence to suggest that she treated, say, a Christian prayer differently than a Muslim prayer or a Buddhist prayer? Does she refuse to count "moments of silence" as prayer?

Sorry, unless she was picking-and-choosing who to give discounts to based on the wording of the prayer itself, I don't see a problem.

And to heck with the agnostic. He or she can go eat somewhere else. I have zero sympathy. If I were the restaurant owner, I would not only charge more -- I wouldn't serve that wishy-washy milquetoast at all.

If you're going to eat my grits, you've got to be man enough to make up your mind whether Jesus is God or not. No fence sitting in my restaurant!



Quote from: Rambam


Unless the restaurant is monitoring the content of the prayers and selectively giving discounts based on the prayer's contents, there isn't a problem here.



Uh, that is exactly what they're doing. That's the point.

Pity the poor agnostic, sitting next to you, who has to pay 15% more because he's weird enough to believe he has the same freedoms as you.

You don't seem to have much concern for him. Are you going to pay the extra part of his tab, because you're so concerned about his freedom?

Waiting...

Offline Mor Ephrem

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How is this not a glorified coupon?  If you didn't believe in anything but bowed your head for a moment and silently thought about what you'd do with your savings, would you be denied the discount?  
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Offline Cyrillic

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When you use your religion as an excuse to make more money off people who aren't in it, you are asking for trouble. It makes these "Christians" sound mean-spirited and dumb.

This isn't an excuse to make more money off atheists, but to give a discount to customers who behave as the owner wants. If the owner gives a discount to polite people, he isn't exploiting the impolite but rewarding the polite. This is pretty much the same.

I don't agree with the owner of this restaurant. Praying to get a discount isn't exactly a good way to please God. But I do think that the owner is allowed to have that rule in his own restaurant. Nothing wrong with some freedom.

Quote
Meanwhile, if a cafe had a sign that said, "You pray and I'll throw you out," you bet you'd sue his butt off.

No. I'd just go to another cafe. Anyone with more than two brain cells would do that.

Pity the poor agnostic, sitting next to you, who has to pay 15% more the price listed on the menu because he's weird enough to believe he has the same freedoms as you.

How's not having a discount at one specific restaurant a limitation of one's freedom?

Quote
In neo-con world, only those who agree with you have rights.

I don't care whether an atheist barkeeper gives a discount when you renounce God, or whether a muslim restaurant owner only serves those who profess the shahadah in front of him. Let them; if it's their place they get to make the rules. I wouldn't go there, but I wouldn't want to use the gov to punish them.

In liberal world however, only those who agree with you have any rights.

If you don't pray, you don't get the discount. You therefore have to pay more. You therefore have a higher bill, which accrues more sales tax.

Ergo, if you don't pray, you pay more in taxes.

So? They're paying the price that's listed on the menu. That isn't too bad.

I lol'd at all the insults though. I never considered myself to be a "neocon" or a "neo-right eurochild" but I chuckled.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 03:35:31 PM by Cyrillic »

Offline Rambam

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Wow. This is cray cray. What's Irving Kristol got to do with getting a little discount on some biscuits and sop in Winston-Salem?



The fact that the state by law collects sales tax at the diner.

How does that even matter here?

If you don't pray, you don't get the discount. You therefore have to pay more. You therefore have a higher bill, which accrues more sales tax.

Ergo, if you don't pray, you pay more in taxes.

Would've thought a tax-hating neocon like yourself would not like that. But it seems fine to you, because in your world, them durned heathens who don't wanna pray deserve it.  ::)

Everything is fine with the neocons of today as long as it's someone else who pays for it.

Consistency used to be the hallmark of conservatives. Now? Pshaw.

Love your neighbor has turned into overcharge and goad your neighbor. Make him show he does his religion like us, or he should pay more!

Next, I'll have to have a letter from my bishop just to get a salad.

I know the neo-right Eurokids don't give a hoot about anything, but in the U.S., states have laws against discrimination on the basis of religion for a reason.

When you use your religion as an excuse to make more money off people who aren't in it, you are asking for trouble. It makes these "Christians" sound mean-spirited and dumb.

What did Jesus say about hypocrites who stand and pray on the street corners, that they may be seen of men?

What did he say about moneychangers in the Temple, who have made His house into a house of prostitution? What did he do to them?

Again, the restauarant is charging less for those who do their chosen act to demonstrate a religion. If you don't do it, you by default have to pay more.

Nobody cares, of course, because in the name of religion, or being conservative, you can make anybody do anything. Ha ha.

Meanwhile, if a cafe had a sign that said, "You pray and I'll throw you out," you bet you'd sue his butt off.

In neo-con world, only those who agree with you have rights.

Offline Nephi

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I'd be very, very surprised if the Freedom from Religion Foundation could have argued a successful case. Mary's Diner management just didn't want trouble.

It seems FFRF causes publicity against something, which is then picked up by more capable groups (e.g. ACLU). See the Jackson County school in Ohio with the Jesus portrait for an example.

Offline Porter ODoran

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...

I lol'd at all the insults though. I never considered myself to be a "neocon" or a "neo-right eurochild" but I chuckled.

Yeah Cyrillic of all people is firmly paleo.
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Raylight

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My point is that the FFRF gang are true bullies and pathetic.

One time they sued a church for putting Christmas decoration outside. Seriously ?!?! As if the legal authorities have nothing to do other than hearing their silly and pathetic complains.

We all know who the FFRF gang really are, and what are their beliefs and goals.

When did they sue a church for Christmas decorations?

The decorations was statues of The Virgin Mary, St Joseph and baby Jesus...etc. It is a Christmas cave, and they claimed that it was on a public land...etc. I can't recall when exactly.

I think most of us thought you were claiming a church was sued for its own decorations.

I kind felt that the word "decorations" maybe wasn't the best to use. I just assumed that the whole Christmas Cave is part of the decorations. At least I do think it is part of the decorations. However, I don't know if in the English speaking countries, decorations could include Christmas cave.

Oh, I talked too much about Christmas and its decoration to the point that I want Christmas to come sooooooon.  :'(

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Oh, I talked too much about Christmas and its decoration to the point that I want Christmas to come sooooooon.  :'(

Christmas is approaching ... already in the fabric stores they are offering Christmas fabrics for 50% off.

Although there is never a Nativity scene ... just a lot of green and red fabrics as well as fabrics for other winter holidays celebrated by various ethnic groups.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 04:44:56 PM by Maria »
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time to move out of the good old you ess of ahh!

Offline Maria

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time to move out of the good old you ess of ahh!

Perhaps you young ones can move if you can find a job. But where? Another topic -- another thread perhaps.
In the meantime, anyone who owns a business must be careful.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 04:48:33 PM by Maria »
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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When did Freedom OF Religion become freedom FROM Religion?

Uh, they're charging different amounts for the same products depending on whether or not you are seen to pray.

There's no law that says you have to pray in order to save money. There's also no official religion in the U.S.

When did Jesus say you should pay more for something because you don't pray?

Or, what if you just take very seriously the verse about not praying on the street corner, to be seen of men, as the hypocrites do? Should you have to pay more for your burger because of that?

This was a publicity stunt. They got what they deserved.
And yet, this is a private business, NOT a government agency, that offered discounts to praying customers. What they did may have been discriminatory and not good, but the Law of the Land gives them complete freedom to do so as a practice of their own religion. That's why FFRF intervention with the threat of litigation is even more despicable.
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They are suing because the restaurant and schools have created situations where you can't get out of praying. No one has the right to force you to pray.
How can you conflate restaurants and schools? (I imagine you mean public schools?) Public schools are run by the government; restaurants generally are not.
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Thread locked pending the review of this section's moderator for possibly political content  -PtA
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Offline LBK

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When did Freedom OF Religion become freedom FROM Religion?

Uh, they're charging different amounts for the same products depending on whether or not you are seen to pray.

There's no law that says you have to pray in order to save money. There's also no official religion in the U.S.

When did Jesus say you should pay more for something because you don't pray?

Or, what if you just take very seriously the verse about not praying on the street corner, to be seen of men, as the hypocrites do? Should you have to pay more for your burger because of that?

This was a publicity stunt. They got what they deserved.

Seconded. A perfect analysis of the situation. Thank you, biro.
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Offline minasoliman

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Alrighty,

I reviewed this thread, and I can see why it was locked.  A couple of comments I like to make.

1.  This has the potential to be a non-political discussion, and a good one at that.  Two things I see here that can be discussed.  One would be the application of the laws of the US with the practices of the said restaurant.  The other would be ethical/spiritual implications of this issue (is it fair, is this something a good Christian would approve, etc.).

2.  The reason why this was locked was the reference to US political sides of the issue.  The reference is the "Neo-con" comment, and how people are replying to that comment, that could generate a political discussion.  One needs to consider some things.  First, not everyone lives in the US, so not everyone knows what the laws of the US are.  I don't know what Cyrillic's political views are, but he's not from the US and does not live in the US.  He may know some things about US policies, but in my understanding, I would treat Cyrillic with education on the laws of the country rather than implying he already holds position in some political party of a nation he's not even a citizen of.  Second, this is the Free-For-All forum.  So the reference to "tax-hating neocon" and "neocon world" also raises red flags and crosses lines on the discussion.  So, I ask anyone that the reference to any political view or policy should stop and any reply to these policies that were already made should stop as well.

3.  Biro, calling Cyrillic a "tax-hating neocon" can also be subject to an ad hominem.  This is a Free-For-All forum, not the private fora.  I'm letting this one slide, but avoid making those here in this thread.  And that goes for anyone else.

God bless.

Mina

thread unlocked
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Alrighty,

I reviewed this thread, and I can see why it was locked.  A couple of comments I like to make.

1.  This has the potential to be a non-political discussion, and a good one at that.  Two things I see here that can be discussed.  One would be the application of the laws of the US with the practices of the said restaurant.  The other would be ethical/spiritual implications of this issue (is it fair, is this something a good Christian would approve, etc.).

2.  The reason why this was locked was the reference to US political sides of the issue.  The reference is the "Neo-con" comment, and how people are replying to that comment, that could generate a political discussion.  One needs to consider some things.  First, not everyone lives in the US, so not everyone knows what the laws of the US are.  I don't know what Cyrillic's political views are, but he's not from the US and does not live in the US.  He may know some things about US policies, but in my understanding, I would treat Cyrillic with education on the laws of the country rather than implying he already holds position in some political party of a nation he's not even a citizen of.  Second, this is the Free-For-All forum.  So the reference to "tax-hating neocon" and "neocon world" also raises red flags and crosses lines on the discussion.  So, I ask anyone that the reference to any political view or policy should stop and any reply to these policies that were already made should stop as well.

3.  Biro, calling Cyrillic a "tax-hating neocon" can also be subject to an ad hominem.  This is a Free-For-All forum, not the private fora.  I'm letting this one slide, but avoid making those here in this thread.  And that goes for anyone else.

God bless.

Mina

thread unlocked


Hi Mina :)

I've mentioned already to Peter that my point of this thread was not political in anyway. It was about the problem with the FFRF and their ways of threatening people just for simply practicing their faith.

Offline vamrat

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The OP's reasoning for the thread is the main issue I have.  The religious implications of this are clear - they are being Pharisaical.  That is clear.  But having a bunch of loud mouthed bullies mobbing them for it reeks of vulgar ochlocracy.  The FFRF's should be met with flamethrowers. 

As for the arguments about discounts - discounts are often given by stores for various reasons.  It is only because this is Christian (even if they are not following the Gospel) that it is an issue.


Vamrat at an FFRF conference.
Das ist des Jägers Ehrenschild, daß er beschützt und hegt sein Wild, weidmännisch jagt, wie sich’s gehört, den Schöpfer im Geschöpfe ehrt.

Offline podkarpatska

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If we expect others to treat Christian minorities with fairness and equanimity, one would assume that we would expect Christians to act in a like manner. By placing this on the bill, I would argue that it is not morally different than the Muslim ' jizya'  which taxes Christians at a separate rate for the 'privilege' of living in an Islamic land. When we read of that, we rightly get upset.

And, for the past fifty years in the United States and the passage of the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964, it has simply been illegal to discriminate in places of public accomodation (and a diner open to the public is such a place)  on the basis of race, religion or national origin.

Here is the relevant section: Civil Rights Act of 1964:Section. 201. (a) All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin. https://users.wfu.edu/zulick/341/civilrightsact1964.html  The entire text of the statute in question clearly speaks to the question at hand.

Charging a different rate on the basis of praying in public would be a prohibited discrimination.

(Case law has established a number of parameters to define what is not prohibited discrimination, for example charging a 'parishioner rate' for catering at a church run hall which is lower than the rate for the general public  is acceptable in that parishioners have an 'equity' stake in the catering hall as members and with membership comes certain privileges. So, I suppose that a church could run a chain of membership diners open to the public and for its members offer a discount. Private clubs may discriminate in membership criterea as well - although that is more and more 'unpopular' today - it is not illegal.)
« Last Edit: August 12, 2014, 03:22:20 PM by podkarpatska »

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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In America, a restaurant open to the public is a place of public accommodation that may not, by law, discriminate against customers on the basis of race, religion, national origin and so on. If you are providing a faith based discount to some on the basis of public expression of devotion you have a problem.

If a deli sold bagels to Jews at a lower price than to a Christian, we'd be full of "sturm und drang."

If you want a faith based discount, open a private club or sponsor meals at your church and open them  with a prayer.

There's  lot of posturing here between both sides here, all for publicity's sake, in my view.

Great point. Although I do not think that such a discount would be deemed a violation of the law in every court of the land, I do think that it opens the door to a lawsuit. I think that there is a great deal of difference between forcing somebody to pray with you and praying in public where some folks may hear your prayer. Similarly, the discrimination aspect would come in if the owners of this cafe added a surcharge to the non-prayers' bills, but here the prayers
received a discount as an expression of solidarity by the owners. Technically, a non-violation of the law, but evidently an unwise choice in a society that must (and should) tolerate organizations like the FFRF. (I did post this after reading Podkarpatska's excellent legal analysis).
« Last Edit: August 12, 2014, 03:43:53 PM by Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) »

Offline Porter ODoran

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Must of this is legal gray area which explains the frenzy of suits. In time, a broad court consensus will emerge. Political activist groups such as the Freedom from Religion Foundation exist to do their part to shape that eventual consensus. Much the same course is coming to an end in re "gay rights" law. Thomas Jefferson considered common law a greater tyrant than king or Parliament. Be that as it may, citizens tend to be strangely unaware of how it works.
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Offline Porter ODoran

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By the way, the legality is not a gray area in any sense that there was never a tradition or past consensus. I think there was a strong tradition up till the most modern times; however, a variety of legislation and rulings has cast that tradition into legal limbo, thus the gray area.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline minasoliman

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(Case law has established a number of parameters to define what is not prohibited discrimination, for example charging a 'parishioner rate' for catering at a church run hall which is lower than the rate for the general public  is acceptable in that parishioners have an 'equity' stake in the catering hall as members and with membership comes certain privileges. So, I suppose that a church could run a chain of membership diners open to the public and for its members offer a discount. Private clubs may discriminate in membership criterea as well - although that is more and more 'unpopular' today - it is not illegal.)

In these situations, when I see an Orthodox cleric, I usually offer to pay for him (or pay for a nun when I see her).  This has been somewhat of a common practice at least in Coptic communities, although you will get the occasional overly insistent cleric that he can make due on his own.
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Offline chrisgeo

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They are suing because the restaurant and schools have created situations where you can't get out of praying. No one has the right to force you to pray.

Then don't go to that restaurant. Their place, their rules. It's that simple.
I agree.

Offline podkarpatska

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They are suing because the restaurant and schools have created situations where you can't get out of praying. No one has the right to force you to pray.

Then don't go to that restaurant. Their place, their rules. It's that simple.
I agree.


Again, it is not that simple. Also the facts of this case do not fall into any "gray area"  as some posters imply.

The libertarian position takes issue conceptually with extending any legal protection to any class of citizens from private discrimination. That is a defensible, theoretical position to espouse. (I personally find the extreme Libertarian philosophy to be problematic, but that's a whole 'nother debate which I will not participate in online...see me for a craft beer some cold, long winter's night and we'll talk.) However, the libertarian position does not reflect the state of American, federal statutory law - nor is at all about the common law which was abolished in most stages post the American revolution at the end of the 18 th century. At play here is the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 which had repeatedly been upheld by successive Supreme Courts of varying ideological philosophies over the past half century . ( I'm not talking about state laws which may be more restrictive by including other classes to protect as in New York or California or less restrictive as in many Southern states. They are not relevant to this matter.)

Disagree with the law, try to get it changed if you desire, but it is the law in America and the diner owners were, in my legal estimation, violating it. Were they my clients back in the day, I'd have advised them to drop the practice and move on.

What may the owners do to reflect the exercise of their religious beliefs? Put upprayer posters and religious pictures on the wall, put icons up if you're Greek or an Arab Christian diner owner (check any classic diner in New Jersey or New York and more often than not there's icons by the cash register.) Put St. Anthony of Padua in your pizza parlor or Bhudda in your Won Ton establishment... Those are fine and signal your beliefs. Put a creche in your window at Christmas time. Put "Christian rock" or other religious music selections on your sound system even. (That would chase me out for sure ...) But don't give a discount to praying customers.



« Last Edit: August 13, 2014, 10:40:59 AM by podkarpatska »

Offline genesisone

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Here's what's bothering me about this matter: "Family and friends" discounts are not unusual. If the restaurant owner considers all pray-ers to be in that category, then fine. However, if this policy is public knowledge - as it apparently is - what's to prevent anyone at all from just bowing the head and closing the eyes pretending to pray? This weakens and cheapens the entire concept and may even verge on encouraging a violation of the Third Commandment.

Offline LizaSymonenko

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They are suing because the restaurant and schools have created situations where you can't get out of praying. No one has the right to force you to pray.

I don't think the patrons "had" to pray....nobody forced them.

I'm not sure I'd give a discount for praying, nor would I pray merely to get the discount....however, all these tiny little "offenses" that are being "stopped" are slowly going to erode away our freedoms.

As a business owner, the cafe should have the right to use whatever gimmick they want to attract patrons.  You have bars that offer discounts if you come in wearing "team colors", there's "lady's hour", wear a costume on Halloween, get a discount, etc.  Whatever.

Even if this had nothing to do with prayer....unless the "act" physically does harm to others, it ought to be allowed.  The people don't need to shop/eat there if they feel uncomfortable.  There are plenty of other locations offering gimmick free food and drink.

This is the start of Communism....and if we allow it to continue...we will not be allowed to pray even in our own homes.  God forbid what happened in Eastern Europe, happen in the States.  Seriously.  People were NOT allowed to pray behind closed and locked doors in their own homes.
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Offline Cyrillic

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The libertarian position takes issue conceptually with extending any legal protection to any class of citizens from private discrimination. That is a defensible, theoretical position to espouse. (I personally find the extreme Libertarian philosophy to be problematic, but that's a whole 'nother debate which I will not participate in online...see me for a craft beer some cold, long winter's night and we'll talk.) However, the libertarian position does not reflect the state of American, federal statutory law - nor is at all about the common law which was abolished in most stages post the American revolution at the end of the 18 th century. At play here is the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 which had repeatedly been upheld by successive Supreme Courts of varying ideological philosophies over the past half century . ( I'm not talking about state laws which may be more restrictive by including other classes to protect as in New York or California or less restrictive as in many Southern states. They are not relevant to this matter.)

Disagree with the law, try to get it changed if you desire, but it is the law in America and the diner owners were, in my legal estimation, violating it. Were they my clients back in the day, I'd have advised them to drop the practice and move on.

What may the owners do to reflect the exercise of their religious beliefs? Put upprayer posters and religious pictures on the wall, put icons up if you're Greek or an Arab Christian diner owner (check any classic diner in New Jersey or New York and more often than not there's icons by the cash register.) Put St. Anthony of Padua in your pizza parlor or Bhudda in your Won Ton establishment... Those are fine and signal your beliefs. Put a creche in your window at Christmas time. Put "Christian rock" or other religious music selections on your sound system even. (That would chase me out for sure ...) But don't give a discount to praying customers.

I agree with you on all that. Legally it might be more complicated. You don't have to be religious to pray, or at least to pretend to. Nor would all religious people be comfortable with praying for a discount. Hence, it might not be religious discrimination.

As a business owner, the cafe should have the right to use whatever gimmick they want to attract patrons.  You have bars that offer discounts if you come in wearing "team colors", there's "lady's hour", wear a costume on Halloween, get a discount, etc.  Whatever.


Indeed. Especially the Ladies' Night is relevant, since that involves discrimination according to sex. But apparently that isn't federally banned.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2014, 11:05:05 AM by Cyrillic »

Offline Rambam

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Does it matter at all that the shop owner does not discriminate based on the religious content of the prayer? (At least as indicated in the article of the OP.)

One could argue that the act if prayer isn't necessarily religious. Like the moments if silence we offer so frequently in 'memory' of victims of atrocities. Moreover, if the owner is giving discounts for Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Pagan, etc. prayer, then how is is anything here religious discrimination?


They are suing because the restaurant and schools have created situations where you can't get out of praying. No one has the right to force you to pray.

Then don't go to that restaurant. Their place, their rules. It's that simple.
I agree.


Again, it is not that simple. Also the facts of this case do not fall into any "gray area"  as some posters imply.

The libertarian position takes issue conceptually with extending any legal protection to any class of citizens from private discrimination. That is a defensible, theoretical position to espouse. (I personally find the extreme Libertarian philosophy to be problematic, but that's a whole 'nother debate which I will not participate in online...see me for a craft beer some cold, long winter's night and we'll talk.) However, the libertarian position does not reflect the state of American, federal statutory law - nor is at all about the common law which was abolished in most stages post the American revolution at the end of the 18 th century. At play here is the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 which had repeatedly been upheld by successive Supreme Courts of varying ideological philosophies over the past half century . ( I'm not talking about state laws which may be more restrictive by including other classes to protect as in New York or California or less restrictive as in many Southern states. They are not relevant to this matter.)

Disagree with the law, try to get it changed if you desire, but it is the law in America and the diner owners were, in my legal estimation, violating it. Were they my clients back in the day, I'd have advised them to drop the practice and move on.

What may the owners do to reflect the exercise of their religious beliefs? Put upprayer posters and religious pictures on the wall, put icons up if you're Greek or an Arab Christian diner owner (check any classic diner in New Jersey or New York and more often than not there's icons by the cash register.) Put St. Anthony of Padua in your pizza parlor or Bhudda in your Won Ton establishment... Those are fine and signal your beliefs. Put a creche in your window at Christmas time. Put "Christian rock" or other religious music selections on your sound system even. (That would chase me out for sure ...) But don't give a discount to praying customers.





Offline vamrat

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Here's what's bothering me about this matter: "Family and friends" discounts are not unusual. If the restaurant owner considers all pray-ers to be in that category, then fine. However, if this policy is public knowledge - as it apparently is - what's to prevent anyone at all from just bowing the head and closing the eyes pretending to pray? This weakens and cheapens the entire concept and may even verge on encouraging a violation of the Third Commandment.

Exactly.  What they are doing is in violation of the Gospels so they aren't promoting one religion over another (not that this is an offense - the Constitution only keeps the GOVERNMENT from establishing religion... which here they are prohibiting the practice of religion because who knows, perhaps in the owner's private sect praying in public for earthly benefit is encouraged?).  This is only an issue because certain demonically influenced groups want to see any public expression of Christianity or Christianesque religions squashed.  

Liza is the only one that I noticed that seems to be getting the point of all this.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2014, 12:05:54 PM by vamrat »
Das ist des Jägers Ehrenschild, daß er beschützt und hegt sein Wild, weidmännisch jagt, wie sich’s gehört, den Schöpfer im Geschöpfe ehrt.

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Liza is the only one that I noticed that seems to be getting the point of all this.

 :angel:
Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria

Offline podkarpatska

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Here's what's bothering me about this matter: "Family and friends" discounts are not unusual. If the restaurant owner considers all pray-ers to be in that category, then fine. However, if this policy is public knowledge - as it apparently is - what's to prevent anyone at all from just bowing the head and closing the eyes pretending to pray? This weakens and cheapens the entire concept and may even verge on encouraging a violation of the Third Commandment.

Exactly.  What they are doing is in violation of the Gospels so they aren't promoting one religion over another (not that this is an offense - the Constitution only keeps the GOVERNMENT from establishing religion... which here they are prohibiting the practice of religion because who knows, perhaps in the owner's private sect praying in public for earthly benefit is encouraged?).  This is only an issue because certain demonically influenced groups want to see any public expression of Christianity or Christianesque religions squashed.  

Liza is the only one that I noticed that seems to be getting the point of all this.

You are all missing the point. There is a bigger picture at play here. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. This is not an "establisment" or First Amendmnt " free exercise" issue of law. When your town's subdivision regulations or a privateers landowners association board doesn't allow your parish to relocate, expand or create more parking on the pretense of a "religiously neutral" local ordinance or restrictive land covenant, or the town building office harrasses you about processions and bells,  please be sure to tell your attorney not to rely on Federal law or seek injunctive relief under Section 201. Good luck using "nuisance" laws or attempting to get around restrictive zoning regulations or covenents designed to "protect" residential land values without arguing religious discrimination.  Such local laws or private association rules are usually really intended to keep "them" out,  say the Sikhs, the Muslims , the Hindus or the "whatevers" out . Don't gripe if your little mission parish is just "collateral damage."
« Last Edit: August 13, 2014, 01:38:06 PM by podkarpatska »

Offline vamrat

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Here's what's bothering me about this matter: "Family and friends" discounts are not unusual. If the restaurant owner considers all pray-ers to be in that category, then fine. However, if this policy is public knowledge - as it apparently is - what's to prevent anyone at all from just bowing the head and closing the eyes pretending to pray? This weakens and cheapens the entire concept and may even verge on encouraging a violation of the Third Commandment.

Exactly.  What they are doing is in violation of the Gospels so they aren't promoting one religion over another (not that this is an offense - the Constitution only keeps the GOVERNMENT from establishing religion... which here they are prohibiting the practice of religion because who knows, perhaps in the owner's private sect praying in public for earthly benefit is encouraged?).  This is only an issue because certain demonically influenced groups want to see any public expression of Christianity or Christianesque religions squashed.  

Liza is the only one that I noticed that seems to be getting the point of all this.

You are all missing the point. There is a bigger picture at play here. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. This is not an "establisment" or First Amendmnt " free exercise" issue of law. When your town's subdivision regulations or a privateers landowners association board doesn't allow your parish to relocate, expand or create more parking on the pretense of a "religiously neutral" local ordinance or restrictive land covenant, or the town building office harrasses you about processions and bells,  please be sure to tell your attorney not to rely on Federal law or seek injunctive relief under Section 201. Good luck using "nuisance" laws or attempting to get around restrictive zoning regulations or covenents designed to "protect" residential land values without arguing religious discrimination.  Such local laws or private association rules are usually really intended to keep "them" out,  say the Sikhs, the Muslims , the Hindus or the "whatevers" out . Don't gripe if your little mission parish is just "collateral damage."

I think there is a noticible difference in the magnitude between "just move your entire church" and "why not just go to McDonalds instead of Jimbo's Grits Diner".  Just look at the costs.  Buying a new plot of land that might be much further away, then hiring and architect, hiring a general contractor, buying materials, etc compared to not getting a 10% discount.  If your burger, grits, and chitlins came to $10 you just spent and extra buck.  Whoopdie-friggin-doo!  If you are that broke PM me your address and I will send you a slightly wrinkled green back.  I'll even pay the $0.46 stamp. 

Local ordinances are the GOVERNMENT.  As a society we accept that they are very limited in their regulation of religion.  A business on the other hand is typically allowed to issue discounts for various reasons.  You have yet to explain what the difference is between offering a discount for praying, a discount for wearing a costume, a discount for buying 10 previous burger & grits combos, or for being a woman who will attract horny, drunken men to buy at your bar instead of Rashid's Rumpleminz Regency down the road. 
Das ist des Jägers Ehrenschild, daß er beschützt und hegt sein Wild, weidmännisch jagt, wie sich’s gehört, den Schöpfer im Geschöpfe ehrt.

Offline genesisone

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Here's what's bothering me about this matter: "Family and friends" discounts are not unusual. If the restaurant owner considers all pray-ers to be in that category, then fine. However, if this policy is public knowledge - as it apparently is - what's to prevent anyone at all from just bowing the head and closing the eyes pretending to pray? This weakens and cheapens the entire concept and may even verge on encouraging a violation of the Third Commandment.

Exactly.  What they are doing is in violation of the Gospels so they aren't promoting one religion over another (not that this is an offense - the Constitution only keeps the GOVERNMENT from establishing religion... which here they are prohibiting the practice of religion because who knows, perhaps in the owner's private sect praying in public for earthly benefit is encouraged?).  This is only an issue because certain demonically influenced groups want to see any public expression of Christianity or Christianesque religions squashed.  

Liza is the only one that I noticed that seems to be getting the point of all this.

You are all missing the point.
Please don't include me in your "all"  :). My point has nothing to do with rights or regulations. I'm uncomfortable with the possible urging of unbelievers to pretend to pray, thus making a mockery of genuine honest prayer. Prayer is just pretend anyway, isn't it?  ;)

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Do you get the discount if you pray to Kali?

Offline minasoliman

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I pray you good sir, for my discount!  ;)
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline podkarpatska

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Here's what's bothering me about this matter: "Family and friends" discounts are not unusual. If the restaurant owner considers all pray-ers to be in that category, then fine. However, if this policy is public knowledge - as it apparently is - what's to prevent anyone at all from just bowing the head and closing the eyes pretending to pray? This weakens and cheapens the entire concept and may even verge on encouraging a violation of the Third Commandment.

Exactly.  What they are doing is in violation of the Gospels so they aren't promoting one religion over another (not that this is an offense - the Constitution only keeps the GOVERNMENT from establishing religion... which here they are prohibiting the practice of religion because who knows, perhaps in the owner's private sect praying in public for earthly benefit is encouraged?).  This is only an issue because certain demonically influenced groups want to see any public expression of Christianity or Christianesque religions squashed.  

Liza is the only one that I noticed that seems to be getting the point of all this.

You are all missing the point. There is a bigger picture at play here. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. This is not an "establisment" or First Amendmnt " free exercise" issue of law. When your town's subdivision regulations or a privateers landowners association board doesn't allow your parish to relocate, expand or create more parking on the pretense of a "religiously neutral" local ordinance or restrictive land covenant, or the town building office harrasses you about processions and bells,  please be sure to tell your attorney not to rely on Federal law or seek injunctive relief under Section 201. Good luck using "nuisance" laws or attempting to get around restrictive zoning regulations or covenents designed to "protect" residential land values without arguing religious discrimination.  Such local laws or private association rules are usually really intended to keep "them" out,  say the Sikhs, the Muslims , the Hindus or the "whatevers" out . Don't gripe if your little mission parish is just "collateral damage."

I think there is a noticible difference in the magnitude between "just move your entire church" and "why not just go to McDonalds instead of Jimbo's Grits Diner".  Just look at the costs.  Buying a new plot of land that might be much further away, then hiring and architect, hiring a general contractor, buying materials, etc compared to not getting a 10% discount.  If your burger, grits, and chitlins came to $10 you just spent and extra buck.  Whoopdie-friggin-doo!  If you are that broke PM me your address and I will send you a slightly wrinkled green back.  I'll even pay the $0.46 stamp. 

Local ordinances are the GOVERNMENT.  As a society we accept that they are very limited in their regulation of religion.  A business on the other hand is typically allowed to issue discounts for various reasons.  You have yet to explain what the difference is between offering a discount for praying, a discount for wearing a costume, a discount for buying 10 previous burger & grits combos, or for being a woman who will attract horny, drunken men to buy at your bar instead of Rashid's Rumpleminz Regency down the road. 

So from your point of view, a 'discount' for parties in the diner consisting of only white people or French expatriates or Christians is acceptable?

A 'discount' is simply another term for a reduced rate for the services being provided. There is no court in the United States and very few honest lawyers who would try to draw a discernable distinction. It's semantics.

Offline Rambam

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You seem to go back and forth, on one hand stating what the law is, and on the other hand, arguing what the law should be.

As I see it, this is an issue about contracting. Any law that violates our right to freely enter into contracts with each other is bad law (and a relatively recent innovation, to boot). And aside from our resident in-house attorney, who seems to think his opinion is "the way it is" and the rest of us are just gapped-tooth bozos, there are probably at least four Supreme Court justices that would agree with me.

This "aw shucks, it's just too bad, but that's the way the law is" attitude is why cake makers and photographers in Oregon and New Mexico have been forced to provide services to homosexual couples against their will. And as Liza has said, it will soon be the reason religion -- expressed privately in our own churches and homes -- will soon be under attack, if it isn't already.

Folks should quit playing Satan's paralegal and stand with Mary (the shop owner). She's on the right side in America's "War on Religion." And, as a bonus, she makes a mighty fine Reuben (tried one for lunch today).



Here's what's bothering me about this matter: "Family and friends" discounts are not unusual. If the restaurant owner considers all pray-ers to be in that category, then fine. However, if this policy is public knowledge - as it apparently is - what's to prevent anyone at all from just bowing the head and closing the eyes pretending to pray? This weakens and cheapens the entire concept and may even verge on encouraging a violation of the Third Commandment.

Exactly.  What they are doing is in violation of the Gospels so they aren't promoting one religion over another (not that this is an offense - the Constitution only keeps the GOVERNMENT from establishing religion... which here they are prohibiting the practice of religion because who knows, perhaps in the owner's private sect praying in public for earthly benefit is encouraged?).  This is only an issue because certain demonically influenced groups want to see any public expression of Christianity or Christianesque religions squashed.  

Liza is the only one that I noticed that seems to be getting the point of all this.

You are all missing the point. There is a bigger picture at play here. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. This is not an "establisment" or First Amendmnt " free exercise" issue of law. When your town's subdivision regulations or a privateers landowners association board doesn't allow your parish to relocate, expand or create more parking on the pretense of a "religiously neutral" local ordinance or restrictive land covenant, or the town building office harrasses you about processions and bells,  please be sure to tell your attorney not to rely on Federal law or seek injunctive relief under Section 201. Good luck using "nuisance" laws or attempting to get around restrictive zoning regulations or covenents designed to "protect" residential land values without arguing religious discrimination.  Such local laws or private association rules are usually really intended to keep "them" out,  say the Sikhs, the Muslims , the Hindus or the "whatevers" out . Don't gripe if your little mission parish is just "collateral damage."

I think there is a noticible difference in the magnitude between "just move your entire church" and "why not just go to McDonalds instead of Jimbo's Grits Diner".  Just look at the costs.  Buying a new plot of land that might be much further away, then hiring and architect, hiring a general contractor, buying materials, etc compared to not getting a 10% discount.  If your burger, grits, and chitlins came to $10 you just spent and extra buck.  Whoopdie-friggin-doo!  If you are that broke PM me your address and I will send you a slightly wrinkled green back.  I'll even pay the $0.46 stamp.  

Local ordinances are the GOVERNMENT.  As a society we accept that they are very limited in their regulation of religion.  A business on the other hand is typically allowed to issue discounts for various reasons.  You have yet to explain what the difference is between offering a discount for praying, a discount for wearing a costume, a discount for buying 10 previous burger & grits combos, or for being a woman who will attract horny, drunken men to buy at your bar instead of Rashid's Rumpleminz Regency down the road.  

So from your point of view, a 'discount' for parties in the diner consisting of only white people or French expatriates or Christians is acceptable?

A 'discount' is simply another term for a reduced rate for the services being provided. There is no court in the United States and very few honest lawyers who would try to draw a discernable distinction. It's semantics.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2014, 08:20:38 PM by Rambam »

Offline podkarpatska

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You seem to go back and forth, on one hand stating what the law is, and on the other hand, arguing what the law should be.

As I see it, this is an issue about contracting. Any law that violates our right to freely enter into contracts with each other is bad law (and a relatively recent innovation, to boot). And aside from our resident in-house attorney, who seems to think his opinion is "the way it is" and the rest of us are just gapped-tooth bozos, there are probably at least four Supreme Court justices that would agree with me.

This "aw shucks, it's just too bad, but that's the way the law is" attitude is why cake makers and photographers in Oregon and New Mexico have been forced to provide services to homosexual couples against their will. And as Liza has said, it will soon be the reason religion -- expressed privately in our own churches and homes -- will soon be under attack, if it isn't already.

Folks should quit playing Satan's paralegal and stand with Mary (the shop owner). She's on the right side in America's "War on Religion." And, as a bonus, she makes a mighty fine Reuben (tried one for lunch today).



Here's what's bothering me about this matter: "Family and friends" discounts are not unusual. If the restaurant owner considers all pray-ers to be in that category, then fine. However, if this policy is public knowledge - as it apparently is - what's to prevent anyone at all from just bowing the head and closing the eyes pretending to pray? This weakens and cheapens the entire concept and may even verge on encouraging a violation of the Third Commandment.

Exactly.  What they are doing is in violation of the Gospels so they aren't promoting one religion over another (not that this is an offense - the Constitution only keeps the GOVERNMENT from establishing religion... which here they are prohibiting the practice of religion because who knows, perhaps in the owner's private sect praying in public for earthly benefit is encouraged?).  This is only an issue because certain demonically influenced groups want to see any public expression of Christianity or Christianesque religions squashed.  

Liza is the only one that I noticed that seems to be getting the point of all this.

You are all missing the point. There is a bigger picture at play here. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. This is not an "establisment" or First Amendmnt " free exercise" issue of law. When your town's subdivision regulations or a privateers landowners association board doesn't allow your parish to relocate, expand or create more parking on the pretense of a "religiously neutral" local ordinance or restrictive land covenant, or the town building office harrasses you about processions and bells,  please be sure to tell your attorney not to rely on Federal law or seek injunctive relief under Section 201. Good luck using "nuisance" laws or attempting to get around restrictive zoning regulations or covenents designed to "protect" residential land values without arguing religious discrimination.  Such local laws or private association rules are usually really intended to keep "them" out,  say the Sikhs, the Muslims , the Hindus or the "whatevers" out . Don't gripe if your little mission parish is just "collateral damage."

I think there is a noticible difference in the magnitude between "just move your entire church" and "why not just go to McDonalds instead of Jimbo's Grits Diner".  Just look at the costs.  Buying a new plot of land that might be much further away, then hiring and architect, hiring a general contractor, buying materials, etc compared to not getting a 10% discount.  If your burger, grits, and chitlins came to $10 you just spent and extra buck.  Whoopdie-friggin-doo!  If you are that broke PM me your address and I will send you a slightly wrinkled green back.  I'll even pay the $0.46 stamp.  

Local ordinances are the GOVERNMENT.  As a society we accept that they are very limited in their regulation of religion.  A business on the other hand is typically allowed to issue discounts for various reasons.  You have yet to explain what the difference is between offering a discount for praying, a discount for wearing a costume, a discount for buying 10 previous burger & grits combos, or for being a woman who will attract horny, drunken men to buy at your bar instead of Rashid's Rumpleminz Regency down the road.  

So from your point of view, a 'discount' for parties in the diner consisting of only white people or French expatriates or Christians is acceptable?

A 'discount' is simply another term for a reduced rate for the services being provided. There is no court in the United States and very few honest lawyers who would try to draw a discernable distinction. It's semantics.

Contracts in violation of public policy have always  unenforceable in the courts of the United States of America. There is nothing novel or new founded about that. Private parties are not vested with unlimited rights to contract for whatever they agree between themselves.

As I said there are many who do not believe the government possessed the authority to enact the 1964 act in the first instance. While at least two current justices of the American Supreme Court have expressed reservations about the scope of judicial expansion of protected classes under the act, none (perhaps excluding Scalia) have ever indicated that Heart of Atlanta was incorrectly decided in 1964.

Again I ask what I asked above, appeals to emotion aside, would you all support and defend a 'discount' in a diner applicable to only white people, brown people, Polynesian Islanders, French expatriates, Jews, Lutherans, Adventists or whatever?  If so -  why, and how is this not prohibited by the aforesaid law?

(I never said or implied that those who disagree with my analysis are "bozos" as Rambam said. I have tried to explain why the seemingly innocent "prayer discount" is impermissible under the facts presented under current (and long standing American law.) I do believe that one can still disagree without being disagreeable, but it seems that social media increasingly makes that a near impossibility.)

Offline Rambam

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Quote
Again I ask what I asked above, appeals to emotion aside, would you all support and defend a 'discount' in a diner applicable to only white people, brown people, Polynesian Islanders, French expatriates, Jews, Lutherans, Adventists or whatever?  If so -  why, and how is this not prohibited by the aforesaid law?

1) Yes.
2) People shouldn't be compelled to do business with folks they don't like, for whatever reason. Conversely, they should be allowed to offer incentives, such as discounts, to folks they do like. As a consumer, if I don't like their policy, I don't have to shop there.
3) Maybe it is against the law. But that's why we vote, make political contributions, and exercise free expression.  

"Contracts in violation of public policy. ..." Fair enough. But LBJ's been dead a long while, and maybe a 50 year old bill written to correct segregation doesn't make great public policy in 2014. (And people are vested with unlimited rights to contract -- the government has simply infringed on them.)

Look, in no way, shape, or form does it make sense to compel a Christian baker or photographer to provide services to homosexuals -- but that's just what happened in the last year or two. Holy moly: if you're a Christian entrepreneur, beware. Cross the wrong minority, and you could be subject to court-ordered brainwashing. (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/17/baker-appeal-order-re-educate-workers-gay-weddings/).

All under the aegis of 'civil rights' !

So I dunno why you've got to be so "well, that's just the way it is" about it. There's lots of bad law out there. Roe's the law of the land, too, but that doesn't mean we should be happy every time a baby gets chopped up.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2014, 11:23:28 PM by Rambam »