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Denny's Discount Discrimination PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

dennysflyerBefore we get started, I have to say once again... the JREF is not an atheist organization. Our staff and membership are composed of both believers and non-believers, and the question of whether there's a "god" is not addressed by the JREF directly. However, the following affects us all, and demonstrates a clear lack of critical thinking on behalf of the management at the American diner chain known as "Denny's."

I found myself in Euless, TX this morning, and decided to have breakfast at Denny's with my Macbook Pro. As I approached, I saw the attached flyer affixed to the door (click for larger image).

I was a bit taken aback, as I knew there had been controversies about this practice in the past, and I had naively thought such promotions were a matter of history. But this was even worse... not only were folks who attended church given a 10% discount, their church received a donation as well.

I considered leaving right then, but decided to have my meal as planned and then discuss the matter with the manager on the way out. At no time was I concerned about the discount for myself: 10% off a $10 meal isn't much of a motivator. This was a matter of principle, so I decided to confront the manager directly. Though this isn't something I'm terribly comfortable with, it was necessary.

It went like this:

ME: Can you tell me how as someone who can't attend church I can take advantage of this offer?

CASHIER: Umm, (nervous smile) let me get someone to help...

HOSTESS (from across the room, and wearing a Muslim head covering): You can just go to a church and take a bulletin.

ME: I can't do that honestly.

At this point the manager walked up and stared at me without speaking.

ME: I'm wondering how the millions of people like me who don't attend church can take advantage of this offer.

MANAGER: I'm sorry, you can't. It's for people who go to church.

ME: With this promotion, Denny's is encouraging people to go to church. Is that right?

MANAGER: No, it's just a way to bring in more business.

ME: How is this different from offering a discount to white people?

(I'm aware that there are differences between racial discrimination and religious discrimination, and this probably wasn't the wisest thing to say. However, it is what I said. By the way, the manager was apparently Pakistani.)

MANAGER: No one has ever asked these questions before.

CASHIER: This is just a corporate policy.

ME: I see the address for the corporation here. I'll take this up with them.

The address was for the owner of the franchise, which was not the Denny's corporation. At this point I paid the full price of the meal and left my customary 20% tip. There were people waiting in line who didn't deserve to be held up by my concerns, and I didn't see the need to make a public scene.

I went next door to Starbucks, where I wrote the following letter:

July 26, 2009

Denny's Corporate Headquarters
203 E. Main St.
Spartanburg, SC 29319-9966

and

Continental Foods, Inc. dba Denny's
PO Box 850298
Richardson, TX 75085

Dear Denny's:

This morning, I visited the Denny's in Euless, TX. On the door, I found the attached flyer.

It surprised me to see that Denny's, an organization with a long history of discrimination complaints, would offer proof of discrimination right on the door of their establishment. This flyer says to the millions of American's who do not attend church that we are not welcome, and in fact, we will be required to pay more in order to enjoy Denny's.

Also, by donating money only to churches through this promotion, Denny's is directly promoting religious organizations over the secular charities that benefit everyone.

Though I am not an attorney, I believe your promotion may violate Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states:

TITLE II--INJUNCTIVE RELIEF AGAINST DISCRIMINATION IN PLACES OF PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION
SEC. 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.

I think a much better promotion would be for you to offer a discount and donation to any patron presenting information from a registered charity [501(c)(3)]. This would allow you to enjoy the same marketing advantages as your above promotion without resorting to discrimination.

I look forward to your response. If possible, e-mail is best at jeff@randi.org.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey J. Wagg

I shall publish any response in future Swift articles. Regarding past discrimination, here's a 1994 article from the New York Times as one example.

Now, I must admit, I don't feel comfortable with all this. The entire experience smacks of knee-jerk militant atheism that I fear does more harm than good. But upon analysis, I have to conclude that it isn't. There is no question that Denny's, be it the local corporation or the parent organization, is encouraging people to go to church, supporting churches financially, and requiring non-church goers to pay more than their religious counterparts. And while one could make the libertarian argument that a business should have the right to offer whatever discounts it pleases, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states clearly that this is not the case. They can offer discounts based on many things, but race and religion are not two of those. If they offered the discount to only Muslim or atheist clientele, the outcry would be huge.

Should an "atheist discount" ever be offered, the affront would be the same, and I hope I'd be writing the same letter.

For me, this isn't about "us vs. them" but rather fairness. This is the ideal of secularism... a world where everyone has the same opportunities regardless of religious belief or practice. Denny's failed in that fairness today, and I feel compelled to make note of it.

I am open to criticism. If you feel I should have acted more strongly or simply ignored the whole thing, please leave a comment. It's interesting to me that I feel less than comfortable in even voicing these concerns. I think there's a whole story in that one sentiment.

FOLLOWUP:

From Josef K. Radomski, a freelance writer based in Montreal, Canada.

I've been following your story about Denny's on Twitter today and just saw your Swift post. It spurred me to put my old journalism hat on and do some research on other cases like this, given this is a serious issue. I don't know what the outcomes were, but here is some raw material for you:

An atheist in Maryland goes up against a baseball team offering discounts to people who bring in church bulletins (1998)

The North Florida New Daily has another story about a local baseball team from 2008. This story is not about any controversy but bluntly mentions a $5 discount with last week's church bulletin

Here's a restaurant review from the Washington Post in 2001. This is the link to the story (you have to buy the original to see the important part) but my Google search suggests this is included later on in the document: "Best-kept secret: Come to Lefty's after church and bring your church bulletin to receive 15 percent off your purchase."

There's another purchase-only story about a steakhouse in Lexington, KY that offered a discount to churchgoers.

The Southland Church in Valdosta, GA has a promotion on its website offering a 15% discount at specific Papa John's location with their church bulletin.

A restaurant in Memphis, TN called Willie Moffatt's is offering free soft drinks/coffee with the purchase of an appetizer and a Sunday church bulletin:  I guess you can quickly tell who's an atheist there or prays at a different church. They're the people that look mighty thirsty.

This Mexican restaurant in Katy, TX offers 20% off for lunch with a church bulletin

Meanwhile, the King, NC Chamber of Commerce is promoting a special at the Tokyo Japanese Grill and Sushi where a church bulletin gets you 10% off your order

PS: I don't think you overreacted in any way.

Thank you for that Josef. I had a feeling this practice wasn't limited to this one Denny's, but as I live in the least religious state in the US (Vermont), I just haven't encountered it directly before.

 

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Comments (134)Add Comment
I can get behind that
written by Northernskeptic, July 26, 2009
that was a good and well thought out response Jeff, it is important to take note of these "little issues" otherwise the big ones will never be solved
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written by DZiemke, July 26, 2009
I'm glad you spoke up, Jeff, as uncomfortable as it can be. It's the right thing to do. It's all about being fair and not disriminating (for or against) others who think differently.

I doubt it was Denny's Corporate policy.. but probably the locally owned chain/branch that decided to do the promotion. I'll be interested to read their reply.
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Spot on, Jeff.
written by Metatron, July 26, 2009
Sounds like you were polite and asked the right questions. I'd suggest popping a copy of this the the ACLU, they might be curious how this turns out.
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written by Brownian, July 26, 2009
Should an "atheist discount" ever be offered, the affront would be the same, and I hope I'd be writing the same letter.


I am an atheist, and I appreciate this. Reminders that this isn't an issue of 'us against them' but one of fairness for all are great and keep us focused on the real issue at hand.

Keep us posted as to the result.
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So Very Proud
written by foley1family, July 26, 2009
Does this mean you will come visit Spartanburg???? We can march on Denny's! It's pretty easy to find it, it is the only large building here in town.

Thanks Jeff!
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written by Treelobster1, July 26, 2009
My first reaction to it was to wonder what would happen if I were to, say, design a fake church bulletin, post it on the web and then post a link to it on Twitter. Not sure how Denny's would handle donations to a non-existent church but it'd be fun to find out.
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Could have ignored it, or improved it, Lowly rated comment [Show]
Mixed feelings...
written by epeeist, July 26, 2009
I think I have some unease from a religious perspective, in the sense that people who take advantage of this offer are using their religion for financial gain (however minimal). Contrariwise, this Denny's is using religion to attract customers. Both things being wrong in my view. I can be sententious sometimes - I had qualms about listing volunteer work on my resume, eventually I decided it was relevant and my purpose in doing the volunteer work was not to pad my resume, so it was legitimate... smilies/cheesy.gif I also don't like that it encourages people to (wastefully) take extra copies of their church bulletin to use like coupons.

Leaving my religious objections aside, if you object to this, do you also object to e.g. a "Mother's Day" promotion benefitting only women (it wasn't limited to mothers)? There was a recent settlement with a major-league baseball team by a male who was denied the same gift when he went to the game. Do you object to "Ladies' Night" discounts at nightclubs? There are lawsuits on those as well. My point being, there are all sorts of forms of discrimination every day, I hope you're even-handed with your criticism... smilies/grin.gif

All that aside, I think providing a specific suggestion might have been better, e.g. "I am involved with charity X, can I bring in that charity's newsletter for a discount and donation? If not why not?" Does JREF print a newsletter? That is, more constructive (can I get the discount for something secular, you should advertise that as well as church bulletins) rather than destructive (no-one should get this discount).
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written by jpepstein, July 26, 2009
I have a suspicion that a part of the motivation behind the promotion was the Muslim-run business going out of their way to be Christian-friendly. I think the real problem here is the way it was advertised. If the restaurant had run an ad in a local church bulletin, they could say "bring this coupon to get 10% off and 10% for your church." Then it's just targeted advertising.

I also suspect that this was a totally novel situation for them, as I would imagine atheists are probably not particularly common in Euless, TX.
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A church?
written by drunkenhopfrog, July 26, 2009
Though it might be an extreme reaction, I could certainly see myself doing this in the past:

Church Bulletin for a Satantic Church or The Church of Zeus.

I've the paperwork for a Church of Zeus - just never filed. If I did, I could def have a blog that would print in a bulletin format. Actually that was part of the original design plan.

Heh. Would be interesting.
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Be careful of who sees you supporting this (or not doesn't matter)
written by Northernskeptic, July 26, 2009
I linked to this post from my Facebook page and already I've got more comments there than on the original post here.
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Well done, Jeff!
written by Michael K Gray, July 26, 2009
I fully support your efforts at redressing this egregious religious discrimination.
I also agree with your reticence at their offer to ignore implicit 'lying' about your church-going status.

Unlike other posters here, I do not see this as a trivial matter.
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written by Mark P, July 26, 2009
You weren't being denied service. As they said, you weren't even being denied a discount,


Bubbarich: Think through the logic extension of what this could mean, if legal.

This is how Jim Crow worked, and I'm surprised you don't recognise that pretty much immediately. It is discrimination.

Just calling it a discount does not get round the problem in any way, since "10% discount" to churchgoers is mathematically the same as "11 % extra" for non-churchgoers. You can have real fun with such semantics:

-- $20 door charge for everybody, but White people don't have to pay!

-- No public toilets, but heterosexual people who ask will be given a key.

-- everyone gets the same pay, but some people get "bonuses".

Of course these have all been used, at one time or another.


Today it is 10%. Imagine if next week they make it 50% discount to churchgoers.

In effect they would be discriminating hugely against non-church attendees (not atheists, but also religious people who don't go to church.)
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written by tmac57, July 26, 2009
jpepstein-"I would imagine atheists are probably not particularly common in Euless, TX. " . That is probably a good assumption, but as an ex Euless resident, I can assure you that we do exist. But to put things in perspective, I have lived in the DFW area all of my life, and have never seen any similar restaurant promotion despite the fact that I eat out frequently, so those of you not familiar with this part of the country, most people here go about their lives in a fairly secular way whether they are religious or not.
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What about Temple?
written by StarTrekLivz, July 26, 2009
I was thinking, what if I drove Mom to Temple on Saturday morning (where they do not normally hand out bulletins nor service leaflets), how could I get a discount? If they give a discount for Church, they should for Synagogue attendance (many of my family are Reform, and even some of the Conservatives in my family are not too particular about Kashruth and would cheerfully eat at Denny's ....).

This is just plain discriminatory.
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@BubbaRich
written by redwench, July 26, 2009
It's discriminating against people with other forms of cancer. It's discriminating against people with other diseases. It's discriminating against the 99% of men who can't develop breast cancer. It's discriminating against well people.


Howso? If you have prostate cancer you are not denied a discount, nor are healthy people. People with breast cancer are not given a discount. You just have to attend (supposedly) a fundraiser for breast cancer. One hardly precludes the other. On the religious front, you would hardly expect a Muslim to attend a Catholic service, that would be odd.

A better solution would be, as suggested, to simply give a discount to anyone that brings in a program from a charitable activity.

Oh, btw, all men can and some do develop breast cancer, although that is irrelevant to the argument.
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Don't Make Me Feel Left Out of Denny's!, Lowly rated comment [Show]
@tmac57
written by tctheunbeliever, July 26, 2009
Same here in Lubbock--we have churches everywhere (and I do mean everywhere), a big honkin' Mormon Temple, even a mosque, so I'm told. But I don't recall ever seeing a promotion like this, at Denny's or elsewhere.
And some of us here are even atheists!--maybe we can thank the University for that.

BTW, W was born up north.
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Vote with your money
written by johnatl, July 26, 2009
Of course hindsight is always 20/20.

Perhaps when seeing something like that on the door of an establishment, you could ask the manager as to how an atheist is supposed to get the discount. If they say you can't, tell them you believe that is discriminatory. If they still will not give the discount to you, ask them for contact information for the owner, even if it is on the notice (that politely let's the manager know that you are writing to the owner). Eat somewhere else, and write to the owner. I believe the manager, and perhaps the owner will be more apt to remember that they lost 100% of your business that day, and it could happen again.

In my opinion if you spend money there, you are endorsing their policies. If you do not spend money there, and make them aware of why, you are making an impression.
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written by Starthinker, July 26, 2009
I'm afraid I am much more passive. I may not have done what Jeff did but upon seeing a sign like that I would have turned around and gone elsewhere.

@LuigiNovi, I don't see Jeff as being a douchbag, but sometimes I see myself that way for not being vocal enough.
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written by daveg703, July 26, 2009
@LuigiNovi
Your final line, ending with a crude ad hominem attack, destroys what miniscule value there might have been in your own over-reactive comments.
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written by JonA, July 26, 2009
I think the key in situations like this is 'intent'. What did the business owner intend with this promotion? If you think it was just an honest oversight, then simply informing them and moving on would suffice for me. If, on the other hand, you truly think this was a Jim Crow type thing, then feel free to point to scary statutes.
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written by daveg703, July 26, 2009
Addendum:
What about the possibility of changing "Church" to "House Of Worship"? That might still be acceptable to Denny's management (or whoever), but would certainly include a much wider population of potential diners, including those attending synagogues. I know, 'tain't a perfect solution, but it's an improvement towards offending fewer folks.
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written by Ruxias, July 26, 2009
Your actions should be applauded, Jeff. I am sure most people in the same situation would have acted like nothing were wrong.

I think it is important to note that you are not directly being denied the benefits for being an Atheist (or whatever you would prefer to call your lack of religion), but rather for being unable to meet the requirements of the discount because of your religious preference. I am not implying you meant this in the article, but some people may think this is what you meant. If they could think of a way to allow people like you and me to take advantage of the discount that would be fine.

@daveg703:
The problem is that special benefits are being given to someone because they can bring a piece of paper from a church. Sure, he could walk into a church and take one, but that is both rude and dishonest. I am not sure the solution you state would address the problem appropriately. Perhaps they could think of a different way for non-religious people to get the discount. For example, require them to bring something from a charity or non-profit organization and donate the money to that. Not sure what that "something" would be, though.
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written by minusRusty, July 26, 2009
"Now, I must admit, I don't feel comfortable with all this. The entire experience smacks of knee-jerk militant atheism..."

Congratulations on making a tentative step to the dark side, Jeff! Welcome! :-)

I think you handled it appropriately. Keeping quiet gives assent to this kind of subtle discrimination, but making a loud fuss, as noted by yourself and others, can be counter-productive.

You done good, methinks. Thanks for that.

-Rusty
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written by Mark P, July 27, 2009
But to support the situation that their practice should be illegal is completely illogical and not rational


I don't doubt for a second that it would be illegal here in New Zealand. It makes people of one religious group pay more than those of another. Banning such activities is neither illogical nor irrational, but a useful act if religion is to be kept mostly out of public life. (I doubt they would be actually charged in NZ, let alone heavily punished, but it would be illegal.)

You all keep extending the idea to actual discriminated classes


I tend to think that atheists are discriminated against in the US.

They certainly have to put up with nonsense I would never face. For example, it is obviously considered inappropriate by the vast bulk of the US that atheists hold major public office. I find it hard to credit, but apparently atheism, by itself, is a bar to being president. When that view is held of a black person or a woman it is considered discrimination. So why not when based on religious (non)belief?

Now you might consider that particular discrimination on the basis of atheism is reasonable (obviously most Americans do, or they wouldn't be so happy to say it) but its still discrimination. Not ground-shattering, life-destroying discrimination, but nonetheless a bias that atheists face that the religious do not face.
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written by Careyp74, July 27, 2009
daveg703 - interesting, I thought the same thing. This guy made the most sense in the argument, and yet I feel compelled not to listen to a complete jerkwad.
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written by Grammar Nazi, July 27, 2009
The thing that bothers me most about the flyer is where it says "10% of ur bill". Ur is city where Abraham came from, it is not, however, a synonym for "your".

However, I do agree it would be far better if they had given you (and every other customer) the option to name any charity of your choice. (Possibly requiring to bring a flyer/bulletin of that charity.)
It would be a different matter if they had advertised in the church bulletins with the message "bring this to get a discount." Since that would just be marketing, as you might find in any paper or magazine.
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written by latsot, July 27, 2009
LuigiNovi:
This is not an issue. It is indeed an example of overly militant
atheism, just as you initially thought, Jeff, and you come across as a
churl for it.


The issue is that discrimination on the grounds of religion - however apparently benign in this particular case - is pervasive and seen as perfectly acceptable by the overwhelming majority. Most people don't see it as discrimination. It's illegal in the UK for employers to discriminate on the grounds of sex or sexuality....except for religions which, for reasons nobody can quite understand, get a free pass to discriminate as they please. Society somehow seems to endorse this privileged status of religion and you'll find even atheists defending it, for some reason.

My point is that both this and Jeff's experience are examples of our collective, often unquestioned acceptance that religion gets to do these things when nobody else does. By making a fuss about it, Jeff brings it to people's attention. I don't care very much about a small discount in a particular restaurant chain, but if publicity encourages a few people to question this implicit assumption that religion is immune from certain stuff when it might not otherwise have occurred to them that there might be something up, then some good has been done.

How is it different from offering a discount to whites? Simple.
Offering a discount to whites means offering a discount to someone on
the basis of their status or state of being, one they were born with,
and cannot change (except by disguise).


I for one cannot change my status or state of being as an atheist. I *cannot* believe in any god on the evidence I currently have. The only way I can change this is by disguise (for example, by picking up a church bulletin).

Thus, your statement that you can't take one "honestly" is silly.


It seems dishonest to take a bulletin solely to use it for a discount (it takes resources to create them and they are not intended for that purpose) and dishonest to use them in that way (it seems reasonably clear that the offer is intended for churchgoers). As you point out, you could construct an argument that the bulletin you picked up was from "your" church, but it wouldn't be an honest argument. And it wouldn't be the point anyway. It's the difference between exploiting a 'loophole' and *not having to* exploit it.

I applaud Jeff's behaviour and also his concern that he might be doing the wrong thing. It's a good idea to avoid knee-jerking, but a bad idea to let things lie if we don't agree with them. Jeff's actions seem considered, reasonable and appropriate.
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Discrimination by Religions
written by GusGus, July 27, 2009
latsot:

In my opinion, there are times when is should be OK for religions to discriminate.

If they are hiring Sunday-school teachers, shouldn't they be allowed to demand that the potential teachers be of the appropriate religion? If their religion requires that only men are allowed to be in positions of authority, shouldn't they be allowed that practice in their religious institutions?

A religious fanatic operating a restaurant open to the public is another matter altogether. There should be no religious requirement for employees or customers.

On the other hand: How about somebody operating a kosher restaurant? Should they be allowed to specify only observant Jews can be employees?
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written by latsot, July 27, 2009
GusGus

If their religion requires that only men are allowed to be in positions of authority, shouldn't they be allowed that practice in their religious institutions?


Yes of course, unless they are actually employing anyone. If they employ people, why should they be granted different rules from everyone else?

Are atheist sunday school teachers any less qualified to teach sunday school than religious ones? Than christian ones? Muslim ones? and so on?

Why?
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Common in the south
written by OnlyCheryl, July 27, 2009
Living in the deep south, I see a lot of these promotions. A few years ago this same thing happened to me at a Schlotzsky's deli. I did complain to the management at the time asking about not only those who did not go to church, but also Jews who attend Saturday temple and those other than christian. The response was everybody should go to church and the Jews/other faiths needed to be saved. I then asked if they believed so strongly in the christian faith, then why was their store opened on Sundays which kept their employees away from church? The manager angrily told me to leave. I did send an email to the corporate office but never received a reply. A couple of months later, that particular Schlotzsky's deli was closed.
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written by latsot, July 27, 2009
Most atheists are too afraid to voice their beliefs in public.


What are they afraid of? Being wrong or being victimised?

I'm not sure most athiests are afraid at all.
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written by Alan3354, July 27, 2009
written by Treelobster1, July 26, 2009

My first reaction to it was to wonder what would happen if I were to, say, design a fake church bulletin, post it on the web and then post a link to it on Twitter. Not sure how Denny's would handle donations to a non-existent church but it'd be fun to find out.

I think Denny's should be required to prove they have donated to the churches. That would probably be enough to change their policy.
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@GusGus
written by redwench, July 27, 2009
It is legal for religious institutions to discriminate, within very specific bounds. In general, such discrimination must fall within the requirements of the activity. For instance, they can require a male Anglican to serve as pastor. The same cannot be said if they wish to hire a gardener, where they would need to follow standard employment practices.

Kosher restaurants are a different matter altogether. There is no religious requirement for being kosher, except for perhaps the slaughter. Anyone can prepare and serve kosher food, it is the method that makes it kosher, not the person. Obviously, any restaurant would have to abide by normal employment rules anyway.

Now, a temple that served kosher food to the homeless without employing anyone in the process could require anything they would like of their volunteers...
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written by Alan3354, July 27, 2009
Does heaven have Denny's? Or just Waffle House?
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written by latsot, July 27, 2009
@redwench

*Where* is this legal? In the United States, right? Don't forget that there are other places.
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A simple solution follows
written by paiute, July 27, 2009
1. Have several people go in and get the discount with Church of Satan flyers.
2. Notify local media that Denny's supports Satan.
3. Open cold beer and enjoy the fireworks.
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written by Gazcam, July 27, 2009
As an avid, but passive, reader of JREF for some time, this thread prompted me to create an account specifically to respond. My response is this: of course, you didn't overreact; your analogy with racism was entirely appropriate in my view, and who would have suggested you'd overreacted had you been responding in the same way in that analogous situation? Your response was measured and reasonable, at least in my view. However, what surprised me more was tangential to the central story, but was your first sentence: "Before we get started, I have to say once again... the JREF is not an atheist organization". That came as a HUGE surprise to me, I have to say. Yes, of course, it's certainly not the organization's reason for existence (and nor should/need it be), which is clearly much broader than that, but is it really the case that, "Our staff and membership are composed of both believers and non-believers". Really??!! So we all here apply the critical standards of an evidence base for all issues that the society confronts, EXCEPT the very issue which surely exemplifies the most blatant disregard for this requirement, and has the most profound consequences for society? Shouldn't the society come out and take a firm stance against all religouns, based purely on applying the exact same arguments as it would in any critique of the paranormal, homeopathy, or any other cause which resolutely opposes the requirement to provide evidence to support the premise which underlies its cause? Indeed, religoun is the one woo-woo issue that celebrates its aversion to evidence, and has a special and lauded name for it, namely 'faith'. I would really like to hear the position of JREF members who are the religous believers, and for them to spell out how they can see this as not contravening the principles of JREF, or why on providing such evidence, they haven't picked up the million dollars!
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written by Alan3354, July 27, 2009
Is it 10% off AND 10% to the church? That's a big loss of income IF they actually send money to the churches.

I agree with Gazcam, but would cast a wider net and include all the ministers, priests, etc.
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@gazcam, Lowly rated comment [Show]
Religious Discrimination in Hiring, Kosher, And Other
written by StarTrekLivz, July 27, 2009
Various interesting comments, both pro and con. One of the recurring themes has been how religion is given a "free pass" in many ways that we take for granted, and perhaps should not. For example, @redwench accurately reports that hiring a pastor or teacher one may discriminate on the basis of religion, but not for the gardener or janitor or secretary. But one of the free passes that religion gets is that the religious community is not required to pay unemployment taxes on these lay employees, so if they should be laid off they are not eligible for state unemployment compensation. Not to mention incredibly valuable properties upon which the religious institution pays no real estate taxes.


My understanding of kosher laws is imperfect, but it is not merely the correct slaughter of the edible beasts: it is the entire preparation process to ensure no contamination has taken place that must be supervised by a kosher-observant Jew for the end product to be deemed kosher. Non-Jews may be employed in the preparation process, but they must be supervised, and the kitchen regularly inspected and monitored by rabbis who specialize in kosher observance (there are such, they are frequently under contract for food packing & preparation industries).

Some civil libertarians go so far as to question whether "Ladies Night" at bars and clubs violates Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, and even so Grinchly that Mother's Day discounts are also illegal (the latter of which I think is going too far, but I know there are people who would disagree with me).
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written by Alan3354, July 27, 2009
truth64, I don't know.

Please explain to us how the "creator" came into existence.
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written by Gazcam, July 27, 2009
truth6413 - you're surely not going to use THAT as your argument for Creationism are you? I'd come to expect a better standard of critical thinking on this site! I'm not going to labour this point, as it must surely be self-evident to all readers here, but if you believe that there is a creator, then the requirement of evidence is squarely with you to support that. I can't disprove your creator, no more than I can disprove any other negative, including celestial teapots - it's simply a fallacy of logic on your part, I hope you see that now. Delude yourself about this particular supranatural woowoo if you please, but if religous people want, as they surely do, people to live their lives by their unproven claims, to die defending (and imposing) them, to have prvilege of taxation and judiciary, educational protection, unwarranted respect and social status, and primary consideration in the minutiae of my life (not exclusively including which particular animals I do/dont' eat, which days I do/dont' work on, which positions I have sex with my wife, or whether I choose to make her (but certainly not him!) so, whether I cut off the tip of my penis, whether I speak daily to someone I have never seen/heard, and beg his forgiveness for crimes that I haven't done, and perhaps most irksome of all, whether I get 10% of at Denny's!!) then THEY'D BETTER HAVE A BETTER RESPONSE THAN THAT!!
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@gazcam & alan, Lowly rated comment [Show]
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written by Alan3354, July 27, 2009
I might agree, if you can explain how the creator merely popped into existence.
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written by Brownian, July 27, 2009
Do you not agree?


Our point exactly. How absurd is it to presume a creator who just 'popped into existence? (Or even more absurd, always existed but did absolutely nothing for an infinite amount of time until creating a universe 14 bya.

Evidence please.

Oh, you have none?

Well, thanks for your input. Now please, come up with something substantive to say, or find some other thread to derail with your poorly-constructed theology.
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written by Kuroyume, July 27, 2009
@Alan3354:
Please explain to us how the "creator" came into existence.
You took the words, word for word, out of my brain.

I have never been shy about announcing my (non)religious status. I do it on websites, include MySpace. If asked, I will say outright that I donot have any religion and don't believe in any gods. It is a bit more prudent for me not to be too 'out' with other things though as there could be adverse consequences. Wasn't much of a problem in Philadelphia (though there have been instances), it is not so comfortable out here.

Welcome to my world. Being gay, atheist, and skeptical doesn't win you big points in most of our society. If I were only an African American woman, it would be complete. On the other hand, Whoopie Goldberg seems to be doing well (gay or not). smilies/wink.gif
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written by Alan3354, July 27, 2009
How is it a matter of "stones?"
I don't know how the universe began. No one does.

We're still waiting to hear how the "creator" came into existence, tho.
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@alan, Lowly rated comment [Show]
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written by Alan3354, July 27, 2009
If I were to choose an imaginary friend, I'd take the Tooth Fairy. He's not cruel and stupid, unlike the bible god. He's never killed anyone, or inflicted widespread suffering.

And there's more evidence of the Tooth Fairy, too, than of the bible god.
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written by Brownian, July 27, 2009
Thanks, but no thanks. I've already read all the C.S. Lewis I care to and I can pretty well guarantee from your first posts and your attitude of speaking truth to power ("Look! The word 'truth' is even in my email address! That's how smrt I am!") that you've got nothing beyond him, a few other random thoughts cribbed from other theologians, and maybe a philosophy course or two under your belt. I've heard it all before.

I've been doing this for a long time, kid, long enough to know from what you've supplied so far that any attempt at discussion with you will be a waste of my time.

Whether or not you're actually ~20 years old, that you think trolling and thread derailment constitutes some approximation of intellectualism puts your emotional and intellectual age about there, and I'm not interested in tutoring undergraduates for free.

If you've got something to add about Denny's and the 10% discount, feel free to add it. If not, I'm sure there are about a thousand bible study groups at whatever institution you're annoying your fellow students at who'd love to have you join a mutual back-pat on the idiocy of atheism.
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written by Alan3354, July 27, 2009
My best guess about what?
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@alan, Lowly rated comment [Show]
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written by Alan3354, July 27, 2009
I already said, I don't know. You might argue that I do know, but I don't. Saying "I don't know." ends the discussion.

Pls answer the question, "How did the creator come to exist?"
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written by Alan3354, July 27, 2009
Is there a way to put people on Ignore on this site?
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Not critiquing your intention
written by Tonberry2k, July 27, 2009
But you put the plural of "American" as "American's," which is possessive. Plural would be without the apostrophe. Just saying. Thanks for this story, because I can see myself being just as uncomfortable as you were.
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@Alan3354
written by Brownian, July 27, 2009
Just ignore him. Trust me: it's the kindest thing you can do. It'll feed into his belief that we just can't handle his hard-hitting questions. He'll go home happy that he fought the devil and won his golden fiddle, and we'll have a thread that's back on topic.
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written by Alan3354, July 27, 2009
I stand by my answer, I don't know.
Are you not able to read and understand that? I don't know.

I didn't ask when the creator came to exist, I asked how. Are you in grade school?
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written by Brownian, July 27, 2009
years of serious, genuine open-minded study


Man, you're such a stereotype I could pretty well write your script for you. You know, talking about 'years of study' doesn't excuse the fact that you sound like someone who knows very little about the universe at all. (Similarly, if someone tells me he's a master plumber, I expect him to know which way the crap flows.) If you’d actually done years of study, you’d know that neither science nor atheists can do much better at this point than “I don’t know.”

I did my time as a Christian apologist. Perhaps you're convinced that "whatever I or Pastor Jim or St. [insert theologian here] just made up" is a better answer than "I don't know" (which is my answer as well), but we're not.

If you're so damn tired of atheists, then please note the little 'close' button at the top right corner of your browser, then use it. I'm equally as tired of theists ignoring the question of where their god(s) came from, but I don't feel the need to wander into churches to remind them of that.

Grow up.
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@truth6413
written by Brownian, July 27, 2009
Common sense says- creation demands a Creator, irrational thinking says- matter can arise from non-matter


More evidence that you don't know your exegesis from an exit wound. Years of study told you 'common sense' is the best answer and from that you assume a "god of the gaps" argument?

For just one example of how matter does indeed does arise from non-matter, look up Hawking radiation. I'm of course not suggesting that that is an explanation of the origin of the universe, but I do bring it up to show you that your understanding of rationalism is limited.

Now get lost. There's no life guard on duty here, so I suggest you go find a kiddy pool somewhere.

"Years of study" my ass.
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Unsubscribe?
written by johnatl, July 27, 2009
After subscribing via email, is there a way to un-sub?
This thread is deteriorating, the next thing you know, someone will mention Hitler, and it will be all over.

Oops!

TIA
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@johnatl
written by Brownian, July 27, 2009
I apologise for feeding the troll. I'm done with him. As I suspected, he's got nothing to add beyond Christian dogma 101.
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written by eli54, July 27, 2009
Why not just take a copy of Swift for the discount?
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@eli54
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, July 27, 2009
Do I need a church bulletin to get the discount?
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Discount
written by GusGus, July 27, 2009
@eli54:

That's perfect!!! JREF would get the 10% rebate!!!
..
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@eli54
written by Brownian, July 27, 2009
Careful. Do you really want the JREF to be considered a church?
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@brownian, Lowly rated comment [Show]
Come on JREF.
written by bobertp, July 27, 2009
I had always gotten the impression in the past that most skeptics also tended to be libertarian in nature. I can't believe people want to enlist the ACLU to press some Civil Rights issue. Let Denny's do whatever the hell they want. If you're offended by what they do go elsewhere. We don't need gov't to come in and be our daddy whenever some establishment hurts our feelings. Discrimination should only be illegal when it comes to the gov't anyway since all pay into it one way or the other. Every private individual or institution has (or ought to anyway) the perfect right to discriminate against anyone they want for whatever reason they want. If they do so in a way that offends enough people they'll destroy themselves; let them.
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written by Gazcam, July 27, 2009
My apologies - I didn't mean to feed the troll with my earlier post - I wasn't intentionally inviting a, 'is there a God debate' (not much of a debate!). But I was genuinely interested in the disclaimer in the original article, feeling it necessary to point out in the very first sentence that JREF isn't atheist, and wanting to specifically state that there are both believers and non-believers on the JREF staff. This seems an extraordinary statement. For example, I can't imagine a similar statement when debunking other myths:

'We here at JREF are not specifically against homeopathy, indeed some of us here have been helped by the profound healing powers of water, but...'

Or,

'JREF is not against dowsing, indeed, some of us at the JREF find it a very useful and profitable skill'.

So why the special treatment for religoun, who make equally, (if not much greater) unsubstantiated claims as any other woo-woo club? Again, I'm not inviting the science vs God debate, but I'd be genuinely interested to hear from Jeff or any JREF members who might want to justify this position. It seems so much at odds with an otherwise entirely principled position of the society.
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@gazcam the hypocrite, Lowly rated comment [Show]
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written by redwench, July 27, 2009
yes, my post was referring to the United States, where Denny's makes its home smilies/grin.gif

@bobertp
I am guessing you have never been the victim of discrimination in employment, education, housing, or service. It is not a "let them kill themselves" kind of experience. Getting/keeping a decent job or into a good school is not easy enough to just let nature take its course against those that discriminate.
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tyler1
written by Alan3354, July 27, 2009
Since I haven't been to a Denny's in decades, my boycott might go unnoticed.
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written by Alan3354, July 27, 2009
?? I don't know who tyler1 is.
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Well done Jeff!
written by Joslin, July 27, 2009
Definitely did the right thing Jeff. Well done!
Regards
Joslin
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written by Alan3354, July 27, 2009
Still, 20% off the gross is a big loss of revenue for the Denny's. If we all called to confirm that (the phone # is on the ad), they might regret the offer.
I'm just looking out for their interests.
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Church going Atheist
written by Zoroaster, July 27, 2009
While I can understand why many atheists would choose not to set foot in a church, I'd just like to point out that I feel one can do so without any hypocrisy or dishonesty. I sometimes go into a church because I am interested in the architecture or just to watch what people do there. (The holy roller churches can be a real trip!) If anybody asks or seems interested I will say that I am not a believer and that if they have any problem with that I will leave. Invariably I am welcomed - probably because the believers want the chance to convert me. They would probably be happy to provide me with a bulletin as well. My father is an atheist as well and commonly gives science lectures at our local Unitarian Universalist congregation. Going into a church does not make an atheist a believer or a hypocrite. I also would have no problem with them receiving a donation on my behalf from Denny's - I would consider it a fair trade for being allowed to experience their customs.

If Denny's required me to state that I believe in God or prove that I was circumcised that would be another story.
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Milk for Mass
written by johnatl, July 27, 2009
In 1998 The Freedom From Religion Foundation successfully challenged a grocer that gave a free gallon of milk to people who attended Mass.
http://ffrf.org/fttoday/1998/a...tpage.html
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This case is different
written by BubbaRich, July 27, 2009
johnatl:

This case is different than the Milk for Mass case. There is no evidence that this Denny's denied the same discount and donation from any denomination, creed, or even the JREF or a UU congregation.

Zoroaster:

We have attended a local UU congregation for a year, now, and every message delivered over that time has been a very humanist message. UU (and probably most churches around) object to calling it a "church," probably for the same churchophobic spirit you see around here. Feels like Pharyngula here today...

Gazcam:

While many specific gods and belief systems can be demonstrated in conflict with observable science, many specific gods and general deitylike concepts cannot. There are also other reasons why people attend church or believe something, like cultural inertia, good community ties and communication, family peace, etc. Your specific complaint seems to be that somebody might believe something that you don't. You sound willing to sit down with EACH WORKER at JREF and proselytize to your belief system! SHOW THEM THE LIGHT!
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written by daveg703, July 27, 2009
85 comments (besides mine) and no one has had the temerity (until now) to state the blatantly obvious: The person responsible for the Denny's notice absolutely believes that a church-goer is a better person than a non-church-goer, and therefore deserves a reward here and now. (In addition to the BIG one coming later, of course.)
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written by dstallma, July 27, 2009
Euless has a small town mentality even though it is between 2 major cities (Dallas & Ft Worth). If I actually went to Denny's I would take a "North Texas Church of Freethought" bulletin just to make waves. I am pretty sure you can download the bulletin if needed.
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written by johnatl, July 27, 2009
@daveg703 A church-goer being better than a non-church-goer is the premise of the article.
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written by Alencon, July 27, 2009
I don't think it will make any difference, but you did the right thing.

If the flyer said "Bring us a copy of your Catholic Church Bulletin" there would have been hell to pay. I might also point out that the flyer could technically excludes Muslims, Jews, Wiccans, Hindus, Buddhists and followers of a Asatru as well since I don't know how easily they could get hold of a "Church Bulletin."

I do like Paiute's idea of trying a "Church of Satan" bulletin to see what would happen.

On the other hand, I doubt there was a conscious attempt to discriminate. Denny's was just trying to a make a buck. You have to admit that in Eukess Texas there are undoubtedly a whole lot more church goers than anything else.
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written by Threebius, July 27, 2009
Both sides have some good points in this one. I think it could be taken either way, but only as a matter of degrees. This does look like a form of discrimination, but barely so.

I so happen to live within 20 minutes of this Denny's, and testing their reactions to a few different alternatives sounds like a fun way to spend an afternoon. I am curious to see if they're willing to substitute a secular charity for church, and their reasons if they do not.
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@bobertp
written by Brookston John, July 27, 2009
"I had always gotten the impression in the past that most skeptics also tended to be libertarian in nature. "

Couldn't prove it by me. I happen to LIKE drinking clean water, eating non-spoiled meat, and taking medications that actually are what the label says, and not a mixture of chalk dust and battery acid.
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written by Gazcam, July 27, 2009
@BubbaRich

While many specific gods and belief systems can be demonstrated in conflict with observable science, many specific gods and general deitylike concepts cannot.


Really??!! Can you tell me just one specific God which is not in conflict with observable science? I'd be very interested to hear what evidence you've observed.

There are also other reasons why people attend church or believe something, like cultural inertia, good community ties and communication, family peace, etc.


Yes, that's true - people can make themselves believe all sorts of nonsense if it makes the feel better. Astrology would be another example. But this is a debate at JREF. And JREF representatives like Jeff are making disclaimers about the society not being anti-religious, before daring to question what was blatant religious discrimination. We wouldn't afford the same tip-toeing around the issue for any other form of woo-woo like astrology for example, on the basis that their claims do not stand up to critical scrutiny, irrespective of whether their beliefs make them feel better. So why do so for religion?

Your specific complaint seems to be that somebody might believe something that you don't.


Nope. That's not my specific complaint at all. They're welcome to believe whatever they want. But the very purpose of the JREF, and presumably the reason you're here reading this site too (??), is that we expose ALL concepts to critical scrutiny. We make no apology for that, because that's how we feel progress is made, and false claims exposed for what they are. And Randi feels so confident that supranatural claims have no basis in fact, that's he's willing to put up $1M if any such claim can stand up to such scrutiny. So why does Jeff, as a representative of the JREF exclude religion from this in his opening disclaimer? That's my 'specific complaint' - I hope that's clearer now.

You sound willing to sit down with EACH WORKER at JREF and proselytize to your belief system! SHOW THEM THE LIGHT!


I don't have a belief system to proselytize. I do however agree with the principles of science, and that beliefs are hypotheses which should be testable and falsifiable. This is the premise on which the JREF is founded, and I should have no need to sit down with any of them and show them this light - it defines the JREF society to which they are committed to. They don't need me to point out the value of science.

Again, I'm not inviting the 'is their a God debate', and I'm deliberately avoiding feeding the religious trolls out there with any response (or did I just feed another?!!). But for those of us here, like the author of the article, who are seriously interested in the principles of JREF, but also give religioun this free pass from scrutiny, I'd be interested in debating this position. For me, it is this protected status that has allowed religioun to survive where other concepts similarly devoid of rational evidence, have not. It has huge implications for society, and the JREF should not be aligning itself with this, at least in my humble view.
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written by Goat, July 28, 2009
Mr. Wagg,

Let me start off by saying that I am a fan of the work this foundation does. It is a benefit to society. Let me also say that I would also have been taken aback seeing this sign on a restaurant I frequented.

However, I feel that your handling of the situation warrants a negative comment. As a customer, you have every right to dislike an establishment's policies, and every right to express that dislike. Wise businessmen will listen and take you seriously.

But recognize that it is a natural right for every one of us to do as we wish with our property, so long as we do not violate the rights of others. Recognize also that there is no natural right to pay the same price for something as anyone else pays. So, Denny's has the right to charge church-goers a different amount from non-church-goers (for the record, you couldn't get me to go worship except at gunpoint).

In this light it is clear that Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a violation of the natural rights of both business owners and their customers, and contrary to the spirit of, and probably the letter of, the Constitution of the United States of America. While I find discrimination of this sort to be stomach-turning, I feel I must defend the rights of others, since they are my rights as well. By threatening them (obliquely) with a lawsuit based upon this "law", in effect you threatened them with the coercive power of government. You threatened them with violence, albiet "legal" violence.

This is not the way these things should be handled by decent people living in free society. You have every right to be disgusted, every right to cease giving Denny's your business, every right to tell the tale and ask us to stop giving them our business. However, you do not have the right to tell Denny's what it will charge people, and you most certainly do not have the right to threaten to use government violence to MAKE them set their prices at the same level for everyone.

That being said, thank you for sharing this story with us. Keep up the good work.

Goat

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written by Goat, July 28, 2009
Brookston John, July 27, 2009

"Couldn't prove it by me. I happen to LIKE drinking clean water, eating non-spoiled meat, and taking medications that actually are what the label says, and not a mixture of chalk dust and battery acid."

The assumption that private industry could not provide clean water, unspoiled meat, or honest labeling shows us the effect of years of government control of the education of our young. Seriously, do you really think that selling death would be legal in a libertarian world, or are you just spouting statist dogma reflexively? Liberty means both the freedom to do as you please WITHOUT HARMING OTHERS, or violating their rights, AND being responsible for the effects of your actions. So, a pharmacist or drug manufacturer who sold a drug and knew, or reasonably should have known, that it was not what is was advertised to be, would be held responsible for whatever came of the use of that drug. This is obvious. This isn't rocket science, we are not talking about a fantasy setting, we are talking about people being treated as adults, rather than wards of the state. Please try to keep you comments on a level which is productive, rather than silly.
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written by Gazcam, July 28, 2009
I have to disgree with you Goat. We live in a society, and therefore have a responsibility to each other. When individuals or groups violate these responsibilities, recourse to the law is an appropriate response. The bus company does NOT have the right to allow whites only to ride, just because they own the bus; the landlord does NOT have the right to allow heterosexuals only to occupy his property, just because he owns the house; the employer does NOT have the right to prevent foreign nationals renting his house, simply because he owns. This is discrimination, and Denny's are guilty of the same attempt to allow one group to profit over another.

This is all instantiated in law, and you cannot charge customers differently, simply based on whether they choose to believe in a particular fantasy.

Whilst people may vote with their feet, and choose not to frequent businesses which chose to employ such practices, recourse to the law is equally appropriate.

Also, recognize that Jeff's response was not to sue Dennys, but merely to point out that their practices contravened the law as he saw it, and they may wish to consider that. I think that was a measured response, and I applaud him for challenging this discrimination.
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written by Goat, July 28, 2009
Gazcam, July 28, 2009

If our rights to do with our property what we wish is over-ridden whenever someone feels wronged by our choices, we don't live in a society. We then live in a world where whichever special interest group has the most influence over Congress is in charge, and the rest of us must step in line. That is a world where the strongest rule, where patronage and power mean more than individual rights. It is a world of bullies. It is today's world.

In this world, the beliefs of the owners of Denny's have been overruled by the beliefs of the non-church-goers. I'm sure, in this instance, the non-church-goers reading this article are happy about that, but will they be so happy when the pendulum swings and it becomes "law" that they MUST go to church? You say, "Ha! Ridiculous! Never happen!"

But when you remove the right of property, which is simply an extension of our ownership of ourselves, our bodies and minds, then you remove the limits entirely. I submit as proof the concept of the madatory public service, and it's most evil example, the military draft. The State can come and take you away, and throw you into deadly situations, and make you serve purposes counter to your beliefs, simply because it wants to. The draft is law in this country. This is your society. How civil.

As for racial discrimination, it is disgusting. It is evil, and divisive, and society should stamp it out. Peacefully. If you are serious about your support for living in a society, you should think on two things. First, that for a society to work, it cannot use violence except in defense of life, liberty, or property. Anything else is just dog-eat-dog, not society.

The second is that riding on someone else's bus is liking me riding in your car. It is not my right to ride in your car (I like Tom Mullen's definition of "right": Right: that which an individual is entitled to without the consent of or compensation to anyone else. For example, people have a right to life. That is, they do not need anyone’s permission, nor are they obligated to compensate anyone in order to live. It is appropriate for an individual to demand, rather than ask for, their right to life to be respected.) I am not entitled to a ride from you without your consent, or without paying compensation. Even when I am willing to pay compensation (i.e. you are a professional driver), it does not mean that I am entitled to a ride. You can refuse my money, and refuse to give me a ride. This does not change, no matter what your reason for it is.

So, no-one has any right to ride a private bus. The owner or his agent may refuse service for any reason. However, we are agreed that racially motivated reasons are disgusting and must be stamped out. But since nobody's rights are violated, we must stamp it our peacefully, NOT BY USING THE THREAT OF GOVERNMENT VIOLENCE. Make no mistake, imprisoning someone or taking away his property or restricting him from using that property is violence. It would be if I did it to you, therefor it is when government does it. Hence, only peaceful means may be employed to achieve our ends. We may boycott, advertise, start our own bus line and out-compete the other, etc. But we may not FORCE our ideals on others. It is violent, it is wrong, it is anti-social and therefor anti-society.

Goat
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written by devilschord, July 28, 2009
I refuse to patronize businesses that openly encourage religion. For example, we have an Ezra's Chicken nearby with a sign outside that says "Love and Honor God." As much as I love fried chicken, I'll never go in there until that sign is gone. I feel the same way about businesses that display the Christian "fish" in their advertisements, and companies that are tuned into the Christian radio station when I walk in. Why do they feel compelled to alienate some of their potential customers?
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written by Gazcam, July 28, 2009
Goat - I think you confuse the personal choices of the individual, and the rights of individuals within a democratic society. As an individual, there are many personal choices I can make: which clothes to buy, which food to eat, which newspapers to read, or to take your example, whether to allow you to ride in my car!! But society works on agreed principles, and freedom from discrimination is one of them. Society has deemed it unacceptable to discriminate services or provisions based on race, religion, gender and sexuality. I apply these principles in condemning Dennys' actions, and would equally apply them in preventing the state from forcing me into amy particular religion, again to take your example. There is no difference in this.

The article is about challenging discrimination, in a perfectly peaceful manner. It's a great example of how businesses should not be allowed to profit from discrimination in any form.

I don't know why you consider this violence - enactment of libertarian principles under the rule of law is civilised society's way of peacefully dealing with conflict. If you disagree with those principles, you are free to peacefully challenge the legislature, and have those laws overturned. It is the cornerstone of democracy, not violence.
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written by Goat, July 28, 2009
Gazcam, July 28, 2009

Gazcam, I think you confuse society and government. Government enforces it's decisions through violence. It is it's only recourse, it has no other way. If I choose not to pay my taxes, the government comes and takes my property, maybe even throws me in jail. How can you not consider this violent? Simply because government does it? That is not a viewpoint of a lover of liberty, that is a statist viewpoint.

Society does work on agreed principles, yes. Ours has deemed SOME discrimination to be wrong (and others to be right. You don't get in trouble for going to Burger King more than McDonald's, even though Burger King profits from that discrimination, and so must you, or you would not make that choice). However, I do disagree that the article is about PEACEFULLY challenging discrimination. In effect the author said, "Watch out, you are doing what the government does not want you to. I don't like it and they don't, and they may come fine you." Not exactly a direct threat, but certainly scary for the business owner. Perfectly peaceful?

Then you say, "I don't know why you consider this violence - enactment of libertarian principles under the rule of law is civilised society's way of peacefully dealing with conflict." Well, I DON'T consider THAT to be violence. But protection of the right of property is one of those "libertarian principles" you speak of. (NOTE: I am reading the word libertarian to basically mean "lover of individual liberty", as opposed to "member of the Libertarian Party", since you didn't capitalize it.) The right to ride in someone else's vehicle, the right to pay the same for any service as someone else, the right to make use of someone else's services or property, no matter what if he wants to provide them, these are NOT libertarian principles. These are "rights" set forth by collectivists, who view others with jealousy and are willing to trample real rights to get what they want. When people resort to government, and it's automatic threat of force, to get what they want, or to impose their view on others, I call THAT violence.

Goat

P.S. As many of the founding fathers wrote, democracy is the "tyranny of the masses". The U.S. Constitution has many errors, but one it does not have is the attempt to found a democracy. It sets forth an outline for limited republic. By ignoring the Constitution, the "highest law of the land", we have morphed our government into a democracy. The difference is important. And if you believe, as you seem to, in the rule of law, then you are arguing against yourself.
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written by Gazcam, July 28, 2009
Gazcam, I think you confuse society and government. Government enforces it's decisions through violence. It is it's only recourse, it has no other way. If I choose not to pay my taxes, the government comes and takes my property, maybe even throws me in jail. How can you not consider this violent? Simply because government does it? That is not a viewpoint of a lover of liberty, that is a statist viewpoint.


Government is merely society's agreed mechanism by which if effects its agreed principles. You confuse the principle with your reaction to the outcome. If you are denied your liberty, or access to your resources/income, then this in itself is not a violent act. It can be conducted perfectly peacefully, and there is nothing in this which necessitates violence. Of course, if you refuse to accept society's verdict, implemented via its judicial mechanisms, then I presume your conception of violence amounts from how you would respond to this. The violence then is your response to the democratic process, not the process itself. You are free to accept society's principles non-violently, or protest against them, non-violently. The notion of violence is entirely orthogonal to your point, and is an irrelevance to the current article. It's plain silly to suggest that violence, in any form, was a component of Jeff's response.

Society does work on agreed principles, yes. Ours has deemed SOME discrimination to be wrong (and others to be right. You don't get in trouble for going to Burger King more than McDonald's, even though Burger King profits from that discrimination, and so must you, or you would not make that choice).


Again, (perhaps deliberate?) confusion of 'choice' and 'discrimination'. If you're arguing that choosing McDonalds over Burger King is a form of discrimination in any meaningful sense relevant to the discussion (other than semantics of the verb, 'to discriminate'), then no further discussion is necessary. Your semantic conflation of these two I can only imagine is a rather weak rhetorical device, but it adds nothing to the discussion. Individuals are free to choose, and society serves to protect them from being discriminated against.

However, I do disagree that the article is about PEACEFULLY challenging discrimination. In effect the author said, "Watch out, you are doing what the government does not want you to. I don't like it and they don't, and they may come fine you." Not exactly a direct threat, but certainly scary for the business owner. Perfectly peaceful?

YES!!! He PEACEFULLY pointed out that the company's actions may contravene the law. No violence involved. If the state agreed with his position, then they may PEACEFULLY effect the state law. The owner may not like or agree with this decision, but that in no way makes the action violent. The owner may respond in a violent way, but that would be the owner's violence, not the complainant's. I can't see how that can be reasonably confused.

The right to ride in someone else's vehicle, the right to pay the same for any service as someone else, the right to make use of someone else's services or property, no matter what if he wants to provide them, these are NOT libertarian principles. These are "rights" set forth by collectivists, who view others with jealousy and are willing to trample real rights to get what they want.

No, these are not libertarian principles - but they are manifestations of libertarian principles. The basic principle is that no individual or group within society should be permitted to unfairly discriminate against another (fairness being a reflection of the agreed consensus on e.g. gender, race, religion and sexuality). That principle is enshrined in law, and the examples above a reflection of those principles. I have no idea why you perceive this as some sort of jealousy or trampling of others' rights. The rights emerge as a result of the democratic process, and as an individual within that democracy, you have the right to peacefully challenge and overturn them.

Feel free to respond, but I think we've exhausted this discussion, and I'll stop here.
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@Gazcam
written by JeffWagg, July 28, 2009
You have repeatedly said "So why does Jeff, as a representative of the JREF exclude religion from this in his opening disclaimer?"

Did I do that? Please read the disclaimer again. I've excluded NOTHING. I merely stated that the JREF isn't an atheist organization. If that needs interpretation, it's simply this: god is an untestable claim, therefor, as an organization based on scientific principles, we have no opinion on the matter. Atheist organizations such as American Atheists (who have spoken at our conferences) and Atheist Alliance International (whom Randi has spoken at) are pro-atheism. We are pro-critical thinking, and while one may lead to the other, it remains untestable.

I would ask that you please stop intimating that the JREF is giving religion a pass. We are not, and the Swift archives demonstrate this clearly.
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written by Goat, July 28, 2009
Gazcam, July 28, 2009

I understand now. Honestly, you had me very confused. But your last post cleared things up. You think Liberal and libertarian mean the same thing. I'm sorry, if I had understood that, I would have known earlier that you are support statism and I was just wasting my time disussing rights, since a statist believes that society equals government and that government grants rights, and therefor there are no individual rights, just the rights of the state, and what it allows individuals to do.

This wrong-headedness cannot lead to a civil society, as we see all around us. Our America is the result of at least one hundred years of such. Maybe it's time for you to see that your means don't lead to the desired ends.

Goat
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Evangelical craziness
written by BubbaRich, July 28, 2009
This is an excellent example. I imagine that most of the readers see the insanity of Goat's "evangelical libertarianism," that he states his claims loudly, but instead of defending them, calls his opponent an idiot and ends the discussion. However, look at several people's (including his interlocutor) "evangelical atheism." Jeff Wagg responded the same way I did, using different words, that a generic "god" (and several specific "gods") is an untestable hypothesis. Gazcam's response is to deny this and insult anybody who disagrees with him.

Jeff Wagg would have done better to find out if it WAS an exclusionary rule before protesting that it was exclusionary. Many atheists here seem to recoil at the word "church" like Goat does to the word "state" or a vampire does to a crucifix. I don't think a court would support you in this as this incident stands now, since it was never demonstrated that any discrimination actually exists. As I said in my first post, he could have suggested an equivalent discount/donation for some other non-believer group, like JREF or a Unitarian-Universalist Congregation. At worst, that would have revealed discrimination, and at best, it could have educated people and opened up new partnerships.
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written by Goat, July 28, 2009
BubbaRich, July 28, 2009

Bubba, your attack on me is incorrect. I replied to all issues raised by Gazcam, and he ignored many of mine (e.g. that the law quoted in the article was un-Constitutional, that the Constitution sets out to create a republic, not a democracy, that the rights he recognizes run counter to the definition of "right" I provided, etc.). Why continue a discussion where one side refuses to discuss, but simply repeats his discredited arguments over and over?

As for your argumentum ad hominem, well, THAT I will ignore.

Goat
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written by Gazcam, July 28, 2009
Jeff - I've responded to your comments on the other thread, relating to Scientology, here: http://www.randi.org/site/inde...ology.html
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Well, Goat...
written by Brookston John, July 28, 2009
"The assumption that private industry could not provide clean water, unspoiled meat, or honest labeling shows us the effect of years of government control of the education of our young. Seriously, do you really think that selling death would be legal in a libertarian world, or are you just spouting statist dogma reflexively? Liberty means both the freedom to do as you please WITHOUT HARMING OTHERS, or violating their rights, AND being responsible for the effects of your actions. So, a pharmacist or drug manufacturer who sold a drug and knew, or reasonably should have known, that it was not what is was advertised to be, would be held responsible for whatever came of the use of that drug. This is obvious. This isn't rocket science, we are not talking about a fantasy setting, we are talking about people being treated as adults, rather than wards of the state. Please try to keep you comments on a level which is productive, rather than silly."

Even with regulation and "safeguards", we still have those who think they can sell poisonous crap, make a lot of money, and disappear before anybody connects the dots back to them.

No, I'm NOT trying to say private industry COULD not provide pure, clean, safe products. What I'm saying that in today's business climate of "Get In, make a lotta bucks, Get OUT, leave the suckahs holding the bag", without government regulation, what would be the INCENTIVE to do so? the "Goodness of their Hearts"? Bah!

Imagine if the "Free Market" ran things. With the scale of commerce today, how many people would be injured before it became common knowledge that you shouldn't buy the products of XYZ company because people get sick when they use them?
In the meantime, the Principals of XYZ take the money and run.

"Seriously, do you really think that selling death would be legal in a libertarian world"
You bet your sweet Bippy I do. Why would we need LAWS making it illegal to sell "death"? Should not the "Free Market" regulate that?

I don't think that scenario is "silly", do you? Are you telling me that along with all the other undesirable traits I think of when I hear the word "Libertarian", I have to add "Naive" to the list?
Oh, and that's not an ad hominem slam against YOU per se, it's just the low regard I hold ALL "Libertarians" in.
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written by Goat, July 28, 2009
"Imagine if the "Free Market" ran things. With the scale of commerce today, how many people would be injured before it became common knowledge that you shouldn't buy the products of XYZ company because people get sick when they use them?
In the meantime, the Principals of XYZ take the money and run."

Far fewer people than it takes to get the government to change a course of action. Think of the war in Iraq, the U.S.D.A. food pyramid, asbestos in the shipyards, minimum wage laws, examples ad nauseum. You describe human corruption, then say we need to cede personal responsibility to give a small group of men more power than any private corporation ever had, so they can "protect" us. It's oxymoronic. Who will protect us from the government, when they decide to take the money (or power) and run? Oh wait, they don't have to run, they have the power.

"without government regulation, what would be the INCENTIVE to do so?"

The incentive of the business man is that he will die of starvation if nobody trusts him. He has not the power to force you to pay him, unlike government. Sure, some will try to be dishonest, to lie, cheat and steal. Welcome to reality, this happens every day under our current, highly-regulated system. It happens in Cuba, which is vastly more regulated. The problem is made worse when those lying and cheating and killing and stealing are members of the power elite. They become nearly untouchable.

In a free market, a businessman relies on the people he serves, and they do not rely on him, because he has competitors. I believe in giving power to the little guy, a.k.a. the consumer (which we all are), rather than the senator, or president, or his crony-capitalist buddies in our current, faux-capitalist system. So, tell me, what is government's incentive?

"Why would we need LAWS making it illegal to sell "death"? Should not the "Free Market" regulate that?"

In a anarchic society, one without organized government, the free market likely would. Personally, I think that anarchy is not a realizable condition, that humans will form governments whenever they live in groups, and therefor it is more productive to focus on the best form of government rather than the argument of government vs. anarchy. Perhaps you are confusing politics and economics here, since the free market is not a type of government, and would not make laws.

And yes, it is silly, because you intimated that without heavy regulation we would have no safe water to drink, etc. Yet, history shows that to be clearly untrue, and any rational analysis of unregulated human interaction will lead one to the conclusion that the existence of government springs from social behavior, and not the other way around.

Goat



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written by Gazcam, July 28, 2009
I would ask that you please stop intimating that the JREF is giving religion a pass. We are not, and the Swift archives demonstrate this clearly.


Is this the reason my posts are now being moderated and I cannot get a reply through?

EDITED BY JEFFWAGG: we don't have moderation. If you see a message about that, it means you tried to post a message while you weren't logged in.. usually after a time out. Just log in again. (It's a bug in the Joomla comment software)
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UR bill?
written by Blizno, July 28, 2009
I haven't read all the responses but a case-sensitive search failed to match "UR".

I would not pressure any privately-owned chain to stop favoring one religion over all others, or none, but I do object strongly to anyone grunting "10% OFF UR BILL...", instead of writing in words, " 10% OFF YOUR BILL...".
I agree that Denny's is being cruel and bigoted by denying this discount to everyone who doesn't follow their particular religion, but since they're a private company, I don't know that they can't do so. However, grunting, such as thumbing "UR" instead of using language to write "YOUR", is a despicable abuse of the English language.

Both issues are attacks against the general population but the increasing contempt for and destruction of the English language is, in my opinion, far more dangerous.
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Not sure I agree...
written by Skeptic, July 29, 2009
There is a line between discrimination and promotion. If Denny's provided a 10% discount to White people, this is surely wrong; if it provided 10% discount to, say, members of the US Chess Federation who happen to be visiting town for a convention, that is probably fine.

"How is this different than 10% off for White people" can be asked about ANY discount given to ANY group. How is giving kids a discount different than giving white people a discount? How is giving chess players?

INTENTION is all-important in ethics. As the manager said, here the intention is simply to give church-goers an extra motivation. If he were a fundamentalist who were offering a discount only to born-again churches and not to catholics, that would have been one thing. But here, churches are simply treated as a kind of social club -- you just need to show membership, not talk doctrine. I'll bet that if he were in an area with many Jews, the discount would be for synagogues as well (or instead).
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What's offensive in comparison to...
written by shawntr, July 29, 2009
What's offensive in comparison to let's say a sports team? Some of the restaurants I've been to have offered discounts and promotions to people who come to their restaurants dressed in their sports uniforms. I'm not in sports. I won't get that specific discount. It doesn't offend me that the restaurant wants to draw in a crowd.
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written by C_Felix, July 29, 2009
Any replies from them Denny's people yet?
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Disagree wioth the tactics
written by carnegis, July 29, 2009
It's their business and they can cater to who they want. If you don't like the way they do business, then don't give then your business, simple as that.
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@the "vote with your feeters"
written by Brownian, July 29, 2009
Sigh. If only all those troublemaking Negroes in the sixties saw things as simply as people like carnegis.
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redwrench wrote
written by Caller X, July 29, 2009
There is no religious requirement for being kosher, except for perhaps the slaughter. Anyone can prepare and serve kosher food, it is the method that makes it kosher, not the person.



IF Wikipedia citation of "Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De'ah 114" can be believed, kosher wine, for example, must be prepared in whole or in part by Jews. I suspect if one dug deep, one would find that menstruating women are an issue. After all, should they not be in the menstrual hut rather than the kitchen?

A bigger issue is Jeff phoning in another article to meet his quota. And Jeff, would it have killed you to print out a SubGenius flyer? And how did you get seated at Denny's? Wasn't the enormous stick a problem? (yes, ad hominem, but typed with a smile).
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Molehill!
written by weirdloser, July 29, 2009
I considered leaving right then, but decided to have my meal as planned and then discuss the matter with the manager on the way out.


After consideration Jeff decided securing a French toast platter trumped the need to protest this civil rights debacle. He must have been really hungry.

The intent obviously wasn't discriminatory. It was a likely promotion to hook some of the lucrative after-church brunch customers. I'm not seeing the slippery slope here.

The ACLU has better things to do, e.g. Guantanamo.

This may be, as minusRusty says, "subtle discrimination". So subtle, in fact, I can't believe y'all are getting upset. Smells like a publicity stunt.




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Denny's
written by mastery, July 30, 2009
I think raising an issue over a promotional discount based on a religious affiliation is pretty juvenile.

We live in a free market. If Denny's wants to give a 10% discount to Christians, or Muslims, or Homosexuals or whoever they want, they live in a free society. If that offends you, then go to Wafflehouse.

What if Denny's filed a lawsuit against you because you ate at McDonalds and they said you were discriminating against them for not eating breakfast there?

Atlanta Business Wealth Network

Mastermind
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written by knitwit, August 01, 2009
What really shocks me about this is that ANYONE would bother to eat at Denny's to begin with! Yuck. When I travel in areas with no decent food, I go to the sore and get fruit and cheese. Something from the Starbuck's would have been a better choice in all regards. It would have been best not to set foot in a place with this discriminatory noticed posted.
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Good job
written by DougKrueger, August 01, 2009
Good for you, Jeff. Standing up and being counted as a nonbeliever is very important. It is not simply a matter of "rights." It is important to let people know that they can't just assume that discrimination against nonbelievers will go unquestioned. You did the right thing.
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It Doesn't Work That Way
written by DougKrueger, August 01, 2009
Mastery wrote: "We live in a free market. If Denny's wants to give a 10% discount to Christians, or Muslims, or Homosexuals or whoever they want, they live in a free society."

It is ILLEGAL to do that, in most cases. We live in a sort-of free society, but you are not free to discriminate, in many cases. You can't give discounts to white people, for example. What Denny's was doing was morally wrong. Imagine: what if a restaurant gave discounts to people who went to KKK meetings? (In the past, some have done this.) No, discrimination is not a "freedom."
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written by Blizno, August 01, 2009
"written by mastery, July 30, 2009
...What if Denny's filed a lawsuit against you because you ate at McDonalds and they said you were discriminating against them for not eating breakfast there?..."

Why? Why did you write this comment?

As a consumer, I have no legal requirement to buy anything from anyone.
As a vendor, Denny's has many legal requirements that they must meet before they will be permitted to stay in business.
They must have a certain number of handicapped parking spots, depending on the total size of the parking lot. They must have ramps capable of reaching the restaurant so people in wheelchairs can enter.
They must serve people who are Polish, who are black, who are Muslim, who are Irish, who are Armenian, etc. etc. etc.
They must serve food and drink within a specific temperature range so that customers won't be seriously injured if they spill their purchases.
They must handle their product in specified ways so that customers don't get sick from eating at their restaurants.
The legal requirements for a food-vending business to stay in business are many. The legal requirements for any customer to eat at that business are the same as for that person while walking down the street. Don't threaten anyone, don't harm anyone, be adequately clothed, don't be a public nuisance, etc.
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written by LuigiNovi, August 01, 2009
LuigiNovi: This is not an issue. It is indeed an example of overly militant atheism, just as you initially thought, Jeff, and you come across as a churl for it.

latsot: The issue is that discrimination on the grounds of religion - however apparently benign in this particular case - is pervasive and seen as perfectly acceptable by the overwhelming majority.


Luigi Novi: In order for that to be the issue, you have to establish that someone is being discriminated against. As I pointed out in my post (which appears to have been deleted), the offer did not discriminate, since it required one to bring in an inanimate object, one which anyone could bring in, atheist or theist, if they chose to.

Luigi Novi: How is it different from offering a discount to whites? Simple. Offering a discount to whites means offering a discount to someone on the basis of their status or state of being, one they were born with, and cannot change (except by disguise).

latsot: I for one cannot change my status or state of being as an atheist.


Luigi Novi: No one said you could. The comment by me that you quoted above was made in answer to the question of what the difference was between offering a discount to whites and offering a discount to people with a church bulletin, and I illustrated the falsity of that analogy quite clearly. Whites cannot change being white. Atheists, on the other hand, can indeed bring in a church bulletin. Bringing in a church bulletin does not mean you have to "change" being an atheist. The analogy is false, and no amount of censoring/deleting my posts, or selective quoting of them is going to change this.


latsot: The only way I can change this is by disguise (for example, by picking up a church bulletin).

Luigi Novi: That picking up a church bulletin is a "disguise" for an atheist is false. If one does not have dishonest intent in picking it up and using it at the restaurant, then they may do so. Any atheist sufficiently paranoid or guilt-stricken can tell the hostess if they can do this, and as Jeff himself indicated by the Hostess's words above, the restaurant will still accept it from you, as they do not care. Thus, you're just making a personal choice, but trying to blame the restaurant for it. Take advantage of the offer, or don't. The restaurant gives you the option of doing either one. Discrimination is when they don't.

latsot: It seems dishonest to take a bulletin solely to use it for a discount...

Luigi Novi: And yet, the Hostess above said you could. If you're refusing to use it, you're refusing of you're own volition, and not the church's or the restaurant's, which is what would be required for discrimination. So you're just refusing to take advantage of the offer, while simultaneously whining that its very nature somehow prevents you from doing so. If you're intellectually honest, you call this what it is: Bullshit.

latsot: (it takes resources to create them and they are not intended for that purpose)

Luigi Novi: Then you might as well argue that a churchgoer can't use the back of one to jot down the contact info of an old friend they just ran into for the first time in years, since they weren't designed for that either. Or, you can be realistic, and concede the very obvious fact that such flyers are left out with the full knowledge on the part of those creating them that not every single one is going to end up dipped in bronze, pinned to someone's kitchen cork board, and one day auctioned off at the Sotheby's on Procyon V as a historical artifact of ancient human culture, and that one or two might end up on the floor covered in footprints, in the trash, used to jot down someone's phone number, or used to pack someone's china during a move or line their birdcage.

If the church is letting you take one, and the restaurant is letting you use one, then the only one preventing you from taking advantage of the offer is yourself.
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written by Blizno, August 01, 2009
"written by LuigiNovi, August 01, 2009
...Whites cannot change being white. Atheists, on the other hand, can indeed bring in a church bulletin. Bringing in a church bulletin does not mean you have to "change" being an atheist. The analogy is false, and no amount of censoring/deleting my posts, or selective quoting of them is going to change this..."

LuigiNovi, I cannot fold my hands and pretend to participate in the casting of magical spells while somebody says grace before a meal. I cannot walk to the front of a church to be given communion. I cannot go through baptism. If I tried, I would be a liar.
I am not a liar. I will never pretend to believe in gods. To do so to get a discount for a meal would dishonor me deeply.
No, I cannot drive out of my way to a church, park, walk into the church, take a bulletin that they intend for the Faithful, walk back to my car and then go to Denny's to get a break on my bill.

"Bringing in a church bulletin does not mean you have to "change" being an atheist."

Yes it does! If I pretend to be a Scientologist, I am lying. If I bring a Nazi text to a KKK meeting to get a break on my bill I am lying. If I fold my hands and drop my head during a Christian magical ceremony I am lying.
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For anyone who may have wondered
written by DaniMetroplex, August 02, 2009
Those of you local to the Dallas/Fort Worth area might be familiar with the North Texas Church of Freethought at http://www.churchoffreethought.org. A friend and I decided it would be fun to bring in one of their bulletins and see if they would honor the deal. Actually, they did! If you're interested in the details, you can check them out at http://wellmaybenot.blogspot.com.
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written by LuigiNovi, August 04, 2009
Again, you do not have to have dishonest intent to take a church bulletin. Churches, in my observation, don't care if you take one, and Christian churches pride themselves on being open to everyone, even non-believers. If someone asks you why you're taking a bulletin, and you tell them to use it at Denny's, and they don't care, then there is no "lying". Taking a bulletin has nothing to do with participating in actual ceremonies like the Eucharist, or pretending to be a member of that church.

Hell, someone could even participate in such ceremonies, and still not be dishonest, if they have an alternative intent, as for example, if a member or staffperson of the church invited them to do so, knowing the invitee was an atheist, just so that the atheist could see what it was like. One of the reasons churches do this is to attract converts. So you could go, sit in on mass, and then leave, concluding that you have not been convinced to change to theism. Another good example is one I can offer from my own life: When my younger cousins/nephews/nieces experienced their first Communion, I indeed went to the celebrations, and in the case of one in particular, to the mass. I did this because I was happy for him, because he and his parents were presumably happy. But in your narrow, dogmatic view of the world, this somehow makes me a liar or a pretender. Well, maybe you have every right to that opinion. But if you form it, you do so of your own will, and you refuse to partake in the Denny's offer of your own volition. Not the restaurant's. So the only one excluding you from it is you.
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written by laylaukfan, August 13, 2009
I see this sort of thing all the time and it never occurred to me that it's discrimination. You have inspired me to bring it up next time I see it.
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written by Howler, September 19, 2009
Okay, you weren't forced to pay more for being any kind of atheist; the restauarant chose to extend a friendly gesture to a group of people it had no idea to which you don't belong.

The restaurant then told you how to get the discount by merely bringing in a bulletin. You responded by saying you don't feel you could do this with honesty. GOOD FOR YOU. YOU'RE SO GREAT. You're not being discriminated against, you merely hold yourself to a higher standard. Again, congratulations. I'm certain you'll sleep better with the extra padding your argument provides to your ego.

As far as Denny's only promoting religious organizations versus secular ones.....dare you to imply this is a free country where the residents can do or say as they please? Say it ain't so.

Mr. Wagg, I hope two things happened with regard to your letter-writing campaign--I hope you filed your letter written at Starbucks under the Feather in My Hat category where it belongs and I hope Denny's filed your letter into the Wastepaper Basket Filler category, also where it belongs.

Thank you for honoring my 1st Amendment Right to voice my opinion. Enjoy.

Pete
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written by crackerjack5, October 15, 2009
Here's an interesting website on the whole "who created God" debate. Granted it's from a Christian perspective, but read it anyway, just to see what the other side's arguments are. http://www.christiananswers.ne...-c039.html
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written by latsot, October 15, 2009
Crackerjack5:

I disagree with the words 'interesting' and 'arguments'.

The site just defines away the problem with clumsy and obvious sleight of hand by making unjustified assertions about the nature of god. It also throws in a few appeals to fear (if you believe atheists, ALL LAW ENFORCEMENT WILL BREAK DOWN!!!1!!!) and naturally dots a bit of random scripture about the place to make it all seem nice and authoritative.

This is the best they can do?
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Long John Silvers is doing the exact same thing.
written by M.Y., February 05, 2010
Long John Silvers is doing the exact same thing.

(photo taken on 02/04/10)

http://skitch.com/mypix/nu7n4/sl740686.jpg
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