Weekly B4V Sucks Open Thread

Posted: August 8, 2014 by Marner in Open Thread

I’m putting it up early because you’re polluting the other threads.

  1. casper says:

    Mark posted this link earlier and for once it’s an article I agree with.


  2. rustybrown2012 says:

    Well, well. Looks like the religious will no longer be receiving a discount for their faith at Mary’s Gourmet Diner and atheists will no longer be discriminated against there. The owner has recognized that her policy was illegal and in violation of the Civil Rights Act. She is discontinuing the practice. Kudos to the owner for her quick response. A nice win for the good guys, thanks FFRF!


    • Marner says:


      I didn’t get back to you on the other thread because I’ve been busy and I also spent some time researching this question. After reading what you provided and finding other things, I believe the owner was not doing anything illegal. She was not singling out one religion over another, she did not require that people pray to any specific deity (she stated a moment of meditation would have sufficed), and she was rewarding an action rather than a belief. I just don’t see where anyone, including Atheists, were being discriminated against.

      Everything I’ve read has said that Atheism is considered on equal par with any other religion only in the context of the Establishment Clause; that the government can’t favor religion over Atheism. I have still not seen anything addressing it with respect to the Equal Protection Clause. In addition, every case I’ve seen up to this point deals with a charge that the government is discriminating, not a private business.

      Until this is tested in an actual court case, I’ll have to stand by my assessment. If the courts do determine that it is a violation of the Civil Rights Act, then I believe they will also have to do away with Ladies Night (Sex discrimination) and senior discounts (age discrimination).

      We’re just going to have to disagree on this one.

      • rustybrown2012 says:

        First of all, let’s dispatch with the canard that Mary’s was merely rewarding a moment of silence or “meditation” rather than a religious practice. That’s bullshit. She can claim anything she wants now, but the receipt clearly stated in blue and white that the discount was for “praying”. Look up the definition of prayer, you’ll find religion or god invoked in every one. Mary’s was rewarding a religious ritual, period, and therefore most certainly was discriminating against atheists. This is simply beyond dispute.

        Secondly, you’re right, in First Amendment cases the government has firmly defined atheism as a religion on par with other religions for legal protection. In other words, when considering religious discrimination in regards to the First Amendment the government protects atheism equally to all religions. The Seventh Circuit Court Of Appeals ruled:

        “Without venturing too far into the realm of the philosophical, we have suggested in the past that when a person sincerely holds beliefs dealing with issues of ‘ultimate concern’ that for her occupy a ‘place parallel to that filled by . . . God in traditionally religious persons,’ those beliefs represent her religion.”

        So that is the governments stated position on atheism and religion in discrimination. Granted, that applies to the First Amendment, but so what? It’s still a definitional ruling, it’s still a precedent. Under what rational do you think the courts would magically decide otherwise when presented with a religious discrimination case in the private sector? Indeed, the courts would be considering the fact that atheism is already established as a religion in the private sector in regards to employment. From the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission definition of discrimination (emphasis mine):

        “Religious discrimination involves treating a person (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs. The law protects not only people who belong to traditional, organized religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, but also others who have sincerely held religious, ethical or moral beliefs.“

        BTW, it’s not only a breach of the Civil Rights Act we’re talking about, there are also various state anti-discrimination laws that include religion and many other fairness statutes and public accommodation laws which Mary’s could be in violation of. From the ACLU:

        “For 150 years, states have had public accommodation laws requiring businesses that choose to offer goods and services in the commercial marketplace to serve customers equally. Once a business decides to advertise its services to the public at large, it gives up the prerogative to pick and choose which customers to serve”

        If this was brought up as a discrimination suite, Mary’s was going to lose this case one way or another. She, herself, has defined her practice illegal. So we certainly can disagree on this, but I think only one of us has laid out a strong rational based on precedent.

      • Marner says:

        As I said, we’ll just have to disagree.

      • rustybrown2012 says:

        Indeed. I’m good with that.

      • rustybrown2012 says:

        Although I would be interested to read your reasoning as to why denying benefits to people who don’t say prayers is not discriminating against atheists but, oh well, some things remain mysterious…

  3. rustybrown2012 says:

    I’m enjoying the latest thread at bfv immensely. The hyperbole is a’ flyin’, and it’s fun watching them take turns trying to out-wingnut one another. It’s like they’re competing for most obnoxious cartoon right wing asshole prize…and they all win! They are very special people.

  4. they are just self-righteous idiots who do not know how to cite their sources and Amazon finally admitted that the blog is an opinion site, not a research paper. Which is kind of admitting they do no research at all when they make post and just talk out of their asses. That is my beef for the day

  5. meursault1942 says:

    Here’s a good one: NRCC gets into the fake news business.

    This is, of course, a pretty lame and sleazy thing to do, but then again, this is conservatives, so what else are they gonna do? They’ve been lame and sleazy for decades upon decades, but more to the point, this specific tactic is hardly new for them. Conservatives’ divorce from reality has been accompanied by the creation of an entire media system to report on the new fake “reality” that they’ve constructed for themselves. Hell, Fox News is an entire cable network dedicated to the fake news business, as is conservative talk radio, as are conservative blogs. The Bush Administration even went so far as to create full-on propaganda for domestic use. That’s how bad the Bush Administration was and how acrimonious conservatives’ divorce from reality was (and remains).

  6. rustybrown2012 says:

    Ho Hum, another day another call for an American theocracy by admiral Noonan:

    There are myriad causes which can be asserted for the decline of our civilization – but fundamental to it is the decline of Judeo-Christian theology in the public square.

    Too bad history is not going his way. Studies show religiosity is evaporating at a quickening pace:

    “Religiosity in the United States is in the midst of what might be called ‘The Great Decline.’ Previous declines in religion pale in comparison. Over the past fifteen years, the drop in religiosity has been twice as great as the decline of the 1960s and 1970s.”


    With trends like this, hopefully the days of religious nuts like Scalia, Alito, and Roberts ruling on the laws of the land are numbered, and we’ll look back at decisions like Hobby Lobby as antique perversions from our superstitious past. So an American theocracy may not be in Mark’s future, but take heart, he can always move to Iran or Vatican City.

    As Jerry Coyne puts it:

    “As we become more embedded in the wider world, and connected with European countries that have become more secularized, we will undergo the same secularization as they. This is almost inevitable given the spread of Enlightenment values, of respect for science, and a realization that it’s time to put away our superstitions and belief in childish things. We no longer need religion in the U.S., either as an explanation for the great mysteries of life (many of which are being solved by science), or as a form of social glue to give us solace. As social welfare and general empathy increase, religiosity (a divine substitute for what governments and friends can do for you) will also decline.”

    • meursault1942 says:

      Oh, he knows history is not going his way. His entire thesis is that every negative thing in the world can be traced to the fact that people are becoming less religious*. He thinks life is pretty great when you just mindlessly surrender to the Catholic Church, and he wonders why more people don’t do it (no wonder he has serious beef with the Enlightenment and wants to return to pre-Enlightenment thinking).

      * And by “religious,” he means “Christian.” Preferably Catholic. Other religions don’t count as religions.

      • rustybrown2012 says:

        The fact that he states his ideal was the time period between the 12th and 15th centuries and it’s “been rather downhill since then” is rather incredible. Who in their right mind yearns for 12th century livin’?

      • rustybrown2012 says:

        He thinks life is pretty great when you just mindlessly surrender to the Catholic Church, and he wonders why more people don’t do it.

        Tell that to the alter boy with a bloody anus.

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