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Atheist files complaint over Lancaster County restaurant's church-bulle

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jnelsoninjax    8,511

For more than a year, Prudhomme?s Lost Cajun Kitchen in Columbia, Lancaster County has offered a Sunday special: Diners who bring in a current church bulletin receive 10 percent off the purchase of their dinners.

But, the promotion has rubbed some people the wrong way, including John Wolff of Manheim Twp., Lancaster County, an atheist and member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Wolff, who said he's never been to Prudhomme?s, recently filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission claiming the 22-year-old restaurant should not give discounts based on religion. ?I bear them no ill will but they shouldn?t be pushing religion,? Wolff, 80, said.

The restaurant?s co-owner Sharon Prudhomme said she?s not about ready to pull the plug on the deal, which was designed to drum up business.

religion-generic.jpgView full size

She said many in the community, including pastors and ministers, are regular customers at Prudhomme?s, known for its Louisiana cuisine such as catfish po boys, alligator platters and crawfish.

?I thought ?How can I boost our Sunday sales for dinner?? And, I thought ?Well you know what we have a lot of folks who go to church who come in throughout the week,?? Prudhomme said.

Shannon Powers, spokeswoman for the Human Relations Commission, confirmed the complaint had been filed. Prudhomme?s has 30 days to submit a written answer to the complaint, she added.

Over the past couple of months, Prudhomme said, she received two letters and a phone call from the Freedom From Religion Foundation demanding the restaurant end the promotion.

The Madison, Wis.-based group works to educate the public on matters relating to promoting the constitutional principle of separation between church and state. It filed suit over the Pennsylvania Legislature's naming 2012 the Year of the Bible.

?I just kind of blew it off. Gosh, I have more things to concentrate on,? Prudhomme said of the letters.

As for the phone call, Prudhomme, who does not attend church due to her work schedule, said she told the group she operates an independent restaurant and suggested non church-goers can pick up bulletins from any church and bring them to the restaurant to cash in on the discount.

?We?re the most unprejudiced of all. I don?t care if you are purple or polka dot. The only requirement we have is men must wear sleeves,? she said.

Prudhomme said she questions how the promotion differs from senior citizen discounts or free meals for kids under 12 years of age.

?A senior discount isn?t so bad. We?ll all get there eventually. But we won?t all become church-goers,? Wolff said.

He said came across Prudhomme?s bulletin promotion while doing an Internet search of the restaurant, which he had heard good things about. But, he said the restaurant?s discount for church-goers annoyed him. ?My interest is in social justice and tolerance, and I get a little annoyed at all the religiosity,? he said.

Wolff said he was born a German Jew and was a devote Catholic from age 10 to 16. He said he became an atheist about 15 years ago when he became dismayed at the religious right.

He said the complaint against Prudhomme?s isn?t as much about the actual discount as it is the bigger picture of what his happening in this country. ?I?d just be happy to bring this out in the open and get people to reflect a little bit,? Wolff said.

Source

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Javik    3,961

The religious right does this kind of crap all the time, it's nothing new. They'll find any way they can of discriminating against non Christians. Credit to him for fighting it, I'm sure he's going to get a lot of death threats.

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mudslag    4,383

Private restaurant can do what they want, he isn't forced to eat there.

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Azies    337

Get over it, you can't tell a restaurant what to do.

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Ice_Blue    973

I don't think the restaurant is doing anything wrong. They want to drum up business. Like the owner says,:

"I don?t care if you are purple or polka dot. The only requirement we have is men must wear sleeves,?

No one is stopping him from going into the restaurant and getting the exact service everyone else gets.

Sometimes you can become worse than what you rail against. Yes, even atheists can go overboard.

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Javik    3,961

Sure we are, we should just sit there and take the fact that we're constantly having discrimination rubbed in our faces because we choose not to follow the delusions of the masses.

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Ice_Blue    973

Sure we are, we should just sit there and take the fact that we're constantly having discrimination rubbed in our faces because we choose not to follow the delusions of the masses.

Aah, come on...

I get where you're coming from, but I think this is a bit overblown.

Like I said, he isn't being discriminated against. He can go, sit down, and receive the same level of service as everyone else.

Notice he didn't claim otherwise. He's just pi**ed of because of the bulletin 10% thing.

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Javik    3,961

No I don't think it's overblown. Atheists in America are one of the most hated and discriminated minorities, in fact studies suggests that they're just as hated if not more so than Muslims, and given how much America still cries about 9/11 that's a whole lotta hate.

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nohone    150

Sure we are, we should just sit there and take the fact that we're constantly having discrimination rubbed in our faces because we choose not to follow the delusions of the masses.

Have you filed complaints about bars that have ladies night?

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Twiddle    487

This isn't a franchised restauraunt.

They can do what they please. Whether I agree with the actual promotion or not, I have a choice to eat there or not. Just don't eat there.

Though, I could see outrage if a restaurant opened that offered 10% off to non-believers. I guarantee you religious groups would do the same. And I would say the same thing. Don't eat there, and mind your own business, if you do not like it.

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Javik    3,961

Have you filed complaints about bars that have ladies night?

Nope. Because there are actually valid reasons for that beyond "share my delusion and be my pal"

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nohone    150

Nope. Because there are actually valid reasons for that beyond "share my delusion and be my pal"

Oh, so it is OK to discriminate against one group, but not another as long as there is a good reason. Above you made some claim about the poor atheists being a minority. Who cares if a group being a minority, if it is discrimination then it is discrimination. The black population in South Africa is over 79%, but there was apartheid. I guess since they were not in the majority, by your standards, apartheid was OK because it was being done against the majority.

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Javik    3,961

No, it's because ladies nights aren't done in the name of discrimination, they're done in the name of fun. And your arrogance pretty much confirms my point anyway. I bet if it was a restaurant discriminating against wealthy white Christians the death threats would already be pouring in.

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nohone    150

No, it's because ladies nights aren't done in the name of discrimination, they're done in the name of fun. And your arrogance pretty much confirms my point anyway. I bet if it was a restaurant discriminating against wealthy white Christians the death threats would already be pouring in.

What arrogance? And if I were being arrogant, what point does it prove, that it is OK to discriminate against one group but not another? I also detect a bit of hatred in your comment, as you seem to believe that if you discriminate against white rich people (which is in the minority, being that there are far more poor people than rich, therefore it is discrimination) then they will threaten to kill you.

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Javik    3,961

Ok then let me give you a little test. Look for a person called Jessica Ahlquist, contact her and ask her how friendly she thinks most Americans are towards Atheists that stand up to the religious fundies in your country, or dare to demand their constitutional rights.

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nub    181

As much as I don't like it. I'm pretty sure they have the right to do this. I think its ****ty and would not eat there though.

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nohone    150

Ok then let me give you a little test. Look for a person called Jessica Ahlquist, contact her and ask her how friendly she thinks most Americans are towards Atheists that stand up to the religious fundies in your country, or dare to demand their constitutional rights.

I don't care about Jessica Ahlquist - all I care about is your belief that some people can and should be discriminated against because they are not a minority, or because the discrimination is done simply in the name of fun.

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DrJohnSmitherson    131

So he is still allowed to order and even get the discount if he gets one of the flyers. And he doesn't have to eat there. No problem here. :/

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farmeunit    452

The religious right does this kind of crap all the time, it's nothing new. They'll find any way they can of discriminating against non Christians. Credit to him for fighting it, I'm sure he's going to get a lot of death threats.

They said anyone could go to a church and get a bulletin. Doesn't mean they have to attend or be a member.

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DavidM    328

No, it's because ladies nights aren't done in the name of discrimination, they're done in the name of fun. And your arrogance pretty much confirms my point anyway. I bet if it was a restaurant discriminating against wealthy white Christians the death threats would already be pouring in.

ah, but there's the rub, the restauraunt is not asking (or forcing) you to believe in (or for) anything are they? They simply want a current bulletion, no one is saying you have to attend the service, you can simply stop by the church and ask for a bulletion and the church would (more than likely) be happy to give you one, take it to said establishment and enjoy your 10% dicount all while wearing an "I hate religeon" t-shirt. THEN, if they didn't give you the discount you would have a discrimination lawsuit.

Otherwise, just eat somewhere else that offers a athiest discount...

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linsook    149

No, it's because ladies nights aren't done in the name of discrimination, they're done in the name of fun. And your arrogance pretty much confirms my point anyway. I bet if it was a restaurant discriminating against wealthy white Christians the death threats would already be pouring in.

from the article:

non church-goers can pick up bulletins from any church and bring them to the restaurant to cash in on the discount.

why you hating?

i don't see an issue with this, or any establishments with infant/child rules, dress codes, age limits etc...

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SharpGreen    219

from the article:

why you hating?

i don't see an issue with this, or any establishments with infant/child rules, dress codes, age limits etc...

He appears to be one of those folks who for practically no reason at all like to make big deals out nothing.

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zhangm    1,190

I can't help wondering whether the tone of the article would be different were the writer made to discuss a restaurant specializing in Middle Eastern cuisine that rewarded discounts to patrons who would pray to Mecca or whose wives wore burkas. Then again, is it much different than the restaurant that offered a free meal to people that dressed up as Spiderman last weekend, or really substantially distinct from bringing in a coupon?

I think it is a tough question, but in the end it boils down to giving preference to people that ascribe to a specific belief, thereby elevating those over others. I think it is vile, but should it be regulated in any fashion? On one hand, freedom is freedom, but on the other hand, if such a time comes that this behavior is commonplace, is lack of government interference merely passive sanctioning of such behavior? I guess I'm in favor of not going down the road where every business has some sort of ideological discrimination in effect and just have people bring in coupon clippings.

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Javik    3,961

I don't care about Jessica Ahlquist - all I care about is your belief that some people can and should be discriminated against because they are not a minority, or because the discrimination is done simply in the name of fun.

I never said that at all, you're just trolling me. I actually made one statement and that statement was that Atheists are a hated minority. And that was a statement that is true, they are a hated minority. Nowhere did I infer that I think it's OK for majorities to be discriminated against either, I just said that I don't care about things like ladies night because they're not intended to discriminate. So please just cut the crap.

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Win4Ever    35

There is a restaurant next to movie theater near where I live that offers discount for anyone who's bringing in a movie stub. Should I start complaining discrimination against hmm book readers? Or oh I know, maybe I should start complaining to Chipotle. They offer free burritos every Halloween if you dress up as burritos. Are they discriminating against normal sane people?

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