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View Diary: Don't go to church? God hates you and Denny's does too (240 comments)

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  •  Again, if there are specific serious incidents... (0+ / 0-)

    of oppression on this basis, that is where attention should be drawn for litigation and/or political organizing.  Surely, if such prejudice is still as rampant as you believe it to be, there must be at least one case where suit could be brought where the plaintiff was denied housing, employment, access to public accommodations, or suffered life threatening injury.

    Highlighting the "injury" of having to pay $3.00 instead of $2.70 for an original Grand Slam Breakfast, as a practical matter, simply begs the question, "That's the worst you can come up with," for those of us who have worked for decades trying to secure basic human rights and personal safety for oppressed minorities.

    I have no doubt that you are correct in your assertion that there are significant numbers of people in this country who will withhold their vote from a candidate who declares his or her atheism publicly.  That is indeed unfortunate.  It is not, however, sufficient basis for a successful civil rights action.  I say that not as an attorney, but as an activist who has worked on numerous civil rights actions in the past, and matters involving violations of the "division of Church and State."  Now, if candidates were barred from filing because of a religious qualification requirement, or voters were barred from registering or casting their ballots on that basis, it would be a different matter.

    There is no way to pass or enforce legislation that makes everyone like us, whatever it is that distinguishes us from what many might consider to be "normal" or "upright."

    Nor can we legislate away every social stigma, even though, believe me, I know how painful it is to be at the brunt of them, as I have been often throughout my life, because of prejudices against me, groups to which I belong, and others whom I have publicly supported.

    As we saw this past week, there are still people being imprisoned for the color of their skin.  Members of the LGBT community are still fighting for their basic rights across the country.  Minorities are still being threatened with acts of violence, sometimes losing their lives.

    I'm sorry, it is going to take a lot more than you have provided to convince me I should turn my attention to the admittedly unfair marketing scheme at a local Denny's which inflicts the burden a few cents on its victims.

    •  You are conflating two issues (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Big Tex

      the first is legal discrimination.

      There are numerous, continuous, wide-spread instances of actionable legal discrimination against atheists in the US, and, in fact, there are and have been legal action taken. We can have a separate discussion about those, but, if you care, you can just Google the matter.

      In addition, there is precedent for legal action with regard to discount coupon programs like this. Here, you don't even have to Google, there is an example cited right in the comments of this diary.

      The second issue is social discrimination. It is inappropriate and disingenuous to minimize the significance of this form of discrimination. The LGBT rights struggle (and every other civil rights struggle) has always been about legal rights AND respect and acceptance. This is true of every other rights struggle.

      It is why we care about representation of people of color in positive roles on television; it is why we care about the use of "that's so gay" as a pejorative term among young Americans. It is why we seek to promote positive female role models in traditionally male professions.

      This is really the bigger issue, in my view, in this case.

      It would never be socially acceptable for Denny's to offer a 10% discount to straight couples, excluding same sex couples, requiring a marriage certificate for the discount.

      It would never be socially acceptable for Denny's to exclude Jews.

      But, it is socially acceptable to exclude atheists.

      The fact that this is a miserable few pennies at a greasy spoon is not the point. The fact that society doesn't even see the discrimination when it is pointed out to them is the point.

      Just as 99% of the discussion about Boy Scouts discrimination, even here on Daily Kos, focuses on the exclusion of gays, not the exclusion of atheists.

      Just as, when a major spokesperson for a commercial product in the US publicly blames atheists for 9/11, of another states that atheists should not be allowed to teach her children - that she might, maybe, consider letting one babysit her kids, while they were too young to be polluted by our atheist cooties - they not only suffer no commercial, public of professional consequences, the companies that retain them consider it an economic plus.

      Just as, when a major network news anchor says, on prime time, repeatedly, "there are no atheists in foxholes", not a single theist leader of any religion will join us in a protest at the network headquarters in Manhattan.

      None of those things are illegal. They are immoral and inconsistent with what America is all about, and particularly inconsistent with progressive values.

      Yet the overwhelming reaction here is apathy at best, overt hostility most commonly.

      One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

      by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 11:58:43 AM PDT

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      •  Count me on the apathy side. (0+ / 0-)

        Until this conversation, I was merely unenthusiastic.

        •  Why the hostility? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Big Tex

          I'm curious to know what I could have possibly said in my comment above to justify this reaction. It is certainly not the reaction I hoped for, and it clearly indicates that I have failed to communicate effectively.

          Perhaps, as apathetic as you claim you are, you would indulge me with a few sentences explaining what I said that offended you to the extent that you changed your mind about the legitimacy of the discrimination claims of an entire class of people.

          Or, just why you feel the need to be an asshole about it. I certainly responded to you substantively and respectfully and never questioned your commitment or the reality of your concerns.

          One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

          by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 02:16:51 PM PDT

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    •  The linked report has many (0+ / 0-)

      If you read the linked article you will find a whole list of similar situations, most of which involve a lot more money. This is not an isolated list.

      I'm certainly not comparing this to racism or gay rights, but it is illegal discrimination and we shouldn't have to put up with it.

      Is it not written "There's a lot goes on we don't get told."? (Lu Tze)

      by MakeChessNotWar on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 04:30:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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