Tuesday, November 21, 2006

An Example of Unconstitutional Hostility Toward Religion

Yesterday I visited Granny Geek's blog. Now, I don't know Granny Geek, I've never met her. I have nothing against Granny Geek. I'm sure she's a fine lady, but the discussion I had with her in the comment section of her blog entry, "Pop Quiz," over the course of last night and this morning has been completely removed. I find that very unfortunate because it leaves her readers with the impression that Pizza Hut and other restaurants which ran a Sunday discount for their patrons who brought a church bulletin into the store were wrong and broke the laws of both Springfield and the State of Missouri. Based on Granny Geek's links that simply isn't the case.

I had a lengthy exchange with Granny Geek on the topic. I asked her some questions which she refused to answer, instead asking me a few questions of her own which I, in turn, declined to answer because I've been around the liberal debate tactic of changing the subject and turning the tables often enough to recognize it when I see it and I wasn't interested in playing the game.

I then took her advice and followed the links she provided in her original post, which I felt was a perfectly reasonable request on her part and if there was a legal precedent which would put the issue to rest I was fully willing to accept that. However, links which she insinuated would set a precedent for her self-proclaimed judgement that the actions of Pizza Hut were illegal and that other restaurants who participated in the giving of discounts in exchange for church bulletins on Sunday were illegal actions turned out to set the opposite precedent than what she claimed.

Following was the last comment I made in the comment section of her post titled "Pop Quiz" but which was almost immediately removed along with every other comment I made (I put it in quotes simply to designate it, I am quoting a comment which was removed and in some cases quoting comments made by Granny Geek which were later removed):"



Look, Ms. Geek, I like to learn and I like the truth. I haven't claimed to be a lawyer and I haven't claimed to be as knowledgable of past legal precendents as you may be but you made some firm statements in your original entry which you failed to prove with your links. You wrote:

"THIS DISCOUNT IS ILLEGAL IN SPRINGFIELD AS WELL AS IN MISSOURI."

You wrote:

"The sign was changed several weeks ago. Springfield is following precedents established in other cities."

However, your link establishes the opposite of what you implied it would establish.

You implied that there was a court case involving Pizza Hut, or perhaps you were referring to the one you referenced at your "other cities" link, when you wrote:

"Jack, (Fat Jack's Erratic Rants) you may disagree with the court’s ruling, but it’s now precedent. Your arguments are for naught."

It turns out the precedent was not what you implied it was but that the court ruled in favor of a base ball team's right to give discounts to those who provided them with church bulletins, even going so far as to state "THAT TO FORBID SUCH A PROGRAM WOULD EVINCE AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL HOSTILITY TOWARD RELIGION…."

Further, even if you can prove that Pizza Hut is "accommodating" the "public" in a sense that it would help your case, you cannot associate a person's having a church bulletin with them being a Christian, necessarily. I pointed out that one does not have to be a Christian to go to a church and obtain a bulletin...therefore, how is there any discrimination involved based on religion when a person does not have to be a
Christian to attend a Christian church or any other church that I am aware of, for that matter?

Had you not presented your argument by making flat statements as though fact and not succeeded in backing up those statements with the links you provided yourself, I would not question you, but you made a statement that it was:

"ILLEGAL IN SPRINGFIELD AS WELL AS IN MISSOURI..."

...and then failed to prove your case.

If you can do so then you are welcome to do so. It isn't my job to prove it
for you. Sorry for the repititon but I based my comments on the links you provided in your post. If you have further information which will prove your point based on a past case involving YUM foods then either post it or don't. That's really not my business or my problem and I think I've already gone above and beyond in my "accommodation" of your requests. I've done what you requested based on your original post and your original links.

You have a nice day too, and a blessed Thanksgiving. :)

Now, let me reiterate that I do not know Granny Geek and it really isn't my intention to set about making as many enemies as possible among the local bloggers in my community. But there is no reason to believe that Pizza Hut or any other restaurant which gave a discount to people for producing a church bulletin has broken any law in Springfield or greater Missouri.

At one point in the discussion I commented that oftentimes businesses or even city governments will simply stop taking an action if there is a challenge to it because it is hardly worth the trouble or expense.

Restaurants are in the business of making a profit, not fighting for human rights' issues such as this and, in my opinion the ACLU takes advantage of that circumstance, knowing full well that, if challenged, a business or small town or city government will simply cave in on the issue to avoid lengthy and costly legal battles in a court of law. That businesses and small town and city governments fail to fight against a complaint is not representative of their concession that they were not within their rights to take an action, they simply don't want to be bothered with such challenges. I find that very disappointing and discouraging. I tire of watching the ACLU bully people, businesses, small towns, cities and other entities into giving up their rights because a person, perhaps only one person, has filed a complaint. A complaint is not proof of illegal activity. I suspect in the case of a person filing a complaint regarding the church bulletin discounts at Pizza Hut with either the Mayor's Commission on Human Rights or the Missouri Commission on Human rights, that both of those commissions are required by law to notify the business when a complaint has been made. Oftentimes a complaint, rather than being valid or holding any legal precedent, is proof of someone's thin skin and inability to tolerate other people's beliefs, sometimes they are simply on a vendetta to "get them stankin' Christians" whenever they possibly can.

In my humble opinion the truth suffered a loss today.

If Granny Geek chooses to have hard feelings over this, that's unfortunate, as well. Like I said, I don't know her, I'm sure she's a fine lady and and upstanding citizen in our community.

4 comments:

The Libertarian Guy (tm) said...

I had to go and post "big deal" over this non-issue. The restaurant in question did nothing wrong, in my never-humble opinion.

Jacke M. said...

It shouldn't have been a big deal. I wonder why people want to make such an issue of a stupid discount at a restaurant? Geesh. Do these people have lives?

The thing that troubles me is that I really don't want to make enemies but I just can't handle it when someone is so obviously dishonest.

Signed, the loner. ;)

Granny Geek said...

Jacke, I have been an activist in this community for many years and I have been called many names. No problem: it goes with the territory. But in all those years, nobody in the legions of people who disagree with me in ALL my passions and all my positions has ever called me "dishonest."

I wish you good cheer this holiday season.

In the New Year, here's hoping for a more civil discourse.

Jacke M. said...

Granny Geek, I too hope there can be more "civil" discourse between us in the future.

I sincerely meant what I said: that I am sure you are a fine lady and an upstanding citizen in our community.

Had you not removed all my comments from your blog I would not have felt it necessary to blog about it here.

You may sincerely believe that you are right, and while I disagree with you it is not your belief that Pizza Hut and the other unnamed restaurant were breaking the law which I felt was dishonest, it was your unwillingness to share in an honest discussion and dialog with me. Choosing instead to remove all of my comments and refusing to answer questions and get to the bottom of the issue, I would have liked it very much if we could have done that TOGETHER. I sincerely believe I am right also, you see?