I heard about this story on the Mark Levin radio show.
A Pennsylvania man has filed a complaint against, Prudhomme’s Lost Cajun Kitchen a restaurant in Columbia, PA on the grounds that they discriminated against him when he noticed on the restaurant’s website that they offer a discount on Sundays to people who present a church bulletin.
According to the York Daily Record, John Wolff, who is a retired electrical engineer stated: “I did this not out of spite, but out of a feeling against the prevailing self-righteousness that stems from religion, particularly in Lancaster County.”
In another interview (video above), Wolff stated:
“They provide a discount for church goers if they present a church bulletin and that rubbed me a bit the wrong way. It’s not a big deal in itself itself and I have no animosity against Prudhomme’s but I do bear a grudge against the religious right that seems to intrude on our civil rights – right and left – getting laws passed that favor religion and this was just one more nail that I wanted to do something about.”
I feel that both of these statements are inconsistent. He said “it’s not out of spite,” yet he’s trying to get a private business to be forced into going against their values. He said “It’s not a big deal,” yet he contacted the Freedom From Religion Foundation who directed him on further steps to take to formally register a complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. He said he has “no animosity” against the restaurant but that he also has “a grudge against the religious right.”
I really feel that this is simply a case of a bitter old man who hates religion. Who cares if the restaurant gives a discount to churchgoers? Restaurants give discounts to senior citizens (Wolff is in his late 70s, by the way), places don’t always charge children under a certain age for services, some bars don’t make women pay cover charges. What about restraunts that have special deals or offers for soldiers and veterans around military holidays? Or movie theaters which give student discounts? Are all of those things discrimination? Why is it a problem that a business decides that they want to give a discount to churchgoers?
How is that discrimination? It’s not like they make you pass a theology exam. If Wolff wanted, he could stop by a church, pick up a bulletin, and then enjoy the discount. The restaurant would never know.
“But Josh, what if the man has too much integrity to do that?”
That’s ridiculous. The restaurant said that if a person presented a church bulletin, they could have the discount, regardless of if they attended the religious services or not.
It’s not like the restaurant is saying you must be a Christian or you cannot eat there. THAT would be discrimination. That’s not what this restaurant is doing.
So really, what difference is there between the bulletin and a coupon? If I don’t have a coupon that someone else does, is it discrimination that I don’t get the same deal?
I feel that this story is absolutely ridiculous. And I know the vast majority of people would agree. Even among secular people, I think they would mostly agree that it’s just someone who has a vendetta against religion.
Wolff has taken these actions out of “the prevailing self-righteousness that stems from religion.” Self-righteous? He’s going to call the religious self-righteous? He complains about how religions shouldn’t think that they’re truer than other religions. That’s a religious statement! And it’s one that he assumes is true but that he ultimately has to believe on faith. And he believes what he is saying ought to be privileged and that his view is better than the views of other people.
And he’s going to pick on this restaurant because Christians are self-righteous? What difference does it make if Christians are self-righteous as it relates to this restaurant? That’s a very anti-theistic stance.
Wolff says the religious right “seems to intrude on our civil rights – right and left – getting laws passed that favor religion and this was just one more nail that i wanted to do something about.”
So he’s complaining about a discount being a law that intrudes on his civil rights, and he believes that legal action needs to be taken to hinder the actual rights of the owners of a private business? Because people believe differently than he does, he believes they should be forced to act differently.
What does he even want? In his interviews, he’s vague on what exactly he hopes to accomplish. In the video interview, Wolff says, “I contacted the freedom from religion foundation and they contacted Prudhomme’s who were not very receptive about the complaint, who were a bit snotty about it actually, from what I understand.”
Not receptive and snotty? Maybe they weren’t receptive because your request is completely illegitimate and ridiculous. I would have probably been snotty too.
But again, what does Wolff want. In the video, he says, “I am not looking for any particular resolution. What I would rather see is people becoming a little more tolerant and open minded about recognizing that they do not possess the one true religion.”
TOLERANT?! you disagree with a 10% discount and are taking legal action against a privately owned business and you’re complaining about tolerance?! This is one of the most absurd stories about the anti-religious that I think I’ve ever heard.
Would it help if they discontinued the discount? So that no one was able to benefit from it? If they offer a discount that he feels that he can’t have (even though he actually can if we would pick up a bulletin but that he chooses not to), and he doesn’t get the discount but then the restaurant discontinues the discount, in either case, he’s paying full price. So what difference does it make? He’s the Grinch who stole discounts. What kind of person acts like this?
A lot of restaurants would probably back down and take the discount away so that no one got it, but Prudhomme’s is standing their ground and fighting back. The owners of the restaurant aren’t even churchgoers, by the way.
But as the process continues, courts might force this establishment to make changes.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation argues that this is a violation of federal laws. To the letter of the law, perhaps it is. ut the idea that a place cannot offer a small discount for anyone (member of a church or atheist) who has a bulletin is fundamentally flawed, in my opinion. Shouldn’t this be about what’s right? And private citizens being able to have basic rights about how they choose to run their businesses? And someone might respond with “well what’s the difference between this and discriminating against a difference race?”
Don’t be ridiculous. They are two completely different things. This man’s rights aren’t being violated. It is he who is trying to forcibly have the rights of the owners of Prudhomme’s violated.
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