Complaint: restaurant’s church-bulletin discounts violate bias law

by Walter Olson on July 12, 2012

“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.” Local atheist John 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.” The co-owner of the restaurant said the promotion was an effort to stimulate Sunday business and that she doesn’t care whether customers have any particular views on religion. [Sue Gleiter, Harrisburg Patriot-News]

{ 13 comments }

1 CTrees 07.12.12 at 9:22 am

Many churches do not require that attendees actually practice their specific religion, so long as they maintain a certain respectful decorum. Mr. Wolff, though an atheist, could (at no monetary cost!) attend a church service, get a bulletin, and bring it in for the discount. The restaurant is asking for a proof of attendence, not a proof of belief.

Just sayin’

2 Peyote Short 07.12.12 at 9:23 am

There’re churches that haven’t installed WIFI, yet, so they can just read the bulletin on tablets?

3 Ed 07.12.12 at 12:56 pm

Maybe one of the local churches could bring him a bulletin every Sunday.

4 WooHoo 07.12.12 at 2:10 pm

“My interest is in social justice and tolerance”. Famous words. Isn’t siccing the PRHC on a private entity being intolerant of private individuals rights to do as they please? Indeed, forcing the atheist viewpoint? If he got a ‘atheist’ discount, would that make him happy?

5 Anonymous Attorney 07.12.12 at 3:11 pm

Those who preach “tolerance” are among the least tolerant.

6 Ed 07.12.12 at 4:29 pm

Guy’s going to lose. This has been fought before under discount drinks for women and discounts for customers over 65. Of course in today’s PC world, you never know.

7 smart dude 07.12.12 at 5:07 pm

The restaurant should also offer the same discount to souless, amoral serial litigant harassers.

Proof for discount can be a photocopy of the first page from any brief from a prior vexious litigation or ownership of a copy of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.

8 Jack Wilson 07.13.12 at 9:13 am

Who can we complain to about the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission if we think it violates our rights?

9 Frank 07.13.12 at 9:57 am

“This has been fought before under discount drinks for women”

My recollection is that in at least two instances the above was a winner for plaintiff

10 Frank 07.13.12 at 10:00 am

“The restaurant is asking for a proof of attendence, ”

No, they are asking for a copy of the bulletin.

My recollection from a youth in the church is that these are freely available by scanning the parking lot and surrounding grounds after the service. (Or in entrance area of church before dissemination and subsequent disposal)

11 Mark Biggar 07.13.12 at 10:17 am

How is this any different than giving a discount for showing a movie ticket stub from a local movie theater? Can I sue because none of the currently showing films are to my taste?

12 RavingRambler 07.13.12 at 11:51 am

Not a lawyer or anything, but does the guy even have standing to file suit?

Local atheist John Wolff, “who said he’s never been to Prudhomme’s…”

It seems to me if he’s never been there, he’s never been “harmed” by having to pay more than someone who had a bulletin and therefore has no cause of action. Any lawyers out there that can clarify?

13 L. C. Burgundy 07.14.12 at 10:54 am

Raving,

Behold the magic of the “Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission,” which probably has some very creative definitions of harm, including imaginary only-exists-in-my-brain harm.

And regarding Mr. Wolff’s contention that they “should not give discounts based on religion,” they don’t – they give discounts based upon having a bulletin from a church, which really isn’t different from giving discounts based upon coupons from a newspaper.

“My interest is in social justice and tolerance, and I get a little annoyed at all the religiosity,” he said. I wonder if Mr. Wolff realizes how far he sets back the cause of tolerance by this little stunt.

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