Let me begin this piece with my own CLEARLY defined philosophy relative to CERTAINTY regarding some of life’s issues, especially religion.
I am decidedly and definitely more positive than “maybe”, but probably not quite as strong as “perhaps”, so you can put me down as respecting the rights of those who differ with me but as holding whichever opinion most people hold and sympathizing with those who are undecided.
Yep, I know it’s such a rarity in this country, but, believe it or not, an atheist has filed a complaint with a state human rights agency claiming a restaurant is discriminating against him based on RELIGION.
An atheist (John Wolff) has filed a COMPLAINT—NOT a lawsuit—with the Pennsylvania State Human Relations Commission in which he claims that Sharon Prudhomme and the Lost Cajun Kitchen restaurant in Columbia, Pennsylvania discriminated against him for religious reasons.
You can read about it for yourselves. Click here. I’m not going to rehash the whole matter. And please understand that I’m NOT an atheist; I’m an avowed agnostic.
Atheists are damn sure there is no God. It takes ABSOLUTE decisiveness to be THAT sure. I’m nowhere near decisive enough. I don’t know if there’s a God and even more important, I’m “PRETTY” sure the point can’t be proven either way.
But this isn’t about atheists attempting to “silence” God or even about a legitimate restaurant business attempting to increase its customer traffic on Sundays.
It’s about understanding that there is a real difference between protecting this nation from religious fanatics trying to convert it from a secular representative democratic republic to a theocratic representative republic and insignificant human irritants being nothing more than colossal jackasses.
In cases of the former, I’ll be the first in line with both my wallet and expertise supporting and defending the ACLU but, in cases of the latter, I’ll be among the first to call it for what it is: low-grade stinking emotional fertilizer.
This brings me to the real culprit here: a SLOW NEWS DAY! Nothing raises the emotional hackles like a good old-fashioned religious brouhaha between “Good” (God-fearing believers) and “Evil” (God-hating atheists).
It’s the reason local news groups publish this crap in the first place. But, relax; there’s no reason to break out the nukes.
However, perspective is critical here and I can add plenty of it. I’ve eaten in the Lost Cajun Kitchen many times and I know Sharon Prudhomme. It’s not a personal relationship, but I’ve enjoyed many pleasant conversations with her.
While she’s a “believer,” she’s no Bible-thumper. This woman is a business owner and operator. But she does discriminate against two classes of people: vagrants who hang around outside and bother potential customers and diners who try to skip out on the tab.
But, she doesn’t give a damn about anyone’s religious beliefs or lack thereof. All Mr. Wolff has to do in order to receive the Sunday discount is walk into the restaurant and order from the menu. The discount applies to all Sunday diners.
The point of the “Bring a church bulletin” campaign was to encourage church-goers to visit the place on their way home AFTER services. It had nothing to do with denying a discount to him because he’s an atheist.
Besides, Mr. Wolff, being a graduate engineer, certainly knows how to go online where he can find virtually thousands of church websites with “bulletins” that are downloadable in PDF format.
And finally, let me relate a few facts concerning the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) as well as a growing horde of religious fanatics who fear and claim that the atheists are taking over the country.
While I’m NOT a member of FFRF, I’ve been researching bogus claims relative to both science and religion for decades.
The FFRF’s boast of a 17,000 membership of “freethinkers, atheists, agnostics, and skeptics” sounds impressive to the unknowing, especially to Bible-thumpers who spend too much time reading the Bible and too little time doing basic research.
Using the World Fact Book—I use the Android version 1.5.1 for smartphones, but the CIA World Fact Book provides the same information—you can put FFRF’s membership numbers into proper perspective.
Understand, however, that you’re still going to have to know how to extrapolate data and cross-tab it into meaningful INFORMATION. I’ve already done that and here’s what I’ve found.
First we take the U. S. population of 313.85-MILLION (I’m rounding) and extrapolate the percentage of folks that are 18-years-old and over. My best estimate is 69.9% (219.4-MILLION out of 313.85-MILLION).
Tallying a percentage of believers from the Fact Book’s list of religions, the percentage is 86% (188.67-MILLION of the 219.4-MILLION above). The remainder (30.6-MILLION) consists of non-affiliated, agnostic, and atheists, with 10-MILLION of that group claiming to be avowed atheists.
If we assume that the non-affiliated, agnostics, and atheists are going to join forces to overthrow God’s army, God’s army still outnumbers Satan’s army by a ratio of about 6 to 1.
But, this isn’t likely to be the case. So, if we assume that only the atheists are going to attempt the coup, God’s army outnumbers Satan’s army by a whopping ratio of about 18 to 1.
And to this overwhelming force superiority we have to add all God’s DIVINE power to toss fireballs, plagues, and myriad other calamities at people who piss Him off.
Avowed atheists are no threat to the survival of America as a secular representative democratic republic. But the seemingly growing horde of self-absorbed religious fanatics poses an altogether different story.
Compared to these people, John Wolff is nothing to worry about. He’s just a minor social irritant—sort of like one of those Mediterranean fruit flies that flit and buzz about your face: hard to swat but a short-lived inconvenience.
I BOLDED the word MILLION so often in order to add emphasis to the fact that FFRF’s membership number of 17-THOUSAND is but a lousy 55-thousands of ONE percent of the estimated total of this country’s “freethinkers, agnostics, atheists, and skeptics.”
Have a nice week. And if you enjoy Cajun food, I suggest a visit to the Lost Cajun Kitchen in Columbia, PA if you live close enough to the place. With or without a church bulletin, Sharon will be happy to see you on any given Sunday… discount will apply either way!