Fox and Friends Rages Against Anti-Discrimination Protection for Atheists

Madison, Wisconsin just became the first city in the country to explicitly protect atheists against discrimination in hiring, housing and public accommodation. Naturally, Fox News is throwing a fit about it. Tucker Carlson and his fellow dolts on Fox and Friends explain how terribly oppressive it is:

While Fox News cheered on the Indiana “religious freedom” bill as a way to protect Christians, they sure don’t feel the same way about a Wisconsin ordinance, pushed by the evil Freedom From Religion Foundation, which protects atheists. On this morning’s Fox & Friends, we learned that this action is anti-Christian because Christians have a right to discriminate against atheists!

Paragon of tolerant Christianity, Tucker Carlson reported that Madison, Wisconsin is now including atheists as a protected class. Jesus BFF, Anna Kooiman set the propaganda message in asking Fox’s favorite race baiting, GOP activist, and former DOJ attorney J Christian Adams “where does this hostility come from.” Adams informed us that the measure was driven by the Freedom From Religion Foundation which is one of Fox’s favorite targets for its patented war on atheists and atheism. In Fox’s Christian crusade, Adams described the group as “a bunch of angry atheists.” (As opposed to the perennially pissed off Christians who host Fox News shows?)

Adams whined about how the FRFF “hectors governments to pass anti-Christian anti-Christian, anti-religious ordinances.” (As opposed to anti-gay ordinances such as the one, promoted by Fox, in Houston?) Despite the fact that Madison’s measure was passed unanimously, the banner proclaimed that it is a “Controversial Change.” He continued to whine about the FRFF’s evil ways and how they are “full of hostility towards people of faith.” Tucker Carlson joined the attack: “It’s never about tolerating their views, it’s attacking other people’s views.” (Oh, the irony! This is being said on Fox News which does this ALL THE TIME!)…

Adams blithered about how this ordinance will spawn a “body of “bureaucrats” who will be “tasked” to harass “people of faith” who have good reason to not hire atheists because the New Testament says to “avoid them.” He used the hypothetical example of an airline that wants to hire pilots who believe in hell (WTF) and opined that this shows why religion is “important to so many people.” He claimed that telling people that they can’t hire those who are religiously simpatico “intrudes on their free exercise of faith.”

Christians, of course, have had such protections against discrimination for more than 50 years now. And if you dared to suggest that they should not have such protections, you would be branded a demon-possessed minion of Satan and probably a gay Muslim terrorist too. Not allowing other people to discriminate against Christians? Obviously necessary. Not allowing Christians to discriminate against non-Christians? WHY DO YOU HATE AMERICA AND THE BABY JESUS, YOU COMMIE PINKO?

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  • John Pieret

    It’s hostility to Christians to give atheists protection from discrimination? What’s next? Muslims? Buddhists? [Gasp!] Jews?

  • Chiroptera

    Because when you force someone who has almost all the stuff to share the stuff, then you’re really discriminating against people who have stuff.

  • sugarfrosted

    So I take it they’d fight for my right to not hire Catholics based on their history of Pogroms based on lies they had spread and Lutherans based on the tract Luther wrote.

    Yeah, I’ll wait.

  • sugarfrosted

    @3 PS I don’t actually condone that at all. Just to make that perfectly clear.

  • anubisprime

    As teh gheys, their traditional targets of vile and puerile hatred, move beyond the legal boundary and are scratched off the xtian ‘easy to oppress’ list, then new targets are being dusted off and primed, Atheists and Atheism is a prime target, all ways has been of course, but their priority status has now been ramped up the kill list…in other words Atheists have been promoted to fill the gap in home territory hate targets for frustrated and psychotic fundymentalists to have a pop at.

    Now it is gonna get nasty….bring it on!

  • John Pieret

    Not that I doubt that atheists will be a target of the bigots but there is a an easier one at hand: transgendered, transsexual, intersexed people and the like. The general public still is uncomfortable about that group and will be less sympathetic than they have become towards gays and lesbians and, therefore, more likely to be supportive of, or at least indifferent to, laws restricting their rights and/or actively harming them.

    Anyway, if the bigots play their cards right, they can probably get quite a few to commit suicide …

  • D. C. Sessions

    The lovely thing about going after “atheists” is that there’s bound to be a lot of collateral damage against other groups. I doubt that they’re worried about Muslims (more like a beneficial side-effect there) but Chinese, Indians (both flavors), quite likely other Christians, and (wait for it) Jews [1] will probably not take kindly to being declared fair game for discrimination because they don’t measure up to the Jesus Bar.

    Since a lot of these “atheists” tend to be darker-skinned than Real Americans® I anticipate a lot of “all of my employees are white, yes, but it’s not that I discriminate against people on race, really! It’s just that they aren’t Christians.”

    [1] Who for some reason tend to be unusually touchy on religious tests.

  • cjcolucci

    I assume that Madison law had already included “religion” as a category of prohibited discrimination. Certainly Wisconsin and federal law do. And that covers atheists. So what does the Madison law accomplish?

  • Chiroptera

    cjcolucci, #8: So what does the Madison law accomplish?

    it makes the Talibangelicals scream.

    But seriously, I was wondering the same thing myself. As far as I know, atheists are already covered by the religious protection laws.

    But then, some people don’t get this, so maybe putting in an explicit reminder to clarify things isn’t such a bad idea.

  • sugarfrosted

    @8 @9 I imagine as currently enforced it doesn’t do anything. But this makes is more specific so that future legal (purposeful mis)intepretations can’t reinterpret this so that it does not cover atheists.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Chiropetra @2: that’s pretty much the central pillar of Republican ideology.

  • jonathangray

    sugarfrosted:

    So I take it they’d fight for my right to not hire Catholics based on their history of Pogroms based on lies they had spread and Lutherans based on the tract Luther wrote.

    Yeah, I’ll wait.

    PS I don’t actually condone that at all. Just to make that perfectly clear.

    Would you defend the right of a catering firm run by an African-American family to refuse to cater for a Klan function? How about the right of a Jewish bakery to refuse to bake a swastika cake for a Nazi wedding?

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    WHY DO YOU HATE AMERICA AND THE BABY JESUS, YOU COMMIE PINKO?

    I hate America and the imaginary baby jesus precisely because I am a socialist, pacifist, anti-authoritarian, anti-imperialist, pinko.

    “Pinko” describes me to a ‘T’. I’m not red. I’m a fine shade of pink. More of us should be.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    Would you defend the right of a catering firm run by an African-American family to refuse to cater for a Klan function? How about the right of a Jewish bakery to refuse to bake a swastika cake for a Nazi wedding?

    Your examples are interesting, because being a racist or a nazi is more of a “lifestyle choice” than being LGBT. As such, one might be able to argue it’s not “discrimination” based on attributes of the people, but rather a choice not to do business with people that have chosen, in advance, to offend one.

    Would you support the right of a person to refuse to serve a customer that walked into their place of business and was verbally abusive?

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Once again jon-jon robotically repeats a tired bogus talking-point that’s already been done to death and debunked. A “Klan function” is not a wedding, and swastikas are not normal features of wedding-cakes; so it’s perfectly possible to allow bakers to refuse to do either of those things, and still require them to provide equal levels of service to gay and straight weddings, with none of the moral inconsistency that jon-jon is trying to pretend is going on here.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    And would you support the right of an establishment to refuse to seat a customer because “no shirt, no shoes, no service?”

  • Moon Jaguar

    sugarfrosted @ #10:

    You’re exactly right. “So”, says Mr. Talibangelical, “you godless sinners say atheism is a religion like bald is a hair style? We agree — it’s NOT a religion. Religious protection laws are for the religious, not you!”

  • Chiroptera

    As far as I know, very few, if any, anti-discrimination laws have “political viewpoint” as a protected class. I can imagine that a baker can refuse to bake a “Hooray for Pres. Obama” cake for the local Democrats while happily baking a “Hooray for the Republican Majority in Congress” cake for the local Republicans. I would think that refusing to bake cakes with swastikas or burning crosses would be similar.

  • jonathangray

    Marcus Ranum:

    … being a racist or a nazi is more of a “lifestyle choice” than being LGBT. As such, one might be able to argue it’s not “discrimination” based on attributes of the people, but rather a choice not to do business with people that have chosen, in advance, to offend one.

    OK, let’s eliminate any element that could be taken as deliberate provocation. A liberal baker accidentally discovers (say via Twitter) that a client who ordered a normal wedding cake holds white supremacist or other ‘extreme right-wing’ views. Is the baker justified in refusing his services?

  • jonathangray

    Raging Bee:

    A “Klan function” is not a wedding

    It could be.

    swastikas are not normal features of wedding-cakes

    They might be normal features of Nazi weddings. In any case, same-sex couples are not “normal features” of weddings.

  • sugarfrosted

    I saw JonJon’s response. Also did he just compare Catholics to Nazis? I knew he’d come around.

  • jonathangray

    Chiroptera:

    As far as I know, very few, if any, anti-discrimination laws have “political viewpoint” as a protected class.

    So it’s OK to discriminate because of one’s political beliefs but not one’s religious beliefs?

  • anubisprime

    Not convinced that the run of the church common or garden fundymentalist makes much of a distinction b’twixt ‘n’ b’tween transgender, transsexual, transvestite, and ‘teh ghey’…according to their rhetoric all the above are pretty much damned to hell in a handcart…allegedly!

    The average bigot tend to lump all things they are terrified of under one main heading…ungodly… therefore prime target.

    They, undoubtedly, will not be particularly bothered as to nuance just the generic default caricature of ‘teh ghey’ and the other groups will all be lumped in their for ease of intolerance.

    Otherwise they would have to distinguish what the sliding scale of intolerance should actually be…are ‘teh ghey’ more heinous then transsexuals? or do cross dressers deserve more opprobrium then transgender? the calculation gets out of hand and paradoxically the preachers being in the main rather dimmer then the legions they scam, will be satisfied to add the sum of the parts and divide by righteousness.

  • Alverant

    #19 @jonathangray

    No, they had an agreement and provided there is no threat to anyone’s safety (like your KKK/Nazi wedding examples) that agreement should be honored. Just like the agreement made when a business opens its doors to the public; that the agree to serve the public and not turn away someone who is doing no harm. But I guess it’s just too much to expect professionalism from some people.

  • CJO, egregious by any standard

    same-sex couples are not “normal features” of weddings.

    Awferfucksake. Disingenuous much?

    Two licensed adults desirous of forming a married pair are normal features of weddings. Are in fact one of only a few necessary conditions for a wedding to take place. The whole fucking point here is, it shouldn’t matter for purposes of access to services what gender(s) (or other legally protected class [which Klan members and neo-Nazis ain’t]) those persons belong to.

  • John Pieret

    anubisprime:

    Not convinced that the run of the church common or garden fundymentalist makes much of a distinction b’twixt ‘n’ b’tween transgender, transsexual, transvestite, and ‘teh ghey’

    I’m sure they don’t but they are learning that they can no longer ‘get at’ gays and lesbians with the usual tactics of sowing fear in the non-fundie community. They have sensed that they still have a shot at doing so with transgenders with lurid claims of men and boys dressing in women’s clothes to peek and/or rape the women and girls. Another one is that high school boys will declare themselves female so that they can win the college scholarships that should have gone YOUR daughters.

    It’s not so much who they hate more, it’s who is more vulnerable.

  • Chiroptera

    jonathangray, #22: So it’s OK to discriminate because of one’s political beliefs but not one’s religious beliefs?

    If by “OK” you mean “allowed”, then my understanding of the law (which may be incorrect) is that, yes, it is allowed to discriminate against political beliefs but not against religious beliefs.

    If you mean “morally acceptable,” then I’d say that certain toxic political beliefs and certain toxic religious beliefs should be discriminated against. Unfortunately, the law can be pretty awful at drawing good line between “benign or useful” versus “toxic and harmful”, and so if there is a problem that warrants legal protection for groups that are discriminated against, the awful people get the same protection as the nice people. That is a price I’m willing to pay to protect the nice people.

    Decent law abiding people who have something positive to contribute to society have historically been discriminated against in this country; I have no problem with laws prohibiting religious discrimination even if the lunatics and dolts and hate mongers get the same protection.

    Laws against discrimination based on political beliefs? I’m not quite as sure that is the proper solution to whatever problem that is meant to address, but if it becomes a serious issue to debate in the political sphere, I’m willing to listen.

  • raven

    Adams blithered about how this ordinance will spawn a “body of “bureaucrats” who will be “tasked” to harass “people of faith” who have good reason to not hire atheists because the New Testament says to “avoid them.”

    1. WTF is she wittering on about?

    It’s already illegal to discriminate on the basis of religion. And atheists for legal purposes are considered a religious class.

    As pointed out already, this ordinance doesn’t do anything that hasn’t been US law for decades.

    2. As far as I can remember the New Testament doesn’t say a damn thing about atheists. The usual, what xians say is in the bible is almost never actually in…the bible. Lies again.

  • anubisprime

    John Pieret @ 26

    It’s not so much who they hate more, it’s who is more vulnerable.

    Absolutely that is the main criterion for an xtian righteousness crusade,

    And no doubt there will be a few honcho heads agitating against, a sub within a sub group, the troopers will have little idea of who is meant…a tad of ‘discriminate against them all and god will choose who truly belongs in hell’

    It will lead to quite a few court cases by the shape of it because the troops will no doubt target completely the ‘wrong’ grouping. and incur the wrath of the, hopefully, a national law legislation ratified by the supreme court.

    No one can really be surprised that they will shoot themselves in the foot over and over again on that point!

    In the main you are correct, it will be the vulnerable that get the brunt of the hatred, it is after all how xtian moral crusades work…or not… as the case maybe.

    Actually it is difficult to single out one moral crusade where they are the clear victors, the usual result is delay,confusion and misery, tis what they regard as worthwhile apparently, it does not stop them though, ‘jeebus expects’ and all that!

  • raven

    2 Corinthians 6:14 – Bible Gateway

    htt p s://www. biblegateway. com/passage/?search=2+Corinthians…

    Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness

    This is probably what Christian Bigot Adams was referring to.

    It doesn’t say atheists. It says unbelievers. At that time those were nonxians such as Jews and Pagans.

    Unbelievers today would be Moslems, Jews, nonxians of any religion. Plus Mormons maybe and Fake Xians. Fake xians are those not of your One True Cult and vary from person to person. It could be Catholics or Protestants or Southern Baptists only. And atheists and agostics. Deists.

    If Tucker Carlson and Christian Adams want to avoid nonbelievers, fine with us. We don’t want anything to do with them either.

    But if they are going to violate US laws on discrimination in hiring, housing, services and so on, they are still going to get prosecuted.

  • raven

    What the bible actually says to do with atheists is pretty standard.

    Kill them. Stone them to death.

    I’m sure Fox NoNews, Tucker Carlson, and Christian Adams would be way too happy to murder a few tens of millions of US citizens.

  • raven

    John Pieret @ 26

    It’s not so much who they hate more, it’s who is more vulnerable.

    QFT.

    In Africa, the xian witch hunters murder children and old women. Because they are easy prey.

    Guns are everywhere in Africa. And attacking an adult male with a gun means you won’t be witch hunting for long because you will be…dead yourself.

  • Michael Heath

    We secularists are thumping the Christians pretty good. All indications argue that will continue. Their beliefs and behavior simply can’t withstand scrutiny.

    The biggest remaining threat? Conservative Christian success at blocking mitigation efforts to minimize the suffering from global warming.

    We were so close to having it all, a mere century or two off, in spite of the Dark Ages when Christian governments dominated the west for centuries.

    So while we will win; the world won’t be as wonderful as it could have been because of the damage they’ve wreaked and will continue to wreak as they become increasingly irrelevant.

  • raven

    2 Corinthains edited to remove typical bible babble:

    Warning Against Idolatry

    14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial[b]? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? ]

    17 Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord.

    The Fox NoNews creeps are just babbling.

    It does say that xians are supposed to avoid nonbelievers, Jews, Moslems, Pagans, Hindus, Catholics (or Protestants) etc.. They are supposed to be separate.

    IMO, it would be a great idea if they would separate themselves out and go find some bunkers to hide in. They aren’t going to do it though.

    Given that the USA is somewhere between .1% and 70% xian, depending on the cult, they are going to run into nonbelievers all the time.

    PS And of course, we aren’t supposed to unequally yoke ourselves to Israel. Get lost Netanyahu.

  • Nemo

    @cjcolucci #8:

    I assume that Madison law had already included “religion” as a category of prohibited discrimination. Certainly Wisconsin and federal law do. And that covers atheists. So what does the Madison law accomplish?

    Legally, nothing. Rhetorically, it makes it clear to assholes like Carlson and Adams that yes, that means atheists, too, no matter how much theocrats try to deny it. You’ve surely heard “freedom of religion, not freedom from religion”, and similar inanities. Or think of Bryan Fischer, who baselessly claims that freedom of religion in the U.S. was only ever meant to apply to Christians. This ordinance is a rebuke to such views.

  • Synfandel

    Curious that the Freedom From Religion Foundation keeps turning up in articles as the “FRFF”. Is there some significance or is it just collective dyslexia?

  • John Pieret

    BTW, jonathangray @ 19:

    OK, let’s eliminate any element that could be taken as deliberate provocation. A liberal baker accidentally discovers (say via Twitter) that a client who ordered a normal wedding cake holds white supremacist or other ‘extreme right-wing’ views. Is the baker justified in refusing his services?

    No.

    As long as the baker isn’t asked to create a specifically white supremacist cake (with, say, racist sayings written in icing) s/he can’t refuse to bake the cake. Nor can a Christian or atheist be made to bake a cake for a SSM, or any other occasion, that represents a sexual act in icing. Instructive is the “case” (it was an obvious “set up”) where a baker was asked to bake a cake in the shape and decorated as a Bible. She readily agreed but then the “customer” asked that vile and possibly obscene words about SSM be added. She correctly said she wouldn’t do it but offered the “customer” icing, a pastry bag and instruction how to use them. As has been noted above, if a baker doesn’t want to put two male or female two female figures on the cake, fine … s/he can offer to sell them to the couple to put on themselves or tell them to find them elsewhere. Same with an icing Swastika.

    As I said before, I might cut a wedding photographer more leeway because that involves intimate interaction with the couple and participation in the ceremony but that’s no reason to give a blanket dispensation to those who are, like bakers and florists, peripherally, at most, involved in the ceremony.

  • jonathangray

    Michael Heath @33

    😀 😀 😀

  • eric

    I agree with John Pieret @37 and mostly disagree with earlier comments trying to say its okay to discriminate based on political ideology. No, bakers should not be allowed to refuse to give standard offerings and services to white supremacists. The essential point of all these nondiscrimination laws – the goal they are trying to achieve – is that public accommodation services must be open to all the public.

  • Chiroptera

    eric, #39: No, bakers should not be allowed to refuse to give standard offerings and services to white supremacists.

    If by “standard offerings” you mean the simple act of selling a cake to a white supremacist, you may be right. But running a “public accommodation” does not necessarily mean that you are required to provide an open forum for any and all comers. Within the limits allowed by the anti-discrimination laws, I feel that business owners are entitled to determine which messages they will enable.

  • Childermass

    The federal civil rights laws from the 1960s (as well as most of their state counterparts) have been interpreted since inception that nonbelievers have the same rights as believers. The law says that someone can’t be discriminated on the basis of religion. Discriminating against a nonbeliever is discrimination on the basis of religion. I hope that a push to get it explicitly written in won’t get misinterpreted as an admission that nonbelievers are not covered by such laws. Because under such an interpretation, we have protection in one city in the country and none for the rest of the country.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    A liberal baker accidentally discovers (say via Twitter) that a client who ordered a normal wedding cake holds white supremacist or other ‘extreme right-wing’ views. Is the baker justified in refusing his services?

    This is nothing at all like the discrimination to which we’re objecting. Yet another bogus analogy that shows how dishonest the anti-gay bigots really are.