Tacoma Coffeehouse Owners Change Their Mind About Letting Atheist Folk Singer Shelley Segal Perform In Their Shop

The other day, Hemant posted about the difficulties Camp Quest organizers ran into when they tried to put on a fund raiser at Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ. The fundraiser had been cancelled abruptly because  the owner’s “Christian philosophy” didn’t mesh with Camp Quest’s secular beliefs.

On the very same day, crew members of Ask An Atheist received an email regarding an event they had been organizing to host Australian atheist folk-singer/song-writer Shelley Segal. The email was from Anthem Beverage & Bistro, the venue where Shelley’s performance was scheduled to take place this Sunday.

Originally, plans for the event were going great, with Anthem staff saying they’d even be willing to stay open late as long as there were enough people ordering food to keep the kitchen open.

Shelley Segal

Of course, throughout their email correspondence, the Ask An Atheist folks made it clear that they were the ones who would be hosting this event. They never hid who they were and what kind of event they wanted to host. But Monday’s email made it clear that things had changed:

This isn’t something that we feel comfortable promoting or hosting because it doesn’t align with what we believe and stand for.

Anthem Beverage & Bistro, Tacoma

Additionally, a new Eternity Bible College email address had been cc’ed into the email conversation, seemingly to further drive home the point that they’re Christians who don’t want to cater to atheists. As a community organizer myself, I know how challenging it can be to find a good & suitable venue for an event and how frustrating it can be when things are changed unexpectedly. What happened to the Ask An Atheist organizers wasn’t just bad form; it was blatant discrimination.

The one silver lining in all of this is that they were able to find another venue on short notice. Doyle’s Public House has been a long time friend to the Tacoma atheist community, is a sponsor of Ask An Atheist, and is often the location for their post-show gatherings. Sadly, this means the event is no longer all-ages but they do have great food and tasty beers. So if you find yourself in the Tacoma area this Sunday night, stop in to Doyle’s at 5:00p for dinner, a pint, and some great godless folk music. (Suggested donation: $5.)

About Ericka M. Johnson

As a lover of science and reason, Ericka M. Johnson has an affinity for evolutionary biology and is the president of Seattle Atheists. She revels in any opportunity for a thoughtful debate on the meaning of life, the universe, and everything (especially over a pint.) Follow her on twitter @ErickaMJohnson

  • Agrajag

    Thank you for shining light on the medieval antics of conservative christians. If there’s one thing they don’t like, then it’s having their actions examined critically in broad daylight.

    There’s actually another advantage to stories like this one, when publicised. I’d never heard of Shelley Segal before — and I probably never would have, if not for this story. Google the Streisand Effect: Things which people try to suppress frequently ends up MORE famous because people are curious: they like to see things that others want to hide from them.

    Without the antics of conservative muslims, I doubt I’d heard of Salman Rushdie today, and I certainly wouldn’t have read any of his books.

    Shelley is awesome !

    • Blacksheep

      “Thank you for shining light on the medieval antics of conservative christians.”

      It’s only my opinion because I don’t know what’s in people’s hearts – but I believe that there are many, many atheists out there (and on this site) who wouldn’t want a Christian act in their venue who was singing about the need for repentance and salvation. I believe many atheists would find it obnoxious.

      • baal

        But we’re still waiting to see a cavalcade of such discrimination in real life. Part of that is numbers (oddly enough, atheists are still a minority especially if you can lump all christians together) but part of that is we’re well aware of the law on discrimination based on the religion protected class. We’re otherwise just as human as the next group of people.

        • Blacksheep

          I didn’t mention any (anti Christian) discrimination… nor do i have a persecution complex – how did you get that out of my note?

          • baal

            I was too subtle then. Atheists, being human, are likely to carry out discrimination. I agree with your point to that degree. I also note that despite the same human tendencies, finding cases of atheists discriminating against christians is really rare – boarder line non-existent. So while your point is valid on a philosophical level, reality says you’re just making noise.

            • Blackheep

              I actually was making a very specific point at the outset: The issue is not that she’s an atheist, but that she’s using the paltform to advance atheism. That’s what the place had an issue with.

              • GCT

                You keep saying that without actually supporting it, despite numerous requests for you to do so. If you can’t support your assertions, then I will simply dismiss them as nonsense.

                • Blacksheep

                  You need to research her lyrics a bit. (it won’t take long).

                • GCT

                  No, you need to point out what parts are supportive of your assertions. You don’t get to play this game where all you have to do is make the accusations and the atheist is automatically guilty. Your arguments are looking more and more bigoted all the time.

                • Blacksheep

                  You’re using a lot of energy spinning things and amplifying some things over others. My assertation is quite simple: She was not cancelled because she was a performer who happened to be an atheist, she was cancelled because she is a performer whose act is based on promoting atheism. That’s just a fact – I’m not making a judgement on it. The second fact is that her lyrics are critical of Christianity, and since Christians identify themselves largely by their faith, the result is that it’s critiacl of Christians themeselves.

                  I further said that I supported her right to perform anything that she wants to, and she should fight for that. But I equally support the venue owner who also has rights – and he chose not to host an act that was critical of his faith.

                  I also said that his last minute cancellation was a bad move – and I added that I would not have done that. I would have considered this stuff at the outset, not mass up her plans.

                • GCT

                  My assertation is quite simple: She was not cancelled because she was a performer who happened to be an atheist, she was cancelled because she is a performer whose act is based on promoting atheism. That’s just a fact – I’m not making a judgement on it.

                  That’s not a fact, and you have not supported it.

                  The second fact is that her lyrics are critical of Christianity, and since Christians identify themselves largely by their faith, the result is that it’s critiacl of Christians themeselves.

                  Once again you’ve made the same mistake that I keep telling you about. Criticism of Xianity is not the same as criticism of Xians. Your insistence that it is amounts to nothing more than a atheophobic and bigoted attempt to silence atheists. You’re a bigot.

                • Blacksheep

                  Sorry GCT. On one level I enjoy this discourse, if only because we’re both engaging in something that we feel strongly about.

                  But on another level, we’re on such different wavelengths that it’s futile to continue.

                  My first point is indeed a fact, I have supported it with her lyrics. If you don’t see that, we’re too far apart to have a discussion. (In an earlier post you said “So what if she is condemning Christianity…” so I thought you had come round a bit – but I see that’s not the case.

                  My second point has gotten so mired in your clinging to the distinction between Christianity and Christians that that in itself has become the topic. In way too many posts here I have pointed out that it’s both – and the two are woven together anyway. See above:

                  “The second fact is that her lyrics are critical of Christianity, and since Christians identify themselves largely by their faith, the result is that it’s critiacl of Christians themeselves.” That’s a fact too. You may disagree, but it doesn’t make it any less so.

                  We’re coming from two different places, I’m sure we both have work to do, and I wish you the best.

                • GCT

                  My first point is indeed a fact, I have supported it with her lyrics.

                  It is not a fact, and you don’t get to decree that it is by fiat.

                  “The second fact is that her lyrics are critical of Christianity, and since Christians identify themselves largely by their faith, the result is that it’s critiacl of Christians themeselves.” That’s a fact too. You may disagree, but it doesn’t make it any less so.

                  Again, that is not a fact, especially since you are factually wrong. No matter how fervently a Xian identifies herself by her faith, being critical of Xianity is not an attack on the Xian. Period. That’s a fact, by the actual properties of the universe. You don’t get to claim that your atheophobic bigotry is the actual fact.

                  Get it through your head. No matter how disparaging I am of an idea, it is not disparaging of the person who holds that idea.

                • Blacksheep

                  Like I said, i wish you the best.

                • GCT

                  No, you don’t. You don’t care about your religious privilege. You don’t care about the bigotry you espouse. You don’t care whether atheists have their rights brutally trampled. You don’t care about your evident hatred. You don’t care about any of that so long as you get to convince yourself that you’re right and those atheists are wrong. If you really wished me the best, you’d try to examine your privileges and your biases and your hatred.

                • Blacksheep

                  I’m always honest on here GCT. I’m not sure why it’s all such an angry affair for you.

                • GCT

                  No, you’re not, as I’ve pointed out. I will admit that you’ve been pretty honest about being a bigot though.

                  And, yes, I’ll admit that bigotry against me and other atheists makes me angry. I won’t apologize for that.

                • Blacksheep

                  I have not said one single bigoted thing against atheists. Some of my best freinds are atheists. That’s a sincere statement, not sarcasm or a half truth.

                  The topic in question was always simple and clear, despite your clouding it with lies and false acusations: Are her lyrics critical to faith and to Christianity / Christians. That’s it – that’s the discussion.

                  Asking that question, or having an opinion on it, are not bigoted. Your obvious hatred, however, is different. saying “Fuck you” because you disagree with my opinion on her song lyrics is telling, as is your pent up rage and anger. I said I wish you well, and I meant it – I don’t even know you, why would you assume the worst? What philosophy is guiding you, that leads to so much anger and willingness to be rude and critical? Why would you assume that others are lying?

                  Asking a question on an online forum – and having an opinion which is backed up with eveidence – is not “Religious privelege.”

                • GCT

                  I’m sure you have some black friends too? I’ve pointed out your bigoted statements. You ignore my points only to complain that you’re really not a bigot because you have atheist friends?

                  Your obvious hatred, however, is different. saying “Fuck you” because you disagree with my opinion on her song lyrics is telling, as is your pent up rage and anger.

                  Hatred? Coming from a bigot that obviously hates atheists, this is rich. No, but I am angry. I do tend to get angry when bigots like you get in my face with their bigotry.

                  I said I wish you well, and I meant it – I don’t even know you, why would you assume the worst?

                  Well, if you actually read what I wrote instead of skipping/ignoring it, you might have a clue. Instead, you’re simply confirming what I said. You don’t give a fuck what I say, which is part of the problem and part of your atheophobic bigotry.

                  What philosophy is guiding you, that leads to so much anger and willingness to be rude and critical?

                  Um, how about the one where I have the same civil rights as you? I know you don’t think I do, nor are you willing to grant them to me, which makes me rightfully angry. When you get the brunt of my anger, it’s because you are doing something to earn it.

                  Asking a question on an online forum – and having an opinion which is backed up with eveidence – is not “Religious privelege.”

                  Your version of “evidence” is that it’s your opinion and therefore fact. That is religious privilege, as well as all the other things I’ve pointed out that you continue to ignore (which shows even more religious privilege). Instead of actually examining what biases you might have, you’re doubling down and trying to turn it back on me. Good job, that’s even more privilege on your part. Pro tip: when a member of a despised minority tells you something, at least look at it before dismissing it if you don’t want to look like a raging bigot.

                • Blacksheep

                  Nothing more to say, I would hope that a thinking atheist would back me up on this based on what I actually wrote… but I don’t think that will be the case! You have gotten so far out into your own vortex and away from the topic that it’s actually kind of funny…

                  (By the way, on FA I am in a despised minority).

                • blasphemous_kansan

                  Your comments are usually fairly sensitive, and I usually enjoy them , however mistaken I believe that they are.

                  But, on this thread, you have allowed your sense of religious privilege to rear it’s ugly head %100, you refuse to realize the difference between criticism of a person and criticism of these ideals, and you have refused to self-examine your views at all for the possibility that you are a little bit incorrect, and you’ve failed to provide any evidence for your ever-morphing nebulous point.

                  On this thread, you come off as a pearl-clutching ninny with no real points, other then you don’t like it when people say mean things about things that other people believe

                  GCT’s frustration at you seems quite understandable, since you’ve run around the same argumentative block many times now, and each time you insist on bashing your head into the same wall. I’m not sure why you think GCT isn’t a ‘thinking atheist’ but this atheist thinks that he/she is spot-fucking-on.

                  If you had a point, you’ve failed miserably at establishing it.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Well I’m not very popular on this thread either.

                  “refuse to realize the difference between criticism of a person and criticism of these ideals” I think he does realize the difference. And I think I realize the difference as well. What I don’t think you and GCT realize is that that’s not the issue.

                  That we have the right to free speech doesn’t mean anyone else has to give us a soapbox. Shelly’s music is “speech”. She has every right to speak it. But no private business is under any obligation to host it. It doesn’t really matter if she’s attacking people or ideas. She could be singing about the evils of drunk driving, and they can decide they don’t want to hear about it in their coffeeshop.

                  We’re all running around the SAME argument block over and over because both sides think they’re right, and there’s really nothing else to say.

                • blasphemous_kansan

                  I like you plenty, Rich :)

                  I disagree with your first paragraph, but I’m right with you on the rest (except for the classification of the coffee house as a “private business”). Judging by his/her comments on this thread alone I am not convinced that Blacksheep recognizes the difference between criticism of a belief and criticism of a person, and his/her only interest seems to be watering down public discourse so that no one is offended (See “I’m ok, you’re ok”, below). Fuck that.

                  I do agree that’s not the point, but Blacksheep seems to think that it is; that someone who wishes to advance an agenda (while never actually defining ‘advance’ and ‘agenda’), constitutes an attack, or establishment of an ‘anti’ ethos, to those who do not feel similarly. Simply put, that’s bullshit.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  “private business”

                  I was kind of thinking as opposed to those ‘free speech zones’ at airports, where people like the Hare Krishnas can do their flower giving/money begging, and the airport puts up big sign saying “we have to let them do that”.

                  They have to serve coffee to anyone, but they don’t have to let everyone have the mic. Maybe we disagree on how shitty it is of them to not want to hear Shelly’s music, as opposed to us not wanting to hear Amy Grant.

                • Blacksheep

                  “Judging by his/her comments on this thread alone I am not convinced that Blacksheep recognizes the difference between criticism of a belief and criticism of a person…”

                  My goal was to be clear on that point, I guess somehow I wasn’t – I explained it more carefully when I said that her lyrics insult faith and Christianity, and since Christians identify so personally with their faith, it comes off as a personal criticism. Her lyrics are also personal in nature.

                  I recognize the difference 100%. But really, that has little to do with my original point which was that she was not cancelled because she was a singer who happened to be an atheist, she was cancelled because she had an act that promoted atheism.

                • GCT

                  I think he does realize the difference.

                  That would be in direct contradiction to the evidence where Blacksheep has continuously said that criticism of a person’s ideas is tantamount to criticism of the person, even after repeatedly being corrected on that point. You can claim all you want that Blacksheep realizes the difference, but you certainly can’t do so with any intellectual honesty.

                  What I don’t think you and GCT realize is that that’s not the issue.

                  It is one of the issues.

                • Blacksheep

                  b_k, I appreciate the feedback – but I am still 100% at a loss as to why my point in any way represents religious privelege.

                  I have a take as to why the gig was cancelled (The last minute part was wrong, and I stated that) which is:

                  She was not cancelled because she was a singer who happened to be an atheist, she was cancelled because her music promotes atheism, and it promotes it partly by being critical of faith and Christianity/Christians.

                  I’m stll not sure why that point is so hard to understand. (Not agree with, just understand).

                  And why, exactly, does pointing this out mean that I am exhibiting religious privelege?

                • http://www.facebook.com/Scott.McElhiney Redorblack Nigelbottom

                  The point of ridiculousness of this? She was raised a Jew, not a Christian… so she isn’t being critical of Christianity in particular, yours is just one God she has rejected, and THAT is backed up by her lyrics. She isn’t picking on Christianity or Christians by any stretch. Would you feel it appropriate if she was a Jewish folk singer and got rejected for that by the same shop because it conflicted with their beliefs? Being that I attended the show, I can tell you that the crowd of regulars at Doyle’s stuck around and had a great time, and I witnessed personally one customer (that was not there for the show initially) come over afterwards to thank the singer and get more information. We even had a long haul trucker there who had requested a route specifically so that he could get here from Texas in order to attend the show. The show was awesome and getting to hear her talk about what the songs meant to her and her experiences growing up in a tightly knit religious community that has not rejected her even though she has rejected the faith were quite engaging. My initial thoughts about going to an “Atheist” concert fell in line with the same I’d feel about attending a “Christian” concert… so maybe it is a good thing that the controversy popped up… not sure I would have made sure I attended otherwise. Glad I did, because she doesn’t need any qualifiers added to “Musician” other than “Awesome”. Songs reflecting on her experiences related to her atheism are just as valid as the one about losing a pet salamander and a boyfriend (which was great!).

              • http://www.facebook.com/karen.uncoolmom Cary Whitman

                Yes, but she was invited by an atheist group, so why were the coffee shop owners surprised to learn this? Seems like it would be pretty obvious.

                The issue I keep coming back to is, is this a coffee shop or a religious organization? I have no problem with them running a Christian coffee house if thats what they want to be, but they need to disclose it to their customers. I don’t want to inadvertently give my hard earned money to a bunch of bigots. If it’s a coffee shop first, then I couldn’t care less what religion they practice on their own time, but once they start acting like douchbags, it’s time to find somewhere else to get your coffee.

              • http://www.facebook.com/Scott.McElhiney Redorblack Nigelbottom

                “using the paltform (sic) to advance atheism.” You know what is wrong with this comment? She was speaking and singing about HER life and experiences… NOT trying to convert anyone. If that is advancing atheism, wonderful. Sounds like you are poo pooing her for presenting something besides the religious stereotype that atheists are evilllllllll.

          • sane37

            ” I believe that there are many, many atheists out there (and on this site) who wouldn’t want a Christian act in their venue who was singing about the need for repentance and salvation. ” – Blacksheep

            The quote from above refutes your claim.

            • Blacksheep

              Sorry, I don’t consider that persecution. That’s just human nature, and it’s completely understandable.

              • Matthew Delemos

                It’s persecution. I’m sure calling it human nature makes you feel better, but it’s not the truth.

      • Sam Mulvey

        Consider reading the linked articles.

        • Blacksheep

          I have, thanks.

      • Artor

        And they would say so right up front, instead of letting the organizers spend a bunch of time and money, only to pull out at the last moment.

        • Blacksheep

          I agree – very bad move to wait until the last minute. I would have let them keep the gig rather than bail out.

          • Artor

            Yup. I used to own a bookstore, and once or twice, I booked a reading that turned out to be not what I had in mind at all. But I would rather have egg on my face than break my word. The egg washes off, and you can always explain you didn’t know what you had booked until it was too late.

      • TiltedHorizon

        Atheism means simply ‘without’ god, it does not mean against god or anti-god. That said, I personally have no problem with artistic expression of belief, I suspect the same can be said of most atheists. Case in point, I watch “The Voice” with my Wife, my most favorite performance to date was by Sarah Simmons who sung “One of Us”. Since I don’t have a venue to fill I’ve settled for having Simmons’ performance on my iTunes playlist, which also includes Christian rock bands like Paramore, Flyleaf, and P.O.D.

        • Blacksheep

          Right – I agree with your definition. I’m basing my opinion on her lyrics and stance only.

          • TiltedHorizon

            You are going to have to specify which lyrics as I just don’t register anything there which is inflammatory. I recall a song “Dear America” from Psy (of “Gangnam Style” fame) where he rapped; “Kill those f*ing Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives. Kill them all slowly and painfully.” Now this qualifies for an ‘anti’ prefix. So which of Shelly’s lyrics embodies the same sentiment of ‘anti’?

            • Blacksheep

              Here’s a sampling. Interestingly, I can’t find any songs that stand on their own without containing verses that are critical of the beliefs of others. By the way, I began this discourse NOT being critical of her lyrics. My entire point was that she was not being persecuted because she was an atheist, but because her “act” is entirely based on spreading (In a cute, talented way) atheist dogma.

              But back to your request. Through her music, I am told:

              My faith is in my imagination, and it has deranged me to the point that I would welcome a nuclear holocoust:

              “All the self appointed representatives of their own
              imaginings in the sky.
              They want to usher in the messianic age.
              They don’t mind if it’s brought on by nuclear rage”

              My faith is akin to that of a suicide bomber:

              They are so sure of their ability to outlive the
              utility of their bodies
              But just remember that was the last thought in the
              brain of every suicide bomber
              in every hijacked plane

              My belief in a second coming is wrong, and I have no concern for the environment because I have a suicidal longing for paradise:

              Thousands and thousands are humming that the second
              comings coming
              And environmental responsibility is succumbing
              To the suicidal longing for paradise

              My belief that we are important in the eyes of God is actually criminal, especially since I “Know” that we are nothing more than specks on a dot:

              To think we are so important, is an obvious crime
              We know that we are specks on a tiny dot
              Hurtling through space and time.

              I’m living a lie:

              The truth may be hard but it’s better than living a lie

              I am clinging to outdated ideas:

              Why don’t you build your shelter from the things we
              Know – All the out dated dogma why don’t you let it go

              I’m a lier:

              I wonder, I wonder
              When we’ll be rid of your lies

              I’m blind and should wake up to the fact that what I believe is bullshit:

              What will it take for you
              To start opening your eyes
              To start questioning the bullshit everyone around you
              buys

              • GCT

                A) There’s no such thing as atheist dogma (more bigotry from you).
                B) You’ve not supported your point. At no point is she specifying you. She’s talking about specific people, people who do exist BTW.
                C) I knew you were full of bluster.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  There is such a thing as atheists with dogma, however.

                • GCT

                  Usually people who say that struggle to actually come up with any.

                • rwlawoffie

                  You are delusional if you don’t think her songs promote atheism and condemn christian beliefs.

                • GCT

                  The “promote atheism” as much as a song that speaks about god promotes Xianity.

                  And, let’s say they do condemn Xian beliefs…so what? The idea that this is somehow wrong or bad, or that it should be stopped because it speaks about ideas is just another religiously privileged way for bigots to try to silence atheists.

                • Blacksheep

                  Thank you!!!! Finally you have admitted that her music might condemn Christian beliefs… that was the point the whole time!!

                  To you, the answer is “so what.” but to the venue owner, it wasn’t. Simple as that!! Why would he want a band that is condemning someone’s faith?

                  That’s atheist privelege, to assume that it’s OK to bash Christianity – simply because you personally don’t like it!

                  And for the record, I would not host a band whose act was solely based on trashing atheism. Why do I want to hear people complaining?

                • GCT

                  Thank you!!!! Finally you have admitted that her music might condemn Christian beliefs… that was the point the whole time!!

                  No, it wasn’t. That’s the point you’re trying to make it out to be.

                  That’s atheist privelege, to assume that it’s OK to bash Christianity – simply because you personally don’t like it!

                  Oh no you didn’t. Sorry, but you don’t get to try and turn this around, as if I’m the bigot for being a despised minority. Fuck you.

                • TiltedHorizon

                  Where is the promotion? Where is the word variant of “Christian”?

                • Blacksheep

                  GCT, i think you are getting topo far down an alley and can’t back out – or something – because I’m not speaking from opinion, I’m objectively looking at her music. Trust me, if we did a focus group with smart atheists on the panel, the conclusion would be: Love her! Love the sentiment! and yes – her lyrics promote atheism, and put down Christianity. Why is that so hard to admit / accept?

                • GCT

                  So, your opinions are not actually your opinions, but objective fact now? Why is it so hard for you to not engage in religious privilege?

              • TiltedHorizon

                Before I set forth in my response I’ll acknowledge that since I have not been a subscriber to Christianity for a great many years that it is possible that I am no longer sensitive to what theists will construe as offensive. That said, I really don’t see the ‘anti’ here.

                What I do see is a introspective narrative sung in the first person perspective, as evidenced by the use of “I”, “my”, and “me”. The “you” in the lyrics appear to be directed back to herself; her Id talking back to her. The song, IMHO, is directed inward which makes seeing it as anti-others kinda a stretch.

                You are free to disagree, though I hope you explain the why as this is turning out to be a very good discussion. Are you in anyway offended by the lyrics? Also, how would you compare this the song to “Breakeven” by ‘The Script’? That song contains the following verse:

                “I’m still alive but I’m barley breathing just praying to a God that I don’t belive in”

                Does this song also constitute as anti-faith?

                • Blacksheep

                  I agree – if you look at it with a keen eye you can say that it’s introspective. But I think the net result is that her music promotes atheism and criticizes faith. (I am not saying whether that’s good or bad by the way – just that it is).

                  On one hand I am not offended by the lyrics at all, because of artistic freedom and because I’m assuming that she’s being honest and authentic. On the other hand I am – because she’s adding judgement and casting believers in a bad light.

                  The final song you list, and that verse on it’s own, don’t feel anti christian to me – just honest.

                • TiltedHorizon

                  The questions I have asked so far have been to gauge your sensitivity to offense. The Psy example, which is directed outward and against people, serving as an easy ‘anti’. Followed by “The Script” which was an inward, not an ‘anti’, acknowledgment of non-belief. So far we agree on both. Shelley Segal’s lyrics, IMHO, falls in middle of both. While there is no denying that her song is being critical of faith, it remains largely an internalized judgement of self; “I’m a lier” for example. Her criticality of faith remains broad enough and general enough that it does not target any one body of belief. It is therefore all encompassing in much the same way as love songs appear to be. (i.e. the Carly Simon effect: “Your so vain, you probably think this song is about you” Not directed at you BTW, it just popped in my mind and felt appropriate to the subject)

                  As for this charge that she is promoting atheism, I disagree. A song that is critical of a subject can do so without promoting anything. For example, songs critical about relationships (i.e. heartbreak, infidelity, etc) are not promoting an anti-relationship stance. I’ll use Kelly Pickler’s “Before he cheats” lyrics as example to focus on, in this song she takes “…a Louisville slugger to both head lights. Slashed a hole in all 4 tires…” as a retaliation against infidelity not committed. (She pulls a Minority Report on her boyfriend I guess) This song is not an endorsement or promotion of violence or anti-men sentiments.

                  By you own admission you at worst only kinda-sorta bothered by Segal’s lyrics. On one hand you acknowledge artistic freedom as long as it is honest and authentic; you qualified that you are not bothered “at all”. On the other you are offended because her lyrics cast a “bad light” on faith. These statements sorta cancel each other; a cognitive ‘Pff, whatever’, indifference.

                  Based on the former questions it is clear that the “artistic freedom” exemption did not save Psy from contempt, your anger towards “Dear America” is self evident. (and echoed by me) You called it “ridiculous”, he should have been “called out for that” more. (I agree on this too) For “The Script” it was a non-issue. Your answers when viewed as a whole seem to indicate that there is not enough there to polarize you opinions, for or against, Segal’s music. Yet, for some reason, despite seeming indifferent, you still feel the need to lump it in the same ‘anti’ category as Psy when your reaction more closely resembles your judgement of “The Script”. Your answers and actions appear at odds. Help me understand why.

                  FYI. Considering the reception you are receiving here I’ll understand if you don’t want to continue this discussion. You have been polite and honest in this discussion, it is a shame it is not being returned in kind.

                • Blacksheep

                  Thanks for the discourse TH – I appreciate it.

                  I’m out of time for a response today, but in short:

                  My original point was not about me disliking Segal’s lyrics to a lesser or greater degree – it was simply pointing out that contrary to the implication of the article, she was not cancelled because she was a singer who happened to be an atheist, her gig was cancelled because her music was about promoting atheism in a way that was critical of faith and Christianity / Christians.

                  I know you are also asking a more subtle question (The script, etc) I’ll try to answer later.

                • Blacksheep

                  I just re-checked – most of the lyrics are actually pointing out the folly of otheres, using “they” and “you”

              • Bdole

                I agree that the lyrics you posted made your point. It’s definitely referring to Christianity specifically with all that talk about the “second coming” and waiting for paradise and neglect of the environment.

            • Blacksheep

              Dear America was ridiculous, and I think he should hjave been more called out for that – but nobody seems to care what’s behind anything if it has a good beat!

              That qualifies as extreme “anti” – I never said that her lyrics “Embody the same sentiments.” One can be “anti” in crude or sweet ways.

          • GCT

            What parts of her lyrics? What “stance” are you referring to?

            • Blacksheep

              See above. I didn’t have too much time, my main takeaways are:

              - I like her music
              - I have zero issue with any of it, it’s art and freedom of expression
              - She’s definitely ant-faith and anti Christianity (again, no issue with that).
              - My point was that the show was not cancelled “because she is an atheist” but rather that her “thing” is promoting atheism. (her stance).
              -

              • GCT

                How do you know that it wasn’t because she’s an atheist?

                And, I responded to your weak sauce above.

              • TiltedHorizon

                “She’s definitely ant-faith and anti Christianity”

                According to her bio she was raised in a Jewish household, her father is the president of a local synagogue. Which begs the question, how are you concluding anti-Christianity from lyrics which don’t appear to single out any one faith?

                • Blacksheep

                  Read what I posted – I said “Anti faith and anti Christianity.” She refers to things like the second coming, and uses the term “saved” – it’s pretty clear.

                • TiltedHorizon

                  “it’s pretty clear”

                  Not really, the lines remain blurred, the problem with your conclusion is that Islam also believes the second coming of Christ and that they will be ‘saved’. These concepts are not distinctly Christian, their mention applies equally to Islam, hence Christianity is not singled out.

            • Blacksheep

              You need to actually read them – I have potsed a bunch (above).

              • GCT

                And, they don’t support your contentions.

      • Agrajag

        Yeah, sure. Atheists with medieval thinking in some area or other exist too, true ! And when atheists do something stupid, by all means, point it out. This happens frequently, on friendlyatheist and elsewhere.

        There’s *many* atheist bussiness-owners, including coffee-shop-owners. I’m sure you can find a few examples for me where a religious act was booked in a atheist-operated venue, which then balked at the last-minute, with a CC for a well-known atheist-organization.

        I don’t think that problem exists in USA today. Feel free to prove me wrong. But yes, sure, if that becomes a problem in the future, I certainly expect to read about it on FriendlyAtheist.

        • Blacksheep

          I’m not saying it’s a problem – I’m speaking about this story, this venue, this situation (I agree – as a Christian I do not feel particularly “persecuted”) that happens in other countries.

        • http://www.facebook.com/Scott.McElhiney Redorblack Nigelbottom

          How about you find us a single example to back up that hypothesis. Remember we are Atheists, requirement of proof falls upon the one making the claim.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        It really depends on how obnoxious it is. We are a country seeped in Christianity. It’s so much a part of our daily lives that even those of us who are irked by it tune most of it out. People are praying and blessing all around me. I can’t get upset by it all, or I’d burn out. Quickly.

        So yes, if every song was about how I’m a sinner and in need of salvation, I’d probably not want it in my business. But a mostly secular repertoire with a few songs talking about heaven or God’s love? That’s different from my daily life how?

        I don’t know Shelly’s songlist, and if she happens to reprise Minchin’s “Pope Song”, but I guess the question I’d ask the coffee house is, “do you not want her because you’re afraid she’s going to sing a song suggesting you don’t need God, or because she’s an A——?”

        The Cc: by the way, means someone at the Christian College complained. So is it the coffee houses’s opinion, or is it someone else who doesn’t want atheists to perform in the community?

        • Blacksheep

          Very good points. My main point was that she’s not being discriminated against because of her beliefs, but because of the content. And sure – maybe it wasn’t even their opinion.

          (For the record, Minchin’s pope song doesn’t offend me at all – there’s no pope in the bible, and no person who is somehow divinely superior to other humans).

          • GCT

            But singing about being an atheist is offensive to you…got it.

            • Blacksheep

              No, you don’t got it. Never said that. If she actually sang “about being an atheist” how could that offend me? I said I could understand the venue’s stance because her music is critiacl of faith and Christianity in particular.

              • GCT

                You keep saying that, but not backing it up. In addition, you continue to propagate the idea that criticizing religion is the same as criticizing religious people. It’s not hard to read between the lines.

            • Blacksheep

              She’s singing about being an atheist by insulting the beliefs of others.

              • GCT

                Insulting the beliefs or the people? There are some rather heinous beliefs out there that need to be insulted. It still doesn’t rise to the level of insulting individuals.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  “There are some rather heinous beliefs out there that need to be insulted.”

                  In a Coffeeshop? And if I happen to be an atheist who doesn’t feel like having music that will, rightly or wrongly, piss off some of my clientele, I’m suffering from religious privilege I suppose?

                  Yes they should have said ‘no’ in the first place. But your local coffee shop is under no obligation to be the bulwark in your crusade.

                • GCT

                  I haven’t agreed that she is indeed guilty of what she’s been charged with, for one.

                  Secondly, if you equate singing about atheism with insulting religious people, then, yes, you would be guilty of perpetuating religious privilege.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  WTF is a “song about atheism”? Do the lyrics include the wikipedia definition of atheism and agnosticism along with examples of hard and soft versions, followed by a treatise on the fallacies of Pascal’s Wager? Maybe a chorus of how the Kalam argument begs the question of the necessity of a causer and fails to link creation in general to Christianity in particular?

                • GCT

                  Atheists are people too.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  No they’re not, because people have souls, and atheists, by rejecting God’s love, have given their soul up to Satan.

                • GCT

                  Well, you’ve ignored the point.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  How’s Botswana? Or did you change plans?

                • GCT

                  Nonsensical troll is nonsensical.

                • Blacksheep

                  You are obsessed with being right on this – please know that 90% of what I’m saying is just factual – I really don’t care what she sings. Would I host her in my venue? No, not if it was a show based on criticising the beliefs of otheres. The main reason? Nothing too deep, it’s just annoying and obnoxious.

                • GCT

                  More privilege from you. You now get to claim that your opinions and unsupported assertions are fact? Bigot.

          • Anonymous Atheist

            Well, Catholic tradition claims the apostle Peter was the first pope, after Jesus’s “on this rock” line in the Bible declared Peter to be somehow divinely superior. ;)

            • Blacksheep

              Correct! catholic tradition says that – but not the Bible. (Or that we can pray to mary, etc).

      • Pureone

        I wouldn’t want a Christian act because the songs are usually lifeless crap lacking a hook. I would want “Believer” tho, which is funny because Christian venues wouldn’t. (Christian metal)

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          I beg to differ. The Godfather of Metal was a devout Christian after all, and his music frequently had very overtly Christian themes.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1z12_Ps-gk

        • Blacksheep

          yeah, I pretty much agree, I love music and most of what I listen to is not Christian. But there are exceptions.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Well, if the coffee shop brought in a Christian group, I just wouldn’t go. If it was a well-known atheist hang-out (as opposed to just a business owned by atheists), I might think it was a silly business decision, but I certainly wouldn’t support the venue breaking a contract, I’d just hope they’d live and learn. The problem isn’t that the coffeehouse didn’t let her sing- they could turn her down when she asked to sing there for any reason or no reason at all. The problem is that they did allow her to perform there, knowing that she was being sponsored by Ask an Atheist, and then revoked their permission at a very inconvenient time. They didn’t even ask if she’d be singing overtly atheist songs- shockingly, atheist performers often have songs about love, loss, and life instead of “there isn’t a god YAY!”

        So yeah, an “atheist coffee shop” might not want a Christian group performing there. They might allow them but ask them not to sing overtly religious songs. They might even not allow a Christian group to perform. They (hopefully) wouldn’t back out of a contract, though, because that is extremely unethical.

        So in other words, take your hypothetical and stuff it. Most atheists I’ve met don’t let their personal annoyance with things turn into blatantly discriminatory business action because that is both illegal and unethical. Christians should have the common courtesy to do the same.

      • http://www.facebook.com/karen.uncoolmom Cary Whitman

        I disagree, I think there are plenty of atheist, myself included, who find a great deal of enjoyment listening to all kinds of religious music. But that’s not really the point here. The point is that someone planning an atheist convention or something would surely be smart enough to check out the music before booking the artist to make sure it would be enjoyed by those attending the event, and wouldn’t book someone who mostly sings preachy Christian music. So why in the world would a Christian coffee shop agree to host an Athiest group to begin with? They don’t have to hold events for anyone if they don’t want to, they are perfectly free to say no to athiests, punk rockers, poetry slams, or whatever they don’t want in their coffee shop. But it’s unethical and horrid of them to book an event then cancel at the last minute because it doesn’t fit their values. They should have checked her out before agreeing to host her.

        Because of the cc to the church in the email, I’m guessing what really happened is that the coffe shop was fine with her (they’re in the business to make money, after all, and she was likely to draw a big crowd) but the church found out about it and threatened to a boycott or that they were all going to hell, or some such nonsense and the coffee shop owners caved in like little scared rabbits.

        • Blacksheep

          You’re on to a different topic than I was speaking about alltogether.

          Cancelling the show at the last minute was 100% wrong, no disagreement.

      • newavocation

        I’ve always found it odd how a business that’s not a church uses Christianity to promote an essentially secular business service. Holy coffee, carpentry, oil changes? Doesn’t that cheapen Christianity? Frankly I don’t think an Atheist business person would care too much about a group of law abiding people that wanted to meet or perform at their place of business.

      • MBear

        “Yeah, but they do it too!”

        Such a mature response.
        Kudos!

      • Matthew Delemos

        Christians sing about repentance and salvation on street corners without the need for any venues, so I doubt we’d ever ask them to do so for money since that’s already obnoxious.
        And these owners decided to change their minds at the last minute, which was ultimately the problem here.

  • Blacksheep

    At first I was confused – why would anyone’s beliefs have anything to do with whether or not someone would want them to perform in their bar? After all, many singers are Christians – (or atheists, or whatever) but their music is secular. Faith plays no active role in their art. Then there are “Christian” musicians, whose musical themes center around sharing their faith (What FA folks would call “proselytizing.”) But even they aren’t being critical of the faiths of others. Look at Christian lyrics – they’re mainly of the “Jesus take the wheel” variety.

    Shelley Segal’s music falls into a third category, which is decidedly ANTI-Christian (and anti faith). Her lyrics fall into the camp of not simply being about her journey, but putting down the beliefs of others. And she shouldn’t change – that’s her right as an artist and musician. But others have freedom too, and it’s completely understandable that someone wouldn’t want to hear negativity towards others in their venue.

    • GCT

      Shelley Segal’s music falls into a third category, which is decidedly ANTI-Christian (and anti faith).

      Is there something wrong with that? Why should we not be anti-faith? Faith is a demonstrably false method of determining what is true and leads to atrocities. It’s harmful to humanity. Why shouldn’t we oppose it? Why should we think there’s something wrong with opposing it?

      Her lyrics fall into the camp of not simply being about her journey, but putting down the beliefs of others.

      Saying that your beliefs are wrong (they are) is not the same as putting them down. Even if it were, what’s the problem with putting down beliefs? Beliefs are not people. Beliefs are ideas, and ideas can be criticized. And, no matter how much an idea is criticized, it does not rise to the level of attacking the person.

      • Blacksheep

        There is nothing wrong with it, because everyone is free to express oneself. And everyone should fight for what they believe is right. (I said as much in my note). But that includes the venue owners who have a right to not host someone whose act They feel is negative towards others.

        I agree, an act that is based on telling people they are wrong is not necesarily putting them down, but that’s a techicality. Maybe it’s just annoying to hear someone singing about how wrong one is! But my main point was that she’s not just a singer who happens to be an atheist, she’s a proselytizing atheist performer. They may not have wanted a Christian performer who sang songs about repentance and salvation either.

        • Blacksheep

          (Typos… sorry)

        • GCT

          There is nothing wrong with it, because everyone is free to express oneself. And everyone should fight for what they believe is right. (I said as much in my note). But that includes the venue owners who have a right to not host someone whose act They feel is negative towards others.

          Except, you are implicitly saying there’s something wrong with it. How is her act “negative towards others?” It’s not. It’s critical of ideas, which is not the same as being critical of people. It’s a religiously privileged concept that criticism of religious ideas is being “negative towards others” and it is a subtle way of claiming that the criticism itself is wrong and one should not engage in it.

          But my main point was that she’s not just a singer who happens to be an atheist, she’s a proselytizing atheist performer.

          She’s proselytizing? What, exactly, is she proselytizing and how?

          • Blacksheep

            Proselytizing is trying to convince or convert especially to a new faith, institution, or cause. Her music is no different than Christian lyrics that many on FA would consider “proselytizing”

            It’s negative towards others because it says “I am right, you are wrong.” In it’s own way.

            • GCT

              Proselytizing is trying to convince or convert especially to a new faith, institution, or cause. Her music is no different than Christian lyrics that many on FA would consider “proselytizing”

              Citation please. I see in her lyrics stuff that you don’t personally agree with and you conflating that with evangelism and “speaking negatively” about people.

              It’s negative towards others because it says “I am right, you are wrong.” In it’s own way.

              You’re conflating. I’m right and you are wrong on this issue. Am I insulting you by saying that? Am I speaking negatively about you? I’m speaking about your ideas. No matter how much you try to claim that criticizing your religious ideas is the same as criticizing your person, it’s simply not true, and it’s born of ugly religious privilege that is meant to try and silence atheists.

              • Blacksheep

                No. I do at all feel insulted by you disagreeing with me. We both feel we are right, hence the conversation. (I don’t say “I am right.” I prefer “I believe I’m right.”)

                I am not making a huge point about the distinction between criticizing my person and my religion. I think you are reading that into my notes. I’m simply saying it’s negative and critical towards others. Why is it any different for a Christian musician? I believe that you might feel offended if an act at a bar had a set that was 75% about how wrong and misguided atheism is.

                • GCT

                  I am not making a huge point about the distinction between criticizing my person and my religion. I think you are reading that into my notes. I’m simply saying it’s negative and critical towards others.

                  Way to contradict yourself in the space of, what, 3 sentences?

                  I believe that you might feel offended if an act at a bar had a set that was 75% about how wrong and misguided atheism is.

                  I might be annoyed at the stupidity, but I would feel personally attacked unless the person actually attacked atheist people with the lyrics (which actually happens a lot more often in these discussions than the other way round despite what many Xians would have one believe). The point that you keep dancing around is that attacks on an idea are not attacks on people. You keep pushing this argument (while duplicitously claiming that you aren’t) even though it’s simply not true and reeks of your ugly religious privilege. Again, stop it. This argument of yours is meant to silence atheists.

                • Blacksheep

                  You need to accept that we disagree, and saying “stop it” does little to solve the argument. You are getting way too hung up on semantics, and losing the spirit of the discussion. her lyrics are attacks on faith and religion, and if you read them they can also be looked at as attacks on people of faith. But again – you don’t seem to be registering this point – I do not have an issue with that. I believe in free speech and expression. My point, again, was that she was not refused the venue because she is an atheist, but because her music proomotes atheism and is critical towards others. And by others, I mean people AND their beliefs. You can define it any way you like – but it will be less frustrating if you at least try to see my point.

                • GCT

                  I’m not allowed to tell you to stop being a bigot? Fuck you.

                  her lyrics are attacks on faith and religion, and if you read them they can also be looked at as attacks on people of faith. But again – you don’t seem to be registering this point – I do not have an issue with that.

                  Yet, you can’t point out where, except by conflating (exactly what I said you were doing) and making atheophobic and bigoted religiously privileged arguments.

                  You can define it any way you like – but it will be less frustrating if you at least try to see my point.

                  I’ve seen your point and have dealt with it. You refuse to see mine, because you are blind to your ugly religious privilege.

                • Blacksheep

                  How about this: Just right down “religious privelege” 20 times, you can copy and past it, and use that for the blanket response to everything I say. You are clearly not reading my notes.

                  You can begin with curses, to make it sound tougher, and then past in the rest.

                • GCT

                  How about you stop engaging in ugly religious privilege that brutalizes atheists. How about you actually try some introspection and see where maybe you’re engaging in ugly bigotry. No, that would be too difficult. When someone tells you that you’re being bigoted and offensive, the right thing to do is to belittle them and their argument, to deny that it’s even possible that you might have unexamined biases, and to be as smug and condescending as possible. I mean, who listens to atheists anyway, since we all know how rotten/horrible/untrustworthy/etc they are?

        • Agrajag

          There’s plenty of stuff you’ve got a legal right to do, which is nevertheless not a good idea. Booking an act, then balking at a late stage is such a thing, it severly inconveniences others, and as such should only be done for extremely good reasons. If the content of the songs mattered to you, you should’ve checked it *before* agreeing to host the event — if you didn’t, then it’s not nice of you to inconvenience others because YOU have decided not to honor the agreement that you yourself willingly entered into.

          • Blacksheep

            Booking an act and bailing is 100% wrong no matter what, unless they were decieved, which they were not.

    • Baby_Raptor

      Who here is saying that nobody but Atheists have freedoms? Oh, right. Nobody.

      What was the point of even saying that? Can you not go one damn statement without hauling out how persecuted you think you are?

      • Blacksheep

        You must be reading the wrong posts – this is Blacksheep – i don’t think I’ve ever written one word about “How persecuted” Christians are. I don’t even feel that way.

  • http://twitter.com/Kalex1975 Kalex

    So, would all these “Christian” establishments refuse to accomodate Muslims? Jews? Any Christian? Or just their brand of Christianity?

    • Blacksheep

      I think they would (and should) refuse Muslims who wanted to perform songs with anti-Jewish lyrics, or Jews performing songs with anti-Palestinian lyrics. Or Christians performing songs with ant-gay lyrics.

      • baal

        Your point would be stronger if the bar wasn’t a bar. The public gets to suffer a variety of viewpoints.

        • Blacksheep

          I hear you – but if it were my bar I wouldn’t host a Muslim performer who was singing songs about how wrong Christians and jews are. And i wouldn’t host a Christian perfromer who sang negatively about gay people. (although I have never encountered that).

          • GCT

            Again, you conflate “sang negatively” with saying someone is wrong.

            • Blacksheep

              I’m not trying to define right and wrong for you – that’s why I’m using comparisons, like a Muslim singing an anti jewish song. Do you think that’s wrong?

              • GCT

                As much as you protest, you continue to do so. You continue to conflate criticism of religious ideas with criticism of the people who hold those ideas. Stop doing that.

                • Blacksheep

                  this discussion is about more than a missing word (I could have said “critical to people’s beliefs”)… but I didn’t. But you’re smart enough to have the discussion without continuing to go back to a word to buid a case on. Her music puts down faith and Christianity, and the outcome is that she’s critical of believers for believing. We don’t need to dissect it. Stop harping on it!

                • GCT

                  Why should I stop pointing out your religious privilege? Oh yeah, because what you really want is for me to STFU, which is why you keep harping on about how criticizing ideas is the same as criticizing people. It’s not you dishonest bigot.

              • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                There is a big difference between “Jews are wrong” and “Jews are evil bad people”. The former is acceptable, the latter is not. What Shelley Segal is doing is the former.

                • Blacksheep

                  You may not have read her lyrics,

                • GCT

                  Another lie. Where did she say that Xians are bad people.

              • http://www.facebook.com/karen.uncoolmom Cary Whitman

                No, I think they have the right to sing whatever they want, but I sure as heck am not going to book them at my pretend bar!

          • blasphemous_kansan

            Your bar would be boring as all shit, and there wouldn’t be any good metal shows.

            • Blacksheep

              My bar would rock. I can’t think of any rock bands whose entire raison d’ etre is being anti-faith. Take AC DC – some key guys are atheists – but they’re not an “atheist band.”

              • TiltedHorizon

                If your bar hosted AC DC then I have to concur, your bar would rock!

                • Blacksheep

                  If I ever have a bar, and they show up, I will let you know.

              • Pureone

                Death metal. A whole calvacade of anti-religious band/song names and lyrics

              • blasphemous_kansan

                Who cares if there’s an ‘atheist band’ out there or not? Below you say that you believe that an acceptable message for civility in a public forum such as a live performance is “I’m OK, you’re OK”. My point is that if that philosophy carries over to the performances you would choose to hose at your bar, then your bar would, indeed, be boring as shit.

                >>” I can’t think of any rock bands whose entire raison d’ etre is being anti-faith.”

                I’m not going to take the time hear to educate you fully about death metal, which has it’s roots in anti-religious counterculture in Europe and has evolved into a very rich school of music whose members host a wide arrays of philosophies that often include pagan-inspired artistic expression, anti-religious symbolism, or even religious symbolism in the case of Christian Death Metal bands (yes they’re out there. Google ‘Demon Hunter’). I’m just going to tell you that these things do exist, and they make some damn fine music.

                • Blacksheep

                  Yes I forgot about death metal. Got me on that one!!

              • Wendy S

                You’ve probably never listened to the best rock band ever, then….Tool. Considering how long they’ve been around and how many direct pokes at religion are contained in their songs….it’s surprising that no Christian has thrown a fit about them (or their other band, A Perfect Circle….my favorite song being “Judith”). When was the last time you heard a venue turn down Tool? They’d be guilty of blasphemy to the rock world simply for doing so.

                • Blacksheep

                  This is not about throwing any fits – it’s about distinguishing between two possible reason that the gig was cancelled. And it was not “Because she was an atheist” it was because her mission is to proselytize about atheism.

                • sane37

                  “proselytize about atheism”

                  lol

                  proselytize what? There is no belief with atheism. It is simply un-belief.

                • Blacksheep

                  I agree – but one can indeed decide to proselytize about it.

            • http://www.facebook.com/karen.uncoolmom Cary Whitman

              HaHa… Now you two are sounding like 5 year olds. “My pretend bar is better than your pretend bar!” Seriously, I’d probably end up at Blacksheep’s bar, as long as he didn’t start dumping bands at the last minute and kicking out atheist for no reason!

              • blasphemous_kansan

                >>”HaHa… Now you two are sounding like 5 year olds. ”

                So does that make you the kindergarten cop?

          • http://www.facebook.com/karen.uncoolmom Cary Whitman

            Yup, it’s your bar, so you choose what bands you book, no one has a problem with that. But everyone should have a problem with you if you book a band, then back out at the last minute because you don’t like some of the lyrics they sing!

      • TiltedHorizon

        Anti-Jewish. Anti-Palestinian. Anti-gay. Atheistic.

        One of these things is not like the others.

        • Blacksheep

          Right, because atheism is a non – belief in God, the supernatural, etc. But this is not about discriminating against an atheist, it’s about discrimination against someone who is putting down others. A more accurate list would be:

          Anti-Jewish. Anti-Palestinian. Anti-gay. Anti-Faith.

          The personal faith of any of the “antis” matters little, anti is anti. I’m sure some of my favorite musicians are atheists (some of my favorite people definitely are) but their message and content are authentic to them – not anti others.

          “I’m OK, you’re OK” is a better stance in public forums.

          • TiltedHorizon

            I need you to qualify what makes this Anti-Faith. See my other post to you.

            • GCT

              Religious privilege.

              • Blacksheep

                Atheist certainty.

                • GCT

                  More bigotry from you. Thanks so much for being out of the closet.

            • Blacksheep

              see her lyrics.

          • Quintin van Zuijlen

            Anti-”people”, anti-”people”, anti-”people”, anti-faith.
            Maybe it’s just me, but one of those is still not like the others.

            • GCT

              Exactly! And, this is something that I’ve been arguing with Blacksheep about this entire thread. Blacksheep continually wants to conflate criticism of religious ideas with criticism of religious people, which is religious privilege-speak for “STFU atheists!”

              • Blacksheep

                That’s not a fair assessment of my points – because I included the example of a Christian playing proselytizing lyrics about redemption and salvation in a bar as a parallel example of the atheist act. So no, it’s not religious privelege.

                • GCT

                  Yeah, it is, and you confirm it with every post, bigot.

                • http://www.facebook.com/karen.uncoolmom Cary Whitman

                  I fail to see who has ever had a problem with this. Personally, I check out the band before I go to a bar to hear them, and often decide not to go because I think I won’t enjoy the music. Wow. I feel so persecuted now.

          • http://www.facebook.com/karen.uncoolmom Cary Whitman

            Atheism does not necessarily mean anti-faith. Yes, certainly some atheists are anti-faith, just like some Christians are not anti-atheists. Most of us try very hard to be tolerant and accepting of other people’s views. But it’s hard to be tolerant in the face of blatant discrimination.

      • blasphemous_kansan

        Do you realize you’ve just equated atheism with being an anti-Semite and homophobe?

        Please get this through your head, because I don’t think you were actually trying to be condescending, but your statement is condescending as all hell. Atheism does not equal hatred, and is in no way equivalent to the repugnant philosophies that you list above.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          Atheism doesn’t equal hatred, but on occasion we sing songs that people who believe in the power of prayer find insulting. Whether they should, or whether we mean it, or whether prayer works, is all immaterial.

          This isn’t about the definition of atheism. This is about the likelihood that the owners and some of the clientele of a business will find the performance insulting.

          • blasphemous_kansan

            I do hear you, and agree. It’s not about the definition of atheism. It’s just frustrating that when some people stretch to find examples of things that are as potentially offensive as atheism that the first place to go is the anti-semite or the homophobic analogy. I just feel that if someone sees atheism as any way equal to those philosophies in content, that they should be rightly called out as bullshit. And this goes double for someone in the business of renting out a public space, and supposedly prizes their ability to “serve selflessly” (see DougL’s comment). It just seems silly, on all levels, to go into the business of public accommodation and then to start making a list as you go of who you’re not going to let into the door. And that frustration is what I was trying to express.

          • Blacksheep

            Thank you Rich -

        • Blacksheep

          Atheism on it’s own does not equal anything – I understand that it’s a non belief in God, superstition, etc.You need to look at the context again. I was lumping together examples that were “anti”, which they all are.

          • blasphemous_kansan

            <<"Atheism on it's own does not equal anything "

            <<" I was lumping together examples that were "anti", which they all are"

            Contradict self, much? Is it passive non-belief or anti-religion? Again, it seems that your central failing, as it always is, is your conflation of criticism of an idea and criticism of a specific person. If you could undo that particular knot then I think the point will illuminate itself quickly.

  • DougI

    Shelly has a great voice, the coffeehouse is missing some great music by kicking her out, but that’s Christian hospitality for you. Wasn’t there some story in the Bible about a town that didn’t have good hospitality? I wonder what God thought of that.

  • DougI

    From the Coffeehouse’s list of values:
    “8. We value heroic hospitality- whether it’s a team member or a
    first-timer, we love to serve, and we serve selflessly. We always put
    others first!”

    Yeah, they may want to update that page.

  • Mackinz

    After the news was posted on the askanatheist site, the commenters went and started posting on Anthem’s Yelp page. Their rating has taken a nose dive (at least, under Rating Trend) from all the one star complaints, all mentioning the discrimination.

    Here’s there Yelp page: http://www.yelp.com/biz/anthem-coffee-and-tea-tacoma

    • DougI

      Thanks, I added a one-star review. :)

  • A3Kr0n

    Those damned persecuted Christians.

  • fsm

    I feel that if they want a Christian bar (isn’t that an oxymoron?) then they should let everyone who patronizes it know. I wouldn’t want to patronize a Christian bar any more than I would want to go to a country bar. (Although if you go with your friends and don’t like country music like me, ask the band to play Cocaine by JJ Cale and covered by Eric Clapton…they all know it.)

    I think that if the article is true then it was a dick move to agree to host an event promoted by Ask an Atheist then back out, especially if the organization had no idea that they were a superstitious bar. (I think I understand now, the more you drink the more gullible you get. Those two things probably do go hand in hand;)

    • Anonymous Atheist

      And it’s not as if an organization named “Ask An Atheist” leaves the slightest ambiguity for the venue to be ‘surprised’ to learn of their atheism later, unlike the Camp Quest incident.

      • GCT

        …unlike the Camp Quest incident.

        CQ is not an atheist organization. There was no misrepresentation with CQ, and no ambiguity. The issue was the obviously bigoted views of the owner of the restaurant.

        • Anonymous Atheist

          Um, what? I didn’t say CQ is an ‘atheist organization’. I was referring to the fact that the restaurant owner said he decided not to continue the fundraiser because he found out that some people who are atheists are involved in CQ and that “CQ was about building a community for atheist, agnostic, and freethinking families”, and that in contrast, it is immediately obvious even for people like him who can’t bother to do any research that “Ask An Atheist” involves people who are atheists.

          • GCT

            Just making sure there’s no misunderstanding, because lots of people are claiming that CQ hid something or misrepresented themselves. They did not.

    • Blacksheep

      They probably don’t want a Christian bar – or an atheist bar. How about just a bar with no sort of proselytizing at all?

      • http://www.facebook.com/karen.uncoolmom Cary Whitman

        Yes, exactly, the coffee house presented itself as “just a coffee house”‘ then starts kicking out musicians for “being too atheist”. If “ask an atheist” had known they were a Christian coffee house and not just a run-of-the-mill ordinary coffee house, they probably wouldn’t have even asked to host an event there! I this the coffee house misrepresented themselves.

  • Jhudstone

    ‘Christians don’t want to use their resources to advance atheism’ – please get back to me when you figure out why this is wrong. One would hardly expect atheist venues to host Christian events.

    • Baby_Raptor

      Well, other than the blatant hypocrisy, since their churches get supported by the taxes of people who don’t agree with them at all and really would rather their money go elsewhere…

      • Jhudstone

        Only a certain mindset would claim that not paying certain taxes is being ‘supported by the taxes of people who don’t agree with them’. But its irrelevant to this discussion given this business pays taxes.

    • Agrajag

      It’s a coffee-shop, not a church. Reading their homepage there’s nothing to even indicate that it’s a “christian venue”. There’s a difference.

      I wouldn’t expect a church to invite the Freedom From Religion Foundation to hold a meeting, but I totally *would* expect for example a hotel that happens to be owned by a christian person to nevertheless offer to host an atheist-conference.

      • Jhudstone

        Why if its privately owned would they have to?

        • GCT

          For the same reason that “Privately owned” businesses can’t discriminate against any other minority.

          • Jhudstone

            Atheism isn’t a minority, it’s an ideology. They serve atheists, they just don’t allow their resources to be used to advocate for atheism.

            • GCT

              Atheists are a minority, and cannot be discriminated against…even if the business is “privately owned.”

              • Jhudstone

                I didn’t say ‘atheists’ I said atheism. A coffee shop might be obligated to serve atheists coffee, it isn’t obligated to host an atheist function which proposes to advance atheism. Just like it wouldn’t be obligated to host a Republican rally or Mary Kay convention.

                • GCT

                  Actually, if they are in the business of hosting events, they don’t get to choose to not host events based on the (ir)religion of the participants. That is discrimination.

                • Jhudstone

                  It has nothing to do with the religion of the participants – but the purpose of the event.

                • GCT

                  Bullshit. That’s the official line that you keep spewing, but you don’t have any reason to believe it’s true. What is the purpose of the event that suddenly came to light that wasn’t there when the coffee house decided to host? The purpose was to have a folk singer come and play. Once they learned the singer was an atheist, they balked.

                • Jhudstone

                  She was there on behalf of an atheist advocacy organization – it’s not like she went their of her own accord to play a few tunes. ‘Ask an Atheist’ organized the event. I have every reason to point out the purpose of the event was the issue.

                • GCT

                  You don’t have the evidence to back it up.

                • Jhudstone

                  The article above specifically mentions who was hosting the event.

                • GCT

                  Sigh. And, we both know that. You’re taking the unevidenced leap from that to the coffee house backed out because they don’t like a specific thing about the content of some of her songs. You have no evidence for this.

                • Jhudstone

                  I have no idea why the coffee house made it’s decisions – I am simple contending that is sufficient grounds to do so. NPI.

                • GCT

                  Except you have contended why. And, it’s not sufficient grounds if they are engaging in discrimination against a protected class, which it looks like they are.

                • Jhudstone

                  An atheist may be protected (I am not sure that is really certain) but an atheist event isn’t protected in such a way that private citizen must host them. No events are protected this way on private property. If they were, any group could go to any anyone who occasionally rents out their facilities and demand they rent to them as well.

                  If a Christian organization came to my house asking if they could use my yard for a concert, by your imagined rules I would have to open my yard to any group that wanted to use it. That is absurd.If this were a public venue you might have a case, but it’s not.

                • GCT

                  It’s not a public venue? Venues that cater to the public are public and are subject to rules against discrimination. Restaurants can’t refuse service to minorities by the same rationale. If they are refusing to honor their agreement because of Shelley’s atheism (or Ask and Atheist’s atheism) then they are violating discriminatory statutes. It has nothing to do with your private property.

                • Jhudstone

                  ‘Public’ as in a public space. If I want to hand out leaflets on the street corner, I have a right to do so. I don’t however have the right to hand them out in a privately owned coffee shop – though the owner could certainly grant an individual the right to do so. Thus the difference.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  “An atheist may be protected (I am not sure that is really certain) ”

                  Lack of religion is a protected class. This is well settled in case law, including Torcaso v. Watkins.

                  “No events are protected this way on private property”

                  Previously I called them a private business to distinguish from a public (government) space. If you open your doors as a business, you are indeed required to not discriminate on any protected class, including race, religion, gender. So if their business is selling coffee, they have to sell coffee to atheists.

                  If they rent out their space to anyone who asks, BUT black people, or atheists, or men, then THAT is illegal. But if they only provide their space to acts they like, they don’t have to provide it to anyone. I can’t go into an art gallery and insist that they host my art show. Now, if they had a history of rejecting atheist performers who sang completely secular songs, then you might have a civil rights case.

                  The question is, did they reject Shelly because she’s an atheist, or because they didn’t think they (or their clientele) would like her music (because she sings about atheist themes).

                • Jhudstone

                  You don’t quite have it right. They would be discriminating if they denied a black person the use of the venue for being black, they would not be discriminating if they denied the Black Panther Party use of their venue because they didn’t want to promote their views. Same applies here with the groups involved and their purposes.

            • Anonymous Atheist

              There are other kinds of minorities besides racially, y’know.

              • Jhudstone

                Isn’t about a particular group, it’s about a message. A coffee shop would be required to serve Muslims. It wouldn’t be required to host an Imam preching against Israel.

            • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0120a5509de8970c ミッコ

              Atheism isn’t an ideology!

              • Jhudstone

                What do you think it is?

                • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0120a5509de8970c ミッコ

                  Lack of Belief in God

                • Jhudstone

                  A lack of something isn’t something. One doesn’t build blogs and events and organizations and rallies about the lack of a belief in something. Atheists of various sorts express ideologies. If it was just about a ‘lack of a belief’ there would be nothing to say at all.

                • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0120a5509de8970c ミッコ
                • Jhudstone

                  Then perhaps this blog should be renamed ‘The Friendly Athe’. But I don’t think that would be nithe.

                • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0120a5509de8970c ミッコ

                  Still not an ism

                • Jhudstone

                  Sure it is, it is the belief that there are no deities.

                • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0120a5509de8970c ミッコ

                  nope it isn’t

                • Jhudstone

                  Sure it is. It’s the belief no gods exist. Sufficient to be an -ism as long as there have been isms.

                • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0120a5509de8970c ミッコ

                  nope you are wrong

                • Jhudstone

                  So you don’t believe there are no gods. Fine.

                • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0120a5509de8970c ミッコ

                  it’s not a belief not an ideology not a religion atheism doesn’t have a foundation no priests no church …

                • Jhudstone

                  If that’s true, what is the purpose of ‘Ask An Atheist’?

                • GCT

                  Maybe it’s to educate bigots like you.

                • Jhudstone

                  Personal attacks. Now we know why someone wouldn’t want atheists advocating in their venue.

        • coyotenose

          You may wish to go read about civil rights and anti-discrimination laws, as well as ethics, morality and contract law.

          • Jhudstone

            None of which applies to this circumstance. Hell, if it did, why don’t they just sue for ‘discrimination’? Before they do that, they might want to consider if atheist owned coffee shops and bars would be required to host Christian musicians.

            • GCT

              It’s pretty obvious that they are balking because the singer is atheist. That’s discrimination. It would most likely be too difficult to prove, however, and would cost more to prosecute than they might recover in damages, which is why there would likely be no lawsuit.

              • Jhudstone

                Or more likely because she is headlining an atheist event. They would know she is atheist otherwise.

                • GCT

                  And the appearance of the email address going to a religious group has no bearing on this? Or how about the clause about it not being in accord with their beliefs? C’mon.

                • Jhudstone

                  What difference does it make? They have a right to host whatever events they want at a private business. Atheists have the same rights, as does everyone.

                • GCT

                  They don’t actually have the right to refuse service due to religious preference.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  They’re not refusing to provide service. They’re refusing to provide a venue for someone’s speech.

                • GCT

                  Based on a protected class. Someone freaked out and decided to deny a person’s speech based on them being an atheist. That’s discrimination. If Shelley were black and the owners reneged on their agreement once they learned she was black, that would instantly be seen as a case of discrimination.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  You keep saying that, but you don’t have any evidence to back up your claim either. However, if this were in court, the burden of proof would be upon you to prove that she was declined because she is a member of a protected class, and not because of the content of her music. I’ll grant, in your favor would be that they initially agreed, and if they cared, they should have asked her about her lyrics.

                  And since we’re never going to agree on this, and because it really doesn’t matter if we do, I’m moving on.

                • GCT

                  I’ve not been in favor of legal action or taking this to a court of law partially for that reason. But, let’s not be coy here. Let’s not pretend that there’s no atheophobic bigotry going on. Why bend over backwards to excuse bigotry?

                  Also, Jhudstone has been pushing this line that this is all fine and good because they simply didn’t like her lyrics…without evidence. I’ve been pointing that out for multiple comments here without any traction from either of you. Again, why bend over backwards to excuse bigotry?

                • Jhudstone

                  An atheist owner of a coffee house would have the right to deny a Christian group who wants to have a gospel rally in their facilities, yes. Or an Imam who was soliciting funds for an Imam. Or a Klu Klux Klan group who wanted to spread their message.

                • Matthew Delemos

                  If she was heading an “atheist event”, then it’s even more clear they discriminated against her by changing their minds at the last second.

                • Jhudstone

                  What difference does it make when they did what they have a perfect right to do?

                • GCT

                  They don’t have a right to discriminate.

                • Jhudstone

                  They have a right to deny the use of their resources to advocate on behalf of causes.

                • GCT

                  That’s what you claim has happened. That’s not in evidence.

                • Jhudstone

                  Nothing else but this is ‘in evidence’. Except perhaps in the imaginations of some here.

                • GCT

                  OK, then where is your evidence that they cancelled specifically because they learned the content of her songs and deemed them unworthy of their venue? You claim we only have evidence that this is the case, so let’s see it.

                • Jhudstone

                  I made no such claim. The only thing in evidence is the statement of the owners, “This isn’t something that we feel comfortable promoting or hosting because it doesn’t align with what we believe and stand for.”. That is sufficient reason to deny any group use of it’s property.

                • GCT

                  You are making the claim that they are refusing to host and reneging on their deal because they don’t like the content of her songs. You don’t have evidence for that. And, the “What we believe and stand for” portion of their response along with a new CC to a Xian address is very telling. This smacks of discrimination.

                • Jhudstone

                  No, again, I am making no such claim. I am saying that based on the fact her performance is a promotion for an advocacy group, the owners of the venue are free to choose whether or not they want to promote such an organization.

                • GCT

                  This is patently ridiculous. When “Ask an Atheist” came to them and they agreed to host, I’m sure they had no idea what “Ask an Atheist” is. Amiright?

                  Someone further down the line saw the “Atheist” word and freaked out, either due to religious pressure from the cc’d person/organization or a higher up freaked out because (s)he is a Xian and is an atheophobic bigot. One of those is the most likely scenario, which makes it a clear case of bigotry and discrimination.

                • Jhudstone

                  There is no time limit on an organization’s right to refuse lending it’s resources to an advocacy group. How long it toook them to respond is irrelevant to the central question. They had a right to do what they did.

                • GCT

                  Actually no, they don’t. If they made an agreement that constitutes a verbal contract, then they have to uphold their end of the agreement.

                  And, depending on the reason, they may not have the right to refuse. If Shelley were black, could they refuse after seeing her picture on her website? Or can they refuse because they learn that she’s a woman? No, those are cases of actionable discrimination. They also can’t refuse on the basis of her being an atheist. Atheist is a protected class.

                • Jhudstone

                  Sure, one could make a contract argument on legal grounds, though the terms of the contract aren’t clear here, nor whether money changed hands.. But it’s the ‘discrimination’ arguement that doesn’t hold up since they are refusing to serve an advocacy group, not a set of persons.

                • GCT

                  If they make public accommodations, they cannot decide to close those accommodations based on the other people being atheists. You’re making the argument that you said you weren’t making, that they didn’t like the content of the event. You have no evidence of that.

                • Jhudstone

                  Again, I never said they could, “close those accommodations based on the other people being atheist”
                  The best way to think about is to consider the situation if the owner of the coffee shop happened to be an atheist. If he had agreed to let a singer he knew to be a Christian sing at his shop, and then found out later the repertoire included songs like, “All Atheists Burn in Hell”, and “Richard Dawkins Should Be Shot”, presumably he would be in his rights to decline hosting the event.

                • Matthew Delemos

                  I guess the difference here is that it’s harder for me to see unethical behavior and dismiss it as easily as you do.

                • Jhudstone

                  There is nothing ‘unethical’ about not being forced to give your resources to a cause you don’t believe in. It would be unethical to be forced to do so.

                • Matthew Delemos

                  I find it unethical for a business to agree to host someone and then change their mind at the last minute because they didn’t do their homework.

                • Jhudstone

                  I can see how a reasonable person could conclude that – its a separate issue though.

    • Anonymous Atheist

      This is a coffeehouse open to the public, not a church.

      • Jhudstone

        It’s a private business. Freedom to use one’s own resources to advance ideaologies one suppports (or avoiding using them to advance ideologies one opposes) shouldn’t be limited to church buildings.

        • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Bubba Tarandfeathered

          You are missing the point, which is, they booked her and then by advisement of a local church they changed their minds.

        • Matthew Delemos

          Discrimination is wrong. Yes or No?

          • Jhudstone

            Discriminating on how one’s resources are used with regard to advocating for certain ideologies? Not at all. In fact forcing people to support other people’s points of view is contrary to the 1st amendment. If a Jew doesn’t want his shop used to hold a Neo-Nazi event, I think it is good he isn’t required to.

            • Matthew Delemos

              “Yes” or “No” will suffice.

              • Jhudstone

                In the case cited above, no. Discrimination is often a good thing, depending on its purpose.

                • Matthew Delemos

                  Well, assuming a Jewish person would discriminate merely because you’ve placed them in an awkward position where they likely would, is not sufficient evidence that it’s “ok to discriminate”.

                • Jhudstone

                  No, it’s ok to decline someone who wants to use one’s property to advance VIEWS with which one disagrees. That isn’t considered discrimination under the law. It never has been. It never should be, because if I was forced to use one’s property and resources to support views with which one disagrees, it would abrogate their 1st amendment rights. I am not sure how much more clear it can be. It’s not ‘discrimination’ because an atheist (or Muslim, or Hindu, or Jew) has the same right to deny supporting my views.

                • Matt Delemos

                  I cannot in good conscience treat laws as absolute….after all, they tell me I can murder someone for intruding on my property, but not if that’s appropiate. So I make an effort to be a better person, instead of looking to excuse my inability to be one.

                • Jhudstone

                  Actually, that don’t tell you you can “murder someone for intruding on your property”, the law says if someone is intruding on your property, defending it isn’t murder. Other than that, I have no idea what you think this has to do with the previous conversation.

  • thedeathofcommonsense

    Nothing wrong with a business owner protecting his brand. And there are two sides to every story, booking her in the first place was obviously a mistake on their part that they needed to remedy. How well did they handle it? We don’t know, you didn’t post much of the correspondence. Bottom line is they don’t want what you are selling, you found a great replacement venue. Get over it.

    • GCT

      Sorry, but “Get over it” is not a very effective way to combat atheophobic bigotry. So, sorry, but I won’t simply get over it. I will, however, point out your ugly religious privilege and your bigotry to suggesting that we “get over it.”

    • blasphemous_kansan

      Aside from your ugly sense of religious privilege, I feel the need to point out
      some factual mistakes in your comment:

      1) “They don’t want what you are selling”….. Actually, the venue was the one selling, and the atheist performer was the one who wanted to buy their space. So, it’s actually the opposite situation: they weren’t selling to people who wanted to buy. It’s kind of like there was something wrong with their money. Something that made it unlike other money. What could that be?

      2) “You didn’t post much of the correspondence” The only way you would know this is if you knew how much correspondence that there was, in total. However, if you go to the original link, the author claims that the tone of the email was very polite and professional. Except for the impolite, unprofessional part. What other information would you request regarding “how they handled it”?

      • baal

        Do you have a mulivalent personality? Performance art? Is this a sockpuppet fail or something else? Maybe I just need to eat lunch.

        • blasphemous_kansan

          What? From the choices you gave me I’m going to go with with “something else”. I’m incredibly confused.

          • GCT

            I think it was Disqus being Disqus, because it kept saying that Blacksheep was posting everything. (At least for me it was.)

            • blasphemous_kansan

              Ah, I’ve seen that before. I’ve noticed that if I’m on a page for awhile then new comments will show up being posted by the same user, or people that reply to a user will show up as that user’s name.

              No worries!

    • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Bubba Tarandfeathered

      thedeathofcommonsense You are such a Tool. Do you know you are compelled to defend Anthems decision without the freewill to see or appreciate the conflict that arose from it? You might disagree with my opinion but yet again this is merely another example of your lack of freewill. You are just another religious automaton spewing out justifications for religious entitlement devoid of any freewill to stop your self.

  • Skeptosaurus

    folk singing at a coffee house? Only if I can use their WiFi for my iPad. FFS.

    • Skeptosaurus

      oh, I almost forgot. I’ll also be writing my screen play.

  • Pluto Animus

    Just phoned Anthem Bistro about the cancellation.
    They refused to answer any questions about cancelling Shelley’s gig. They wouldn’t even tell me the owner’s name.

    So I said, “It sounds like you’re paying a heavy price for your bigotry, which to me is entirely justified.”

    • Anonymous Atheist

      I found the owner name… Bryan Reynolds and John Quick.

      “Entrepreneur Bryan Reynolds began Anthem Coffee & Tea six years ago, initially as a franchise and last year re-launching the stores as an independent brand. … Reynolds offered Perka at both Anthem locations [Puyallup, WA and Tacoma, WA] from day one.”
      - http://blog.getperka.com/perkapost/anthem

      “In 2001, entrepreneurs Bryan Reynolds and John Quick had a dream to open up a business that would be a gathering place in Downtown Puyallup. 10 years later, after one successful coffee shop, they had a new dream of starting Elements Frozen Yogurt”
      - http://best.king5.com/elements-frozen-yogurt-company/biz/628846

  • James

    Why do so many people hate atheists? What have they ever done to anybody?

  • Wendy S

    It’s amazing that a religious group is “offended” by Atheists and Atheism. They still have this viewpoint that Atheists are “against God”. There is no such thing as being “against” a God we don’t believe exists. We merely accept evidence. Simple as that. I don’t understand how religious people can say that “accepting evidence” goes against what they believe. I guess it’s always projection that says “if you think my God is a myth, then nah-na-na I don’t like you”. If their faith is so strong, why are they concerned about people who don’t even participate in a faith-based belief system? Shouldn’t Atheists be a non-issue to them? And then religious people wonder why Atheists view them with disdain.

  • http://twitter.com/CyningDom King ♔ Dominic

    To quote the old cliche, ‘imagine if this had ben a muslim group they turned away’.

  • jeffj900

    It doesn’t bother me so much if a private business does this. It really is their right, and an atheist business has the same right to prevent Christians from pushing their foul message at good and sensible atheist owned businesses.

    The important lesson here is that capitalism and private enterprise are the least democratic institutions in our society. This is just one of the thousands of reasons we can’t just trust everything to the private sector. Sure, atheists can boycott such businesses and publicize their misdeeds, but as we’ve seen with Chic-fil-Aholes, that can actually be turned against a minority group.

    The more our lives and freedoms depend on private institutions, the more discrimination, abuse, and violation of individual health and safety we will be subject to. This is why libertarian laissez-faire paradise would be a Dystopia for large segments of the population. Only government power can counteract this illiberal side of business using rule of law based on humanitarian secular enlightenment values as its guide.

    • http://twitter.com/Outcast_Kyle Outcast Kyle

      Life isn’t fair. If someone is discriminated somewhere, they can go somewhere else. That way everybody does bussiness with whoever they want and everyone is happy. If you expect the world to be fair because you are fair, you’re fooling yourself. That’s like expecting a lion not to eat you because you didn’t eat him.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Except you can’t always go somewhere else. Jim Crow in the South showed that if every business owner works together, they can deny people the ability to go anywhere. That’s why we have anti-discrimination laws, by the way: to prevent the individual actions of many from collectively screwing people.

        • http://twitter.com/Outcast_Kyle Outcast Kyle

          Who has you tied to one place that forbids you from moving away. I’ve always had the idea of creating a town where all atheist are welcome and they run all the bussiness in the zone and nothing even remotely religious can be nearby.

          • GCT

            I guess atheist idiots and bigots do exist.

            • Blacksheep

              Yes they do, GCT. That’s been confirmed for me during the past 24 hours.

              • GCT

                I see what you did there. You made the tried and true response that all bigots make…that the people who point out bigotry are the real bigots. Those who protest the KKK – the real racists! Those who point out instances of misogyny – the real sexists! Those who point out your atheophobic religious privilege – the real bigots!

                It must be so nice to live in a world where your hatred of atheists is sanctioned by society.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            Money (or lack thereof). Job. Family ties. Specialized medical personnel. There are a million reasons why people can’t move or don’t want to move. Saying “oh, just leave” is both cruel and stupid. And how do you plan to leave if no one will sell you a car, rent you a moving van, sell you food, or let you stay in hotels/motels along the way? That’s totally legal in your hypothetical world, after all.

            • http://twitter.com/Outcast_Kyle Outcast Kyle

              I have two legs and two hands. With just that I can move wherever I want to and do whatever I need. Creating excuses for not doing something it’s easy, but doing them is more rewarding. Many years ago there weren’t any hotels nor cars and people lived and travelled for long distances. Unless you are a slave, the only thing keeping you in one place is you not wanting to leave.

              • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                How many kids do you have?

              • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                Riiight. You can pack your stuff up, grab your kids, and wander free as a bird (and poor as one!) at a whopping pace of 20 miles per day. That sure sounds viable … oh wait, no it doesn’t. And when the kids are dehydrated and/or starving, how do you plan to feed them? Heck, how do you plan to feed yourself? What if a kid has a disease like cystic fibrosis, that requires massive amounts of equipment and time to deal with? Just let them die or leave them behind?

                Like I said, both cruel and stupid.

                • http://twitter.com/Outcast_Kyle Outcast Kyle

                  People did the exact same thing for thousands of years and they did just fine. Or you think tat 4000 years ago there were highways, hospitals and supermarket? It’s not easy but it can be done. Also, I don’t where did you get I have kid. Only idiots have children, especially now that we are seven billion worldwide, that’s the las thing we need. But if I had them I would teach them to survive on their own.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  How about you live in your lonely little bubble, unaware of how hard it is to live with nothing and no one, and I live here in the real world, where we have relationships with other people? You can’t teach a critically ill 5-year-old to “survive on hir own”. I don’t assume you have a kid- you asked why someone couldn’t just pick up and move if people in the area were being discriminatory. I told you some possible reasons. They included money (or lack thereof), job, family ties, children, sick children, and/or specialty medical personnel. “Just move” is not a legitimate solution to legal discrimination because it doesn’t actually help the discriminated-against people.

                  And people just up and moved for millenia and did just fine? For certain odd definitions of fine, yes.

                  Hunter-gatherers lived in natural ecosystems full of edible plants. They lived in bands, not as single individuals, so that if someone did fail to glean enough they could share, and so that they could range in many directions at once from their path. They could roam freely (no private land in the way!), hunt what they came across, and often did die of starvation after a bad year. People who became too ill to contribute were left behind to die. That is not acceptable to modern sensibilities, because we don’t have to do that anymore. Why would you want to do that again?

                  A little later on, nomadic herders came on the scene. They had a protein source with them, so they tended to be a little better-fed than many hunter-gatherer tribes, but they also tended to live in much less hospitable parts of the world (Middle Eastern deserts, African scrublands, American plains, and Mongolian steppes). They were more likely to care for ill tribesmembers, but in the end, they died of disease, exposure, dehydration, and minor infections. Without modern medicine, they still do. Why would anyone want that for themselves?

                  Basically, you want to go back to hunter-gatherer survival, in areas ill-suited to it, without the help of other people if things go poorly. Good luck.

                • http://twitter.com/Outcast_Kyle Outcast Kyle

                  So long story short, humans ave become too wak and spoiled to live on their own. And dying sounds just like a lame excuse since we are going to die anyway. Doesn’t how it’s going to happen, so who cares about dying.

                  And yeah a solution to discrimination is moving to a place where there are oter people like you, that way you will not be discriminated, so poblem solved. If people are weak enough to need other in order to survive at least if would be better doing it with people of your kind. You can’t be discriminated where everyone is exactly like you.

              • GCT

                You are aware of the first rule of holes, right?

      • jeffj900

        As I said, it’s fine if a Christian doesn’t want atheists associated with them. That’s not fair, but that’s life. Taking your argument, which evidently goes beyond that, I suppose I could break into your house tonight and take all your stuff. Tough luck dude. Life isn’t fair. Don’t complain because that would be like asking a lion not to eat. Or I could dump toxic waste in your water supply. I could spray toxic chemicals upwind from your house. Life isn’t fair. Don’t expect any special favors from a free and unfettered business. When we can all do what we want we’ll all be happy. Aren’t you happy with a toxic waste dump next to your house?

        • http://twitter.com/Outcast_Kyle Outcast Kyle

          Well… I wouldn’t recomend you to break into my place anytime since i have a gun in case some poor bastard tries that, it would end up with an unhealthy dose of lead in their body. Also, my dog is not very fond of intruders.

          • GCT

            *Facepalm*

            OK tough guy.

          • jeffj900

            I’m not sure what your point is. Do you want to live in a world where disputes are settled by people threatening each other with guns? Saying life isn’t fair is simply to make an obvious statement. But by that do you mean that life must be unfair, that humans should not build societies to try to alleviate and balance out unfairness? Do you think that human society should be a pitiless competition, law of the jungle red in tooth and claw? It seems to me that by example you are proving the validity of my original point.

  • http://www.facebook.com/audrey.moreland1 Audrey Moreland

    This is complete Bullshit! Anthem Coffee will never have my business.

  • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Bubba Tarandfeathered

    Anthem Coffee doesn’t already have my business but now that I know this I won’t ever go there. Represent the 253!!

  • Non-Golfer

    It’s in the best interest of any business to avoid alienating customers. Regardless of their point of view, if they feel this could adversely affect business, they shouldn’t do it.

    • GCT

      Yeah, who cares about discrimination and the law?

    • nojinx

      Yet they made a choice that will alienate customers, so in the end, they lose and they made the cowardly choice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joey-Tranchina/1145718170 Joey Tranchina

    American Fundamentalist Christianity is an ugly cult, that endangers traditional American values, of tolerance and openness, in favor of ignorance and lies.

    One does not have to be an atheist to see that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Scott.McElhiney Redorblack Nigelbottom

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10201058232602530.1073741829.1369504693&type=3 Just a few pictures from Anthem and Doyles at the time of the concert…

  • Commie pres

    coffehouses are dens of subversion and Godless immorality


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