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Richard Dawkins Event Banned by Michigan Country Club - Comments

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 1 by Neodarwinian

Rather like lunch counter discrimination. Open to the public, or a private club. I think this is a simple dichotomy here. Any legal beagles have an opinion on this incident?

Did not catch that Oct. 5 interview with factor, so off to youtube.

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 22:48:34 UTC | #879548

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 2 by Alan4discussion

The Wyndgate’s representative explained that the owner did not wish to associate with individuals such as Dawkins, or his philosophies.

But! .. What value has scientific excellence, philosophy, or academic knowledge to your common sporting club bozo? ! - It could disrupt a life long absence of learning!

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 22:50:25 UTC | #879549

Spassy's Avatar Comment 3 by Spassy

Once again "religion has poisoned everything"... This is not a surprise, it was bound to happen (Because of the on going ignorance towards atheist and the prejudice against us.). Every time I hear something similar to this event, my resentment towards religion grows stronger.

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 23:02:17 UTC | #879552

Bipedal Primate's Avatar Comment 4 by Bipedal Primate

This here Dawkins and his philosophies. Pure satanism, I've heard. Did you know that those atheist people drink the blood of christian babies for breakfast? And lunch. Straight from the jugular vein, too, I'm told. Don't even have the manners to use a cup, you see.

Now who the hell would wish to associate with someone who's knowledgeable and has interesting things to say?

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 23:04:11 UTC | #879553

Andrew B.'s Avatar Comment 5 by Andrew B.

This:

Although privately owned, The Wyndgate facilities are open to the public for special events and occasions. According to Title II of the Federal Civil Rights Law of 1964, “open to the public” means “all persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.”

and this:

“It’s important to understand that discrimination based on a person’s religion—or lack thereof—is legally equivalent to discriminating against a person because of his or her race,” said Jeff Seaver, executive director of CFI–Michigan.

give me the impression that CFI has some sort of legal case. Would any of the posters familiar with U.S. law know more?

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 23:08:22 UTC | #879554

I Deny's Avatar Comment 6 by I Deny

RD must hate doing FOX

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 23:09:21 UTC | #879555

Wendy Farts On Her Bible's Avatar Comment 7 by Wendy Farts On Her Bible

Wyndgate?

Gotta be full of arseholes.

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 23:11:28 UTC | #879556

I Deny's Avatar Comment 8 by I Deny

Not sure, but I'm sure it's wouldn't be hard to give em a hard time about it.

The Wyndgate 1975 West Gunn Road Rochester Hills, MI 48306

Phone: 248.652.4283 Fax: 248.652.8934 Email: info@thewyndgate.com

Comment 5 by Andrew B. :

This:

Although privately owned, The Wyndgate facilities are open to the public for special events and occasions. According to Title II of the Federal Civil Rights Law of 1964, “open to the public” means “all persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.”

and this:

“It’s important to understand that discrimination based on a person’s religion—or lack thereof—is legally equivalent to discriminating against a person because of his or her race,” said Jeff Seaver, executive director of CFI–Michigan.

give me the impression that CFI has some sort of legal case. Would any of the posters familiar with U.S. law know more?

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 23:11:50 UTC | #879557

SomersetJohn's Avatar Comment 9 by SomersetJohn

I wonder what the owner of this club would say if someone were to bar him from somewhere because they did not want to be associated with HIS philosophy?

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 23:19:21 UTC | #879562

Karen Hill Anton's Avatar Comment 10 by Karen Hill Anton

American country clubs have a long history of discrimination (blacks, Jews, et al) and are clearly carrying on with their shameful tradition. Surely there must be legal recourse.

Karen

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 23:23:15 UTC | #879563

some asshole's Avatar Comment 11 by some asshole

Comment 3 by Spassy : Every time I hear something similar to this event, my resentment towards religion grows stronger.

Same here. My current level of hatred for religion and religiosity scares even me.

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 23:32:15 UTC | #879566

Philoctetes                                        's Avatar Comment 12 by Philoctetes

"I would never consider joining a club that would accept me as a member". Groucho Marx

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 23:53:34 UTC | #879573

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 13 by Border Collie

I couldn't watch that Dawkins/O'Reilly interview, but not because of Richard. But, really, in a sense, who cares? Private country clubs are one of the last bastions of blue-blood inbreeding. They don't deserve Richard anyway.

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 23:59:00 UTC | #879575

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 14 by Border Collie

Comment Removed by Author

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 00:02:52 UTC | #879577

mjwemdee's Avatar Comment 15 by mjwemdee

Don't know anything about the legal position stateside, but this is reminiscent of that charming case where a gay couple was refused entry to their (pre-booked) accommodation at a guesthouse in Cornwall run by fundamentalist Christians. The court's ruling was clear - although privately owned, it was a business open to the public, and as such could not discriminate in this way.

Isn't there a parallel here?

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 00:03:38 UTC | #879578

HappyPrimate's Avatar Comment 16 by HappyPrimate

There is certainly a legal case for CFI to pursue. The fact that this club books its facilities for public use makes it unlawful for them to discriminate. CFI will hopefully take this to court. They can sue to recoup any funds they had to expend to change the venue as well. The article said it was a sold-out event. No surprise but how very stupid of the club to cancel what obviously is going to be a well attended event. I hope the new venue is even larger so that more can have a chance to hear Richard. I'm actually glad Richard goes on Faux Noise to plug his books as there is always the chance one of O'Reilly's brain dead viewers just might go out and buy a copy and perhaps even read a few pages.

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 00:24:51 UTC | #879582

erindorothy's Avatar Comment 17 by erindorothy

Comment 3 by Spassy

....... Every time I hear something similar to this event, my resentment towards religion grows stronger.

I'm so with you on this Spassy. How bloody discriminatory. They surely can't get away with this. US folk?

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 01:05:53 UTC | #879601

boogerjames's Avatar Comment 18 by boogerjames

I'm by no means a lawyer, but it looks like there actually a pretty good case to be made under Title II of the Federal Civil Rights Law of 1964. Reading all of Title II, there is one small loophole which allows a private club to not have to follow the rules. However, since this club is actively renting its rooms out to the public, I believe they don't qualify for that exemption. There looks to be a very very clear cut case of discrimination here. I hope they sue.

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 02:03:01 UTC | #879615

boogerjames's Avatar Comment 19 by boogerjames

Text of Civil Rights Law of 1964 available here. Title II is the relevant portion.

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 02:06:07 UTC | #879616

Kimberly Danner's Avatar Comment 20 by Kimberly Danner

I have to say, I'm pretty embarrassed after reading this...

I would like Professor Dawkins to enjoy his time in Rochester, MI while he is also visiting Oakland University. I would like pay a visit there since it's in the same vicinity and politely ask them face to face for their version of educated reasoning why he is not suitable. I'll remain calm and collected, it would just be nice to hear someone defend this to my face.

Thoughts anyone?

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 02:21:20 UTC | #879620

sanban's Avatar Comment 21 by sanban

Go for it, Kimberly, as long as you're sure you won't deck the bigot. Take along a video/voice recorder. Should be good for a laugh, even if they just give you a weaselly evasion.

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 02:28:33 UTC | #879621

Roxane's Avatar Comment 22 by Roxane

I think you'll find that all the best people have been banned by American country clubs at one time or another.

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 02:33:32 UTC | #879624

Kimberly Danner's Avatar Comment 23 by Kimberly Danner

That sounds about right because all the best people are usually intelligent and would be less likely to spend 50k+ to join a club.

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 03:09:00 UTC | #879633

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 24 by aquilacane

I would be uncomfortable being invited to a country club, having met several members.

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 03:11:48 UTC | #879634

Kimberly Danner's Avatar Comment 25 by Kimberly Danner

Thanks guys!

Depending on the outcome I will try to post a follow up summary in response to this article.

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 04:02:14 UTC | #879641

Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Comment 26 by Rawhard Dickins

Some just aren't interested in reality,

blame the education system!

Sorry.. that should read.. Change the education system!

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 04:20:22 UTC | #879648

Kimberly Danner's Avatar Comment 27 by Kimberly Danner

Or how about, "Change majority of things". Haha

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 05:17:50 UTC | #879659

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 28 by Jos Gibbons

How did this even happen? Who doesn't know what RD thinks of religion? Those who haven't heard of him at all seem candidates, to be sure; but why would those people invite him at all? I'm trying to work out the sequence of events.

"We should totally invite this guy - apparently he's a really famous scientist people think is smart."
"Do we even want that in a sports club?"
"He's British!"
"Well, there's that. We'll need to know what he looks like though."
"I'll head to Google Images."
"Nah, do YouTube; might as well get used to his voice at the same time too."
"Fair enough." (Hums while scrolling through videos; spots the O'Reilly one) "Oh, god, NO!"

That's my most plausible stab at this.

all persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin

Legal obligations burn, don't they?

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 07:03:35 UTC | #879679

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 29 by Cartomancer

I've heard them referred to on American television several times, but I've never been entirely sure what a "Country Club" actually is. I get that it's "country" as in rural rather than urban, and "club" as in association of people rather than blunt implement for bashing things, but putting the two together makes me think of something like a meeting of a group of ramblers or twitchers or rural pub enthusiasts. This would not require premises that could be rented out for events.

Which still leaves me wondering what exactly the "country club" is and what its premises are used for. Is it more like the Victorian "gentlemen's club", only in a rural setting? Do they get in newspapers and snuff and expensive wine and sit around in big overstuffed chairs discussing the stock market and decrying the youth of today without the tedious interruption of people whose fathers do not own half of Hampshire? I get that there is supposed to be some kind of snobbish exclusivity about the places, though without the good old British class system to fall back on it baffles me as to how Americans would organise such things.

Or is it more along the lines of a golf club, but with several other outdoor field sports as well? Like clay pigeon shooting or cross-country running or... err.. rounders or... okay, that's about my limit as far as knowledge of countryside sports goes. In which case why does what amounts to a leisure centre have conference facilities?

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 07:43:19 UTC | #879689

jel's Avatar Comment 30 by jel

This is a link to a petition that's been set up to try to get the owner to change his mind (no chance!)

http://www.change.org/petitions/wyndgate-country-club-apologize-for-anti-atheist-discrimination

This is a link to google maps where people have started to add comments about the club

http://maps.google.com/maps/place?cid=8619685973801562103&q=The+Wyndgate+Country+Club+in+Rochester+Hills,+Michigan&hl=en&cd=1&cad=src:ppiwlink,view:map&ei=2sWTTsqcDdP

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 08:12:52 UTC | #879694