"Religion Free Zones" Should be Among Restaurants' Priorities

Each Friday I like to buy the print edition of the local daily paper and go to a restaurant for a small breakfast with coffee, taking the paper along to read. Because my usual place had poor service, I went elsewhere, to a fast food joint overlooking the bay. It's the kind of place that takes pride in individual meal preparation -- like Burger King, where you can "have it your way" --  not things popped into a microwave, so they hand out little tents with order numbers on them.

I made my way about fifty feet into the fairly large main dining area to an empty seat, making sure to sit with my back to a group of about eight to ten people at the back, some of them looking like extras from the Duck Dumbnasty "reality" TV show. The wait for my order was minimal; just before it came I heard someone behind me say in a voice loud enough to be heard throughout the dining room, "I mean, the Hebrew language is God's language, isn't it?"

I thought, Uh, oh! The moment the wait help left my sandwich, I seized it, grabbed my paper, and left.

It occurs to me, restaurants need to have "No Religion" zones just as they have No  Smoking zones in cities where smoking is not outright forbidden in dining establishments. Non-theists, freethinkers, agnostics, and atheists should be able to eat in peace without annoying declarations of faith in the form of Booblical study grounds. These groups should be made to sit apart from other diners. We should write the heads of local restaurant associations and demand nothing less.

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I'm with you on that one. If I wanted to hear religious babble I'dgo to church.
Where's the verse in the bible about praying alone? Something about not making a public show of prayers. I have chronic crs syndrome.

I suspect, actually, that they were in a missionary frame of mind. Nothing pleases a gullible more than finding another lamb for the sacrifice.

True. However, in this little part of the bible belt public prayers in restaurants are a constant source of irritation to me. I've never understood what they are trying to prove. Or who it's being proven to. At my age, and after having kept quiet for decades, l now find myself with an almost uncontrollable urge to confront theists on this issue. And asked them those exact questions.

Christian fundamentalists showing up in restaurants may be a flash type event designed to convert other patrons. That is, it might be the believers' version of open carry. Instead of openly carrying guns (which they may have done as well) they're openly carrying their religious superstitions. Several other recent events may play a role. One is the SCOTUS decision that it is OK to open a governing body's meetings not just with a prayer but a Christianity-specific prayer, which is an abridgement of the wall of separation set up in the First Amendment. The other is the proselytizational zeal accompanying those who are beginning to doubt their religion, or as they learn more about its "holy book," grow peeved with its pettiness, its Draconianism, its billion contradictions, and all the other things that "aren't quite right somehow." Then, we Satanic devilish Luciferian atheists can step in and deprogram them.

Matthew 6:5-6 will do you just fine on that score.

Too lazy to look it up but I am sure you are right.

Hear hear!

THEY have places of worship absolutely everywhere, in every size, shape, & denomination. That's what they are built for.....RELIGION & all the accompaniments!!! If I wanted any of the crap, I would make my choice to go to one of them, & not a restaurant where I intended to get a meal.

Perfect!!!

That's worth putting on a business-sized card and handing out when someone is foolish enough as to indulge in such in your presence!

I donno. I think if you did that to, say, Commander Phil of the Duck Dumbnasty -- hand him a card essentially telling him to STFU, insulting his religion at the same time -- he probably would attack you with his fists at least, maybe even with his concealed happiness. Reminds me of the African-American "corner preacher" who gathered a crown on Venice Beach, ca. 1969, and after borrowing a bible form a Christian cultist, got into a row with the newcomer. I have it all on tape, but the machine was one of those Japanese reel to reel jobs with little 3" reels, and now the recorder is irreparably broken. The "preacher" was pointing out things he found in the O.T., like the sacredness of weed ("dominion over all the plants:) when the newcomer asked for his bible back. Not getting it back immediately, he threatened the corner preacher. The latter quipped, "See! He claim to be a Christian but he's gonna hit me to get his book back."

You could have public readings of Richard Dawkins in revenge :)

Where he talks about the God of the Old Testament with many choice adjectives. 

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