Patterico's Pontifications


Self-Described “Inclusive” Eatery Turns Away Christian Group

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:24 am

[guest post by Dana]

In Virginia:

A Virginia-based conservative Christian advocacy group was turned away from a local restaurant just an hour before their reservation last week.

A representative of the Family Foundation said he was frustrated after the group was turned away from Metzger Bar and Butchery last Wednesday. The group claims the refusal had to do with their religious beliefs.

According to *Todd Gathje, Director of Government Relations for the Family Foundation, one of the owners of Metzger called a representative of the Family Foundation about an hour before the reservation time, saying that the group would not be dining in the restaurant.

“We’ve had events at restaurants all over the city and never encountered a situation like this,” Gathje said. “It’s no secret that we are very much engaged in the public policy debate on a number of controversial issues. But we never expected that we would be denied service at a restaurant based on our religious values or political beliefs.”

The following day, Metzger posted an explanation on Facebook about why they refused to serve the group. It’s more than a bit ironic that their opening statement touts their proud history of being an inclusive environment for patrons. Well, at least some patrons.

All of the comments left at the post applauded the decision to exclude the Family Foundation group from Metzger’s inclusive environment. Of course, there is a note on the post stating that Metzger Bar and Butchery limited who can comment on this post. One lone comment which was allowed to be published asked the owners a more general question about being open to those with whom we disagree:

I’m not challenging your right as owners to serve who you want but in what way did this group make anyone feel unsafe or uncomfortable? And how can we all, moving forward, not have used this as a time to be open to fellowship and service while also holding a difference of opinions? You “discovered” something about the group but they must’ve also known that members of LGBTQ community work at your establishment and they wanted to dine with you. I’m asking this with a journalist’s brain so please y’all don’t come at me.

Virginia Cobb, the head of the Family Foundation of Virginia, posted about the incident. In part:

I think most people assume that food service is something that we can all agree on…’It’s stunning, and it does feel a bit like ‘no Christians can eat here.’ Because if you go to our website, you’ll find that we are a faith-based organization…’So it absolutely does feel that there is religious discrimination going on here.’…In a blog post, Cobb likened her group’s experience of being refused service to eateries that refused to serve black customers before the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Not letting the opportunity go to waste, Cobb’s post concluded with a fundraising plea:

Not even 24 hours before our event was canceled, the U.S. Senate passed the “(Dis)Respect for Marriage Act” with the help of 12 Republicans who assured us that, even with this federal codification of same-sex marriage, the language in the act asserting that beliefs on marriage between a man and a woman are “based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises” and those that hold such beliefs “are due proper respect” would preserve, not diminish, religious liberty. It took less than a day for us to see how worthless that empty rhetoric is.

Our witness will not be diminished, and we will not be silenced. We will speak out when we see this type of religious discrimination occurring in Virginia. As we stand on the front lines of this fight to protect and advance religious freedom for all Virginians, we invite you to stand with us. Will you consider a donation today to support our efforts to ensure that no Virginian will ever have to worry about being refused a simple meal because of his or her religious beliefs?

*If Todd Gathje’s name rings a bell, here’s why: He “has previously written for the Family Foundation about a stalled effort in 2021 to remove an unenforceable provision of the Virginia Constitution — invalidated by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015 — that defines marriage as between one man and one woman, saying that removing it would open the door to “polygamous, incestuous, kinship or even child marriages.”


38 Responses to “Self-Described “Inclusive” Eatery Turns Away Christian Group”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (1225fc)

  2. This looks like clear cut religious discrimination to me.

    Time123 (1c7465)

  3. All I know is – I generally dont ask anyone at any establishment about their sex life, its why I have most of my original teeth, given a soccer incident or two…

    Why is it important to share your sex preferences with customers and/or complete strangers?

    I don’t think its empowering, just creepy

    EPWJ (650a62)

  4. An eatery turning away business in this tepid economy after years of masking and Covid restrictions seems extreme. If they have a license to serve food and beverages, meet all the codes and patrons are not barefoot and casually clothed, let’em eat– and spread the good word about the quality of the food and service.

    DCSCA (70c077)

  5. A baker, who serves LGBTQ+ patrons, but will not make a cake decorated for a same-sex wedding is a monstrous bigot.

    A restaurateur who refuses to serve people due to their political leanings is a hero.

    It is really past time that these smug people got hit upside the head with the laws they claim to support.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  6. It is really past time that these smug people got hit upside the head with the laws they claim to support.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/8/2022 @ 11:55 am


    EPWJ (650a62)

  7. I wonder what would happen if Utah legalized polygamy.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  8. 1. OK, suppose the Ku Klux Klan reserved a room in the eatery. Should they be served?

    2. The woke language that smothers these sorts of “brave stands” in inclusive equitable goo always turns my stomach. So I probably don’t want to be eating in this establishment.

    3. It’s hard to get past this being a self-righteous duck move. We are probably getting close to needing a civil rights law for political beliefs to keep this from continuing.

    Appalled (db571c)

  9. blech. the restaurant should not be discriminating against customers in this way. part of being members of a pluralist society is that everyone should be able to participate in the marketplace on an equal footing *regardless of their differences*. and part of that means being willing to sell services to people we dislike.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  10. The Christian group didn’t even ask the restaurant to design a cake with a cross on it, they were just sitting down for a meal, right? Sounds like clear-cut religious discrimination to me.
    This vaguely reminds of when Sarah Huckabee Sanders was kicked out of a restaurant because of who she worked for.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  11. @8. OK, suppose the Ku Klux Klan reserved a room in the eatery. Should they be served?

    Or march? Consider a similar scenario w/events and decisions a la Skokie.

    DCSCA (4ff92c)

  12. Now, if they came into the restaurant and behaved badly (e.g. proselytizing) they could be kicked out no matter who they were. That is the one exception in discrimination ethics — behavior sets you apart by your own hand.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  13. @8. OK, suppose the Ku Klux Klan reserved a room in the eatery. Should they be served?

    With hoods and everything? Not only would that make eating difficult (and consider the stains!) but it is an example of poor behavior that I mentioned above. Now, if it happened to be a bunch of folks who were part of the Klan and they were behaving themselves, sure, why not? The best way to change minds is to be something they don’t expect.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  14. We are probably getting close to needing a civil rights law for political beliefs to keep this from continuing.

    This is the problem with lists. They are ALWAYS exclusive. Sometimes intentionally, but even when people try to make them include everyone, someone gets left out. Thank God the Founders said “speech” and “press” and did not try to list all the possible forms of each.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  15. Now, would the Colorado Civil Rights Commission rule in favor of the Christian group?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  16. With hoods and everything? Not only would that make eating difficult (and consider the stains!) but it is an example of poor behavior that I mentioned above.

    A restaurant can demand that patrons remove their hats indoors in the name of decorum (same way they can mandate a jacket-and-tie policy, though so vanishingly few do any longer), so I think that they are well within their rights to require patrons to impose a no hood policy. The robes are a more complicated issue, I will admit.

    JVW (9b9b2d)

  17. Even with the hoods off they are not dining. They’re demonstrating, which the restaurant does not have to tolerate.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  18. As far as I know, there was nothing to visibly suggest that the group would be protesting at the eatery. Rather they were simply a conservative looking group that just wanted a place to meet and eat. No big deal. The fear I would have of eating there (if I were part of their group) and knowing that the staff was agitated by my presence, is that they might spit on my food.

    Dana (1225fc)

  19. The kkk isn’t a religion. You’re free to refuse service to members of political parties, clubs and the like. We have a right to free association in business that is curtailed by protected classes such as race, religion, & sex.

    Time123 (1c7465)

  20. Not everything that’s obnoxious is illegal. So to those saying let’s hit them with the law they claim to support, I’d ask, which law is that? Because (disclaimer: this isn’t my area of expertise) my impression is that’s not how public accommodation anti-discrimination laws work. My understanding is, what’s prohibited is discrimination based on identity, not based merely on advocated beliefs, even if some people hold those beliefs religiously. For example, while it would be a clear violation of most public accommodation laws to refuse service to someone for being Jewish, I think it would be perfectly legal to exclude customers who advocate on behalf of circumcision, a tenet core to Judaism but not exclusive to it. Where the line gets drawn between beliefs that are indistinguishable from the identity, e.g., the divinity of Christ to Christians, and those that are widely held outside the religion, e.g., non-Hindu members of PETA, I don’t know. As I said, this isn’t my area. But I’m pretty sure the distinction matters. And needless to say, the beliefs espoused by the group in question in this incident are not exclusively Christian or religious.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  21. Thanks for the insight, lurker.

    Nate (1f1d55)

  22. Lurker. This seems like clear cut religious discrimination

    Time123 (1c7465)

  23. This business of “unsafe” is deliberate nonsense, used because it is an excuse to boycott..

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  24. This might be interesting

    he says, in effect, that we have an intolerant religion (or system of morality) that insists everybody subscribe to it.

    Anyone that denies there’s a culture war going on in western civilization isn’t paying attention. The ‘war’ is between those of us that believe that there is a Higher Power Who determines the code of human conduct and those who see humanity determining it. And the latter is winning. Big time!

    For those of us that believe in the former, these are troubling times. This is not to say that the latter are a bunch of atheists or agnostics (although some are). It is that even if they believe in a Higher Power, He has given over that determination to humanity. And that the bible (or the Koran) is not necessarily the word of God. That in essence, scripture was written by man at time when morality was defined differently without the benefit of the new discoveries of the modern era.

    Biblical values have thus been discarded as not only irrelevant, but as grossly immoral themselves. Influential media people buy in heavily to the new morality and promote it with near abandon….

    Wo can deny that that is the problem?

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  25. @21. Apparently there’s some dispute as to how insightful it is lol, but you’re welcome.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  26. @22. Like I said, not my area, so maybe you’re right, but could you elaborate? Do you believe the restaurant would have behaved differently toward a secular group espousing the same views? Would that matter? If so why? If not why not?

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  27. There are certain universal beliefs people should have about morality, but belief in gay marriage isn’t one of them.

    And these people took no position about what to do about it, now that it exists.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  28. This business of “unsafe” is deliberate nonsense, used because it is an excuse to boycott.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 12/8/2022 @ 4:24 pm

    I doubt it’s deliberate, but it is nonsense, and it’s insufferable.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  29. @22 and @26. And to be sure I’m understanding you correctly, by “clear cut religious discrimination,” you meant legally, not just colloquially, right?

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  30. It’s so absurd it has to be deliberate.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  31. It’s so absurd it has to be deliberate.


    nk (bb1548)

  32. Not in my experience. No doubt there are exceptions, but I’ve been repeatedly persuaded by militant ideologues of every stripe that they sincerely believe their insufferable nonsense.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  33. Conversely, lurker, not everything which is legal is good behavior, and we can reasonably condemn obnoxious but legal acts.

    Whether or not the restaurant’s behavior was *legal*, it was *obnoxious*, and it was not the way I think people should behave.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  34. @33. I agree 100%. I thought I implied with my original “not everything that’s obnoxious is illegal” that I found it obnoxious.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  35. RethugliKKKan Floriduh state leg. joe harding the author of the don’t say gay bill resigned today after being indicted on federal charges of corruption. AOC brought up on ethics charges for attending met gala where she wore her famous tax the rich dress by dark money funded right wing group!

    asset (35ada4)

  36. AOC should be brought up on charges of dilettantism for going to decadent bourgeois orgy in the first place.

    nk (4a7f9e)

  37. Leftists hate Christians and deliberately discriminate against them. This was all foretold. Leftists don’t like any competition against their gods (self and state) and beliefs.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  38. OT: Miniskirt McCain continues being a thorn in the Dems’ side. From the Daily Fail:

    Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema QUITS Democratic Party and registers as an independent – just days after her party won 51st Senate seat – in massive blow for Biden

    It’s too bad the GOP blew their Senate chances, she might have gotten a shot at some plum committee assignments. I doubt this is going to help her re-election chances, though, unless it’s a play to get Arizona GOP voters to support her simply for the lulz.

    Quite a journey for a politician who started her career as an AOC-type bomb-thrower in the AZ state legislature.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

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