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Civil Rights Complaint to be Filed Against Local Florist for Refusing Delivery to Ahlquist

Lawyers for the Freedom from Religion Foundation will be filing a complaint with the state alleging a local florist violated the Civil Rights Act by refusing to deliver a dozen roses because Jessica Ahlquist is an atheist.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation will be filing a complaint with the state after several local florists refused flower orders for delivery to Jessica Ahlquist,

Annie Laurie Gaylor of the FFRF said the foundation will be filing a complaint that alleges one of the florists, , violated the civil rights act by denying service to Ahlquist based on her religion or lack thereof.

"We have basic civil rights standards in our society. A business can't shun you because you're an atheist," Gaylor said. "You do not have the right to refuse to do business with someone based on categories and that includes religion. It's as if they said 'I will not deliver to a black person.'"

Gaylor said the foundation attempted to have flowers delivered to Ahlquist after a grueling week during which her picture has been plastered across the front page of the newspaper day after day and she been chased by camera crews, some staking out the high school on Monday morning to photograph her returning to school after rumors that she was leaving West to go to LaSalle Academy floated through Facebook. The Wisconsin-basedfoundation ordered a dozen roses with the message "Congratulations, and hang in there, with admiration from FFRF."

The foundation was denied by three florists in Cranston and others in Warwick. They eventually had to order from a florist in Connecticut.

As many ask whether the media is focusing too much on the young girl represented by the state chapter of the American with Civil Liberties Union instead of the lawsuit, this latest twist in the heated controversy adds increasing pressure on the School Committee to end speculation about whether they'll pursue an appeal of and somehow put the issue to rest.

Gaylor said the School Committee has only one responsible action to take, and that's to announce there is no appeal and do so "as soon as possible."

"They need to end the controversy," she said. "It will die down. The reason it is so enflamed is that people think they can now influence the school board by throwing money at them" or threatening to vote them all out if they don't file an appeal.

School Committee members have said they will not be pressured into making any decision. At a meeting earlier this week, Superintedent Peter Nero admonished pro-banner protesters who booed a person speaking in favor of the court order, telling the audience that they need to "set an example."

Gaylor released the order receipt from Twin's Florist that states "I will not deliver to this person."

Joe The Plumber January 31, 2012 at 02:38 PM
This is another example of how a militant minority like the atheists on this website will take a statement of fact which is not an opinion or an insult like: "most recent ARIS report, released March 9, 2009, found in 2008, 1.6% explicitly describes itself as atheist (0.7%)" Then the minority atheist community will distort the truth and attack attack the commentor with lies and insults. Which is why (except for a couple of stuborn persons like myself) most other people left this blog and have left it to the very vocal, insulting, rude, militant atheist pseudo intellectuals representing that 0.7% of our society who gather around causes such as this, like the vultures they are. It is that very small group of the lunatic fringe atheists who are pounding their chests, and beating their drums, trying to make it appear that they number more than the insignificant population they actually represent. There is a reason that for the last two thousand years the number of atheists in the world remains at insignificant and small segment of our society. It is because your non-belief system is unpopular and wrong. (continued)
Joe The Plumber January 31, 2012 at 02:39 PM
(continued) Does not the fact that for the last couple of thousand years, with a representation of 0.7% of our society, give you pause to question wether maybe, just maybe, you are wrong? Any intelligent and sensible person would. But we are not dealing with intelligent and sensible people in the group of ignorant atheist writing on this discussion. Which is why many other people of faith have stopped commenting. Not because you have won an intelligent debate, but because they see that you are not even worth their time. You are irrelevant and insignificant and as along as you wage this negative campaign of attacks and insults you will remain that way. And I take great joy in exposing you for what you all really are.
J. Lane McMahon January 31, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Ok Joe... Since you are talking about 1000 years, you must mean worldwide numbers, which would be closer to 15%......Stop quoting misleading facts....and you have been the most insulting person here. This is not about majority vs minority. It's not about religion vs. non-religion. IT IS ABOUT CIVIL RIGHTS! Plain and simple.
Stoney January 31, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Bravo JLM. Bravo! It is a civil rights issue - but one that JTP and his ilk cannot get into their 'heads'. They would prefer to make it about religion vs. the miserable minority atheists/infidels/unbelievers or otherwise hellbound lunatic fringe. By making this into an US vs THEM issue, people like JTP not only want to divide people like you and me (which has happened somewhat) but also want to destroy the rule of law for a theocracy. Whose theocracy? The majority theocrats in charge. This I will fight to my last breath. While I know we disagree on beliefs and respect for peoples beliefs (note - people deserve respect - even JTP, unfortunately.....), I am grateful for people like you of faith that get the problem and who are willing to speak out against a grave injustice to all Americans - erosion of our precious Bill of Rights and Constitution. Thank you, JLM. Thank you very much!
Liberty Janus January 31, 2012 at 08:16 PM
JTP’s lying has become pathological. He simply ignores facts and repeats lies over and over. Again, the provision of church state separation is not an issue of atheists versus Christians. JTP’s repetition of this notion is mere LYING and PROPAGANDA. Separation protects EVERYONE’S right to liberty of conscience and belief. Theocrats like JTP would have THEIR beliefs forced on everyone by OUR government. He would force his Christianity on 74mln non-Christian Americans and 134.4mln Christian Americans who disagree with him because he has paranoid delusions about “militant atheists”. It’s pathetic but also approaching sociopathic. Some facts: When asked to respond to the statement “The First Amendment requires a clear separation of church and state” 67% of Americans AGREE. 11% mildly disagree and 5% don’t know. That’s 208.4mln Americans who AGREE WITH CLEAR SEPARATION. Be unrealistically generous (because not all non-Christians agree with the statement) and subtract ALL the 74mln (24%) non-Christian Americans from this number, and that leaves a MINIMUM of 134.4 MILLION American Christians (!!!!!!!!) who AGREE WITH CLEAR SEPARATION. It is LYING – prodigious lying - to imply (JTP doesn’t really make points – he just throws irrelevant false accusations on the wall to see what sticks) that atheists are the only people who support clear separation when 67% of Americans SUPPORT CLEAR SEPARATION.
Liberty Janus January 31, 2012 at 08:18 PM
More facts: 15% (46.65mln) of Americans are non-believers. 24% (74mln) are non-Christians. As to world statistics on belief and unbelief: Christians are a minority at 33%, as are Muslims at 21%, as are Hindus at 14%. The 3RD LARGEST minority is NON-BELIEVERS at 15%. Catholics are 17%, and Protestants 16%, each barely more than non-believers, and both likely to be eclipsed by non-believers within a decade or two, given the trends. These basic FACTS can be found in many places, including: http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html http://chartsbin.com/view/3nr http://www.religionfacts.com/big_religion_chart.htm http://www.zpub.com/un/pope/relig.html To simply ignore these facts is very close to delusional. It’s certainly a clear demonstration of lying and propagandizing.
Darlene Tipton January 31, 2012 at 09:57 PM
May I point out that we're all missing the point here? From whom are these death threats coming? Godly, reverent Christians who want a teenage girl dead. As an apatheist, I've actually read the Bible (something I'd highly recommend to the more red-faced hostiles among you), and it preaches love and tolerance. I can't seem to find anywhere in the Gospels where Jesus advocated ill-spelled death theats. Christians who promote viciousness and hatred are NOT Christians by any stretch of the definition. Shame on you for calling yourself Christian or godly when you are living a life of hatred and fear rather than faith and love. By the way, if you don't know what "apatheist" means, look it up. Read the Bible while you're at it.
Joe The Plumber February 01, 2012 at 12:06 AM
OK so I understand that the atheist posters here are too dumb to read, so maybe they can get someone to read them the the most recent ARIS report, released March 9, 2009, which found found in 2008, that there are 0.7% atheist in our society. It is understandable that this must make them feel insignificant and irrelevant, but it is no lie, it is just fact. And this comment contains about 5% of the words atheists use to try and escape and deny this reality.
Joe The Plumber February 01, 2012 at 12:07 AM
Hey jAnus, from your own first source: "Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: This is a highly disparate group and not a single religion. Although atheists are a small subset of this grouping, this category is not synonymous with atheism. People who specify atheism as their religious preference actually make up less than one-half of one percent of the population" So your own source puts atheists at less than 0.5%. OOOPS.....
Joe The Plumber February 01, 2012 at 12:11 AM
So janus, your second source puts atheists at 2.32% WOLDWIDE! ummm okay.....
Joe The Plumber February 01, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Your third source show no statistics at all.
Joe The Plumber February 01, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Your fourth source shows atheists at 3.8% world wide. Which considering Communist China, and Mongolia where most of them live, it is understandable....
Joe The Plumber February 01, 2012 at 12:20 AM
So, if delusion is defined as a belief held with absolute conviction despite superior evidence, I guess that makes you and your rabid militant minority atheists delusional.
Liberty Janus February 01, 2012 at 12:50 AM
It’s like talking to a brick. You stoop once again to calling others childish names and “dumb” while you claim not to use insults; deliberately misspelling my name again like a child scribbling on a bathroom wall with a Crayon. Again you make the lie that ONLY atheists claim protection from establishment under the First Amendment, and lie that ONLY poll-professed atheists constitute non-believers, when in fact most non-believers do not claim to be atheists, just non-believers, and again you lie about statistics. Again, this is not an issue of atheists versus Christians, which is the lie you continue to make; it’s an issue of liberty of conscience and belief as guaranteed by the 1st Amendment. Your attempt to erect this straw man is really pathetic.
Liberty Janus February 01, 2012 at 12:51 AM
24% of Americans are non-Christian and 15% are NONES, as in NO RELIGION , which includes poll-professed atheists and agnostics, but also includes other non-believers. 67% of Americans SUPPORT separation of church and state, of whom 134.4mln are Christians. You’re too much of a coward to own up to advocating violating the majorities support for clear separation of church and state, though, and too much of a hypocrite to even address the issue without lying. Additionally you can’t allow yourself to admit the fact that even if a majority didn’t support clear separation it wouldn’t matter; the US Constitution protects EVERYBODIES, minorities included, rights to their beliefs by prohibiting government establishment. The amount of people whose rights you want to violate is IRRELEVANT, despite the fact that it happens to be the majority of the country’s population. You can continue to ignore these facts, and the statistics about world non-belief, but your lies won’t make them go away. Your straw man and fake argument by innuendo are pathetic.
Joe The Plumber February 01, 2012 at 05:43 AM
Yes this is an issue of an atheist's lawsuit to remove a banner. What planet are you on?
Liberty Janus February 01, 2012 at 06:00 AM
You really are conceptually and logically challenged. The issue is the liberty of belief and conscience provided under the establishment and free exercise clauses of the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution. The banner case is one instance of that liberty being maintained. This IS NOT an issue of atheists versus Christians. You’re really even much more ignorant than you appear; which is really saying something. Either your religious bigotry has completely overwhelmed your ability to separate concepts from particulars, or you really are just that mentally challenged.
Joe The Plumber February 01, 2012 at 06:04 AM
I can sense your frustration over the fact that you belong to an extremist group comprising an insignificant 0.7% of our society. Your anger is understandable that with all your rhetoric you cannot convince anyone to join your cause to wipe out religion. I understand that the loneliness of belonging to such an insignificant group must be very hard for you. It is evident in your writings that atheists are very mean and angry people. I will pray for you.
Liberty Janus February 01, 2012 at 06:10 AM
That’s just silly. Such childish nonsense provocations will accomplish nothing. You’ve failed to address even ONE of the numerous refutations of your comments by multiple commenters, and posted nothing but ad hominem attacks. So trot on over to the other story where you tell us how you long for an appeal while forcing the rest of the community to pay for another legal loss. In the meantime, let’s put up your picture in place of the banner when it’s removed, with a nice poem about how you helped cost the city so much money with your pursuit of theocracy.
Robin Lionheart February 01, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Poor frustrated, angry, lonely straw man! Don't worry, Joe understands you. After all, he built you.
Ed February 01, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Liberty anus, I think Joe is correct and is one up on you...
Liberty Janus February 01, 2012 at 04:49 PM
But you haven’t thought at all, Ed, and like JTP merely resort to childish insults.
Ed February 02, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Opppssss... Sorry Liberty, I'm not into the insult and name calling. I can see what went wrong, my fast fingers missed the "J"... and just put anus, sorry... But, Joe has some good points, I also like the view from blue collared folks. I think he is right on, sorry I can't agree with you, you missed the point...
Small Change February 07, 2012 at 05:29 PM
its interesting to see the Florists involved being 'yelped' in the business section of The Patch. But then, surely they must realize that when you publicly stand up for the courage of your convictions (can ya guess where I'm going here?), you might well end up being publicly ostracized and insulted by those who hold different beliefs, especially ifrom those who are small minded and intolerant. (If ya catch my drift....) The almost amusing, (if it wasn't so poisonous to the community,) aspect of this is that- on both sides- if someone who hold opposing beliefs to yours publicly stands up for them then them they are an evildoer, if their beliefs agree with yours then they are a hero. And neither side sees themselves as hypocrites...
Robin Lionheart February 07, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Intolerance of intolerance is not hypocrisy, Small Change. Those who support equality and fairness oppose inequality and unfairness.
Ed February 07, 2012 at 07:44 PM
There is really no problem at all here. I say that because any one of the Jessica supporters can walk into a flower shop, buy the flowers and deliver them, themself. This will also give them the opportunity to chitter-chat with her, discuss how things are not going in school, and maybe, just maybe, get their picture taken with her. Wouldn't that be priceless? Wouldn't this then put the issue to bed?
Robin Lionheart February 08, 2012 at 03:13 AM
“Any one of the Jessica supporters”, Surrender Ed? In this incident, anyone was FFRF president Annie Gaylor, phoning orders for a dozen roses from Madison, Wisconsin. Kind of a long trip just to deliver a bouquet. More reasonable to call a local shop that advertises a delivery service. Use your head, Ed.
Ed February 08, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Hey Robin... We did get a call for a delivery from Madison, Wisconsin. The problem with that order was that the credit card got rejected. We politely asked for another card and all hell broke loose, it was very unprofessional... Next time you see her, ask her if that was her???
Ed February 08, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Ohhh Robin.... I'm president of TLFCA, I got more initials after my name than she does... Nah-Nah..
Robin Lionheart February 08, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Five whole letters, Ed? How proud your mother must be. I take it “we” means your small delivery business that won’t deliver someplace scary? What company was that, Surrender Ed? Your “TLFCA”? Anyhow, you’d have to be thinking of a different refused delivery order from Madison, Wisconsin, cause this incident went nothing like that.

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