Office Depot refuses to print a religious flyer against abortion
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17-09-2015, 07:05 AM (This post was last modified: 17-09-2015 07:16 AM by ClydeLee.)
RE: Office Depot refuses to print a religious flyer against abortion
(16-09-2015 09:20 PM)BryanS Wrote:  
(16-09-2015 04:54 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  Why don't you think there are laws for it? Part of the 1964 Civil Rights Act includes a clause about not tolerating hate speech legally. Hate Speech is loosely defined, but it's generally defined as speech that creates hostile working environments or invites violence/prejudice.

This flyer may be seen as promoting prejudice and be seen as hate speech. It I suppose could go to a court level to determine if it qualified or not.

The Civil Rights Act has not made speech a crime. It did prohibit discrimination in:
-access to public accommodations
-government treatment of citizens and equal protection of the law
-employment
-interstate commerce (except private groups not doing business with the public)
-schooling
-voting rights

You are free to express any hateful message you want (like saying for instance black people are intellectually inferior) but must stop short of calling for, advocating, or inciting explicit acts of violence (like saying for instance that we should hang a black person in order to 'keep them in their place'). The later isn't only hate speech, but incitement to violence, which is a crime regardless of the motivation.

I challenge you to cite any example of someone in the US charged with hate speech. You will find no such examples. Heck, the Supreme Court even affirmed the right of Neo Nazis to spew hate in the famous Skokie trial (defended, as they were, by the ACLU).

The flyer expressed no call to violence, and threatened nobody, and as such, it is protected speech. Even if it was "hate speech" as you understand the term, that does not make it illegal speech.

Employment law is a different matter--the hostile work environment you refer to only applies to a work-place environment where it is not legal to discriminate in employment matters.

"Speech" not a crime isn't "hate speech." I'm not sure what you then define it as but it has legally defined actions in the Title Clause VII of that in the Civil Rights Act. When you say isn't Only... that's what it is.

There is the cases of the supreme court saying solely hate speech isn't enough to incite a crime... yet other cases where they agree to the prosecution based on what Hate Speech is by it's defined as in the Civil Rights act. For instance, Verbal sexual harassment that creates an uncomfortable working environment for an employee is hate speech. Yeah that applies to workplace situations mostly but it's on the line of both hate speech/sexual discrimination. In those cases they are hand in hand.

If you don't think that's hate speech, I'm not sure what legal definitions you could classify it with. It's not just "speech" or saying "hateful" things or negative phrases. The term hate was a bad choice they made because it is not a direct connection. It's a type of speech that has a inciting or discriminatory result attached to it.

http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2002/2002_01_1107 In some cases like this. You can legally burn a cross in protest... if you do such an act with the nature to intimidate, it's hate speech.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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17-09-2015, 08:21 AM (This post was last modified: 17-09-2015 09:25 AM by epronovost.)
RE: Office Depot refuses to print a religious flyer against abortion
(13-09-2015 06:42 PM)BryanS Wrote:  
(12-09-2015 11:56 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  Someone is going to have to show me what sentence or phrase in that flyer "advocates persecution" because I don't see it. It's rank propaganda, but persecution it ain't. I disagree with the Office Depot gang on this one, at least in claiming the flyer is a call for persecution.

Maybe somebody's eyesight is better than mine? Where's the beef here?

Exactly...I am not a defender of the religious by any means, but there is nothing advocating persecution or expressing hate of any kind. Here is the flier linked to in the article by the story posted by Heywood:

https://www.thomasmoresociety.org/wp-con...Prayer.pdf

Here is all the text of the "prayer"
Prayer for the Conversion of Planned Parenthood
Join in prayer and fasting Aug. 22-29
Lord for whom all things are possible, We are confronted once again today with the evil of the abortion industry and the corruption found in the world's largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood.
Lord, we pray for all who plan to be parents,
and we ask your mercy on those who teach others to reject parenthood. In light of your Word, Lord, we affirm today that children are a blessing from you, and that the origin of all parenthood is likewise in You, the God of life and love.
Therefore, Oh God, we stand against the evil that has been exposed in Planned Parenthood and in the entire abortion industry. We stand today for the triumph of truth over falsehood, of light over darkness, and of life over death.
Bring an end to the killing of children in the womb, and bring an end to the sale of their body parts. Bring conversion to all who do this, and enlightenment to all who advocate it.
Close the doors of the death camps in our midst, and open the doors of your mercy and healing! Close the grisly trade in baby body parts. And open the abundant gifts of your salvation and life!
Hasten the day when our land will no longer be stained with innocent blood, and when the bodies of all your children will be raised from the dead and set free forever.
We pray in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen!
--Rev. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life
http://www.PriestsForLife.org

Here are the talking points/text:
Quick Facts on Planned Parenthood
• During fiscal year 2013/2014 Planned Parenthood received more than $1,400,000 per day in the form of government grants, contracts, and Medicaid reimbursements. *
• Taxpayer funding accounts for 41% of Planned Parenthood's overall revenue. *
• PP reported more than $127,000,000 in excess revenue, and more than $1,400,000,000 in net assets. *
• PP's cancer prevention services are down 17% over one year. (PP does NOT provide mammograms.) *
• Planned Parenthood committed 327, 653 abortions in 2013. *
• The United States is ranked 2nd in the world in number of abortions each year with over 1,000,000 (China is ranked 1st). **
• There are 9,170 Federally Qualified Health Centers who provide health services (but NOT abortions) to low-income populations, compared to about 700 Planned Parenthood clinics. **
 Seven undercover videos have been released showing top PP executives discussing the harvesting of aborted babies' organs.
View them here: http://www.centerformedicalprogress.org

We can find much to disagree with in this flier, but refusing to provide service to someone asking to copy this is blatant discrimination. The only way Office Depot can claim this advocates persecution would be to say opposing abortion is inherently equivalent to advocating persecution. I think Office Depot might find themselves losing in court on this one.

You are right, there is not hate speech law in USA (I thought there were). Though there is some provisions around hate speech and work environment. Office Depot could have some ground on it based on the fact that many employees might feel threatened by such fliers because of the content of the prayer (the information on Planned Parenthood doesn't constitute a problem).

The equivocation of abortion to murder is very clear in the prayer text so is the demand for action by God himself to stop them. Abortion clinics and more specifically Planned Parenthood clinics, which provide much more than simple abortions, are compared to Death Camps. A place where Jews, homosexuals, Romani, Muslims and communists were worked to death or executed during the Holocaust. Calling an abortion a murder and an institution that provides them genocidal advocate persecutions on those who commit abortions because these persons are murderers in the eyes of those who wrote the prayer. Calling someone a murderer and an institution genocidal begets actions against them.

Opposition to abortion isn't systematically equivalent to persecution. In fact, it rarely is. Here is an example of a pro-life message against abortion that doesn't constitute hate speech at all. It's very easy.

Faced with difficulties, studies, work or low income problems, many mothers take the decision to have an abortion. For many American families, life can be challenging especially for those with young children. Because of this, abortion might feel like the only solution. They underestimate the strength of the communities and programs that surrounds them to help them pass through those challenging years. There is hundreds of help groups for young mothers and youth centers where dedicated personnel can help overworked parents to give a good environment to their children. Local churches can constitute hubs to seek help both financially, psychologically and spiritually. There is no shame in admitting one's struggle with family life. Thousands of family pass through difficult times each years. Inform yourself about those groups in your community. Donate generously to them if you can. Help bring more sunshine to this world. Abortion is a choice; make a better one.

I bet you anything you want that this message, which is has pro-life has it gets, would have been printed by Office Depot without any question. I would even bet that with some editing and a bit more fluff, it would have a much stronger impact than the prayer which call every single person struggling with the idea of abortion a potential murderer. Murderers are very awful people in our society (for good reasons). Only pedophiles are more hated.
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17-09-2015, 10:42 AM
RE: Office Depot refuses to print a religious flyer against abortion
(17-09-2015 07:05 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  
(16-09-2015 09:20 PM)BryanS Wrote:  The Civil Rights Act has not made speech a crime. It did prohibit discrimination in:
-access to public accommodations
-government treatment of citizens and equal protection of the law
-employment
-interstate commerce (except private groups not doing business with the public)
-schooling
-voting rights

You are free to express any hateful message you want (like saying for instance black people are intellectually inferior) but must stop short of calling for, advocating, or inciting explicit acts of violence (like saying for instance that we should hang a black person in order to 'keep them in their place'). The later isn't only hate speech, but incitement to violence, which is a crime regardless of the motivation.

I challenge you to cite any example of someone in the US charged with hate speech. You will find no such examples. Heck, the Supreme Court even affirmed the right of Neo Nazis to spew hate in the famous Skokie trial (defended, as they were, by the ACLU).

The flyer expressed no call to violence, and threatened nobody, and as such, it is protected speech. Even if it was "hate speech" as you understand the term, that does not make it illegal speech.

Employment law is a different matter--the hostile work environment you refer to only applies to a work-place environment where it is not legal to discriminate in employment matters.

"Speech" not a crime isn't "hate speech." I'm not sure what you then define it as but it has legally defined actions in the Title Clause VII of that in the Civil Rights Act. When you say isn't Only... that's what it is.

There is the cases of the supreme court saying solely hate speech isn't enough to incite a crime... yet other cases where they agree to the prosecution based on what Hate Speech is by it's defined as in the Civil Rights act. For instance, Verbal sexual harassment that creates an uncomfortable working environment for an employee is hate speech. Yeah that applies to workplace situations mostly but it's on the line of both hate speech/sexual discrimination. In those cases they are hand in hand.

If you don't think that's hate speech, I'm not sure what legal definitions you could classify it with. It's not just "speech" or saying "hateful" things or negative phrases. The term hate was a bad choice they made because it is not a direct connection. It's a type of speech that has a inciting or discriminatory result attached to it.

http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2002/2002_01_1107 In some cases like this. You can legally burn a cross in protest... if you do such an act with the nature to intimidate, it's hate speech.

The areas that civil rights laws apply to are narrowly construed--they have to be because the US Constitution has a guarantee of freedom of belief and freedom of expression. As such, it is not the speech itself that is being prohibited in the work place, but the use of speech in order to discriminate in employment matters. This also only covers the relationship between the employee and employer. Even when a coworker uses offensive speech, they are not committing any crime or violating any law--their employer is to the extent that the employer tolerates these actions, thus creating a hostile work environment.

Context matters because civil rights laws are more narrowly construed to only apply to areas of discrimination that we all agree would seriously infringe on the rights of those discriminated against. Otherwise, that same speech is still legal. An employer could for instance spew all the hate they want so long as it is not done within an employer-employee context. A racist employer can't be prosecuted for being a racist, but can only be held accountable to non-discrimination in their work place. A company can even be engaged in a business that is overtly racist, as long as they do not discriminate against people wanting to do business with them. For instance, a publisher that wants to publish for the KKK or other racist organizations is perfectly legal and allowable under the law.

So in short, it is the employment discrimination that is not legal, not the speech per se.

So back to the Office Depot situation, there is no employment interaction going on here, and the area of Civil Rights law that covers employment discrimination would not apply. Office Depot, by refusing do business with someone due to their beliefs, was engaging in discrimination. If you read the comments on the story, it seems that Office Depot's legal review determined that they were in error in refusing to do business with this person. No doubt, their lawyers determined the company was at risk by refusing this business.

We as atheists actually want these free speech protections. We use speech to combat religious intolerance of gay rights, and we use speech to defend abortion rights. We use our free speech rights to criticize religion. All the while those people with religious faith cry out that we engage in "hate speech" by lambasting their beliefs. In the often quoted words of Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, "If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."


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