I don't have enough information to determine what to think of this story. Apparently, a group of atheists paid to have a public service ad run before a movie in a theater in Texas. The theater backed out.
1. Did money change hands upfront? If so, was it returned?
2. Is the theater a small, independently owned and operated business?
If the theater accepted the money, but didn't run the ad or return it, the atheists are completely in the right. If the theater accepted the contract, sum to be paid monthly on running the ad, but never ran the ad, the atheists are in the right only if a bill was presented.
If the theater is a franchise, the atheists are in the right.
If the theater is a small, independently owned and operated business, it's a little fuzzier. I guess the Civil Rights Act doesn't differentiate--somehow, by showing movies and being a space of public entertainment, they have fewer rights to turn down business and advertisers. Something about disseminating public information.
I still think that an independent owner should have more rights to choose who they will and won't do business with, based on their own beliefs. Ever seen those signs in the front of salons warning nasty-tempered customers that they will pay extra for bad attitudes? Same goes for anything.
Yes, I will admit to saying that that clears the way for small business owners to discriminate against customers based on what color their skin is, or who they prefer to sleep with. Dumb business owners will do that anyway. Smart business owners discriminate by who they think can afford their goods/services, and who they think might well be prone to use their goods/services in manners that besmirch their good name.
Sometimes, the government gets involved, and tells people who they will and won't sell to, anyway. That never turns out well.
Again, in the case of the theater backing out of a contract to show ads touting how wonderful it is to be an atheist in a largely-Christian area...I don't have enough info to be able to determine who's in the right, even in my own mind. I can, however, tell who's being smarter about catering to their customers' wants, and who's acting like a child throwing a "but I want it!" temper tantrum.
On another note...ever notice how much more faith an atheist has to have that there isn't a supreme being, than the rest of us need to have to believe that there is?
2 hours ago