Monday, November 16, 2009

Hostility shown towards local Atheist group

The Seal Beach Atheist Meetup Group held its last meeting at Hennessy’s Tavern in Seal Beach on Sunday. They meet monthly to discuss issues important to the local Atheist community. They’ve never experienced trouble before, but Sunday was different. Tavern patrons asked management to have the Atheist Meetup Group remove a sign the patrons thought offensive. The sign, and A4 sized document with one inch black type, showed this message, “Seal Beach Atheists Meeting” along with a picture from the last meeting. I would not call this offensive and in my experience with meetup groups, it is common to have a sign advertising your event. I think asking for its removal is unfair treatment.

Claire, one of the meetup organizers, had this to say.

The manager came over and told us to take the
sign down. Flabbergasted, we asked why; she said she'd received several complaints (from who, she wouldn't say - though the gray-haired man at the bar who kept giving us evil stares definitely aroused our suspicions), and the signs had to go.

We asked the manager if she'd tell a Christian group to take their signs down, and, although she said she would, we doubt very much that she would ever be faced with that situation.

We did find humor in it, though - the thought that the
easily-offended, anti-free-speech, close-minded intolerants were spending their Sunday morning not in church, but propping up a bar.

Hennessey’s tavern bills itself as “Your Neighborhood Meeting Place”. I don’t think they lived up to their slogan. Please join the Seal Beach Atheist Meetup Group in protesting their treatment. They suggest writing a letter to the local store or sending an email to corporate headquarters at

  • Hennessy's Bar & Grill, 143 Main Street, Seal Beach, CA 90740.

The Seal Beach Atheist Meetup Group plans to find another venue to hold its future meetings. I’d suggest the Irisher a few doors down on the north side of street, but it’s not family friendly.


This story was picked up by the Orange County Register. See Atheist group says it was bullied at Seal Beach tavern by Jaimee Lynn Fletcher.

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