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LINK A blind woman was kicked out of a Texas church for bringing a service dog with her -- Friendly Atheist

Jesus supposedly healed the blind. This church kicks them out.

Jun 10, 2024

A Texas woman recently attempted to attend a church service, only to be kicked out because she brought her service animal with her.

Mari Ramos is blind and goes everywhere with the help of her dog Betty, who, like other service pets, is trained for these very situations.

“I had somebody say to me on Sunday, well I’m not denying you. I’m denying your service animal. Well by extension. you are denying me because Betty and I are a cohesive unit,” Mari said.


“There was just this feeling of being turned away, this feeling of embarrassment, this feeling of being excluded from something,” Mari said. 

When reporter Morgan Riddell of news outlet KBTX did a segment about this story, she didn’t name the church “because the organization did not break any laws”… which is true. While the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allows service animals in all public places, churches are not public and don’t have to play by those rules. The church is within its rights to tell Ramos to get out—just as it could with gay people, trans people, people of color, and everyone else they feel are beneath them.

But just because they’re allowed to do it doesn’t make it right.

According to Ramos, she was told her dog couldn’t enter the building because there was a live band and "flashing lights” and those would not be “appropriate” for a service animal… but why is the church making that call for her instead of letting her decide if Betty can handle that? She knows her service animal better than they do. (Also, service dogs can guide people who are blind through traffic and crowded places; they’re literally trained to deal with loud noises and bright lights.)

It’s frustrating in a way that the local news station ran Ramos’ story without naming the church because it lets the church continue getting away with its behavior and ignorance. (More on that in a bit.)

But this whole situation is a reminder that in so many situations, the government is more moral and ethical than the churches that only pretend to be. When it comes to public policy, the government is supposed to set the limits; companies and organizations are supposed to do better. (If the government says the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, for example, decent companies should be going well beyond that.) Leave it to a church to look at public accommodations for people with disabilities and think, We can do worse.

It’s not the first time something like this has happened.

In 2019, LowCountry Community Church in South Carolina (slogan: “Wherever you’re from, there’s a place for you here&rdquo😉 kicked out a legally blind man and his service animal and they didn’t even bother making an excuse. They just told him animals weren’t permitted inside the church for everyone’s “safety.”

In 2012, a fifth grade student with diabetes was kicked out of Oregon’s Horizon Christian Elementary for similar reasons. School officials said the dog would be distracting or make a mess in the building. (The student later transferred to a public school, where she and her dog were warmly received.)

Jesus, we’re told, healed the blind. These Christian places kick them out.

Hell, the service dogs were doing more to help the blind that the church staffers.

If there’s any silver lining to Ramos’ story, it’s that she found out immediately that this particular church wasn’t worth her time. Some people spend years in a congregation before they figure that out.

Incidentally, I’m fairly certain I know which church kicked her out. No one involved in this story, however, has been able to confirm that for me. So while the church didn’t break the law, and while I believe they can and should be named and shamed, I don’t feel comfortable saying more without verification. That church didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment.

(Portions of this article were published earlier)

snytiger6 9 June 11

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She didn't take the dog by the tail then swang it around and around to have a look around.

Did she?

Most people don't know that seeing eye dogs are trained to poop on command. I think she should have had the dog leave them a "gift".


I thought all them folks was blind, my bad…..😣


Not very forward thinking of them, was it? 🤦


Maybe the dog was a Muslim?! 🤠


So much for churches being welcoming, lol..


I happen to be legally (but only partially) blind myself. I do however have enough vision to get around without any problem, and most people aren't aware of my vision problems unless I tell them.

However, I have visited schools for the blind, and I did used the services of the disable student center when I was in college. and have had acquaintances who did need support animals.

So, even if I think it was awful the way the church treated this lady.

Good odds her being Hispanic had something to do with it. Remember Uvalde.

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