Restaurant gives discount to those who pray before eating; anti-religion group threatens to sue

Restaurant gives discount to those who pray before eating; anti-religion group threatens to sue

A restaurant in Winston-Salem, N.C. is facing a possible threat of legal action by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) for having the temerity to offer a 15% discount to customers who say “Grace” before tucking into their meals. I can’t say I understand how exactly this inconveniences the anti-religion group, but I do get the sense that the issue here is not so much the money as it is that unsightly prayer defiling the public square.

Fox affiliate WGHP reports that Mary Haglund, the owner of Mary’s Gourmet Diner, initiated the practice after Dan Bremnes, a Christian recording artist, shared a meal there with a record label promoter. When the food arrived, the pair paused to say a prayer and were rewarded with a “Praying in Public” discount.

reataurant receipt

Bremnes posted his receipt showing the discount on his Facebook page, attracting the attention of  several news organizations — and FFRF, whose attorney, Elizabeth Cavell, sent out a stern reprimand:

Your restaurant’s restrictive promotional practice favors religious customers, and denies customers who do not pray and nonbelievers the right to ‘full and equal’ enjoyment of Mary’s Gourmet Diner. Any promotions must be available to all customers regardless of religious preference or practice on a non-discriminatory basis.

Haglund insists the discount was never offered solely to Christians, telling reporters:

People are just jumping to this conclusion that it is a Christian thing. It is not tied to Christianity. It could be something spiritual between you and your idea of what God is, or it could be you in a moment being grateful to the universe.

Something tells me this isn’t over. I’ll keep you posted as developments arise.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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