Sunday, August 17, 2014

Atheists Force 'Prayer Discount' Out of N.C. Diner

Once the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation learned through social media that Mary’s Gourmet Diner in Winston-Salem, North Carolina was giving a 15% discount to customers who prayed prior to eating their meal, the atheist lawyers wrongly convinced the restaurant owners that such a discount is illegal, and so fearing a costly legal battle, the owners ended all discounts to everyone.

For background, read Businesses Sued for Giving Discounts to Christians

Also read Atheists Lament They're Short of Lawyers to Sue ALL Christians

-- From "Diner Stops ‘Praying In Public’ Discount After Atheist Group Threatens Lawsuit" posted at CBS News Charlotte 8/7/14

“We at Mary’s value the support of all of our fellow Americans. While you may exercise your right of religious freedom at this restaurant by praying over your meal to any entity or non-entity, we must protect your freedom from religion in a public place,” the note [on the diner door] read. “We are no longer issuing the 15% praying in public discount. It is illegal and we are being threatened by lawsuit. We apologize to our community for any offense this discount has incurred.”

Despite being around for years, the discount made national headlines last week after a photo of the discounted receipt when viral on Facebook.

Jordan Smith shared the photo on an Orlando Christian radio station’s Facebook page and it quickly received thousands of likes.

Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the atheist group, said in a statement she’s glad the diner took action to drop the discount.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Winston-Salem's Mary’s Gourmet Diner drops prayer discount" by Wesley Young, Winston-Salem Journal 8/7/14

On Tuesday [Mary Haglund, the co-owner of the restaurant] had said in an interview that the discount was never meant to promote any particular religion – or lack of religion – but was meant to show appreciation for people who had what she called “an attitude of gratitude.” She said that calling it a discount for prayer may have been “a bad choice of words.”

Haglund told WGHP/Fox 8, the newsgathering partner of the Journal, that she dropped the discount out of fear of a lawsuit from the Wisconsin group.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Diner Drops Discount for Praying Customers After Being Threatened By Lawsuits; Manager Speaks Out" by Emma Koonse, Christian Post Reporter 8/7/14

"Our community has very strong individuals who have done nothing but support us and we give nothing but thanks to them. The ones that really have been harassing us are out of state individuals and not individuals that live in our community," said the [diner] manager, who wished to remain anonymous. "We are strong individuals, we have taken all of this in, and we appreciate everyone's support and unfortunately the bad has overruled the good."

"We have done away with the discount and Mary and her daughter Shama are very saddened by this, this is a gift that we gave to our customers - this is a gift that has been taken from us," the manager said. "The gift of giving is just as important as receiving the gift. These individuals are very hurt, but it has made our community stronger. There's always good things that come out of the bad, and unfortunately, we will see it in time, but we are not seeing it yet."

"There is a lot of evil in this world, and we encourage people to still come in and take a moment before the food to really be appreciative of what they have and to separate themselves from all the madness in the world," the manager added. "All the disease that's coming into the U.S. and from all the war and the madness that's going on overseas as well. All Americans are very stressed about the economy and the way things are going, but we have things to be thankful for and we like to give thanks regardless of a discount or not."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Customers back restaurant in prayer dispute" by Wesley Young, Winston-Salem Journal 8/7/14

. . . More than one diner at Mary’s Gourmet Diner on Thursday said they were there to support the restaurant after its namesake owner, Mary Haglund, found herself in the middle of an Internet-driven controversy over the discounts.

Some came to eat and made sure to offer a prayer. Some said they were not particularly religious but wanted to show their support for the “attitude of gratitude” that Haglund said was behind the discounts – now discontinued.

. . . some other diners said they were actually going to add an extra 15 percent to their bills over and above the tip as a way of showing support for the restaurant.

Haglund’s restaurant has been offering the discounts more or less randomly for years . . .

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Mary's restaurant owners may reinstate prayer discount" by Wesley Young, Winston-Salem Journal 8/7/14

A co-owner of Mary’s Gourmet Diner said that it is possible the restaurant may fight back after being told by an advocacy group that it can’t give people discounts for praying in public before eating their meals.

Shama Blalock, who with Mary Haglund owns the restaurant in downtown Winston-Salem, said that offers have been coming in to fight any legal challenge the restaurant might face in continuing to offer the discount. Blalock is Haglund’s daughter.

Blalock didn’t identify those who are promising help, but said that if they convince Haglund that the practice isn’t illegal the restaurant could bring back the prayer discount.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Prayer Coming Back to School: North Carolina Law vs. Atheists