Mary’s Gourmet Diner in Winston-Salem, N.C., recently made news when it offered a 15 percent discount for people who prayed publicly before eating.
Jordan Smith, a Floridian, traveled to Winston-Salem for business and stopped at Mary’s Gourmet Diner last month. She noticed the discount on her receipt and posted it to her Facebook page. The receipt was reposted by a friend to the Facebook page of Z88.3, a Florida Christian radio station, where it went viral.
While there was an outpouring of support, the Freedom from Religion Foundation sent a letter to Mary’s Gourmet Diner threatening a lawsuit.
“Offering this discount violates the federal Civil Rights Act,” stated the letter, from Freedom from Religion Foundation staff attorney Elizabeth Cavell, noted Newsday. “Your restaurant’s restrictive promotional practice favors religious customers, and denies customers who do not pray.”
In response, the diner recently posted a handwritten sign on its door announcing: “We are no longer issuing the 15% praying in public discount. It is illegal and we are being threatened by a lawsuit," reports WFMY (video below).
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The diner has gotten strong support from the Christian community, which may not be aware that the Bible actually instructs people not to pray in public.
Matthew 6:5 states, "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full."