WINSTON-SALEM, NC (PIX11) — A restaurant in North Carolina is giving a 15 percent discount to customers who pray in public, but the owner insists it’s not quite what it seems.
Though Mary’s Gourmet Diner’s 15% discount for praying in public has only recently garnered attention on social media, owner Mary Haglund, 60, has been offering the discount for four years.
However, according to Huffington Post, her practices have been criticized by many. According to NPR, some cite Matthew 6:5 from the New Testament, saying praying in public is frowned upon according to the Bible.
Others observe that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits religious discrimination in any public accommodation.
Haglund insists the discount isn’t a policy. The restaurant doesn’t advertise it or tell customers ahead of time.
She explains servers randomly assign the discount to anyone praying or “taking a moment before their meal.”
Haglund explains that gratitude is less about religion and more about spirituality.
She believes it doesn’t matter who or what customers are thinking of — just that they are grateful for “beautiful food.”
Mary’s Gourmet Diner gained international attention after a picture of one customer’s receipt was posted to the Facebook page of Z88.3, a Christian radio station in Florida: