A North Carolina diner that made headlines for offering a discount to praying customers is now upholding equal prices for all.
Mary’s Gourmet Diner had been giving a 15 percent discount to diners who prayed before their meal for the past four years, but the practice shot into public view when a Christian music radio station posted a photo of a receipt with the discount to Facebook last month.
The discount was open to customers of all religions, but those of no religion were excluded. Elizabeth Cavell of the Freedom from Religion Foundation wrote to the diner’s owner, Mary Haglund, in opposition to the policy, explaining it was illegal and showed unjust favoritism.
The letter was successful, and the diner stopped offering the discount. A sign posted outside the restaurant read, “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.”