North Carolina Restaurant Offers 15 Percent Discount for Prayer

In Depth

A restaurant in Winston-Salem, North Carolina is apparently offering a 15% discount to customers who decide to pray at any point during their meal.

Mary Haglund, owner of Mary’s Gourmet Diner, has been offering the discount for four years, but after a receipt (pictured above) went viral, she’s suddenly getting a lot of attention for it. Haglund is the daughter of a preacher and a missionary, and apparently equates prayer with simple gratitude rather than overt religiosity. She claims “it’s not a religious thing, it’s a spiritual thing,” because of course she does.

I’m not Christian, so maybe I don’t get it, but I can’t pretend people praying in public doesn’t make me want to run the hell away as fast as possible. My instinctive (possibly genetically-programmed) reaction when I hear the words “Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior” is to duck, because I feel like I’m about to have a spear thrown at me. I find overt religiosity abjectly terrifying.

Winston-Salem is also typically regarded as one of North Carolina’s islands of sanity, so this is perhaps odd for that town. It’s worth noting that one commenter who lives in the Winston-Salem area reports that the food at Mary’s absolutely sucks. If pictures like this are any indication, I’m inclined to agree. Besides which, somehow I suspect that they wouldn’t have the same reaction to a Muslim performing Salat as they would to a Christian praying to Jesus.

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