Restaurant offers discount for praying

Diner took 15-percent off the check for "praying in public" patrons

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Praying means a lot of different things to different people, but for customers at a North Carolina diner it meant a cheaper meal.

Mary's Gourmet Diner in Winston-Salem has garnered a bit of controversy after patrons were given a 15-percent discount for "praying in public."

The owner of the diner said she's been offering the discount for four years, but her most recent price cut has been thrust into the spotlight after an Orlando radio station posted a picture of the receipt on its Facebook page.

Some who argue against the discount say they wonder if it would have been offered to people who followed religious faiths other than Christianity. Others believe the discount may violate the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination based on religion.

In response to criticism, the restaurant posted on its own Facebook site that the discount is "not a 'policy', it is a gift we give at random to customers who take a moment before their meal. This could be a prayer or just a moment to breathe & push the busyness of the world away."

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