Mary’s Gourmet Diner has announced it will no longer offer occasional discounts to people who pray before eating, citing the threat of legal action.
The restaurant’s prayer discount had gone viral in recent days, making national news shows and sparking heated arguments on the Internet.
On Wednesday, the restaurant posted a handwritten notice in its front window stating that it must “protect your freedom from religion in a public place.”
“It is illegal and we are being threatened by lawsuit,” the note goes on to say, offering apology for “any offense this discount has incurred.” [...]
Guess who was mad? Oh, yes, the usual suspects at the “Freedom From Religion Foundation.” I wonder if we could start a “Freedom From the Freedom From Religion Foundation Foundation” and threaten those miserable wretches with lawsuits every time they make it harder for religious people to practice our faith in public...
My question is this: if a restaurant owner wants to offer discounts for praying, discounts for not praying, discounts for smiling or laughing, discounts for well-behaved children, discounts for customers wearing patriotic attire on July 4, discounts because the order came out wrong and had to be remade, or for any other reason, what business is it of anybody else? The restaurant isn’t, as the atheists allege, “charging atheists more” because the “prayer discount” is something that happens randomly and that comes off of the already-agreed upon price. You might as well allege that some restaurants charge poorly-behaved children more, or that some restaurants charge customers whose orders were fine more than customers whose orders had to be remade--true enough in one sense, but hardly the whole story.
Exhibit B: Among the tragic “hot car” deaths this summer comes this story:
(CNN) -- The death of a 10-month-old girl left in a hot car in Wichita, Kansas -- the latest in a string of hot-car child deaths in the United States -- triggered the quick arrest of the girl's foster father and on Friday prompted state officials to launch home inspections of adoptive and foster families.
The foster father told police he picked up the child from a babysitter about 4 p.m. Thursday, drove home and forgot the child was in the back seat, according to Lt. Todd Ojile of the Wichita Police Department.
Investigators say the girl was locked in the car with the windows up for some two-and-a-half hours. Temperatures in the Wichita area reached the low 90s on Thursday.
The foster father was in the process of adopting the girl with his partner, according to police. "Both were extremely upset," Ojile said.Ojile says the couple's other children have been removed from the home as the investigation continues. The couple are the adoptive parents of two children and are foster parents to four others with ages ranging from 3 to 18 years old, he said.
Tragic, but nobody’s fault, right? Except that this foster father and his partner were, according to other accounts, using marijuana while watching Game of Thrones, which is why they didn’t notice the baby was missing. Oh, and they’re both men--a gay couple, who are referred to each other as “husbands” in yet another account.
Before anybody’s knees start jerking, let me just say that no, I don’t think gay men are more likely to leave a child to die in a car by accident than other people who are taking care of children--though they are statistically more likely to be using drugs than straight people. My real questions are these: why the reticence on the part of most of the mainstream media to come right out and admit that this is a same-sex couple raising children? Why all the “partner” and careful sentence structure to avoid using male pronouns so that the fact that this is a same-sex couple is hidden in many if not most news accounts of the child’s death? And, perhaps most puzzling of all, how do two men in their mid-to-late 20s manage to adopt two children and foster four more without anybody noticing that they, apparently, habitually use drugs? I know from married heterosexual couples how hard it can be to adopt even one child, and what sorts of hoops would-be foster parents have to jump through, so how on earth did this oversight happen?
The more attention you pay to the news, the more the questionable exhibits from the culture war seem to crop up. And nobody seems to have the answers.