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Video: Mary's restaurant owners may reinstate prayer discount

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Mary's Gourmet Diner

A co-owner of Mary’s Gourmet Diner said that it is possible the restaurant may fight back after being told by an advocacy group that it can’t give people discounts for praying in public before eating their meals.

Shama Blalock, who with Mary Haglund owns the restaurant in downtown Winston-Salem, said that offers have been coming in to fight any legal challenge the restaurant might face in continuing to offer the discount. Blalock is Haglund’s daughter.

Blalock didn’t identify those who are promising help, but said that if they convince Haglund that the practice isn’t illegal the restaurant could bring back the prayer discount.

The restaurant has for years given random discounts to people for praying or otherwise showing some sign of gratitude before eating. The discounts went viral on the Internet about a week ago when some customers posted a receipt on their Facebook pages showing their receipt and a 15 percent discount for “Praying in Public.”

Days ago, the Freedom from Religion Foundation in Wisconsin sent Haglund a letter declaring the discount an illegal example of showing favoritism to religious people. Haglund discontinued the discounts on Wednesday, citing the threat of a legal challenge.

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