Recently a story went viral about Mary's Gourmet Restaurant here in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. You can read the story here. Restaurant drops prayer discount, citing threat of lawsuit.
Follow me below the orange fleur deKos for more on this story from someone who lives here.
Mary Haglund, owner of Mary’s Gourmet Diner in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has been offering the discount now for four years. “For me, every plate of food is a gift,” she said. “And I never take that for granted and when I see someone in a restaurant honoring their gratefulness at my table … it touches my heart.”The Progressives in Winston Salem have been coming to her defense. We know Mary and we know what she was trying to spread was "gratitude for an attitude." Mary was trying to encourage people to be grateful for what they have. It has nothing to do with religion. She was encouraging people to take a moment and look at the positive things in their life. That you can afford to eat at a restaurant. That you have friends or family who can dine with you.
Ms Hagland, 60, is the daughter of a preacher and a missionary, who spent her teenager years in the Philippines where she said she saw real need.
She said her faith fell away as she got older but still calls herself a spiritual person.
Ms Hagland said the discount is not a cafe policy and isn’t advertised. She said those wait staff that feel uncomfortable by it do not have to offer it and that it is multidenominational.
She never expected people to "pray" out loud to a certain God. She was not pushing any religion. She doesn't care if you are black or white, straight or gay, Christian or atheist. In this world that constantly rushes towards hatred she was giving everyone a chance to take a moment and look at the good in their life.
Mary is from my hippy generation. She is not a stereotyped Tea Party, Religious Right, Bigot. She is from the generation of Peace and Love and for being grateful for everyday things. No one had to pray. She was trying to give people who appreciated her cooking her thanks by giving them a discount.
Too bad the media and people who didn't know her couldn't take the time to find out what was really going on and what our Mary was really like. They just assumed that she was right wing and pushing Christianity down people's throat because she lives and works in the South. They failed to see the gentle free spirit she is. As my Dad always told me there is a reason the word ass is in assume because people who assume make asses out of themselves.