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Way In

Saving grace

Jacob Moreton

A North Carolina diner has begun to give discounts to customers who give thanks to God publicly before eating.

The discount, offered by Mary's Gourmet Diner in Winston-Salem, is understandably popular with religious customers, for what they are about to receive is a 15 per cent reduction for praying before they eat their food - for saying grace. Mary Haglund, who owns the diner, says that 'For me, every plate of food is a gift... and I never take that for granted and when I see someone in a restaurant honouring their gratefulness at my table … it touches my heart.'

Haglund grew up in the Philippines and her sense of gratitude, she says, stems from her experience of 'real need' there. The public is divided over the event. Some question the attitude of the New Testament towards praying in public, while others also wonder if it opposes the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which legislates against religious discrimination in public services like restaurants.

After a flood of interest, Haglund posted an update on Facebook: 'It warms my heart to see people with an attitude of gratitude. Prayer, meditation or just breathing while being grateful opens the heart chakra. It's good for everyone!'. At Third Way we're not sure how to find a chakra but the diner is on 723 Trade Street.