Restaurant Offers Discount For Church Bulletin, Atheist Files Discrimination Suit
July 16, 2012 by Bryan Nash
Itâ€™s common practice in many small towns for a restaurant to offer a discount to the church crowd. Bring a bulletin; get a cheap lunch. Even Chick-fil-A has been known to get in on the action. But that all might change if a man in Pennsylvania gets his way.
John Wolff, an atheist, has filed a discrimination lawsuit with Lost Cajun Kitchen in Columbia, Pa. The locally owned restaurant offers a 10 percent discount to patrons who bring in a church bulletin. Wolff doesnâ€™t think itâ€™s fair.
Wolff is claiming that he has been offered different service because of his religious beliefs.
â€śI did this not out of spite, but out of a feeling against the prevailing self-righteousness that stems from religion, particular in Lancaster County,â€ť Wolff explained.
â€śI donâ€™t consider it an earth-shaking affair, but in this area in particular, we seem to have so many self-righteous religious people, so it just annoys me.â€ť
Wolff has never been to the restaurant. He just saw the promotion advertised on Lost Cajun Kitchenâ€™s website. He then informed the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an organization that is â€ścommitted to the cherished principle of separation of state and church.â€ť
Co-owner Sharon Prudhomme received two letters from the Freedom From Religion Foundation in 2011, but she blew them off. Wolff then contacted the Human Relations Commission.
Prudhomme canâ€™t ignore the objections any longer. The State of Pennsylvania has written a 16-page complaint, accusing the restaurant of discrimination.
â€śItâ€™s not a big deal in itself and I have no animosity towards Prudhommeâ€™s, but I do bear a grudge against a religious right that seems to intrude on our civil rights,â€ť said Wolff.
Prudhomme claims that she doesnâ€™t go to church. The tactic is just a marketing ploy. The restaurant has also been known to offer discounts to children and senior citizens.
“I’m an American. This is an independent restaurant. I can do as I wish and I’m going to continue to offer the church-bulletin discount,” says Prudhomme.