On August 7 TheBlaze printed a story that encapsulates why American Exceptionalism is in deep doo-doo.
Titled “Read the Note the Restaurant That Offered a 15% Discount for Praying Released After Threatening Letter from Atheists,” this story contains all of our core problems as a people.
The story centered around a North Carolina restaurateur who thought returning to a simpler time, when Americans gathered around the dinner table and gave thanks for the food they were about to consume, would be a nice sentimental gesture. So she encouraged it by offering a 15 percent discount to those that prayed before eating at her restaurant.
Image source: Winston-Salem Journal
Predictably, the God Haters at the Freedom from Religion Foundation stepped up to bully this poor, well-intentioned woman, prompting her to post the following sign after they threatened her:
“We at Mary’s value the support of ALL our fellow Americans. While you may exercise your right of religious freedom at this restaurant by praying over your meal to any entity or non-entity, we must protect your freedom from religion in a public place. We are no longer issuing the 15% praying in public discount. It is illegal and we are being threatened by lawsuit. We apologize to our community for ANY offense this discount has incurred.”
The controversy this story created, and the response to it, sadly drives home why we’re losing our country—it’s because we’ve lost our legacy.
The Declaration of Independence, the founding national charter for these United States if you will, clearly lays out the American view of law and government our Constitution would later clarify and codify. It can be summarized thusly: there is a God, our rights come from Him, and government’s only role/obligation is to protect and preserve those God-given rights.
Among those rights are:
1. Religious freedom (you can’t have God-given rights if government imposes on your relationship with the God who grants them to you).
2. Free speech/rights of conscience.
3. Private property rights.
The Framers were so adamant these (and all the other) God-given rights were to be accessible to the people they even said “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” This way if the government agencies charged with preserving and protecting your God-given rights failed you, then you could defend yourself against their tyranny. Just as the Framers had to defend themselves against King George III, for the individual is the last check-and-balance against tyranny, and resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.
Image source: Winston-Salem Journal
The North Carolina story TheBlaze covered is a total repudiation of this uniquely American view, and can only occur once we’ve been “dumbed down” generationally to the point we’re ignorant of our own legacy.
Let’s look at this step-by-step.
You don’t lose your freedom once you start a business. At a time when this country needs all the entrepreneurial/job-creating spirit it can muster, what better way to encourage that risk-taking spirit then to tell people you lose your freedom once you take that risk. Note the sarcasm.
This North Carolina restaurant owner was perfectly within her rights to use her business as a means to promote her views, just as those who don’t agree were perfectly within their rights not to eat there if they disagree. The only caveat being the exercise of her rights cannot impose on the rights of others, which it did not, but we’ll get to that in just a bit.
If you disagree ask yourself this question: should the government tell a Hasidic Jewish deli owner he has to provide non-Kosher foods for gentile clients who want to eat there? Why isn’t that discrimination?
Image source: Facebook via TheBlaze
I’ll explain why next.
No potential customer’s rights were violated by the restaurant offering the prayer incentive. Did you know there is a hotel chain in Hawaii offering discounts and dining credits specifically to lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgendered clients? Isn’t that discriminatory to heterosexuals?
No, for two reasons.
First, you don’t have a “right” to stay at that hotel anymore then you have a “right” to eat at that North Carolina restaurant. If you have to pay for something it’s not a right, because payment assumes consent is required, and consent is only given once payment is received. That describes a “contract,” not a “right.”
For example, you don’t have a “right” to have sex with whomever you want. People that believe that are called rapists, and we put them in prison whenever we can. There is no “right” to sex, because sex requires consent from another party.
Anything that requires consent from another is not a right, because in our system rights come from God based on our state of being (as in being made in the image of a Creator who intended us to be free). Which is why oxygen is free (state of being) and if you deny it to me by suffocating me you’re guilty of murder (violating the God-given right to life).
Therefore, if your sexual desire is not the one being incentivized by this hotel chain in Hawaii you’re not being discriminated against, and the same would be said if a hotel chain wanted to have a “holy matrimony” incentive program.
Restaurant owner Mary Haglund. Image source: Winston-Salem Journal
Consent between parties (like having sex) must be established via contracts, either verbal or written, because access to that activity (or product, service, likeness, etc. in other forms of contracts) imposes on another’s God-given rights.
Similarly, you don’t have a “right” to eat at this North Carolina restaurant, or the aforementioned Hasidic Jewish deli for that matter. If it was a “right” you wouldn’t need payment for consent from them to eat there. If you try to eat there without payment or consent, that’s called theft and it’s a crime because you violated someone else’s private property rights.
When an establishment offers “senior discounts” is that discrimination against the young? When an establishment offers “military discounts” is that discrimination against those who didn’t serve? Is Black Entertainment Television discrimination against whites, Asians, or Hispanics?
The only rights being violated here are the North Carolina restaurant owner’s.
The Constitution says “Congress” (i.e. government) will not establish a religion nor restrict the free exercise thereof. A restaurant in North Carolina, or anywhere else for that matter, isn’t the government.
Since we’ve already established you don’t have a “right” to eat there, you also don’t have a “right” to tell her what to charge, serve, or not to charge or serve. If she posted a sign that said “no shirt, no shoes, no service” would that be discrimination against nudists?
This is her private property. She is paying the freight for it. She owns it, and assumes all the liability and benefits thereof. You can no more tell her what rights of conscience or religious freedom she can exercise there then you could if she were in her own home. Both are in her name.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
Want a restaurant that incentivizes Atheism? Then take advantage of the free market and go start your own. And may the God who makes the rain fall on the just and the unjust alike bless your job-creating efforts.
One final thing, the God (America) Haters at the Freedom from Religion Foundation revealed to TheBlaze what their real motivation is here in one quote from their co-president, Annie Laurie Gaylor:
“People who are atheists don’t pray,” Gaylor told the Winston-Salem Journal, adding that it’s illegal to “charge an atheist more than a Christian.”
Now the truth comes out.
The North Carolina restaurant owner was pretty clear in TheBlaze article she wasn’t promoting Christianity. But the Freedom from Religion Foundation immediately went there on their own. Why would they assume there aren’t any Hindus or Muslims in Winston-Salem who want 15 percent off their meal?
Because even if there are, they’re not their target.
Their target is the Bible, and always has been. These people aren’t for separation of church and state, they’re for separation of the Word of God and state—as their own Freudian slip in this quote reveals. Because you can’t make the state (yourself) god until you get rid of the Word of God that reminds us who really is in charge down here. What does every statist nation on earth currently have in common?
The suppression of the Bible.
Another small business owner faces a lawsuit from the Freedom from Religion Foundation. See TheBlaze Faith Editor Billy Hallowell's story on it here.
Steve Deace is a nationally-syndicated talk show host and also the author of the new book “Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again.” You can “like” him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.
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