For most people, the best way to support a community is to support local businesses. Whether it’s a store or restaurant, there is something particularly rewarding when partaking in a mom and pop shop over the mass-produced, cookie-cutter, corporate stores seen on every corner. Also, local businesses have a thing for giving back to their community too. Charity is just one form of giving back, but another way is through customer appreciation, primarily discounts.
Unfortunately for a local pizza parlor in Arkansas, they are in hot water for one of their discounts in which atheists are now up in arms.
According to the New York Daily News, an atheist group is going after Bailey’s Pizza, a small-town Arkansas pizza place. The reason for their assault is because they offered a 10 percent discount to churchgoers, a discount that the Freedom from Religion Foundation call discrimination. The nonprofit organization claimed the self-described “old school country” restaurant was violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which requires businesses to offer services regardless of race, color, religion, or national origin.
Steven Rose, the owner of Bailey’s Pizza, gave a statement on the discount.
“It was a straight-up marketing tool to give a discount to people I love and care about, and have them come in and have lunch with me. I thought it was a sweet idea. I didn’t say you had to go to church to get it. Go get a bulletin from your neighbor and come in and have a pizza.”
Steven Rose believes the trouble started when a customer was upset over the offer, which is just one of many discounts he provides for customers along with the following picture below being posted on Facebook.
A few weeks later, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, which includes such honorary board members as former Saturday Night Live cast member Julia Sweeney and the son of late former president Ronald Reagan, Ron Reagan, sent a letter to Steven Rose.
In another article by Fox News, Steven Rose expressed that his relationship with Jesus Christ is of the most importance. Local television stations reported that customers are allowed to write Bible verses on the walls.
Among the many contributions is the following verse.
“God is the center of our lives, so our scripture wall is the center of Bailey’s Pizza.”
Steven Rose then expressed how his faith could be utilized in his current career as owner and manager of Bailey’s Pizza. He also stated that the doesn’t have a problem with non-believers.
“They’re coming at us and saying we’re discriminating. I don’t hate anybody.”
Nevertheless, it should also be reported that the Freedom from Religious Foundation has a history of targeting and bullying Christian business owners. Earlier this year, another business was threatened with legal action for a praying discount. Because of the threat, the business dropped the discount. As for Bailey’s Pizza, they are unsure what their next step will be, but just like other local businesses, they may not have the funds to handle a lengthy court battle.
What do you think about the situation with Bailey’s Pizza? Is it truly a violation of the Civil Rights Act to give a discount (any discount) to a specific group of people? If not, do you think the Freedom From Religion Foundation is just discriminating against businesses owned and operated by Christians? Please let us know in the comments below.
[Images via Bing]