Many years ago, I was the manager of a nice restaurant in Chicago. We had movie and television stars come to dine there, and many wealthy people, too. Sometimes there were Christian people whom I knew and even pastors who would come to eat there as well. I gave free meals and coffee to police officers on duty, and on occasion, I would either give discounts to the Christian believers and pastors who came. My servers chided me gently and politely about the fact that my Christian friends were the worst tippers. So, since then I have been sensitive to that.
Prudhomme’s Lost Cajun Kitchen is located in Columbia, Pennsylvania, in the heart of Lancaster County. One of the restaurant’s owners is Sharon Prudhomme, who had the audacity to offer a ten-percent discount for those diners who, on Sundays, bring in a recent church bulletin. This affront to the dignity of non-church-bulletin holders led John Wolff to file a discrimination complaint with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission against the Kitchen for its discriminatory practices. In an interview, Mr. Wolff, said, “I did this not out of spite, but out of a feeling against the prevailing self-righteousness that stems from religion, particularly in Lancaster County. . . In this area in particular, we seem to have so many self-righteous religious people, so it just annoys me.” Well, having known more than a few myself, we certainly all know how pesky those religious Lancaster County Amish and Mennonites can be.
Being pesky herself, Ms. Prudhomme isn’t backing down. She says that the Kitchen doesn’t discriminate because people receiving the discount don’t have to be religious believers or even attend church to get the discount. After all, she contends that anyone can walk into a church and take a bulletin. But she has no intention to change the discount policy. However, she is obliged to respond within thirty days to the human rights complaint. If the Human Relations Commission eventually finds that discriminatory policies are taking place in a public accommodation, then the Kitchen will be ordered to cease and desist their discriminatory policy. (Imagine what would happen if Attorney General Holder finds out about this! Shhhh!)
Mr. Wolff apparently has never stepped into the Kitchen to have its famous Chicken & Shrimps N’Awlins (“plump breast of chicken sautéed with juicy gulf shrimp in a light N’awlins bourbon sauce over rice”) or the Big Bubba’s Combo (“clams, mussels, shrimp, Andouille smoked turkey sausage tossed with garlic, scallions, red onions, wine, tomato and penne”). Rather, Mr. Wolff read about the church bulletin discount online. Isn’t it fitting that Mr. Wolff lives in Lancaster County? It goes to show how much of a sense of humor God has. And I am so glad that Mr. Wolff never found out that I gave discounts to Christian believers and pastors. So, if you are in Lancaster County area and stopped in to eat at the Kitchen yesterday, please post below how tasty that Chicken and Shrimp N’awlins or Big Bubba’s Combo is, so we can all enjoy it vicariously.