A Manheim Township man has filed a discrimination complaint against a Columbia restaurant that offers a 10 percent discount for diners who present a church bulletin on Sundays.
John Wolff, who is an atheist, filed the complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission against Prudhomme's Lost Cajun Kitchen in Columbia.
Wolff said the practice discriminates against him because he does not attend church.
"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," said Wolff, a retired electrical engineer.
Prudhomme added that she has no intention of changing the discount program, which she created to bring more traffic into her restaurant on a traditionally slow day.
"I think it's a waste, to actually give it merit," she said of the investigation of the complaint.
A Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission spokeswoman confirmed the complaint has been filed and there is an open investigation.
"He is alleging he was offered different service based on his religious creed," said the spokeswoman, Shannon Powers.
The restaurant's owners must respond to the complaint in writing within 30 days, Powers said. The commission will decide if there is probable cause to support the complaint.
If that is the finding, the case could proceed to a public hearing, Powers said. A decision will be rendered and a legally enforceable order will be issued.
Prudhomme said she began offering the discount a little more than a year ago. She said she has offered all kinds of discounts or incentives at various times, including some to senior citizens, early-bird diners, children under 12, people who shop at certain other Columbia businesses and even Columbia High School students.
"I thought it would be nice to do something for Sunday dinners and encourage people to come in," she said.
Wolff said he was disturbed when he found the offer on Prudhomme's website. He said was considering eating there, but never did.
"I don't consider it an earthshaking affair, but in this area in particular, we seem to have so many self-righteous religious people, so it just annoys me," he said.
Mr. Wolff sounds like a person intimately familiar with self-righteous and annoying people.
Which makes the following apropos.
H/T to Deacon Greg.