Example: [Collected via e-mail, April 2007]
ATTENTION ALL CHRISTIANS - Be careful where you eat.
This is an incident that just recently happened right here in Albany, Georgia, a few weeks ago:
A local church youth group was returning from a church outing & decided to stop in at the Steak 'n' Shake in Albany, Georgia to eat. There were a dozen or more teenagers around the age of
Everyone ordered & received their food. One of the teenager's stood up & told the group to be quiet for the blessing of the food. The teenager said the blessing out loud over their food. Several of the other customers bowed their heads.
After the grace (prayer) was over, the Steak 'n' Shake Manager came over to the young guy & started lecturing the teenager on Steak & Shake's policy, informed him that the practice of public prayer was illegal. She told him that he was not allowed to pray out loud in Steak & Shake Restaurants, and that if he did it again they would be asked to leave. She was shaking her finger in his face, criticizing & ridiculing him for praying out loud in the Steak 'n' Shake Restaurant. This was mainly a group of teenagers who didn't realize the ramifications of this action. One of the adults did stepped up to the manager & told her (the manager) that she didn't need to be attacking the teenager.
One of the adult who was there (who I would trust more than any of the teenagers) said that some of the waitresses came over after the incident and told the teenager that they supported him and gave him the name of the manager who just did this and a number to call and complain. This was done behind the back of the manager who "laid down the law", which is understandable since it is company policy, they could be fired for breaking the rules. The teenage youth doesn't want to get anybody in trouble, and won't provide the name of the offending party.
Later, after hearing of this incident, one of the youth group's parent or grandparent called the Albany Steak 'n' Shake Restaurant and asked to speak to the manager. She asked the person who answered the phone about the incident, and they told her the General Manager was coming in the next day and she should call back then and talk to them.
She called back the next day, told the story of the incident, and was told by the General Manager that it is indeed the policy of Steak 'n' Shake Restaurants. That you may pray, but praying out loud could disturb or
The teenager who prayed was not asked to leave, in fact, nobody left when the manager did this, and I believe they should have gotten up, left the food right there on the tables & without paying walked out.
The teenagers are terrified that this is going to get somebody in trouble and wants no part of any protest.
As a Christian Adult, I feel it is just another attack on Christians. We have lost prayer in our public schools, lost prayer at school games & school functions. They are trying to take God out of the Government
Business are supported by our "In God We Trust" dollars. The customers "vote" for the businesses they like with their "In God We Trust" dollars. As a Christian, I will vote to eat at restaurants where I am allowed to
What is this teaching our youth & children? That they can't pray in public places or bless their food?
Please forward this to everyone on your E-mail list.
Christians need to know & be heard, we've been silent long enough.
God Bless You!
PS. I would like to hear any feed back you might have on this incident or if you've encountered a similar incident or experience in any particular restaurant.
Origins: Steak n Shake is a restaurant chain that began in Normal, Illinois, in 1934 and now has outlets throughout the Midwestern and Southern United States featuring a menu that includes steakburger sandwiches and array of milk shakes and malts. In April 2007 we began receiving the above-quoted
which customers had been prevented from praying during their meal at
We spoke to
Albany minister Jim McBride, an executive minister at Sherwood Baptist, said the teen apparently asked everyone in the restaurant to bow in prayer, and the manager told the teen that she didn't mind if he prayed, but to please not call the entire restaurant into prayer.
As to the main issue of the piece, Bill Harnew said on behalf of the chain: "With regard to prayer, we've always had the policy, and will always have the policy, that
The chain dispatched a district manager to the Albany restaurant to review corporate policy with all the employees there, they have offered apologies to as many of the customers involved as they have been able to reach so far, and they extend a public apology to anyone whom the incident has led to believe that
Last updated: 26 April 2007