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Ohio café no longer offering church discount on Sunday

After a discount for church-goers sparked controversy, a Cincinnati-area restaurant has scuttled the plan. Starters Café owner Justin Watson had been offering a 10 percent discount on Sunday brunch to anyone who brought in a church bulletin.

Opened in June, Starters is located in Cheviot, a town of 8,300 just northwest of the Queen City. With seven churches within a one-mile radius, Watson told TV station WWMT that he had a great response to the promotion.  

Still, someone wrote a message on Yelp proclaiming they wouldn’t check out the restaurant because of it. Then the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter objecting to the plan.

“We are shocked that there is such little understanding of the Civil Rights Act and that there could be this kind of confusion—naivete that you can reward some customers for their religious beliefs and penalize others,” FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor told the station.

Ironically, the owner no longer attends church after going during his childhood. 

“My busiest day of the week is Sunday,” Watson said. “It was just an attempt to drum up some business.”

Starters Café now offers a 10 discount to everyone from noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. 

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This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.
Isaiah 48:17 (NLT)
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