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Jan 15 2013

A NC Restaurant Owner’s Audacious Behavior

I’m absolutely astonished at the behavior of a North Carolina restaurant owner who actually handed a handwritten note to a lesbian couple after they ate at his restaurant, telling them that they need to pray that God would “open their eyes” to their sinful condition.

A lesbian couple said an owner of a restaurant handed them a letter condemning homosexuality as they were walking out of the building.

Ariel and Shawnee McPhail said they went into The Stingray Café, on 520 S. Front Street in New Bern, and ate a meal there on Dec. 4. But they said as they were leaving, the restaurant’s owner, Ed McGovern, handed them a letter that stated God’s opposition to homosexuality. The letter reads as follows:

“God said in the last days that man and wom[a]n would be lover of self, more [than] the lover of God.

That man and woman would have unnatural [affection] for one another. Then, the coming of the Son of Man, who is Jesus. So please, look at your life. See how it hurt[s] everyone around you. And ask the Lord to open your eye[s] before it [is] to[o] late.

The Love of Christ

P.S. my daughter also was gay. It destroy[ed] her life and my grandson.”

Here’s what I think should be done here. Every gay couple in the area should go there at the same time, sit down and order something really small, like an order of french fries. Then when they leave they should each give him a letter telling him that he should go to college and get an education, which might free him from the bigoted views of his false religion.

49 comments

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  1. 1
    Randomfactor

    But tip REALLY well.

  2. 2
    Moggie

    He still took their money, though. It’s what Jesus would have wanted.

  3. 3
    democommie

    “P.S. my daughter also was gay. I destroy[ed] her life and my grandson.”

    There, asshole, FIFY.

  4. 4
    steve oberski

    @democommie

    Beat me to it.

  5. 5
    caseloweraz

    Moggie beat me to it. I notice he handed them the letter after they had paid for their meal.

  6. 6
    frankb

    democommie, that is what I was thinking. The rest of the family was so mean to her, they destroyed her life and her son. So..hmm..how was the grandson destroyed?

  7. 7
    hexidecima

    Give the ass a note as well, or put it on a big sign and wear it out side the restaurant on a Sunday since they do seem to be open thanks to looking at urbanspoon .

    “Exodus 20: “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

    Yay, Hypocrisy!

  8. 8
    Randomfactor

    So..hmm..how was the grandson destroyed?

    Perhaps the daughter protected him from being around the assholes.

  9. 9
    Reginald Selkirk

    The audacity of dope

  10. 10
    oranje

    Does this guy have a file cabinet full of notes to distribute for everything that offends him? Or is he just staring around the restaurant, looking for reasons to be bothered?

    Either way, it’s pathetic.

  11. 11
    d.c.wilson

    ““God said in the last days that man and wom[a]n would be lover of self, more [than] the lover of God.
    That man and woman would have unnatural [affection] for one another. Then, the coming of the Son of Man, who is Jesus.”

    Which means we’ve been in the “Last Days” since the dawn of humanity. Or does he think gays just sprung from the ground sometime in the early 70s?

  12. 12
    eric

    “God said in the last days that man and wom[a]n would be lover of self, more [than] the lover of God.

    This is kind of a self-fulfiling prophesy. Step 1: describe God as a bigoted ass. Step 2: complain people aren’t loving (your vision of) God as much as they love each other. Well, what did you expect after step 1?

  13. 13
    eric

    Then when they leave they should each give him a letter telling him that he should go to college and get an education, which might free him from the bigoted views of his false religion.

    Hmmm…I think that sort of response might make the couple feel good, but is unlikely to either sting the owner’s feelings or make him change his mind. Its too easily dismissed as just liberal snark; it won’t resonate. An alternative response which I think might be more effective (from both sting and convincing perspectives) is:

    [read note] “Ah. We’d like you to know what we pity you and forgive you this sin.”

    This implies he’s doing something wrong according to his values, rather than merely doing something wrong according to yours. And no one likes to be pitied.

  14. 14
    epiblast

    Which means we’ve been in the “Last Days” since the dawn of humanity. Or does he think gays just sprung from the ground sometime in the early 70s?

    Sadly, I’ve heard people directly espouse pretty much this viewpoint before. I’ve been in arguments with (inevitably socially conservative, although not always particularly religious) people who claimed that homosexual behavior literally did not exist until the mid-20th century and any evidence otherwise is just us moderns seeing what we want to see in the past. And I’ve heard loads and loads of “these days” comments referencing homosexuality, enough that I think this belief, or at least the belief that it was exceedingly rare before the 20th century, is more prevalent than most of us would like to think.

  15. 15
    scottlesch

    “..Every gay couple in the area should go there at the same time, …”
    dressed in blue Yankee Civil War uniforms.

  16. 16
    epiblast

    Also, I’d be curious to hear McGovern say exactly how being a same-sex couple “hurts everyone around you”.

  17. 17
    Who Knows?

    This was missed when correcting the grammar.

    [For] The Love of Christ

  18. 18
    John Pieret

    “God said in the last days that man and wom[a]n would be lover of self, more [than] the lover of God.

    That man and woman would have unnatural [affection] for one another.

    Umm … is it just me or does that sound more like a warning that people will be selfish?

    Nope, it’s not just me:

    2 Timothy 3:2 (New Revised Standard Version) :

    For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful …

    Half the time they don’t read their damn book and the rest of the time they don’t understand what it says.

  19. 19
    had3

    “False religion,” as opposed to the true kind?

  20. 20
    shouldbeworking

    “False religion” is redundant.

  21. 21
    erichoug

    Wow! bigoted business person in NC. Big shocker there.

    Actually it makes me kind of sad that the further we have come the more it seems we have to go.

    I live in Houston which is an extremely diverse and multi-cultural city. I remember the last time I went to the mall, I heard 5 different languages between the parking lot and 10′ into the front door. We have our first openly gay mayor,the LGBT community is strong enough here that they have swung elections in the past and the number of people who speak spanish as a first language is probably at least on parity with the number of people who speak english.

    And yet, I can remember acts of stunning racism, homophobia and bigotry in the recent past. I remember a man screaming “GOD DAMN N***** BITCHES!” (I don’t care if Ed will type it, I won’t) in the middle of the family law center at a pair of women that had displeased him. A group of kids from the woodland violently assaulted and murdered a young gay man (Paul Brousard) not 3 blocks from where I was living at the time. And half the people I know who go to the anti Immigrant rallies hire yard crews that all speak nothing but Spanish.

    The more we move forward. the longer the road gets.

  22. 22
    Modusoperandi

    epiblast “Also, I’d be curious to hear McGovern say exactly how being a same-sex couple ‘hurts everyone around you’.”
    Men kissing brings to the fore urges that he’d rather lay keep suppressed, and women kissing is distracting and leads to walking into telephone poles, car accidents, falling down stairs, etc.

  23. 23
    steve84

    By “destroyed her life” he probably means “Lives happily with her partner raising her son together”

    What’s equally infuriating to that idiot are all the idiots saying that he has a right to his opinion and thus it was perfectly ok. They don’t realize that having an opinion doesn’t mean he has to voice it. Especially not when that’s done through harassment

  24. 24
    shay

    “I’m absolutely astonished at the behavior of a North Carolina restaurant owner who actually handed a handwritten note to a lesbian couple after they ate at his restaurant, telling them that they need to pray that God would “open their eyes” to their sinful condition.”

    You haven’t spent much time in North Carolina, have you.

  25. 25
    tacitus

    Yelpers have already been on the case. One comment in particular stands out:

    For a Christian cafe, this place is chock full of sin and devil worshippers!

    I was greeted by a waiter who obviously was wearing more than one type of cloth (Leviticus 19:19). It offended me a little, but I let it slide. She gave me the menu and I was disgusted by the fact that they serve seafood that doesn’t have scales or fins (Leviticus 11:12). They even serve pork (Leviticus 11:7-8)! I requested to speak to a manager at this point because I was pretty offended by this menu. The manager came and I noticed that he had a neatly trimmed beard and a tattoo on his arm (Leviticus 19:27-28). By that point, I just got furious and walked out.

    I also discovered that they are opened on Sundays too (Exodus 31:15). Never again will I enter this blasphemous place they call a “Christian restaurant”. For a Christian restaurant, I would expect these errors to be fixed!

  26. 26
    John Hinkle

    I think a dismissive tact would’ve worked for the couple. After reading the note, spin on your heel, kiss your partner, and say while throwing the note over your shoulder, “Whatever.”

  27. 27
    tacitus

    Oh, how “clever.”

    If you go to the cafe’s web page and scroll to the bottom (past perfectly normal secular blurb) they are offering a coupon you can print off and show the “waitress” to get 10% off. There, on the coupon are the words “Jesus is Lord” so not only do you get to read the message, you have to print it off and actively show it to someone as well.

    I wonder whether you would still get 10% off after photoshopping “Good without God” or “Above us Only Sky” in there instead…

  28. 28
    democommie

    “Jesus is Lord”

    and cash is KING!

    I think that maybe the 2 moms ruint the grandson by keeping him from spending time with that bigoted fuck of a grandfather.

  29. 29
    Francisco Bacopa

    But tip REALLY well.

    But tip in cash, so the staff can dodge sharing or reporting it.

    And “erichoug”, I actually knew Paul Broussard, not that well, and I lived out of town when he was murdered by those kids from the Wealthy People’s Socialist Republic of The Woodlands. But still. pretty creepy to hear he had been murdered. At least HPD responded by setting up a sting operation to catch gay bashers and actively sought to recruit gay cops to change the culture of the police department.

  30. 30
    Glenn E Ross

    erichoug @21 sez:

    I remember a man screaming “GOD DAMN N***** BITCHES!” (I don’t care if Ed will type it, I won’t) in the middle of the family law center at a pair of women that had displeased him.

    You make me say it in my head.

    Louis C. K. said it best.

  31. 31
    Glenn E Ross

    Evidently I can’t do links correctly.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnKLxDlFS5c

  32. 32
    grumpyoldfart

    How did he know they were lesbians?
    Even if he guessed they were lesbians, how did he know their living arrangements?
    Even if they were living together, they may have been siblings?
    How did he know they were in a sexual relationship?

  33. 33
    Michael Hoaglin

    …the belief that [homosexuality] was exceedingly rare before the 20th century, is more prevalent than most of us would like to think.

    Well, if you don’t see much of it, it must be rare. Like how Iran has no gays at all.

  34. 34
    tacitus

    How did he know they were lesbians?

    At a guess, he spotted them expressing affection for each other in some way — holding hands, sitting close to each other, or engaging in some other overt body language. it’s not really that difficult to tell when couples are in love.

    Last summer, when I was in London for the Olympics, I looking past a crowd of people at a Tube station trying to read a map on the wall to find out which train to take next, when I noticed that the two young women standing right in front of me looking into each other’s eyes. No words were being exchanged or hands held, but it was immediately obvious that they were a couple.

  35. 35
    tacitus

    Even if he guessed they were lesbians, how did he know their living arrangements?
    How did he know they were in a sexual relationship?

    Forgot to add — these questions would be irrelevant to him. Once he decided they were lesbians, that was enough for him to want to take action.

  36. 36
    mxh

    Love the yelp reviews of the place.

  37. 37
    jba55

    @13 Oooo, that’s good. I vote for that.

  38. 38
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Even if they were living together, they may have been siblings?
    How did he know they were in a sexual relationship?

    Well, this IS the South…

  39. 39
    dingojack

    Glenn E Ross AKA HeartlessB –
    <a href=”[paste link here]“>[type link text here]</a>
    thus:
    The next part of the Louis’ set: Nigga Coffee.
    [Note the next featured video. Um ... yeah. What does that say about YouTube's estimation of people who like Louis C. K.? ]
    Dingo

  40. 40
    dingojack

    Whoops looks like a ‘the’ got loose.
    Sorry bout that.
    :) Dingo

  41. 41
    Glenn E Ross

    Thanks, dingojack

  42. 42
    anubisprime

    Dumbfuck is just being a judgemental xtian…hold the front page!

    Thing is when one of these wastes of space start with their ‘morality’ lessons….they always, and without fail, start the with the preface….”God said in the last days that….”…so they are claiming that because …whatever…action is occurring, we are already in the last days, in other words it is far to late and even if attitudes and behaviour radically changed, most of us is all for the early hot bath, it is game set and match to spooky drawers.
    All over all done….turn the page!

    Because they claim the delusional spook does not change its mind , it already knows what it is going to do and it is doing it….

    They really should consider getting themselves prepped for the rapture.
    Close the business up, or sell it off cheap to an atheist, they won’t be there long, and making a bob or two by selling a ‘pig in a poke’ has never phased an upstanding servant of de lawd’ and go and pray the day away.
    It is the only way they are going to get harp lessons.

    But these fuckers are so up their own jacksie and cannot see the logical disparity between what they say and what they believe!

  43. 43
    Bill Openthalt

    [They] cannot see the logical disparity between what they say and what they believe!

    Accepting as true what one isn’t able to observe or prove happens to be the definition of belief. It’s a design fault, and all humans suffer from it (especially those who believe they don’t). Unfortunately, there’s no warranty and attempts to repair it haven’t been very successful.

  44. 44
    anubisprime

    The thing is that these ‘committed ‘ bozos all swear deaf dumb and blind that we are in the end days…

    Obama gets elected again…end days prophecy comes true, ‘the rapture will begin…(some arbitrary date a year away) send money quick to get the message out’!
    Teh ghey get marriage rights…end days for sure the end of civilization and society guaranteed.
    Christians being persecuted…all in the bible especially in the end days!

    Whatever pisses them off it is because we are “In the end days”

    Except when pinned down on what that actually means they all wax lyrical and darkly about rivers of fire and the stench of sulphur and the rapture is coming real soon, when asked for specifics they get all vague, mysterious, and hide behind a god who cannot be second guessed…’but we are in the end days all the signs foretell it’!

    On the same level you have the folks arming for the end of civilization…stocking up on supplies guns and ammo…
    Again ask them when this is going down…just arched eyebrows and a wink…”soon enough…cos the signs are all there…the end times are on us!”

    This has more the appearance of a hysterical virus that ladles oodles of paranoia and incoherency and fear on the victims..And I suspect thy name be ‘religion’…but what do I know?…except we are definitely in the end times…apparently!

  45. 45
    had3

    @43 Billopenthalt: do you have a cite or evidence for your claim that those who don’t believe they suffer from the human trait of accepting what is true without evidence actually suffer from it more than those who acknowledge it?

  46. 46
    bradleybetts

    Note the fact he carefully waited until after they had paid before insulting them. What a wanker. I am fully in support of Ed’s suggestion re. every gay couple in NC organising a date night at that restaurant. That would be hilarious.

  47. 47
    billyeager

    Oh you sillies, this is just an innocent case of subterfuge marketing, or some such shit.

    Basically he wants to emulate what happened with that god-awful god-fearin’ ‘chikkin’ restaurant you lot have. You know, where teh gayz complain about something and then all the ‘good’ jeebus-lovin’ god-fearin’ (always with the fearin’) famblies will come fill his dining hall in protest at the temerity of teh gayz for complainin’.

    Ker-freakin’-ching!

  48. 48
    netamigo

    North Carolina is a real cup of tea. During the last election, I went on the websites of the two largest circulation newspapers in the state and tried to make comments in opposition to Amendment 1, which took away all civil rights from gay and lesbian citizens. I would politely point out the science on human sexuality and my comments were immediately deleted. I literally could never make a comment that opposed religious right dogma. I tested it by making benign comments on other stories and had no problem. In addition, I had a Chinese friend who moved there a while back to take a job with a large corporation. She said the atmosphere was so racist and unpleasant for her that after six months she quit moving to another state with another company.

  49. 49
    eamick

    I wonder whether you would still get 10% off after photoshopping “Good without God” or “Above us Only Sky” in there instead…

    Screw subtlety: Allahu Akbar. In Arabic script.

  1. 50
    Maybe the problem is you… | Riffing Religion

    [...] saw over at Ed Brayton’s blog this story about a restaurant owner named Ed McGovern in North Carolina who handed a proselytizing [...]

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