This Pizza Place Will Give You a Discount If You Say ‘Jesus Died For Me’

You remember Godfather’s Pizza. Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain was its former CEO. So I’m not completely surprised that one of the franchisees would be offering an Easter discount… but the restaurant in Hampton, Iowa is going a step further:

Easter Sunday is almost here!
Did you know, Jesus died for you on the cross, but then on Easter Sunday, he ROSE from the dead! AMAZING! To celebrate this very important day, we will be doing our Easter special all week. Simply say “Jesus died for me” when you order your food and we will give you $2 off your order!

And what if I say “Jesus didn’t die for me?” I was curious, so I asked them. Their response caught me off-guard:

For what it’s worth, it may be legal. (The defense is that it’s not religious discrimination because anyone can get the discount for saying the words.) This is similar to those “bring in a church bulletin and we’ll give you a discount” promotions sometimes offered by Christian store owners — they’re the subject of many lawsuits, but owners get away with it as long as customers are given a discount for bringing in an Muslim or atheist “church bulletin,” too. (Or making one on their computer, anyway.)

But I promise you if a Muslim store owner offered a discount to customers who said, “Praise Allah,” FOX News would be running stories on it for the next 48 hours. I also asked the store if they offer discounts for saying that phrase during Ramadan. I’ll let you know if they respond. I’m not holding my breath.

***Update***: I received this response from them:

We are an openly Christian family run business. We offer many specials/discounts all through the year. This is the Hampton, Iowa Godfather’s Pizza which is a family owned franchise. Godfather’s Corporate does not run this establishment.

Even if it’s not an illegal move, it’s just strikes me as a horrible PR move. The owners are basically telling the public they prefer their Christian customers over any other ones. I don’t live there, but now I wouldn’t want to eat there, discount or not.

(Thanks to Seth for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • corps_suk

    So they are promoting lying for jesus…or lying with jesuses name…how christian.

  • DougI

    A pizza with a side order of blasphemy. Christians must be so pleased that their god is being used as a marketing gimmick.

  • Claude

    The owners are basically telling the public they prefer their Christian customers over any other ones.

    Are there any other ones in Iowa?

  • Lynn David

    Just add a “……. NOT!” at the end.

  • sam

    If Jesus “paid it all” (which of course Isaiah does not say), why do I only get $2 off my shitty pizza?

  • http://twitter.com/Ro542124 Gideon

    Or practice rolling your eyes while saying it.

  • http://twitter.com/Don_Gwinn Don_Gwinn

    They’re just teaching people the concept of a shibboleth with a handy real-world illustration. It’s practically public service.

    I guess in Chicago, a pizza place could offer a discount contingent on my saying, “The Cubs are going all the way this year,” even though everyone would know it was a lie.

  • Paul Lundgren

    I lived in Hampton for five years. This is entirely unsurprising to me. It’s the kind of town that brags about having both of the county’s stop lights (welcome to rural Iowa).

  • http://twitter.com/Don_Gwinn Don_Gwinn

    Hey, man, my town doesn’t have any of those newfangled stop lights, and we get along just fine! A grocery store wouldn’t go amiss, though.

  • Gus Snarp

    Not only is it telling the public they prefer Christians, it’s also probably awfully crass and distasteful to a lot of Christians. I’m sure this will be a big hit with a fair number of the modern evangelical crowd, but I imagine quite a few other Christians will be deeply offended at the commercialization. I’m thinking of Matthew 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-17, and Luke 19:45-48. They really can’t stop themselves from being hypocrites, can they?

  • Devilsjunkshop

    I reckon “Cheeses died for me” would work just as well

  • Rain

    Jesus paid it all, but everyone is still paying. That’s why in the other thread I said I don’t have any fancy-pants “book learnin’” reasons for being an atheist. Religion is just stupid, that’s all.

  • JasmynMoon

    That was exactly my thought. I wonder what they’d say if someone pointed that out.

  • Thackerie

    What if I say, “Jesus had a lousy weekend for me”? Do I at least get a few cents off the day-old bread sticks?

  • Thackerie

    Clever! Moral atheists don’t have to lie in order to get a discount.

  • mcmoyer

    I’d probably say it and then right after I paid out, I’d add: “Yep, he jumped right in front of me and took the bullet from Pedro’s gun”

  • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

    Or perhaps say “Jesus died for me to get a cheaper pizza”.

  • Nate

    Ouch, Claude’s comment struck a nerve a little bit for me. I guess since we live in Iowa, we must all be fundie Christians.

  • fsm

    That brings up an interesting point; if you said the phrase but pronounced Jesus the Spanish way (hey-suess) would they get offended?

  • Art_Vandelay

    Did you know, Jesus died for you on the cross, but then on Easter Sunday, he ROSE from the dead! AMAZING!

    Not so much in light of the idea that he also just blinked a 900 trillion light year sized universe into existence.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.westley Brian Westley

    I think it’s illegal; for example, Jews are not supposed to do anything that suggests they are following a different religion, such as entering a church, because that could act as a stumbling block to other Jews who might not know what is proper Judaism — so an observant Jew could not say “Jesus died for me” without violating his religion.

  • Claude

    Well played!

  • Claude

    Sorry! It was (half) in jest.

  • http://www.everydayintheparkwithgeorge.com/ Matt Eggler

    Good one, I was thinking that if I lived near there I’d get my Honduran friend, Jesus, to make me a tie-dyed t-shirt so I could say “Jesus dyed for me”.

  • Carpinions

    Not a small point, for we all know Amerika Jesus frowns heavily upon illegal immigration…

  • http://twitter.com/docslacker MD

    “There’s power in Jesus’ name.”

    So it’s like an incantation. It works as well as Wingardium Leviosa.

  • Greg G.

    Do you get a discount on a Zen Buddhist pizza when you say “Make me one with everything”?

  • Carpinions

    If Jesus picked up my tab willingly, why the hell are the churches still asking me to kneel and tithe? What kind of savior is it that, while he’s knowingly giving himself up for murder, screams to the unwashed would-be followers on the sideline that they’ll be saved, but only if they accept wholesale that he’s master of the universe?

    Sacrifice with an ultimatum isn’t sacrifice, especially if, after the ugliness has passed, you get to be puppet master for eternity (extra negative points if you knew this going into the whole charade). Putting the word “PAID” in all caps and large font on an ad wont change that.

  • 3lemenope

    [rimshot]

  • 3lemenope

    Now I wonder what would happen if one were to just quote Judges 12:5-6. Would they get it, do you think?

  • 3lemenope

    Here is the winner, right here.

  • ganner918

    I don’t believe that “Jesus Died For Me”

    Said the phrase. Give me pizza.

    Actually, I’d just go to a local joint.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    that’s what i was thinking. how utterly tasteless (like the pizza probably is as well).

  • Carpinions

    I have to agree in many ways for my own part, too. What made me an atheist had a lot to do with how I saw them carrying and defending themselves in the evolution debate on various and sundry so-focused blogs around the net. I was “pro-evolution” at the time (even if I was a light theist), and was predisposed to defend it against creationism. The pro-science side always had a workable, reasonable, investigable answer to their (largely Christian) objections, and the theists would simply respond with either another example that obviously used the same bad thinking redressed using 3-card monte, or by making special pleading assertions they’d try to ensconce in gray areas between the lines of argumentation so they could reasonably claim their answer was logically viable.

    It became obvious after a few months that they weren’t going to win any argument on the facts, and that’s when I really started to think hey, maybe I’m in the wrong room. Add in some challenges to age-old, socially accepted pablum that I had been insulated from hearing before (thank you Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, et al), some exposure to the rules of logic, and a few atheist/theist debates, and it was over. My Catholicism, and religion in general, looked like such a sick joke and I refused to be a part of it any longer.

  • ortcutt

    We’ve been over this with church flyer discounts before, and religious price discrimination is still illegal under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Imagine if the phrase required to get the discount was “Jesus was nothing more than a man.” Imagine the howls of protest about the discrimination against Christians.

  • SeekerLancer

    This just makes me roll my eyes. Godfather’s Pizza is pretty lousy anyway.

    Do they just not read the parts of the Bible that make it pretty clear Jesus wouldn’t want his name being used for profit? No of course not, look at all the absurdly rich evangelical pastors. Don’t mind me I haven’t had my coffee yet.

  • kevin white

    If there’s truly power in Jesus’ name, then the bastard should have to pay his damn electricity bill like the rest of us. Just sayin’.

  • kevin white

    Probably not.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    I’d ask them for double or nothing if they can score 70 on the Easter Quiz

  • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

    Nothing says, “My God is sacred,” like using him as a free celebrity endorsement to sell constipation-inducing food.

  • alconnolly

    But religious rules are arbitrary so almost everything would become illegal. Take for example if six flags ran a promotion requiring someone to say six flags is awesome to get ten dollars off. Well some person could have an interpretation of a verse like “love not the world neither the things that are in the world”, that makes saying that a religious violation. Even entering a pizza place that serves meat that is not kosher on some of their pizzas could violate someones religious rule so would requiring someone to pick up their pizza be illegal. It is impossible to use the standard you suggested.

  • Jon Peterson

    Some day I want to run a business and offer a discount to anyone who says the words “religion is a comfortable lie” just to see who argues.

  • John

    I don’t see your comments there any more, Hemant. Guess Jesus didn’t die for free speech.

  • vincent findley

    Would I still get the discount if I say “I’m a Godless Stalinist”?

  • C Peterson

    Ignorant fools, those pizza (using the term loosely) bakers. Isaiah had nothing to say about Jesus, predating the Christian era by some seven odd centuries. The quoted passage is a reference to the land of Israel. To see Jesus in it ranks right up there with baking his face into a pizza crust.

  • vincent findley

    Again and theists are bigots?

  • http://twitter.com/maxbingman1 Max Bingman

    Jesus died for me. Can I have some breadsticks, please.

  • guest

    “Zombie Jesus died for your sins… and came back for your brains”

    Can I get the discount now?

  • Taz

    If you go in and say “I don’t believe Jesus died for me” you’ve met their conditions. They have to give you $2 off.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    Ugg, you couldn’t pay me enough to eat god father pizza.

  • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

    I completely forgot about the 9th Beatitude: “Blessed are the pizza-makers, for My death will increase their righteous sales.”

  • Randomfactor

    Well, that IS the basis of Pascal’s Wager–that his god can’t tell the difference between belief and mouthing empty words.

  • Vukota

    I checked their Facebook page earlier and it was changed to say something like “if you don’t believe in Jesus, that’s ok. Just say ‘Happy Easter’ instead and you’ll get the discount.” However, I now see they changed it back to the original message. I wonder if they got pressure from some fundies for caving in to the evil atheists.

  • Randomfactor

    Well, nothing says he couldn’t put a question mark at the end of the shibboleth.

  • Randomfactor

    Jesus dyed for me, and I have the eggs to prove it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.westley Brian Westley

    Yeah, I know it’s a huge can o’ worms, but I think under current law it would be considered a violation of the civil rights act of 1964. And yes, assuming the pizza joint doesn’t follow all the kosher rules, their pizza would also not be kosher.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    What if you said “Jesus died for me … NOT”? I mean, you said the phrase, you just added a bit to it.

  • LesterBallard

    What will they give you if you’re wearing a Jesus Fucking Christ shirt?

    https://i.chzbgr.com/maxW500/1635183872/h1CC2636F/

  • http://www.facebook.com/park.james.102 Park James

    I think I’d say “Jesus dies for me” just to not be forced to eat that god awful pizza. Seriously, godfathers pizza is terrible.

  • Chak 47

    This. Even the ones who are not Christian won’t expect anything different, so they alienate no one (or at most a tiny few) and they make their Christian customers feel good.

  • Baby_Raptor

    You’re calling him a bigot because he made a word play? Dude, get help. Your persecution complex is massively out of hand.

  • Tyro

    Sounds like a secret password

  • Rev. Red Mage

    It’s not Levio-SAA.
    It’s Levi-OHHH-SA.

  • Lurker111

    Actually, any meat on pizza that has cheese would be non-Kosher, as the meal would have multiple meat products on it.

    As I understand things. If someone of the Jewish ancestry would care to correct me, go for it.

  • Tom

    “Stalinist.” You keep hurling that word about on here. I do not think you either know or care what it actually means.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephen-Scanlon/1494974661 Stephen Scanlon

    Jesus died for me? I didn’t ask him to do it. So he died needlessly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephen-Scanlon/1494974661 Stephen Scanlon

    But we can. No consequences in lying.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephen-Scanlon/1494974661 Stephen Scanlon

    Are you saying someone named Cheeses DIDN”T die for junkshop? I heard Cheeses leaped in front of a speeding automobile to save his life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephen-Scanlon/1494974661 Stephen Scanlon

    Jesus lied for my sins!

  • baal

    And that’s a problem. Also, the ‘silent minority’ is silent for a reason (maybe several) and they (us) tend to get washed out of the picture (there are more of us (them) then get noticed).

  • baal

    There is so much bible that I’ve forgotten what I read.

    The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan
    leading to Ephraim, and whenever a survivor of Ephraim said, “Let me
    cross over,” the men of Gilead asked him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he
    replied, “No,” 6 they
    said, “All right, say ‘Shibboleth.’” If he said, “Sibboleth,” because
    he could not pronounce the word correctly, they seized him and killed
    him at the fords of the Jordan. Forty-two thousand Ephraimites were
    killed at that time.

  • MBear

    “freedom of speech” – I do not think that term means what you think it means

  • baal

    Same excuse(blackmail?) for 2000 years and counting. When do get to stop hearing about that one; it’s like living in the past.

  • Aspieguy

    I wish my children’s universities gave discounts like that.

    Leave it to christians to cheapen their own religion and make it into a marketing ploy.

  • Jon Peterson

    No, but less because of the insult and more because that’s not even similar to the given phrase.

  • cipher

    And what if I say “Jesus didn’t die for me?” I was curious, so I asked them. Their response caught me off-guard.

    Really? That surprised you? It’s the sort of answer I’d expect them to give (apart from “No”).

    As I said a little while ago in the Ken Ham thread, these people only think they believe in Biblical monotheism, They really believe in magic.

    Even if it’s not an illegal move, it’s just strikes me as a horrible PR move. The owners are basically telling the public they prefer their Christian customers over any other ones. I don’t live there, but now I wouldn’t want to eat there, discount or not.

    It’s rural Iowa, Hemant. I don’t think they’re going to lose any business. Quite the opposite, I’d assume.

  • vincent findley

    It’s similar, Godless insinuates religion is a lie and we know what Mr. Stalin was.

  • vincent findley

    “Godless Stalinists”; non-believing tyrants.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    Stalin was a paranoid psychopathic megalomaniac. Much like Hitler who was a religious paranoid psychopathic megalomaniac.

    But I guess “Godless Bertrand Russell” just doesn’t have the same impact, does it.

  • vincent findley

    Funny, but no.

  • Lee

    If you believe it great…. but if you don’t – your integrity isn’t worth $2?

  • Guest

    You keep using that word.

  • Jon Peterson

    You keep using that word.

  • vincent findley

    Excellent heckle!!

  • TheBlackCat13

    Again, you need to look up the definitions of words before you use them.

    heckle: to harass (a public speaker, performer, etc.) with impertinent questions, gibes, or the like; badger.

    Now let’s think for a second. What better fits that definition?

    1. Falsely calling someone a “Stalinist”.
    2, Pointing out that we are not, in fact “Stalinists”.

  • vincent findley

    Of course you all aren’t radical tyrants!

  • TheBlackCat13

    Excellent dodge there. Care to answer the question?

  • vincent findley

    Where’s the dodge? Stalin was a tyrant like you all and Rich Wilson used an adjective that best describes Most of you all, omnipotent.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    I don’t recall calling anyone ‘omnipotent’, and I personally don’t think anyone is omnipotent, but if you think most of us are omnipotent, um, ok.

    I command you to stop trolling!

  • vincent findley

    You replied to one of my responses for saying you all are Godless Stalinists that he was an omnipotent megalomaniac.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    er, no. The full quote was:

    Stalin was a paranoid psychopathic megalomaniac. Much like Hitler who was a religious paranoid psychopathic megalomaniac.

    But I guess “Godless Bertrand Russell” just doesn’t have the same impact, does it.

  • vincent findley

    Pardon my memory lapse.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    Oh we all have memory lapses, not being omnipotent and all. I was just amused at the Freudian to go from “paranoid psychopathic” to “omnipotent” :-)

  • TheBlackCat13

    Where’s the dodge?

    The dodge is that you didn’t answer my question. And you didn’t answer it again. In case you can’t read up or down a few lines, here it is again:

    Again, you need to look up the definitions of words before you use them.

    heckle: to harass (a public speaker, performer, etc.) with impertinent questions, gibes, or the like; badger.

    Now let’s think for a second. What better fits that definition?

    1. Falsely calling someone a “Stalinist”.
    2, Pointing out that we are not, in fact “Stalinists”.

    So for the third time, please answer the question.

  • vincent findley

    From the same dictionary, syn; bait, provoke,needle, hector,hound. Again, wheres the dodge?

    1. Stalin was a tyrant and 99% of you all on this blog are tyrants because it’s plain as day you all worship a state,therefore I’m not falsely calling you a Stalinist.
    2. So in fact you all are Stalinists.

  • TheBlackCat13

    1. Stalin was a tyrant and 99% of you all on this blog are tyrants
    because it’s plain as day you all worship a state,therefore I’m not
    falsely calling you a Stalinist.
    2. So in fact you all are Stalinists.

    Wow, that has to be the most nonsensical and illogical thing I have ever read, and I have read timecube. Every single thing you said is wrong, and every single step in that chain is illogical.

    1. Stalin was a tyrant, but not all tyrants are Stalinist. For example, Hitler was a tyrant, but he was not a Stalinist.

    2. By definition, we don’t worship anything, including a state.

    3. Even if we did worship a state, worshiping a state is not the same thing as being a tyrant. Quite the opposite, since a tyrant puts himself or herself above the state.

    4. Even if we did worship a state, we wouldn’t be supporting tyranny if the state we worshiped was not itself a tyranny.

    5. You spend more time talking about states and government than we do, so if anyone worships a state it is you.

    And you still haven’t answered my question

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    And as I was about to post, there’s nothing in the definition of ‘tyrant’ about ‘state’.

    an absolute ruler unrestrained by law or constitution

    a usurper of sovereignty

    a ruler who exercises absolute power oppressively or brutally

    one resembling an oppressive ruler in the harsh use of authority or power

    In fact, “unrestrained by law or constitution” is pretty much the opposite of ‘worship a state’.

    We’re getting into serious Poe territory here.

    “Fin”, hmmmm

  • vincent findley

    That’s my reply, guess I’m dodging it. My take is a tyrant is the state,which they are.

  • TheBlackCat13

    That’s my reply, guess I’m dodging it.

    At least we can agree on one thing

    My take is a tyrant is the state,which they are.

    Ah, of course, that makes sense. You are using your ultra-special magic personal definition rather than the English definition.

    In other words you are just making it up as you go along, as usual.

    Made up definitions. Made up motives. Made up constitutional amendments. You are just trying to get us to live in your fantasy world.

    As Dilbert said, “I respectfully decline the invitation to join your hallucination.”.


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