They won’t even allow patrons to ask God to bless General Tso’s chicken at the food court’s Chong Wah Express.
“I said, sir, are you saying that people who eat in the food court can’t bow their heads and pray?” she said. “He said, ‘No ma’am.’ That’s exactly what he said.”
She said several of the ladies were shaken up by the ordeal.
“It’s very sad,” Tammy told me. “It’s really heartbreaking.”
Later that evening, Tammy wrote about the experience on Facebook. It wasn’t too long before an enterprising reporter from The Courier-Herald in Dublin picked up the story.
“Walking group told not to pray at mall,” read the front page headline in the newspaper. The reporter said he tried for a week to reach a mall spokesperson. Finally, someone answered the phone and told the reporter, “We decline to comment.”
Mall officials did not return my calls either.
Meanwhile, the Dublin Girls are searching for a new place to power walk. Tammy said she understands that the mall is indeed private property and they have a right to dictate appropriate rules and regulations.
“I don’t want my ladies to feel intimidated,” Tammy told me. “It’s already hard enough to get out and exercise.”
The Dublin girls hope to one day return to the mall – but only if management lifts the prayer ban.
“It’s really heartbreaking,” she said. “Who would have thought something like this could happen in the teeny-tiny town we live in?”
The Good Book encourages us to run a good race – to press on toward the goal. And I have no doubt that Tammy and her cloud of witnesses will continue to run their race with endurance.
It’s a difficult task in a nation that has become increasingly hostile to people of faith.