Camp Quest Oklahoma set up a fundraiser at a BBQ restaurant in Broken Arrow. Ten percent of food and beverage proceeds would be donated to Camp Quest. The restaurant even signed off on the flyer people would use to initiate the donation. Just as the event was to take place, the owner pulled the plug because Camp Quest’s “beliefs” did not align with the Christian philosophy of his business. It didn’t matter the group didn’t hide its “beliefs”, the owner just didn’t like the fact that Camp Quest caters to atheist, agnostic, and freethinking families.
Text of the notice posted at the time the fundraiser was to take place:
Camp Quest Fundraiser is cancelled.
Oklahoma Joe’s regrets the facilitators of Camp Quest Fundraiser did not fully disclose their beliefs. These beliefs do not align with the Christian philosophy of our organization and we can not financially contribute to their cause.
We will provide service to anyone.
I agree that a business owner should be able to decide who they do business with, within reason – for example most places require shirts and shoes be worn in the establishment – but if you agree to work with a group then decide at the last minute to cancel, that isn’t cool.
And if you’re going to cancel an event to help children don’t lie about the reason why you’re doing it.
Camp Quest Oklahoma is accepting donations online to make up for the money they lost from the canceled fundraiser. If you can, help send a kid to camp.
I know if I’m ever in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma I won’t be eating at Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ. Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue in other cities are independently owned.
While reading the article about this on Friendly Atheist I noticed Hemant made sure to point out:
“These beliefs,” by the way, do not include indoctrinating children with atheism. Rather, Camp Quest’s purpose is to help children “[improve] the human condition through rational inquiry, critical and creative thinking, scientific method, self-respect, ethics, competency, democracy, free speech, and the separation of religion and government.”
I support Camp Quest and have donated to them over the years and I personally know the executive director yet Hemant’s point bothers me.
From the theist point of view Camp Quest is indoctrinating children with atheism. The camp may not being speaking against religion but it does speak out against irrational beliefs. Anything that takes kids away from the Bible is seen as atheism. That explains Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ discrimination.
I may agree with Camp Quest’s purpose but I don’t agree with the need to “distance” itself from atheism. I don’t agree with hiding or watering down the message because to the theist it doesn’t matter. If you’re against their religion you’re an atheist.
Camp Quest forgets that being an atheist isn’t only anti-religion it means having no god belief.
Freethought, agnosticism, humanism, and rational thinking are atheism in the mind of the theist.