Camp Quest Oklahoma Planned a Fundraiser at a Local Restaurant Tonight, but the Christian Owner is Refusing to Work with Them

Camp Quest Oklahoma is trying to raise money for this summer’s camping session and they partnered with a local restaurant for a fundraiser last night. The idea was that if you ate at Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ in the city of Broken Arrow, 10% of your receipt would go back to Camp Quest (as long as you mentioned the organization or showed them the following flyer):

Sounded like a great idea and it’s a typical way to fundraise; many organizations do it and many restaurants love to help out — it means more customers for them and they’re helping out a local group.

Win-win situation for everybody, right?!

That was the case until Camp Quest supporters arrived at the restaurant and saw this on the door…

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.

Joe Davidson
Founder

“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.”

But you know Joe Davidson didn’t care about any of that. There was no way he was going to support those damned atheists.

Dave Muscato of American Atheists spoke with Davidson earlier tonight and got a few more details on the matter — but they don’t change the situation at all:

The fundraiser involved a request for the restaurant to make a contribution to Camp Quest.

He asked what it was, and was told it was a science camp for kids, and he agreed to do that. This was a couple of weeks ago.

The organizers made a flyer, submitted it to the restaurant, and it was approved. It did not mention anything about CQ’s values, ethics, or anything like that.

When Joe arrived at the restaurant this afternoon, he was handed a flyer that said CQ was about building a community for atheist, agnostic, and freethinking families.

He said to the organizer, “Joseph, I need to visit with you, here’s the deal. This is a Christian-based, family-owned business. I cannot support nor make a contribution to the cause. With that said, as an American, I support your right to believe anything you want to. You can stay here, but I cannot personally contribute.”

He emphasized that no one was kicked out nor asked to leave; the restaurant owners did however decline to contribute a donation (10% of the proceeds from what I understand) to CQ as previously verbally agreed.

I don’t know if there’s any legal recourse for something like this, but there is a way you can help: Donate to Camp Quest Oklahoma and make up for the loss of funds from this evening.

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.

  • http://twitter.com/BrenWeber Brenda Weber

    Thanks for this! Obviously, the flyer, which was approved by the restaurant, does mention free-thought and humanist values. I guess Joe’s Google chi was low or something.

    • http://skepticink.com/backgroundprobability/ Damion Reinhardt

      RIGHT?! How hard is it, really, to do a little due diligence prior to the very day of the event? It’s a total jackass move to cut into the exit lane at the last minute like that. Just suck it up and keep moving forward.

  • http://twitter.com/RAGININJUN RAGININJUN

    Rude and I wont be eating there… ever.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001736525906 Hamid Afra

    whats the big deal? As an atheist , I dont wanna donate to Christian organizations either!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cory-Gage/591483866 Cory Gage

      The big deal is that they agreed to have the fundraiser here, knowing what it entailed, and then throwing the group out once it started.

      • baal

        It doesn’t actually matter what the restaurant owner knew ahead of time. If he hosts fundraiser type events, then he may not discriminate on the basis of a protected class. His ignorance doesn’t equate to the legal concept of misrepresentation as he couldn’t have denied them the opportunity to hold the event either.

    • Ksbw5

      No kidding, I was thinking the same thing,

    • coyotenose

      To add to what Cory Gage said, the Camp Quest people got more people to come to the restaurant, so the owner made a profit off of them… then decided he wasn’t going to pay his end.

    • http://twitter.com/docslacker MD

      The guy got an increase in customers that day thanks to the planned fundraiser and backed out at the last minute, that’s the big deal. If he had canceled it the day before it would be a crappy thing to do, but I wouldn’t criticise it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

      He wasn’t donating anything. The people who showed up to eat there were doing the donating when they paid for the food. He was promoting his business to new customers via this deal.

  • Rain

    These beliefs do not align with the Christian philosophy of our organization

    You mean like sell your belongings and don’t worry about the morrow? Love thy neighbor? Except the ones with the evilution cootie bugs? Didn’t come from no damn monkeys? “Christian philosophy” could mean anything. Nobody knows what the hell it means.

    • http://www.facebook.com/boo.hoo.9440 Boo Hoo

      They make it up as they go along. Christian philosophy strangely matches the views, opinions and bigotries of whomever is expressing it at the time. It is ever…evolving? <———-Yeah. I said that.

      • Rain

        Apparently this one’s philosophy includes “BEER”, so I guess Christian philosophy is okay with getting people boozed up. Ans also Christians are carnivores apparently.

        • The Other Weirdo

          Are Christians supposed to vegetarians? Jesus himself conjured up a bunch of fish when he neglected to make provisions for the multitude following him.

      • fsm

        I often point towards Christianity itself as proof of evolution.

    • PietPuk

      It’s like ‘spiritual’, it can mean anything you want it to mean, without being pinned down on it.

  • Sven2547

    “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’.”

    Joe’s right. That doesn’t align with Christian philosophy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kenton.forshee Kenton Forshee

      Indeed, they don’t approve of those things.

    • MOS

      Its their own fault. There should have been full disclosure. They should have known that dealing with the religious is ‘iffy,’ and that dealing with Okies is even more ‘iffy.’

      • Sven2547

        You say it like Oklahoma Joe’s is an explicitly religious organization, like a church.

        • http://www.facebook.com/CanadianTuxedoBandit Jordan Stryk

          You’re saying it like a humanist organization is brainwashing kids

          • Sven2547

            Huh? What are you talking about?

            • VoiceOfReason71

              I think Jordan may have misunderstood you, and thought you were defending the liar.

    • heather

      Can I please steal this?

      • Sven2547

        If you ask, it’s not stealing ;)
        I hereby release my above comment to Creative Commons. Go nuts.

  • nkendall

    Anyone can tell you a “verbal agreement” is worth nothing. Next time an agreement should be signed in writing. ESPECIALLY when it deals with money.

    • William Jones

      Verbal contracts are completely enforceable.

      • Compuholic

        That might be so in theory. But in practice not really. If a dispute ever goes to court, how on earth are you going to prove that X was part of the original agreenent. All the other party has to do is to dispute that X was ever agreed on.

        • Frank

          Breach of contract is a civil claim, so the standard of proof is preponderance of the evidence. That means all CQ would have to do is convince the fact finder (judge or jury) that it is more likely than not that X was part of the original agreement. That shouldn’t be too hard to do.

        • amycas

          Courts will also often depend on what actions each party took to determine what the verbal contract was. Seeing as how he started giving the ten percent, and the other party had made up flyers that had been approved, it would be pretty obvious to any court that there was indeed a contract.

        • William Jones

          In many cases, you’re right. In this case, I think it would be pretty easy to prove that the BBQ joint agreed to give CQ 10% of all sales that day, oral K or not. However, to say verbal agreements are “worth nothing” is simply false.

    • 3lemenope

      Another in a long list of examples why it’s not a good idea to take legal advice from “anyone”.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        But it’s still a good idea to get contracts in writing, if you can.

        IDK just how enforceable an oral contract is, and I suspect it depends on the amount of evidence one side (or the other) can bring forward to prove the existence and particulars of the contract.

        • 3lemenope

          Yes, it is always better to get things as explicit as possible and in writing. I am just continuously surprised by the widespread endurance of the (utterly mistaken) notion that oral contracts either aren’t contracts, or aren’t legally enforceable. I don’t know where this notion originated in the popular consciousness, but it is one of the most common misconceptions on the topic that still kick around in the social ether.

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            And now I’m wondering just what kind of case could be made against CQ for “misrepresentation”. AFAICT they were open and up-front about who they are and what they do.

            • baal

              Interestingly enough, I don’t think it’s illegal to “misrepresent” even if I think CQ did that. Imagine if you were planning a Juneteenth event and set it up with the venue owner via email. When the owner sees a number of PoC show up, the owner cancels the event and cites “misrepresentation” on the part of the organizers as a reason to deny contract formation. Could the owner sue? I don’t think so.

              • 3lemenope

                Misrepresentation is a valid type of defense against performance of a contract. It’s only *illegal* if the misrepresentation rises to the level of fraud, but there are several lesser types of misrepresentation that can cause a contract to be void(able). Basically if the party wishing not to perform demonstrates that there was a fact either concealed or presented deceptively by the other party, and that fact pertains to the primary purpose under which the party entered into the contract, then it can render the contract void(able).

  • http://twitter.com/wood757 The Woodman

    I think you need to give the restaurant owner a little slack here. From what has been posted here and what is on Camp Quest’s website, it looks like the restaurant owner was not aware of what we understand as “humanist,” etc. I can quite easily understand that he never thought that there was an “atheist” component to it, especially since he was never explicitly told that. We cannot expect everyone to understand terms they may never have encountered before.

    Restaurants do fund raisers all the time. It doesn’t mean they investigate everyone that comes through the door. Camp Quest sounds great!

    In essence, he lacked full information, but dd not blame the camp. Consider his own beliefs and those of his customers. While WE don’t agree with them, it is his restaurant and his means of survival. He may have felt a strong backlash from the very customers whose beliefs he shares.

    In essence, Camp Quest should have been more forthcoming at the beginning with full disclosure. That way, it would probably be turned down at the outset, saving the restaurant owner the angst and allowing Camp Quest to find another venue.

    • http://www.facebook.com/v.g.kenworthy Valarie Gwendolyn

      It would be scrupulous to take the initiative to learn about an organization prior to making an agreement with those who wish to hold a fundraiser. It should have been first nature for the owner to Google Camp Quest to make certain he was comfortable helping the organization. Obviously, camps like this are necessary to instill critical-thinking skills in children so they don’t reach adulthood with such ignorance as the restaurant owner.

      • http://twitter.com/wood757 The Woodman

        You’re presuming a lot. What you are forgetting is that he was not handed the flyer mentioning atheism until two weeks after he initially agreed to do asked on what he was told. Read carefully the statement above.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cory-Gage/591483866 Cory Gage

      They told them what the camp was, and gave them a brochure to for the camp, how much more “forthcoming” do you expect them to be? They were fully aware that it was a secular camp. They also told the CQ people to leave as well. Your comment is little more than an apologetic excuse for this kind of discrimination.

      • http://twitter.com/wood757 The Woodman

        Read more carefully. The restaurant owner was NOT told that initially, two weeks before the event. He was only handed the flyer with the mention of atheism two weeks later.

        The matter is one of poor communications, not discrimination.

        You can look me up on Twiiter and see if you want to stand by your ugly remark about me. Knee-jerk reactions is what hurts us atheists, not helps us.

        • allein

          If he did know and had refused to do the fund raiser in the first place simply because they were atheists it would still be discrimination.

          • http://twitter.com/wood757 The Woodman

            The point is, via the communication printed above, is that he did not know. And why did he not know?

            There is nothing in what we know from the report above to rise to the level of legal discrimation. Again, had he had full knowledge he had very right to decline at the beginning.

            • GCT

              Are you serious? He pulled out because he learned that some people that work for CQ are atheists. Then, he tossed them out. That is textbook bigotry and discrimination.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jessica.neubauer Jessica Neubauer

      Ok, you want to explain that to the kids?

    • Artor

      So it’s Camp Quest’s fault that Joe Davidson has a poor vocabulary? Should they include a glossary & thesaurus in all their correspondence? He made a verbal deal & broke his word. Maybe he had what he thought were good reasons, but that still makes him a dishonest person.

      • http://twitter.com/wood757 The Woodman

        You might want to read the statement above more carefully.

        1. The restaurant was approached and the owner asked what Camp Quest was. He was told it was a science camp and agreed. “That was a couple of weeks ago. No mention of atheism.

        2. Camp Quest made a flyer (reproduced above); the restaurant owner approved the flyer. “Humanism” is mentioned, but not atheism. (Ask people if they know what humanism means. Most don’t.) again, NO mention of atheism.

        3. Only after the two events above, is the restaurant owner handed the *official* Camp Quest brochure, the one published on its website. That is the *first time* the restaurant becomes aware of an atehist connection.

        This has nothing to do with discrimination. It is one of poor communications with the restaurant owner.

        • allein

          1. It is a science camp. It is not an atheist camp, so why would they mention it?
          2. Their focus is science, secularism, humanism, not “atheism.” If he didn’t know what the word meant, perhaps he should have asked, or looked it up, before agreeing.
          His reason for canceling the event (or, presumably, refusing it in the first place if he had known they were atheists) was based on their religious (in the broad sense) views. That is discrimination. He just decided at the last minute to throw in breach of contract on top. (On a side note, does he advertise his restaurant as a “Christian” business? If he did, I would bet the CQ folks would have looked elsewhere to fundraise.)
          This is a business transaction between two parties; they drive business to his restaurant in exchange for a portion of the proceeds of those extra customers to their cause. I don’t actually know the law on this (if it falls under the general “public accommodation” laws on providing service) but if he opens up that opportunity to any group, it seems it should be open to all. He agreed to it and backed out after it had already started for no reason other than he personally doesn’t like their views. That’s just bad business.

          • allein

            Why do my paragraph breaks always disappear?!

          • http://twitter.com/wood757 The Woodman

            No, you are wrong in your interpretation.

            The fact are starkly clear. You are blaming him for what Camp Quest never explicitly told him up front. Then you are insisting he should not have taken Camp Quest’s *explicit* representations at face value. It does not compute.

            Furthermore, it is not discrimation to refuse to host an event at a private restaurant. The entire point is that this happened because of poor communication. In light of what is printed in black and white in the above story one cannot claim discrimination. The owner has no requirement to sponsor any event, particularly if he doesn’t have full information *up front*.

            This is nothing more than a communication problem and to represent it otherwise does a disservice to our atheist movement. Step back and look at it rationally.

            • allein

              His reason for cancelling the event – after it had already started and apparently intending to keep the extra proceeds from the customers who came in explicitly for this event – was because the people running it are atheists. The camp is not an “atheist” camp and the flier posted here does not misrepresent the purpose of the camp. I don’t know if they would have a legal case for discrimination if he had refused from the outset, but that doesn’t change the fact that he cancelled a business transaction on the basis of their religious views.

        • Artor

          You haven’t refuted anything I said. I know what “humanist” means, and most of the people I know know what “humanist” means. The OK Joe’s owner apparently didn’t know what humanist means, but that is his ignorance, and it is not Camp Quest’s responsibility to quiz him on his basic literacy before they talk to him. Sure, he might not draw conclusions from “it’s a science camp,” but the flyer he approved that clearly stated the motivations of free thought, scientific inquiry, and humanist values pretty explicitly gave him all the information he needed. If he can’t be bothered to look up words he doesn’t understand, then he has no business making contracts, verbal or otherwise.

          • http://twitter.com/wood757 The Woodman

            I’m afraid you don’t get it. To not provide the restaurant owner with the full brochure of Camp Quest *up front* that states their full position but instead just represents itself as a science camp is magically the restaurant owner’s fault?

            Come on. You need to think this through more carefully and understand the reality. We atheists are not known or jumping to conclusions and hanging onto them no matter the contrary evidence. That’s exactly what we spend our time fighting.

            • Artor

              No, I’m afraid you’re the one not getting it. Camp Quest is primarily a science camp. That’s what they do. Incidentally, they also promote humanist values, but it’s not like a church camp, where they pray to Dawkins or study the atheist catechism. So they initially represented themselves as running a science camp.

              Later, when they presented the flyer for approval, they gave full and detailed information to the owner of OK Joe’s, including their humanist perspective. That’s the point that the owner should have said, “Hey, this isn’t something I’m comfortable with. Maybe you should find a different venue.” Even if he approved it then, but changed his mind later, he had plenty of time to contact the organizers well ahead of the event, but he did not do so. Instead, he waited until the event was underway, and he had already taken money that was expected to go to Camp Quest. Then, when it was too late to reschedule or move the event, he pulled his support and told them to go away.

              It’s clear to me that Joe Davidson is a not particularly honest or well-educated bigot. Maybe he’s a really nice guy otherwise, but this incident shows his character pretty clearly. I’m a little bewildered why you’re standing up for him, even to the extent of characterizing my well-reasoned criticism as “magically the restaurant owner’s fault.” What contrary evidence are you talking about? Present it if you have some, but I’m not seeing any so far.

            • GCT

              Then, why are you doing exactly what you accuse others of doing? You’re a moron if you think CQ misrepresented themselves. They did not. Are they required to disclose any and all atheists that may work for them? Should all organizations need to disclose to this restaurant owner whether they have atheists working for them or have atheist friends before you’ll consider them having fully disclosed everything? This is ridiculous and you are only adding to the discrimination and religiously privileged atheophobic bigotry on display.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Franklin-Bacon/1403711134 Franklin Bacon

      It is rather difficult to describe some of the nonsupernatural/freethought/atheist/rationalist/skeptic groups as the list gets unwieldy. Without a list as long as your arm and disclaimers, even the members of many of these groups are unhappy with some the descriptions, which are not always mutually exclusive, but often meld together into a quasi intellectual or scientific conglomeration.

      • El Barto

        Nice seeing you at the convention Franklin. Remember the “Life Force Worshipers?”

    • Anonymouse

      With that same argument you could say that the owner should have been forthcoming of his religious beliefs and lack of wanting to help those who didn’t agree with them, no?

      • http://twitter.com/wood757 The Woodman

        Not at all. He’s a restaurant owner and very restaurat owner I have ever known works his/her butt off to stay in business. He had no reason to bring up his religios beliefs. It was represented to him as a science camp. Why would he have any reason to think religion or atheism was part of the conversation?

        • GCT

          It only became part of the conversation because there were atheists present and he’s a raging bigot. Stop defending bigotry.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

          He has every reason to bring up his religious beliefs if he is going to use them as a basis to kick out customers. How am I supposed to know whether I am going to be allowed to finish chewing the food I bought if he doesn’t inform me that a) He’s a Christian b) He’s a bigot c) He intends to break the law to discriminate against me?

    • GCT

      Why should we give slack to atheophobic bigots? Even if he had known and said, “No” from the outset, does that excuse atheophobic bigotry?

      • http://twitter.com/wood757 The Woodman

        Come on. Read carefully. There is no bigotry involved.

        • GCT

          No bigotry?

          The restaurant owner freaked out, not because there’s something wrong with the camp, but because there are *gasp* atheists that help to run the camp. That’s textbook bigotry. What the fuck is wrong with you?

        • El Barto

          I like your posts Woodman but I disagree that it wasn’t discrimination. It was. If Joe didn’t have any animosity about Atheists there would have been no controversy and Joe would not have invoked his “Christian Values” argument.

          I do agree with you that withholding the fact that Atheists were attending the event was the reason Joe’s bigotry came out at an inopportune moment. I believe the CQOK director only mentioned Secular Humanists and Humanists were attending with out mentioning that Atheists were also attending. Of course, when everyone showed up one of the Atheists inevitably mentioned they were an Atheist and that’s when the fireworks started.

          But Joe is a bigot, of that I have no doubt.

          Regards,

          Bart Meltzer

          • GCT

            I do agree with you that withholding the fact that Atheists were attending the event was the reason Joe’s bigotry came out at an inopportune moment.

            So, every organization that holds any sort of event must disclose whether an atheist may or may not attend the event to the hosts before any event ever happens from here on out? Fuck you moron. Why don’t you just suggest that atheists wear arm bands so that the bigots can more easily identify us?

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

              Yep, we need to advertise our beliefs so we can be discriminated against. Perhaps we should walk around in blackface to make it easier to pick us out.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

          Well, except for bigotry against atheists.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

      Not knowing what humanist means in this context is a lot like not knowing what mulatto means while kicking blacks out of your restaurant.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.greenlee.94 Jason Greenlee

    And don’t eat at Oklahoma Joe’s.

    • Tor

      And I don’t eat in Oklahoma.

      • http://skepticink.com/backgroundprobability/ Damion Reinhardt

        You mustn’t have heard about our Whataburger: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybIff5YIxBk

        • Tor

          I’ve never been to OK. Now maybe there is a reason!

        • JMac

          Did you notice what was on the window at 0:34? heh

          • http://skepticink.com/backgroundprobability/ Damion Reinhardt

            Yeah, they do that.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

          Why would I want to eat at a place that practices false advertising? Not for a minute do I believe that anyone would drive 600 miles for a hamburger.

  • Moonbeam

    Thank you Hemant, for writing this article. Come back to Tulsa, soon!

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    This is why you always, ALWAYS get an agreement IN WRITING!

    • coyotenose

      Very true, but a verbal contract still counts if you can prove it, and there’s plenty proof here.

    • Drew Pruitt

      A court would easily find there was a contract here. The sign Joe put on the window all but admits it, and it sounds like he acknowledged it to patrons that could easily testify. That wouldn’t be the problem. The problem is that Joe almost certainly has legal grounds to get out of the contract – either a “unilateral mistake” defense or a “frustration of purpose” defense.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ayanna.watson.9 Ayanna Watson

        I would argue that that neither of these defenses are available to the restaurant. Frustration of purpose is unavailable to the restaurant, as none of the elements can satisfied. I can’t see any court entertaining that defense. Similarly, a unilateral mistake defense will likely fail, as the information is clearly on the approved marketing material and on the company’s website.

        If they were to move forward with a legal action, the restaurant would likely be required to pay 10% of any sales that were made prior to the time the event was cancelled.

        They likely won’t move forward with any legal action, as the cost of doing so is probably outweighed by the money CQ would have received prior to the restaurant backing out the agreement.

        -AW-

      • 3lemenope

        A serious problem is that Joe already got oodles of consideration in the form of free advertising for the restaurant, not to mention business. The purpose of a restaurant entering into arrangements like this is access to advertising and increased business from the people interested in the event, and Joe received both of these things, so he cannot legitimately claim frustration of purpose. He probably can’t claim unilateral mistake, either, because the terms of satisfaction of the contract seem pretty clear (you get advertising and business from the event, we get 10% of the proceeds).

        Joe pretty clearly is claiming that Camp Quest misrepresented itself and the nature of the event. And that would be a hard row to hoe.

  • Artor

    What I get from this is that Joe Davidson doesn’t know what “humanist,” means, and it wasn’t until someone whispered to him, “Psst! It’s another word for atheist devil worshipers!” that he suddenly got his knickers in a knot & complained he wasn’t told what they were about, even though it’s printed right there on the flyer.
    It’s kind of like on Easter, lots of Xians were upset that Google was honoring an Communist dictator on Easter, and it became clear that most of them couldn’t tell Cesar Chavez from Hugo Chavez.
    If a breach-of-contract suit isn’t in order here, I hope Oklahoma Joe’s takes a big bad hit of publicity for breaking his word & being generally ignorant.

  • Tracy

    I really want my daughter to go to this camp!! Did you see all the activities?! And damn, I kinda want to go myself! Too bad I’m in Canada.

    • Becky

      There are CQs all around the country–CQ NorthWest is just over the BC border in WA state, and other CQs have hosted international campers in past years :)

  • Hominin

    Thanks for this, Hemant.

    It wasn’t just the sign. Several of us were already there, had shown them the flyers, paid for our food, and expected the 10% to go to Camp Quest. The event was supposed to last for four hours. We’d been there for one hour, and were waiting for the others to show up when the owner asked one of the camp directors to speak to him outside. They were outside for a good twenty minutes, and when they came back in the camp director said, “We’re going to have to leave, they don’t want us here”. Now I know that’s not the same as the owner himself saying it within my earshot, but I don’t have any reason to think the camp director would lie. And two people were hovering around our table and began gathering up our plates directly after this. Pretty clear signals.

    Also there was no mention until I went and asked of what would happen to the 10%. This is how my conversation with the owner went:

    Me: “Hi, we were part of the group that just left, and I was just wondering…I paid with the expectation that 10% would be donated to this cause, so is there anything you can do? What’s going to happen to that 10%?”

    Joe: “You want your money back?”

    Me: “Just the 10%…is there any way you can just give that back, or donate it anyway?”

    Joe: “Listen. I’ll give you your money back, and you can do whatever you want with it. I just can’t support it.”

    (At this point I’m wondering what he’s supporting–considering it’s our money, which he wouldn’t be getting at all tonight except for this fundraiser.)

    Me: “I don’t want all of it back. I ate your food, I’ll pay for it. I just want the 10% back so it can be donated as I was promised it would be.”

    So he gave me the 10% back, and I donated it to Camp Quest.

    Another thing I want to make clear: we were not obvious. We were not recruiting. At the time it all happened we were talking about music, for crying out loud. It’s not so much that they kicked us out. It is a private business, and they can be bigots if they want to. It’s that they agreed to hold this and had plenty of time to ask questions and seek clarification if they were uneasy about something. Waiting a full hour into the event, letting the attendees pay and (in some cases) leave thinking their money is going to a cause, and then saying, oh never mind, get out, and we’re not donating the money either–now THAT is wrong.

    • Josh Nankivel

      Do you think the owner was ignorant or felt misled, or knew all along and planned it this way?

      • Tracy

        As a server myself, I have experience with “family run restaurants” and typically they are ignorant. Not all, but most that I have worked with. I would say he was ignorant. Too bad everyone didn’t ask for their 10% so that they could donate it to CQ.

      • Hominin

        I don’t think he planned it, but I don’t think he was misled. Even if he didn’t know that secular, freethinker, humanist, and non-religious can mean atheist, he should not have backed out of his agreement an hour after the event started, he should not have told us he couldn’t go through with the donations after we’d already paid him, and he should not have made these decisions based not on the merits of the camp but on the use of the “a-word”. It now seems clear, based on his further statements tonight, that the very fact that some of us were atheists and nothing about the camp itself led to his decision. That’s discrimination.

        • A Portlander

          Agreed. Additionally, these things aren’t just charitable giving opportunities for the charity, they’re advertising drives for the restaurant. Camp Quest held up their end of the bargain by driving customers in the door; Davidson isn’t just a bigot, he’s a cheat.

    • GCT

      “It’s not so much that they kicked us out. It is a private business, and they can be bigots if they want to.”

      Actually, they can be personally bigoted, but they can’t refuse service based on protected traits, and religious preference is one of them. IOW, they can’t kick you out or refuse service because you’re atheist.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jason.lentz.94 Jimmie Rustles

        Doesn’t sound like they did that though. The owner said everyone was free to stay.

        I don’t agree with his decision, but I don’t think he did anything legally wrong.

        • GCT

          Breach of contract is legally wrong.

          Also, the people running the event have said they were told to leave, which is legally wrong.

          • Drew Pruitt

            There are affirmative defenses to enforcing a contract, and I think there are two that apply here. (FWIW, I’m a law student. That means I know more than most, but less than I think.)

            First off, Joe had a right to decline the fundraiser on the ground that he doesn’t support the charity. That being the case, Joe could raise the affirmative defense of a unilateral mistake – that is, Joe was mistaken about a material component of the contract (namely, what kind of charity the fundraiser was supporting), and the other party “knew or should have known” of the mistake. I think most judges, and certainly any jury in Oklahoma, would say that an atheist charity “knew or should have known” that small business owners in the bible belt might care that the charity they’re donating to has an atheistic religious tilt.

            • GCT

              They don’t. They are secular. Additionally, his stated reason wasn’t that there was something wrong with the charity, but that there was something wrong with the people running it – namely, that those people are atheists. This seems a pretty clear cut case of discrimination and bigotry.

            • baal

              “Joe had a right to decline the fundraiser on the ground that he doesn’t support the charity”

              no no no. Please google “protected class” & “public accommodation” and then take a class on remedy & damages.

              Also, modern contract theory gets you into “contract” pretty easily at the merest whiff of agreement. It’s more than clear that there was a contract here given the discourse on the meaning of the 10%. apriori likelihood of discrimination is not a defense to discrimination either.

              Regardless of the legal side, the negative press and likely loss of business is going to hit the restauranteur pretty hard.

              • wilkero

                Putting aside the issue of the damages for the moment, CQ might not even need a contract with Joe’s in order to recover. CQ may have a case against Joe’s for unjust enrichment. If Joe’s acquired any additional profit that evening, it’s presumably due to CQ’s promotion of the event. Especially since Joe’s didn’t do anything extra to promote the event or itself.

                • http://www.facebook.com/presto.chango.102 Presto Chango

                  CQ should simply take the high ground here and not try to recover anything from Muskogee Joe’s nor issue any negative statements. If anything, say “We respect Joe’s opinion…etc”. And remember the words or the great philosopher Burroughs:
                  “Never do business with a religious son-of-a-b****. His word ain’t worth a s*** — not with the Good Lord telling him how to f*** you on the deal.”

              • CatBallou

                No, this restaurant is going to get LOTS of business and support from the community.

              • CoffeyC

                I think you are right in your legal analysis, and that it isn’t likely to be worth pursuing further than spreading the story around. I think you are wrong about Joe’s suffering any ill effects, though. Logically and morally, there is no argument where the owner does not come out as an intolerant bigot; but, I’m pretty sure that there are far more god-fearing Christians who will see it as their duty to support Joe’s, and go slurp his Sauce, than there are secularists who are unwilling to pay so high a price for BBQ in A-hole OK.

                Move on, and use it as an example to teach the kids about intolerance and bigotry, and how unnecessary, and unproductive, and painful pointless insults to human dignity can be.

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

              Wouldn’t there be a defense that the owner “should have known” that Freethinkers include Atheists?

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

              So everyone should assume every business in Oklahoma is run by bigots?

          • Marjoriemargarine

            Actually, this is a lot trickier than it seems. It’s unclear what the contract was or if there even was one, or what the damages would be. We don’t know how many people would have showed up, how much they would have ordered, or what they would have spent. It seems unlikely that the cost of a lawsuit would be worth recovering at most, a few hundred dollars, plus it would make CQ look rather petty.

            It doesn’t appear that the people were asked to leave, it appears they were told the owner wasn’t going to honor the agreement.

            All I’m saying is that legal responses aren’t always the right answer. By all means, take this story viral, let everyone know what a welcher this guy is, and keep the friendly humanists looking like the persecuted minority that they are- not like litigious bastards.

            • amycas

              I don’t think going to court over a breach of contract makes one a litigious bastard, but I do agree that it probably wouldn’t be worth the cost.

            • GCT

              Whether it goes to court or not, it’s still legally wrong, which was my point. It’s discrimination (legally wrong) as well as breach of contract (legally wrong).

      • Blacksheep

        They didn’t refuse service to anyone, did they?

        • 3lemenope

          Nah, they just took their money and then got cold feet when they “found out” just what sort of people they were feeding.

          You know, just like Jesus feeding the multitude. And by just like, I mean exactly the opposite.

        • Kengi

          If hosting an event is a service they provide, then yes, they refused service to a group based upon the religious preferences of that group.

        • GCT

          The reports I’ve seen indicate that people were asked to leave and/or made to feel unwelcome.

    • http://benny-cemoli.myopenid.com/ Benny Cemoli

      Waiting a full hour into the event, letting the attendees pay and (in
      some cases) leave thinking their money is going to a cause, and then
      saying, oh never mind, get out, and we’re not donating the money
      either–now THAT is wrong.

      No, that is illegal. I would suggest that you consult with your legal representatives as to what course of action you can take to force Joe into coughing up the money that he promised to donate to Camp Quest Oklahoma.

    • baal

      “It’s not so much that they kicked us out. It is a private business, and they can be bigots if they want to”

      Even if it’s family run restaurant, they are a public accommodation and not ‘private’ as far as discrimination law goes.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

      So he was planning on keeping the 10% unless he was specifically asked for it? Seems like he is running a false charity if he doesn’t make sure every dime he collected goes to the Camp.

    • DesertSun59

      People have rights. Beliefs don’t have rights.

  • Tracy

    Invisible Unicorn Challenge! OMG, I might just go and make this trip! LOL, I LOVE it!! (added bonus of no damn religious studies!)

  • CQMI

    Camp Quest’s purpose:

    “Camp Quest was conceived, and has been operated for the past ten years, as a summer camp for the children of the irreligious, for those who have accepted Atheism, or lack of a belief in a supernatural world, by whatever name such may be called, as a conclusion, not as a belief.
    As such, Camp Quest, while admitting children of any backgrounds who might want to come, has been quite clear that it exists for the children of the irreligious.
    While there is no doubt a great need for ecumenicalism and accommodation of all belief systems, this is not the reason for the existence of Camp Quest.
    While we do strive to acquaint our campers with the basic views of various religions, we created Camp Quest to provide our children with a safe haven for non-belief, as a refuge for the irreligious.
    We attempt to provide our children with a night light in a dark and scary room, and to attempt to strengthen them to live in a world largely controlled by doctrines of faith, not by doctrines of reason.
    Camp Quest staff should share this understanding of the world, even if all campers or their families do not.
    We do not teach any camper not to believe in god. However, as one camper put it, we do teach them that “It is okay not to believe in god.”
    All Camp Quests should make a good faith effort to help and cooperate with each other, keeping forever in mind that the purpose of our endeavor is to attempt to make the future better for our children who are our only future.” Edwin and Helen Kagin, Founders of Camp Quest, December 22, 2005 C.E.

  • wesuilmo

    Is this in any way related to the Oklahoma Joe’s in KC? I hope not, they have the best BBQ in town.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      It’s definitely not the one in KC. Eat there all you want.

    • NG

      You just haven’t eaten at Brobeck’s. (And I hate BBQ.)

      • dorcheat

        Not to mention Arthur Bryant’s in Kansas City.

  • Tracy

    sorry, there’s world religions.. which is what my daughter learns in her Waldorf school. ALLL the religions. Then she can choose what she wants to believe.. so this is still great!

  • CQMI

    If the restaurant asked them to leave, CQOK should talk to an attorney. Judging from the sign in the window, “cancelled” means exactly that — their dinner was interrupted and cancelled because of the owner’s religious beliefs.

  • fariasrv

    Four words for next time: GET IT IN WRITING.

    If the contribution agreement had been in writing, rather than verbal, then the owner would have been in breach of contract.

    • 3lemenope

      He likely is in breach of contract now. The existence of the contribution agreement was evidenced by the flyer AND the posted notice, so neither party can reasonably dispute either the existence or the terms of the agreement. The actual dispute over whether the contract is enforceable (if it actually went to litigation and it was established that the contract was made by competent parties has the necessary constituent elements: offer, acceptance, and consideration) would be over the owner’s assertion that the contract was predicated on misrepresentation of material facts as to the nature of the other party. Of course, that is thin gruel, because the nature of Camp Quest is easily accessible and publicly accessible, and there are generally duties of each party to minimal diligence to prevent just that sort of claim (e.g. if you can Google the nature of the other party in five seconds and a sneeze, it’s hard to argue you were deceived).

      Of course, local law can have any number of wrinkles, IANAL, this is not legal advice, yadda-yadda-yadda, etc.. But this is basic oral contract stuff. It’s better to go talk to a lawyer to see what your options are than to just assume that you have no options.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    “This is a Christian-based, family-owned business.”

    Was Joe forthcoming with that? Or do people have to figure out that non-Christians are ‘served’ but not ‘welcome’.

  • A3Kr0n

    More Christian love than I can stand this evening. I’m going to bed.

  • Josh Nankivel the Atheist

    Reading what the PR director for American Atheists wrote, I think this is overblown and the restaurant owner was perfectly reasonable. If I owned a restaurant and group said they were a “science camp” and then I found out the day of it was actually a “Christian science camp” I would have done the same thing this owner did.

    • Josh Nankivel the Atheist

      That said, I think CampQuest is awesome, donate!

    • Hominin

      How about “secular”, “humanist”, freethought”, and “non-religious”? Because that’s what he was told.

      • Josh Nankivel

        I wasn’t there, but it’s possible he was ignorant about what some of those words meant, and non-religious can mean different things. A baseball team is non-religious. Clearly, camp quest is among other things, about questioning religion and other belief systems. I think it plausible that the owner simply didn’t realize what it was about until the last minute. If so, then I would have done the same thing in his shoes if this were a spiritual/religious camp and I felt misled.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

          Three words: breach of contract.

          You can’t agree to something and then back out after the thing has been in session for an hour.

          He had ample time to research and decide whether or not to be involved in this. If he didn’t that is his own fault. He is still obligated to uphold his part of the contract, regardless of his Christian values. (Plus, I’m pretty damn sure Christ Himself wouldn’t have pulled such a douchey move…)

        • nojinx

          Why do you think CQ is about questioning belief systems?

        • Hominin

          Camp Quest isn’t about questioning religious values. Its focus is science. It doesn’t teach religion, but it doesn’t each AGAINST it either. It’s a safe place for kids who don’t want to go to church camp, and anyone else as well. On the news story tonight Joe Davidson said, “The camp might not be about atheism, but a lot of the people working at it are atheists”. That’s discrimination. That is blatant discrimination.

        • Sheesh

          Josh, “secular” and “humanist” are relentlessly used as scare words on Fox News and in practically every other form of right-wing and Christian media and conversation there is.

          Even if he didn’t know the dictionary definitions of the words he still should have known that they represented the non-Christian bogeyman he was supposed to fear and loathe.

          “I would have done the same thing”

          Then you would deserve the same opprobrium.

    • Josh

      I could be wrong though. The two sides of the story are very different. Truth is probably in between.

      • Sheesh

        Of course. As Wikipedia puts in in its article on the argument to moderation:

        “”Some would say that hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet, but others claim it is a toxic and dangerous substance. The truth must therefore be somewhere in between.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

      “Christian Science” and “Science” are not the same thing. Christian science is a euphemism for religion. There is no difference between “Secular science”, “atheist science” and “science”. So in your case you would have been lied to. Despite that fact you still would be in the wrong. As a business owner you have not right to discriminate against a Christian Science camp.

  • Hominin

    Aaaand he was just on the local news, lying like crazy. He’s claiming now we were passing out flyers and “pushing our views”. Uh, no. We were eating beef and talking about sports and music.

    • coyotenose

      Ugh, what a slimeball. I hope somebody got video showing people just hanging out and enjoying a meal.

    • Anonymous

      He must have forgotten the part about false witness.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nathan-Phoenix/100001009669803 Nathan Phoenix

    Look, more Christians-in-name-only. Not a Christian myself but have read the Bible and that Christ guy in it did all kinds of stuff to help people no matter what their beliefs, race, caste, etc. It would stand to reason that a real Christian would act like the Christ they claim to follow.

    • GCT

      Actually, Jesus spent most of his time condemning his opponents to hell.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cory-Gage/591483866 Cory Gage

    “When Joe arrived at the restaurant this afternoon, he was handed a flyer that said CQ was about building a community for atheist, agnostic, and freethinking families.”

    Can you please tell me where on the flyer it says this?

  • Beau in Tulsa

    ah yes.. hypocrisy at its best… Joe won’t donate to worthy causes, but he’ll take money from the patrons at Cain’s Ballroom, the yearly host of Tulsa’s Freaker’s Ball… a mish mash of everything christian Joe stands against.

    What a tool.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Franklin-Bacon/1403711134 Franklin Bacon

    No written agreement? Since he still serves atheists, this presents a thorny problem, since one cannot be sure there are any legal protections for simply an oral agreement.

    • baal

      The camp quest fundraiser people relied on the representations of the business owner. The CQ folks didn’t make up the 10% number from thin air – they got that from the business owner. Those 2 facts are enough basis to prove a contract existed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Ckiecrumb Lori Kearns Wilke

    I just donated! Hopefully they will earn more because this happened and it will benefit them more.

    • JMac

      I just did the same, and I said as much in the comment I sent with my payment.

  • Chas Stewart

    Thank you so much for highlighting this. My nephew absolutely loved Camp Quest OK and I know that they need every bit of help they can to provide such a rich experience for our children. Hopefully, they can make lemonade out of this though.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Typical christianist. Can’t admit that he Fucked up, nooo…So lie, blame the innocent party and screw everyone else over to save face. Great “witness”!

  • Robert Fox

    what fuck its his restaurant he can do what he wants lol this is america

    • TheG

      Obvious troll is obvious.

      And ignorant.

    • The Other Weirdo

      So if he owned a bus line and refused to allow a black man on after selling him a ticket online, he can do what he wants? Or Jews? Or Hispanics? Or Chinese? Or Arabs? Or Germans? Or Russians? Or Japanese?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Westmoreland/524542944 Christopher Westmoreland

    Okay… I read this, and two things first and foremost. The ‘Christian’ philosophy the owner was talking about isn’t a ‘Christian’ philosophy. If he wanted to follow the Christian philosophy as laid down by Jesus of Nazareth then he would have supported the cause. That might sound odd, but according to the part of the Bible Christians are supposed to follow, the New Testament, it states that we’re all supposed to treat each other as we would ourselves. We’re also not to ridicule other beliefs or lack there of, but rather show through example. Unfortunately that little tidbit is often neglected.

    So, was he following the “Christian” philosophy? No, he was following his own misguided one. So what does this say about me? I was raised as a holiness pennicostal, became a Southern Baptist, and then I went on to study a whole mess of religions. So, I’m a human, who believes in a higher power, but in no way, shape, or form am I going to force anyone to believe otherwise. Nor am i going to go back on my word if I give.it.

    Do unto others, treat thy neighbors as thyself, and my personal favorite Don’t be a douche.

    • JL

      Dear Christopher,

      Would you perform surgery? No, you wouldn’t, you’d leave it to the doctors.

      Similarly, leave the biblical exegesis to the experts. A theologian you are not.

      • coyotenose

        Yet you can’t actually refute him, only complain about your inability to refute him.

        • Anonymous

          If you are willing to engage in this sort of fallacy, the No True Scotsman Fallacy, then you can’t claim that America is Christian nation. Since so few of the folks that call themselves Christian will end up being your flavor of True Christian.

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            Coyotenose isn’t claiming that America is a “Christian nation”. Xe is, however, pointing out that this JL fellow has no rebuttal to Christopher’s well-made points above.

            • Anonymous

              I wasn’t saying that he WAS calling America a Christian nation. I was saying that his definition of Christian is very restrictive. I really think it is an example of No True Scotsman. However, if it isn’t, and you think that he is right to define a true Christian philosophy so narrowly as he does, then you have to accept that the percentage of people applying true Christian philosophy is very small. If you want to do that, then fine. Know that you aren’t using words the same way that most people are using them, and know that this makes true Christians quite a small minority in the US.

              The commenter wanted to emphasize the “good” parts of the Bible and throw out the rest. On the face of it, this requires an outside morality to inform how you pick and choose. You can’t accept it all, since it is repeatedly contradictory.

              For some reason, the commenter emphasized the New Testament. He ignores “not one jot or tittle”. Even if you somehow through mental gymnastics claim that “not one jot or tittle” didn’t actually mean “not one jot or tittle”, you still have a lot of other hilariously contradictory and downright evil content in the NT. Oh, and “if any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema” is certainly in the NT in my copy of the Bible. Maybe not his, since he thinks his seems to indicate that his “states that we’re all supposed to treat each other as we would ourselves”. Maybe he wants to be Anathema.

      • Kengi

        JL is right.

        I get this all the time when discussing invisible flying pink unicorns. I’ve studied IFPU’s for 27 years now, and people come along and think their opinion means just as much as mine after only minutes of thought!

        • JL

          When attempting to decipher the meaning opf Finnegan’s Wake, I’ll take the opinion of a James Joyce scholar over some clown on the internet any day.

          • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

            Those are not equivalent things. Finnegan’s Wake actually makes sense compared to the Bible.

            • JL

              Thanks for your opinion.

          • Kengi

            Exactly! When discussing invisible magic sky gods, always defer to the experts on invisible magic sky gods.

      • Matt Delemos

        Either the bible is a collection of stories written by men, which explains why you think experts are needed to understand it…..or it’s a holy book that anyone can read and understand.
        So which is it?

        • JL

          You have a ridiculously simple and binary view of things.

          • JL

            The laws of the natural sciences are knowable. This doesn’t mean everyone knows them, and we should defer to those who are experts.

            • Matt Delemos

              Let’s try again.
              Out of two people who’ve read the bible, one of them is considered an expert. Please explain which one, since you clearly consider it possible. I can tell you what it would take to be a student in many “natural sciences”….can you do the same for the supernatural?

              • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                Oh, I like that one! It’s about 20 lines shorter than my rant about oncologists vs. priests.

              • JL

                I’d argue you’re working under a false dichotomy. The categories you present are not mutually exclusive. A text can be holy, divinely inspired, and contain fundamental truths while simultaneously being written by men who belonged to a particular culture, time, setting, etc. These temporal realities reflect the way in which these authors wrote, and thus, in order to get to these allegedly divinely inspired truths (a premise not solely rooted in the text itself, and therefore not circular), one needs to have an understanding of the particular genre, the particular audience the author was writing for, the particular historical context, the particular metaphors and symbolism used, etc, etc. Someone who has a professional academic background in such exegesis is therefore, I would argue, a more credible interpreter than some bum who picks up a text written 2000 years ago on a different continent and thinks they can understand it perfectly.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Put two professionals with academic backgrounds in such exegesis who have differing views on some aspect in a room. Add a third expert, and let the two convince the third of their position using something other than faith.

                  Do the same thing with oncologists.

                  In the first case, two people who know all the background and history and context can still disagree, and have no way at all of reaching agreement on what God wants.

                  In the latter case, two people who understand the required science can at least make an argument that a third expert can use to reach a conclusion based on something other than faith.

                  (maybe we do need my rant- although it remains to be seen if it works)

                • JL

                  Hi Rich. I guess I’m missing your point. Academic theologians can certainly come to different conclusions, but my point is that they are professionally trained to engage with the text in a way that makes them far more qualified to make interpretations of the Bible than are average people. So yes, there is room for disagreement (and there certainly is), but I’ll still take the word of someone with some degree of advanced exegesis over some random on the internet who opens the Bible to a random page, places his finger on a random word, and thinks God is speaking to him.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  The history of the documents involved, and the original languages, and the cultural norms at the times of authorship are all very important.

                  But an expert with all of this still isn’t any closer to knowing what God supposedly wants. Evidence being experts can’t nearly agree on most of it.

                  There are very learned scholars who think Muhammad rose to heaven on a winged horse, or that Joseph Smith translated some Gold disk with the help of a seer stone in a sack. They’re all reading, and relying on, the same bible (and extra documents that are also the inspired word of God. In fact, their documents have a more direct lineage from God than the bible does).

                  Whatever argument you make to dismiss their claims of knowledge apply equally to the claims of any Christian scholar.

          • Matthew Delemos

            Calling me simple isn’t an answer. Try again.

        • Billy C

          I read neither Hebrew nor Greek, so at the very least I need experts in ancient languages to provide a translation for my understanding.

          So if those are the only two choices, I’m gonna have to go with the first.

      • Sven2547

        Theology is like Wikipedia. Anyone can edit it.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          Errors in wikipedia tend to get fixed a lot faster.

      • http://bit.ly/glUAR7 Calladus

        Courtier’s Reply.

        In other words, surgery is not an equivalent to theology. If you want an analogy that works, compare theology to the study of the tooth fairy.

    • GCT

      If he wanted to follow Jesus, he would have screeched at them that they are going to hell.

    • Anonymous

      Your fallacy is…http://goo.gl/ewG9t

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

      That’s your brand of Christianity. Unfortunately the vast majority of Christians throughout history have not interpreted the bible this way. Mainly because it is self contradictory on how to treat others. So basically, anything goes from Catholic Inquisitor and witch burner to Amish pacifist.

  • El Barto

    I can’t believe anyone is shocked about this. It’s rural Oklahoma. Those Christians rarely if ever run into any Atheist they know about. They literally think we’re all devil worshipers because they don’t know any better. At least many of them think that way.

    Anyone remember the Smallkowskies from Hardesty, OK. up in the pan handle? It’s still on YouTube.

    If the CQ staff did not tell them upfront that CQ is a camp for Atheistic kids then this was completely predictable. Illegal, but predictable. I would have bet good money on it.

    Always use the “A” word when representing an organization that caters primarily to Atheists.

    • Chas Stewart

      Broken Arrow is hardly rural Oklahoma and doesn’t compare well to Hardesty, OK. The Eversoles never hide what Camp Quest is about and because of a very last minute reversal, they lost an opportunity to raise funds (and we’re close to summer so it’s crunch time) so let’s make up for that.

      • El Barto

        My apologies, I thought Broken Arrow is more rural that it is, but the attitudes in Oklahoma are pretty common. I lived in Edmond for six years and even though Edmond isn’t rural it was pretty bad. That’s the town that got taken to the SCOTUS for the cross on the city emblem. They lost and then the Christians went nuts and there were crosses everywhere. They hate Atheists.

        If the CQ staff used the term “Secular Humanist” I would bet the owner had no idea what that was until someone told him it meant Atheist. Because this person was clearly a bigot and ignorant, he was surprised and reacted as I would expect.

        If you don’t tell them up front that the camp caters to Atheists then this is what you should expect. Hiding behind the word Secular Humanist risks this kind of situation.

        • GCT

          It’s not hiding. Secular humanist is not the same as atheist.

        • Chas Stewart

          Yeah, Edmond is where I grew up. That was an incredible time for Edmond but now I would expect less vitriol.

          I would also consider that maybe CQOK doesn’t want to identify as an atheist organization in order to appeal to a wider range of free thinkers. Some people detest the name and want to be seen as anything but an atheist so I can understand them wanting to make it more broad. But I see your point.

          • GCT

            Or, maybe they aren’t identifying as an atheist organization because they aren’t one.

          • El Barto

            Well that’s what I’ve run into quite a bit with other Atheists. They’re afraid of using the “A” word. I understand the fear but it’s something that we should all do because the more prevalent we are in society, the more people will see us as just everyday people, not much different than them.

            I was stationed at Tinker A.F.B. from 1993 to 1999 and watched the Cross fiasco on the city seal and then the 157 foot cross at Metro Church on second street and I-35. That cross is one hideous piece of shit.

            • GCT

              Get this through your thick skull – they are not an atheist organization. There’s no reason for them to use the “A” word because it’s inaccurate.

              • El Barto

                Lol….. If there are Atheists in the organization then the “A” word is very appropriate and important.

                The director of CQOK told Joe that there will be “Humanist” and “Secular Humanist” attending but didn’t mention “Atheist?” Why not?
                “Atheists” is in the goals of CQ on their main web page and Atheists attended the event at Joe’s. Seems like they were misrepresented.

                Anyone who is the least bit familiar with CQ knows it isn’t strictly an Atheist organization, but Atheism is a strong part of it and it was founded by Atheists for Atheists.

                One should be proud they are Atheists and never hide from it.

                Regards,

                Bart Meltzer

                • GCT

                  Lol….. If there are Atheists in the organization then the “A” word is very appropriate and important.

                  Then, let the witch hunt begin! Let’s make sure that all organizations are aware of whether they have atheists in their ranks or not and disclose all the atheists they have before any business dealing. Moron. Oh, while we’re at it, they should also have to account for whether someone might show up for the even that is an atheist or has atheist friends. Are you sure your last name is Meltzer and and McCarthy?

  • TheG

    I think what everyone here is missing in the debate of freedom of conscience vs. contract law is the morality. Is the owner obligated to go against his own faith? Possibly not before he agreed to the fundraiser. Is the contract enforceable after arrangements were made in good faith? I hope so, but I can’t guarantee it.

    What is important isn’t even that a person (ignore the religion) is discriminating against someone for a class that society deems worthy of protecting.

    The most important thing that we should keep in mind is being honest in all dealings with other people. Ol’ Joe in OK might even say it the Christian thing to do…

    Or, at the very least, if he isn’t going to follow Jesus, he should follow Horton.

    “I meant what I said and I said what I meant. And an elephant’s truthful, one hundred per cent!”

    • baal

      When you’re in a business of public accommodation, you’re stuck with non-discrimination against protected classes so far as the business side of things is concerned. That means if you ever host fundraisers as a business, you cannot change your mind about about a protected class group and stop an event.

      • TheG

        Yes, legally, that is very important. The point is that it shouldn’t be a factor at all. The owner should be motivated by honesty and honor. The religion factors should be irrelevant. It is too bad that more Christians don’t in a Christian manner (although, some would argue he is acting in an explicitly Christian manner…)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

      How is not giving an atheist a sandwich they are willing to pay for when you are a running a business against the Christian faith? How is screwing a charity out of their proceeds part of the Christian faith.? Explain it to me.

  • Davio

    “With that said…You can stay here” In other words, “you can stay here and spend your money to support me.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=71303210 Roy Rouell

    I agree with what Camp Quest is trying to do. As someone who does have faith, most would call me a Christian but I had that word, I believe that we need more people that make their decisions to better the world. For pete’s sake, that is something that Jesus Christ taught. He even basically taught a kind of separation of church and state. “Give to Caesar that which is Caesars and to God that which is God’s” happens to be one of his statements. I am also smart enough to look back into history and see how many times Church and State being mixed meant death and destruction for all. It is still that way in so many countries that do not separate their religions from their governments. I just hate that so many “Christians” think that faith is supposed to be blind and willfully stupid.

  • http://www.facebook.com/headybrew Paul Jackson

    Let them know what you think on Yelp:
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/oklahoma-joes-bbq-broken-arrow

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

      Seems as likely to help business, since they’re in Oklahoma.

  • JL

    Quick question. How many of you would be upset with the business owner in the following situation:

    “The fundraiser involved a request for the restaurant to make a contribution to Camp Care.

    He asked what it was, and was told it was a science camp for kids, and he agreed to do that. This was a couple of weeks ago.

    The organizers made a flyer, submitted it to the restaurant, and it was approved. It did not mention anything about CC’s values, ethics, or anything like that.

    When Joe arrived at the restaurant this afternoon, he was handed a flyer that said CC was about building a community for Christians, fundies, and creationist families.

    He said to the organizer, “Joseph, I need to visit with you, here’s the deal. This is a Atheist-based, family-owned business. I cannot support nor make a contribution to the cause. With that said, as an American, I support your right to believe anything you want to. You can stay here, but I cannot personally contribute.”

    None of you? That’s what I thought. Now sit down and STFU.

    • PietPuk

      Thank you for your very unhelpful, incoherent strawman argument.
      Maybe you should do a little more research or take the time to actually read the blogpost befor posting.

      • JL

        Yawn. I simply took a statement from David Muscato and flipped the terminology. You need to read his statement in the above blog post. Then get back to me.

        • GCT

          And, you need to learn how to read for comprehension and follow the actual facts.

        • Reginald Selkirk

          Then get back to me.

          Get back to us when you comprehend the distinction between a personal contribution and a business activity. And not until.

          • JL

            According to your logic, if a group approached a business and asked them to participate in a fundraiser, they would be legally obligated to do so. False. Businesses can pick and choose who they collaborate with to their heart’s content.

        • PietPuk

          Thank you for your very unhelpful, incoherent strawman argument.
          Maybe you should do a little more research or take the time to actually read the blogpost befor posting.

    • DrVanNostrand

      The flyer clearly states the values and goals of Camp Quest, so your
      idiotic rant only proves that you’re as functionally illiterate as the
      owners of the BBQ joint.

      Furthermore, the owner could easily make
      up some kind of bigotry questionnaire if he’s so fucking worried. Does
      your group support any of the following?:
      Satanism
      Atheism
      Gays
      Racial mixing
      Democrats
      Socialism
      etc…

      Cancelling in the middle of the event is shitty, unethical behavior.

      • JL

        The flyer submitted beforehand was demonstrably different than one distributed during the event, one that stated the organization “was about building a community for atheist, agnostic, and freethinking families.”

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

          Produce the fliers and prove it.

        • DrVanNostrand

          The original flyer points to “freethought”, “scientific inquiry”, and “humanist values”. Any idiot would know that it’s likely that the group contains many atheists and agnostics. Googling, or simply asking the organizers would have confirmed this. Unfortunately, in addition to being raging bigots, you and the owner are dumber than a sack of hammers.

          • JL

            Did you guys miss this part of the post above?

            “Dave Muscato of American Atheists spoke with Davidson earlier tonight and got afew more details on the matter — but they don’t change the situation at all:

            The fundraiser involved a request for the restaurant to make a contribution to Camp Quest.

            He asked what it was, and was told it was a science camp for kids, and he agreed to do that. This was a couple of weeks ago.

            The organizers made a flyer, submitted it to the restaurant, and it was approved. It did not mention anything about CQ’s values, ethics, or anything like that.

            When Joe arrived at the restaurant this afternoon, he was handed a flyer that said CQ was about building a community for atheist, agnostic, and freethinking families.

            He said to the organizer, “Joseph, I need to visit with you, here’s the deal. This is a Christian-based, family-owned business. I cannot support nor make a contribution to the cause. With that said, as an American, I support your right to believe anything you want to. You can stay here, but I cannot personally contribute.”

            He emphasized that no one was kicked out nor asked to leave; the restaurant owners did however decline to contribute a donation (10% of the proceeds from what I understand) to CQ as previously verbally agreed.”

            “building a community for atheist, agnostic, and freethinking families.” is demonstrably different than promoting “freethought, scientific inquiry, and humanist values” (which are all concepts that , if not originating within the Christian tradition [see Petrarch (widely considered the father of humanism), Gregor Mendel (father of genetic theory), Georges Lemetaire (father of the big bang), are at least not incompatible with it.

            • DrVanNostrand

              First of all, I didn’t realize that anyone else building their own communities was anti-Christian. Thanks for the info.

              Secondly, Muscato also talked to the CQ organizer: “They went back and talked to the owner, Paige Davidson. They told her what the camp did, how they promote it, that CQ-OK is a science & education camp for children 8-17, used the words “secular humanist,” said they do not discriminate, said they are specifically a science camp, they do not promote religion, they do not promote atheism, they do not indoctrinate kids; they are solely about science.

              They were asked, “Are you religious?” She answered, “I used to be,” said she was trying to find a camp in the Bible Belt that doesn’t focus on religion and that’s how she got involved with Camp Quest.

              They said, give us some info and we’ll see what we can do. She gave them a letter that she gives to all donors with info about CQ, their 501(c)(3) status, her business card, etc. From my understanding it is clear from this information that they are a secular, non-religious organization.”

              CQ was completely upfront about what their camps do and what their main mission is. The restaurant was provided all the information they needed to do their own research about whether this was a group they could support. After all that, they cancelled in the middle of the event and tried to pocket proceeds from all the customers WHO WERE ONLY THERE TO SUPPORT THE CHARITABLE CAUSE. Your efforts to defend vile bigotry and breach of contract have been noted.

    • Baby_Raptor

      Except that your little strawman has one giant difference: This man is lying about CQ not making their beliefs clear to cover his own ass. The flyer that the guy signed off on is right there in the blog post…Assuming you’re capable of reading.

      • JL

        I am capable of reading. Thanks for checking.

        Do you realize that I literally copied and pasted from the post and simply switched atheist and Christian? If you have a problem with one, you should have a problem with both. And vice versa.

        Please read what American Atheists member David Muscato said again. Thanks.

    • indorri

      You seriously misattribute moral failings to us for reasons of which I can only speculate. Ignoring the absurdity of anyone beginning this objection with ‘this is an atheist-based business’ (because evolution is an atheist thing only doncha know) I would be upset because he would still be breaking an agreement.

      • JL

        In the scenario I presented, I would say the organization seeking to partner with business for the fundraiser is at fault. They ddidn’t fully disclose what they were about, therefore the original contract is null and void.

        • GCT

          Point out 1 misrepresentation. Take your time.

          • JL

            Saying you are promoting scientific inquiry, which is what they first said, is not the same as saying you are promoting building atheist community, which is what they said during the event.

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

              You know, just because you keep saying it, that doesn’t make it true.

              Now, cough up the fliers in question and prove it.

            • GCT

              They aren’t “promoting building atheist community.” They are promoting skepticism, critical thought, and scientific inquiry. That’s what their brochures say, that’s what they do. They are not an atheist organization. Atheists are part of the organization, but so are others. They do not discriminate against anyone and they do not teach atheism.

              Now, stop trying to lie bigot.

            • El Barto

              That is one of the goals of CQ.

              “Demonstrate atheism and humanism as positive, family-friendly worldviews.”

              That’s straight from the CQ web site. One of Joe’s staff could have shown him that on a smartphone, computer, or any other device. I don’t know if someone brought a CQ document to the event that stated that or not but if they did Joe could have seen it in that way or one of the Atheists in attendance could have just told him.

              Why didn’t Joe freak out when the CQOK director first approached Joe? because Joe had no idea what a Humanist or Secular Humanist was, so it really didn’t matter to him. Well, not until someone explained it to him and they probably used the “A” word to do it. Even though not all Humanists are Atehists, Joe would know or care about the difference by then.

              Then because of his bigotry Joe freaked and the rest is history.

    • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

      Here’s a craaaazy thought: As a business owner, I would have said, “I have to check my calendar. I’ll call you later if that’s ok?” and then GOOGLE THE ORGANIZATION BEFORE COMMITING TO THE JOB. If I found out it was a creationist fundie nut camp, I’d simply call back and say the date doesn’t work for me and be perpetually busy in the future.

      Do you have a lick of common sense? That’s what I thought. Now sit down and STFU your damn self.

      • JL

        It’s the business owners fault because the organization misrepresented itself? Yawn. If you’re not upfront about the nature of your organization when you signup for something, I don’t understand how the contract is still valid. Don’t let your hatred blind you.

        • 3lemenope

          Diligence is an important concept in law. In essence, it’s your job to know what you’re getting into, and if you can find that out with a Google search, you have no excuse whatsoever.

        • GCT

          Where is the misrepresentation? You can’t actually point to any.

          • JL

            Original flyers talked about scientific inquiry, humanist values, and freethinking. Flyers distributed at event advocated for atheist and agnostic communities, a distinction not presented when the verabl agreement was established.

            • GCT

              That’s simply not true. Reality does not change to suit your hatred.

            • El Barto

              Is that how Joe found out that Atheists were part of CQOK? I thought Joe or his staff might have run into one of the Atheists that attended.

              Since Joe turned out to be a bigot I would have to say that it probably would have been better to find out Joe was a bigot before the event started. Like when the arrangements were being made.

        • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

          Please, point out the misrepresentation on the part of Camp Quest in this instance. As I said, google the group before making a decision. To agree and then cancel the event while it’s in progress because you, as a business owner, care soooo deeply about your faith and are now shocked because you were too lazy to do due dilligence is some bullshit and you know it. It’s the business owner’s fault that he was too lazy to do 2 minutes worth of googling, the flyer given to him wasn’t misleading, and the guy deserves every bit of flak he gets for being a piss poor businessman.

          Now would you PLEASE do yourself a favour and STFU before you break a foot off in your mouth?

          • JL

            Original flyers talked about scientific inquiry, humanist values, and freethinking, categories that are not mutually exclusive with the Christian tradition (see Petrarch, Mendel, Erasmus of Rotterdam, etc). Flyers distributed at event advocated for atheist and agnostic communities, a distinction not presented when the verbal agreement was established.

            • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

              Keep repeating the same line of BS, it won’t make it true. You’re embarassing yourself at this point. Quit while you’re behind.

    • Kengi

      In your hypothetical situation, the organizers of “Camp Care” lied to the business owner about it being a science camp. The hypothetical organizers also failed to provide additional information beyond that single false statement.

      That’s not what happened with Camp Quest.

      Camp Quest is, in fact, a science camp. They also provided not only a flyer, but also a Camp Quest brochure, and told the store owner it was a secular, humanist organization. The money will not be redirected to build an atheist community, but will be used for the promised purpose of supporting a secular science camp.

    • invivoMark

      I wouldn’t be up in arms about that, because, well, creationist camps are not my thing. Atheist camps are.

      But it would still be both illegal and unethical, and I would have no qualms about criticizing the proprietor in either case. A verbal contract was made, and the business owner broke it an hour into the event. The owner was going to simply keep the 10% until people asked to have it back. That’s unethical no matter what the context.

      It’s also illegal, in both federal and state laws, to practice any type of discrimination based on religion.

      • JL

        Thanks for the reasonable response. At least you’re consistent.

        Regarding discrimination, a business is most certainly allowed to choose who it decides to give free money to, and it can use discriminatory judgement to reach such conclusions.

        • invivoMark

          If that were the case here, then you might have a point.

          That isn’t at all the case here, which makes me wonder if you’ve been paying attention. Based on your replies to the other posts in this subthread, I don’t think you have been.

        • Reginald Selkirk

          JL: … a business is most certainly allowed to choose who it decides to give free money to…

          So now its “free money”? Just recently you were claiming it was a “personal contribution” from the business owner. Get back to us when you can understand that the money was a portion of the business profit from customers who showed up for a fundraiser for a charity. They were asked to identify that purpose when they entered. It was not “free money” and it was not a “personal contribution” from the business owner. And you are a habitual liar.

    • http://profiles.google.com/conticreative Marco Conti

      And you don’t think that in that scenario the Christian camp would raise a stink with Fox news and the like? At least in the CQ flyer the restaurant approved there was the word “humanist” and “free thought” you would think that should have been enough. Not everyone at camp quest may be an atheist, not every kid may be so to say “we are all atheists” I don’t think would be appropriate.

      This is the text of the original flyer:
      “CQ provides educational adventure shaped by fun, friends and free-thought, featuring science,natural wonder and humanist values.
      The goals of Camp Quest are to help foster curiosity, scientific inquiry, and critical thinking in young people to enable them to draw their own conclusions. We provide a safe and fun environment for the personal and social growth, while encouraging exploration of the natural world.”

      If I were an Atheist restaurant owner and I was given a flyer like that (minus the ‘humanist’ and “free thought” part), I would likely agree to work with them.

      Let’s say that in the middle of the event I realize that this is a liberal christian camp (not unusual) and let’s say that I am an atheist bigot and decide to kick them out (In reality, I would still support them, christian or not. Anyone that pursues science is engaged in a worthy endeavor).

      How long would you think it would be before Fox News and Breibart.com would call me a bigot atheist suppressing the religion freedoms of this group?

      “Atheist restaurant refuses service to Christians”. I can just see it.

      This is an exact parallel and in your post you claim that we atheists would be acting exactly like the restaurant did with CQ. But in reality Christians would be acting in much worse ways in regard to the devil worshiper restaurant.

      Frankly, if it turned out that this camp was a creationist camp,. it would have presented a more difficult conundrum for me, but personally, once I made a deal with them I would blame myself for not doing proper research in the group I am working with and commit to do a better job in the future.

      But behave like this restaurant owner did? It wouldn’t cross my mind because I would know that no one would come out unscathed from the controversy and keeping quiet would be the best thing for everyone involved.

      • JL

        I agree, FOX would make a ridiculous stink, and I would disagree with them just as I disagree with the people on this blog making a big hulabaloo right now. The error, if any, would be with the group seeking fundraising support, for disseminating information that was different than what they originally signed up for.

    • Reginald Selkirk

      <JL: …You can stay here, but I cannot personally contribute.”

      He’s not being asked to personally contribute. He’s being asked to honour a contract, and share the proceeds his business made from people who showed up to support a charity with the charity. So maybe you should STFU, asshole.

  • Christofero

    They may not like it but they can refuse service. Its a private business. The organizers should have only done that at a place they knew was cool with non-believers. Its sad but they shouldve expected it to be honest. Like that scene in Django when he walked into the bar for the first time. Everyone how they’d react. I think its just as much poor planning as it is an ignorant store-keep. Sorry.

    • http://rationaldreaming.com/ Mike

      Private businesses are required, by law, not to discriminate by race, creed, or religion. You really think it’s legal for a restaurant to turn away people because of the color of their skin?

    • coyotenose

      He’s not refusing service at all, and if he was, it would be illegal. He’s effectively refusing to give them a charitable donation. Now since they had a verbal contract, that would be actionable. Filing suit though would only hurt both sides immensely and make him into a martyr.

      • coyotenose

        Mistake on my part there: he was engaging in a business deal, not making a donation.

      • GCT

        Actually, when he asked them to leave, he refused service.

    • Stev84

      He could have refused when he was asked whether he wanted to host the event. If he would just have said. “Sorry, I’m all booked”, then fine. But he made a binding contract – it doesn’t matter that it wasn’t in writing – and then backed out of it when the event was about to start and people were already there.

    • Baby_Raptor

      You need to go ask Google exactly what a “private business” is. This guy’s restaurant isn’t one.

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

      They can refuse service… but not because of someone’s religious views, courtesy of State and Federal civil rights law.

      Contrariwise, they explicitly are not refusing service — reread the sign from the door. They’re merely refusing to participate in this particular fundraiser to support the camp. That may or may not be actionable; my first guess is no, but I’m not a lawyer.

      • baal

        Public accommodations – if he hosts any fundraisers then he must not bar atheist fundraisers on the basis that it’s atheists. This is legally parallel to the endless Nativity battles (limited public forum). As noted above, the christians can block atheist events by lying about capacity or other business reason. Obviously, such lies don’t make the discrimination legal but do make it impossible to prove the discrimination. There is an abundance of proof in this case.

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

          However, here, they’re not merely “hosting”; they’re participating, by donating a portion of the business gross revenues. I don’t think that component can be legally compelled, and it’s the core of this fundraiser.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        They’re not “refusing to participate” at all.

        They agreed to host the fundraiser.

        They waited until over an hour into the event, after people had ordered, eaten, and paid, to say, “Oh, wait, we’re backing out.”

        Breach. Of. Contract.

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

          The breach of contract element is a separate question (and cause of action) from the civil rights case.

          The most significant breach is remedied by refunding the 10% directly to the customers who “had ordered, eaten, and paid”, for donation or not as the individual is inclined. There’s possibly some secondary damages that could be argued, depending how much time and money the volunteers spent advertising for the event; and possibly some token case for inconvenience that could be made by someone who had particularly gone out of their way to go to the restaurant fundraiser, and not eaten there due to the change.

          Those, however, are separate from the civil rights issue of refusing service. Absent a valid civil rights claim, they’re matters for state courts rather than federal; probably at the small claims level.

          • GCT

            Showing people the door for being atheists is a civil rights issue.

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

              Yeah, that’s possibly a residual federal civil rights basis there. The owner might argue the ones asked to leave were being disruptive and not ordering food, but since any disruption resulted from his breach of contract on religious grounds, there might be a case.

      • Kengi

        If hosting fundraising events (or even group discounts for meet-ups) is a service they offer, they can’t deny that service based upon religious preference.

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

          They can’t refuse to reserve the restaurant to host a fundraiser run by the group, nor the group discounts.

          However, as I not above, they’re not merely “hosting” in this case; they’re participating, by donating a portion of the business gross revenues. I don’t think that component can be legally compelled, and it’s the core of this fundraiser.

          • GCT

            It’s part of the contract. It can be compelled because the owner agreed to do it.

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

              Ibid.

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            And that donation was part of the contract.

            It is, therefore, enforceable, and can be legally compelled.

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

              Technically correct; allow me to amend: I don’t think that component, which is the core of the fundraiser, can be legally compelled as a religious civil rights public accommodation.

  • http://twitter.com/SkepticalSeeker Mikel

    It’s Gelatogate all over again. Christian business owner is friendly with atheist org, until he finds out they are atheists. This is one reason that in doing our business with other organizations and businesses that may be unfamililar with the secular movement, we need to use the word “atheist” up front from the start.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Reed/692599362 Paul Reed

    Here’s what’s interesting:
    He doesn’t have a problem with Camp Quest per se, but he does have a problem with the “facilitators’ beliefs” (he claims the flier mentions atheists and agnostics, which it doesn’t. Atheists and agnostics are mentioned on the website in terms of the organisation’s history, and people who may be interested in the camp).
    The CQ organisation itself is not atheistic. Only some of those who run it are.
    And that’s enough for him to cancel the whole thing.
    On the other hand, in this guy’s words, the whole Oklahoma Joe’s company is Christian.
    And Camp Quest is still willing to work with them.

  • CT

    Let’s not be dishonest. This is obviously a non-religious camp for non-religious, shall we say, evangelizing. Leaning on dishonesty and duplicity does not make the atheist or non-religious cause look good. I’ve known many organizations to sever ties over a host of issues. Look how many refuse to work with the boy scouts over their beliefs, either religious or regarding homosexuality. Same here. It’s called a free country. I know of business owners who wouldn’t get within ten miles of helping a fundamentalist religious camp. I’m glad business owners have that freedom. In this case there is no refusal to serve them, simply no desire to support something obviously against the owner’s beliefs Again, a good thing. Freedom to express our beliefs and refuse to have them compromised is always a good thing. Once we stop letting one side do so, it won’t be long before it comes back at us. So let’s do away with the childish digs and the ‘atheist as fundamentalist’ hypocrisy and admit, this is a story much ado about nothing.

    • PietPuk

      Cam Quest is not about evangelizing, and is in no way fundamentalist, so there is nothing to be dishonest about.

    • GCT

      I’m glad you think blatant atheophobic bigotry is “much ado about nothing.”

    • DC

      Teaching children science is not “evangelizing.” Silly religious person.

    • Baby_Raptor

      Yeah, dude. Let’s not be dishonest. Starting with you. Camp Quest has nothing to do with evangelizing. Seriously…Go actually read about what happened, acquaint yourself with the facts, and then come back and give your new, truth based opinion.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001294252319 Robert Ray

      This is not about a business owner refusing to do business with an atheist group, this is about the owner backing out on an agreement after the event had started.
      This owner is free to do business with anyone he wants or not, but he should honor the agreement or cancel prior to people ordering and paying with the expectation of 10% going to Camp Quest.

    • onamission5

      Does it hurt to twist yourself into apologetic knots that way? Seems like it would.

    • Kengi

      They were free to not support the group right up until the moment they agreed to support the group.

      The request for support was not made using any false pretenses.

      Keep in mind that the business owner also took money from some people telling them 10% would go to Camp Quest, then decided to keep that money for himself.He later relented and refunded that 10% to some, but not all, of those people.

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

        He’s under no obligation to make the offer, and can probably withdraw it (though there might be some state regulations on that; it’s not a mere misprint). However, once the offer is made and the money is accepted from the customer, it seems likely to constitute fraud if he doesn’t make good on the promised donations, and that both the camp and the customers would have had cause of action against him for that — at least until the refund.

        As is, it seems unlikely to leave grounds for further legal action.

        • Kengi

          If the owner does this for other charities, it’s part of his business operation, which is a public accommodation. As such, he isn’t allowed to refuse based upon the religious preferences of the customers. You can’t offer your normal business practices to Christians but withhold those services to people who are not Christian.

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

            In so far as it involves him donating a portion of the gross receipts, which probably also gets to be counted for the IRS as a charitable contribution from the business rather than from the customers… I don’t think so.

            Yes, there’s almost certainly enough of a case that a lawyer would be willing to pursue it in court — but not on contingency, as it seems unlikely to get much past a motion for summary judgement, much less prevail.

            • GCT

              And, you’ve not addressed the fact that public accommodations cannot pick and choose who they will and will not serve based on the (ir)religion of the participants.

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

                Actually, I have elsewhere. But to reiterate….

                Refusing to serve them as customers, not kosher.
                Asking them to leave, probably not kosher since the reason resulted from a breach of contract on religious grounds.
                Break of contract, a cause of action but even if done on religious grounds, not a civil rights action as I(AmNotALawyer) understand the law.

                Refusing to run this sort of 10% donation setup for the NEXT interested Atheist charity group that wants to run a fundraiser… likely completely kosher, though probably controvertible if you can find bored lawyers (or have money to pay them in advance).

      • Kengi

        Actually, now that I think about it, they weren’t even free to refuse the event based upon religious preference if they allow events like this for other charities.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EYZCDG3OAPGD3PDG7XD7SM7OAM ElizabethS

    Just donated $15, its not a lot but its more than 10% of any bill I’ve ever had at a restaurant (I don’t get out much)

  • John of Indiana

    I wonder if the 2 or 3 Christians who whined to Joe about “supporting Atheism” can make up for the lost business from Freethinkers and others?
    I can only surmise that as a “Christian business” that Joe donates 10% of his income to some superstitious group who probably lobbies for laws hurtful to plain folks and young women..

    • coyotenose

      Don’t worry, Joe will just claim that he’s being persecuted – even though he’s lying, stealing and discriminating without excuse – and the Good Christians will come flooding in to make up for any lost business.

  • Frank

    That sounds like a textbook breach of contract, as well as a violation of title two of the civil rights act of 1964. The fundraiser wasn’t some kind of personal donation, it was a business transaction that restaurants (presumably including this one) engage in all the time with nonprofits to bring in customers. But I’m not a lawyer (yet).

  • http://www.facebook.com/fieldsb Brian Fields

    For those that think the response is out of proportion:

    What if a nice, lovely church group came in, with the same intention of
    raising money for their church? They go in the restaurant, and the
    owner finds that this is a mainly black church? Let’s say the owner has
    a touch of racism, and says “I’m sorry, but I can’t support people of
    your color, you’ll not be getting the 10% donation I promised!”.

    It’s discrimination, either way – And breach of contract. Camp Quest did
    not misrepresent themselves, and has no responsibility to disclose what
    “religion” they support, if any (Even if they did actually disclose it,
    which they did). If you are running a business, you should not be
    discriminating, period – That’s what equal access laws are about. If
    you are running a business, you should CERTAINLY keep to your contracts,
    both written and verbal. If you don’t, then people have a right to
    call you out on it, or sue if at all possible.

  • coyotenose

    In other news, so to speak, Joe Davidson claimed to Fox News that he “honored the agreement” by giving $4 to CQ.

    I really like their headline about him. It’s professional on the surface, but actually quite snarky:

    “Broken Arrow Business Says Faith Gets In The Way Of Charity Work”

    • GCT

      Because I’m sure that only $40 was spent by customers…Yeah, right. What’s that, 4 customers?

  • DougI

    Good to know his Christian values include dishonesty, bigotry and discrimination. I’m sure he doesn’t bat an eye knowing all those Atheists have to subsidize his church with their taxes.

  • Ida Know

    I’m not a barbecue fan, so I probably wouldn’t eat there even if I lived in that area. But if I were, and did, I would definitely be boycotting the joint. What a slimeball.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lauraequalityphillips Laura Phillips

    Hemant, thank you for reposting this. This is the camp that Will goes to. He obviously cant go to some of the religious based camps in Northwest Arkansas so we drive 2 hours to Camp Quest Oklahoma. Last year, he met kids like him. Kids that question. Kids that want to learn. Kids that think out side the box. It was wonderful. So thank you to everyone who is donating and helping my son and others like him attend this amazing camp. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. –Laura Phillips, Mom of Will Phillips (pledge kid from Arkansas and Camp Quest OK camper.)

    • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

      Thank YOU, Laura, for raising a kid that questions the box. :)

  • Ross

    This is just too bad. They have great BBQ. I guess I won’t be going back there again.

    • baal

      Note that this wasn’t a chain level event. The issue was with a single storefront. I’d like to see that single store suffer but not the other franchisees.

  • El Barto

    The CQ flyer has no mention of Atheists. It only says “Humanist.” Ignorant bigoted Christians in OK have no clue what that is. It was just a
    matter of time before he found out that CQ caters to Atheist kids and
    families. Of course to them, that means we worship the devil.

    Someone
    on the restaurant staff probably, almost inevitably, talked to someone
    attending the CQ event and asked them what the camp was about. That
    person probably identified as an Atheist and/or told them that camp is
    for Atheist kids. That kind of situation is bound to happen. I would be surprised if it didn’t play out that way to some degree.

    The original mission statement for Camp Quest specifically included the word Atheist in it. It also included other names as well but “Atheist” wasn’t left out. This flyer left “Atheist” out and used “Humanist” instead. Then the person who arranged the meeting didn’t tell the restaurant owner that the camp is for Atheist kids and family as well as other non believers.

    If one is going to arrange an event for CQ they had better let the person responsible know that CQ is for Atheist kids and families. That’s usually the toughest hurdle to get around. One can also include Humanist or whatever other name or label they want to use, but not mentioning Atheists is hiding who we truly are.

    I know this partly because I have several years of experience arranging large meetings, social events, and protests for Atheist movement. There are a lot of Atheists still reluctant to tell others they are Atheists.

    One
    thing that isn’t clear, did the owner cancel the event and kick them
    out or did he just say he wouldn’t personally contribute? I’ve read posts that seem to go either way.

    • GCT

      CQ isn’t just for atheist kids, and you’d do well to actually learn the terms you are using and chiding others for not using before…well…chiding others. Also, you’ve already said this elsewhere. Simply repeating yourself won’t make your erroneous assertions correct.

      Secondly, people who were there have reported that they were told to leave and/or it was indicated that they were not welcome.

      • El Barto

        As a long time former activist with American Atheists I’m pretty familiar with the different terms all of us freethinkers use to describe ourselves. That very subject has been the source of some rivalry and debate between the different groups in the past and still is to some degree.

        My statement that CQ is for Atheistic kids is accurate. I never said CQ is JUST for Atheistic kids. Many people who describe themselves as Humanists are also Atheists. Of course they are Secular Humanists but CQ is not limited to just Atheists. That much is obvious to those of us who are activists in the free thought community and I didn’t feel the need to explain those basics. Obviously I was wrong about that.

        As far as chiding goes, that was not my intent. However, the reported facts of how this situation transpired leads one to conclude that not disclosing the fact that CQ caters to Atheists (among others) was what caused this problem in the first place. Had that fact been disclosed up front to the owner he most likely would have refused service right then and there and the CQ-OK staff would have had to look elsewhere.

        That still would have been illegal on the part of the owner, but it would have been common and it would have allowed CQ-OK to find a venue more accepting of Atheists. Then they could pursue a law suit if they desire. Not telling the establishment about the Atheistic nature of the meeting is taking a chance that things will go well when they find out. Unless everyone attending identifies as purely Humanist of course, then it shouldn’t be an issue. But that doesn’t sound like the case here.

        This entire situation is very familiar to me as it’s happened many times in the past and will again. Someone will make arrangements for a meeting or event and for whatever reason not tell the person in charge of the establishment it’s an event catering to Atheists (among others). Then during the event the staff will inevitably talk with some of the people who are attending the event and ask them about it. At that point the staff and person in charge hears for the first time that the event involves Atheists and the shit hits the fan from there. Old story. I would be very surprised if that’s not what happened in this case, with some degree of variation.

        If the staff and person in charge of any given establishment learn that the event involves Atheists during the start of an event or at some point afterwords, then it’s always because the person making the arrangements didn’t tell them. And that’s what happened here. It doesn’t matter what other names are used. Humanist, Secular Humanist, non-believer, Life Force Worshiper, Bright, etc. None of those names have the same impact to devout Christians as the name “Atheist.”

        While the name “Humanist” or “Secular Humanist” has a much different and broader meaning than “Atheist,” those names are sometimes used by Atheists to hide behind so they don’t have to use the dreaded “A” word. Especially in more theistic parts of the country like Oklahoma. Not surprising since Christians used to kill us when they found out we were Atheists. Sadly there’s more controversy about using the “A” word in free thought circles than almost anything else. While the Tulsa area is more progressive than the rest of Oklahoma and even OKC, it’s still pretty regressive. I lived in Edmond for six years and there were always issues there.

        Now if you want to consider my remarks chiding that’s your choice. I call it addressing the facts as they occurred and possibly learning from them so it doesn’t repeat itself again. However, this is a lesson a lot of us have learned many years ago and we see this latest incident as the same situation repeating itself again.

        Always use the “A” word upfront if it involves Atheists.

        All of that being said, the owner may still be held accountable for his discrimination if he did in fact ask them to leave and/or tell them they are not welcome or refuse to serve them. If it was the decision of the CQ-OK staff to terminate the event than they may not have a case at all. And that’s if they even plan on bringing a laws suit in the first place.

        • GCT

          My statement that CQ is for Atheistic kids is accurate. I never said CQ is JUST for Atheistic kids. Many people who describe themselves as Humanists are also Atheists. Of course they are Secular Humanists but CQ is not limited to just Atheists. That much is obvious to those of us who are activists in the free thought community and I didn’t feel the need to explain those basics. Obviously I was wrong about that.

          If you understand that, then why the idiotic comment that CQ should have to disclose that they serve *gasp* atheist kids too? Do all organizations need disclaimers now that it may be possible that an atheist might benefit from their work? This is blatant discrimination and atheophobic bigotry.

          Not telling the establishment about the Atheistic nature of the meeting is taking a chance that things will go well when they find out. Unless everyone attending identifies as purely Humanist of course, then it shouldn’t be an issue. But that doesn’t sound like the case here.

          Please engage in more irrational victim blaming.

          Now if you want to consider my remarks chiding that’s your choice. I call it addressing the facts as they occurred and possibly learning from them so it doesn’t repeat itself again. However, this is a lesson a lot of us have learned many years ago and we see this latest incident as the same situation repeating itself again.

          Yes, I see it as chiding…as well as religious privilege, victim blaming, bigotry, and atheophobia. Fuck you. Why is it incumbent upon atheists to disclose their presence whenever they want to enter into any sort of relationship with anyone else? Just in case the person is a bigot and would want to terminate any contact? This is especially galling since CQ is NOT AN ATHEIST ORGANIZATION you moron. Their brochures were accurate. The owner freaked out because there were atheists involved, which is rank bigotry THAT YOU ARE DEFENDING! Fuck you.

          • El Barto

            Wow… pretty emotional outburst.

            You would do well to learn how to talk with people and fellow Atheists with respect and hold your emotional outbursts in check. Communicating within our movement is imperative if we are going to get along and survive. Screaming, cursing, and calling people names will get you no where and hurt your cause.

            Communication is the entire issue in this case.

            No, in a perfect world we shouldn’t need to identify as Atheists to ferret out discrimination. But we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a world full of ignorant bigots who discriminate against Atheists.

            And in this world one should expect to be discriminated against when one is an Atheist. That’s just the way it is. If one ignores that then one will get bit in the ass. Which is pretty close to what happened.

            Any organization that caters to Atheists should disclose that fact up front, if for nothing else, to make sure the event or meeting goes off without a problem.

            I don’t think you really understand how many bigoted Christians and other theists think. Most of them don’t know what Humanists or Secular Humanists are but they damn sure know what Atheists are and that’s the problem. This person was shocked and surprised because of his ignorance. And he reacted emotionally. Kind of like you did.

            Anyone planning events for any free thought event better take that into account and plan for it if they want to have a successful event.

            And if they don’t do that then they are just taking a chance that they will be accepted and there will be no problems.

            Until discrimination against Atheists is a thing of the past, that the way it is.

            • GCT

              Wow… pretty emotional outburst.

              Yes. I’m allowed to have emotions, especially in the face of brutal atheophobic bigotry.

              You would do well to learn how to talk with people and fellow Atheists with respect and hold your emotional outbursts in check.

              Why? What part of your anti-atheist screed deserves respect? Why am I not allowed to tell you to fuck off? Are atheists not allowed to have emotions now?

              Communicating within our movement is imperative if we are going to get along and survive. Screaming, cursing, and calling people names will get you no where and hurt your cause.

              And catering to atheophobic and bigoted religious privilege is going to help? Fuck you.

              No, in a perfect world we shouldn’t need to identify as Atheists to ferret out discrimination. But we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a world full of ignorant bigots who discriminate against Atheists.

              And, your solution is to enable it further? To help them be bigots? Fuck you.

              And in this world one should expect to be discriminated against when one is an Atheist. That’s just the way it is. If one ignores that then one will get bit in the ass. Which is pretty close to what happened.

              Victim blaming. The bigotry is the fault of the bigots, not the fault of atheists. Fuck you.

              Any organization that caters to Atheists should disclose that fact up front, if for nothing else, to make sure the event or meeting goes off without a problem.

              They don’t “cater” to atheists. They serve everyone equally. Further, it’s stupid to say that any business that serves atheists needs to disclose that fact. Fuck you.

              I don’t think you really understand how many bigoted Christians and other theists think.

              Oh, I think I know pretty well how they think. You seem to know pretty well too. The issue is that you happen to think that how they think is our fault. Fuck you.

              Most of them don’t know what Humanists or Secular Humanists are but they damn sure know what Atheists are and that’s the problem.

              That’s too fucking bad for them if they are as ignorant as you claim with your bigoted broad strokes. Fuck you. Also, fuck you for sloppily claiming that atheist is the same as secular humanist. It’s not, and your mistake only makes it worse.

              And he reacted emotionally. Kind of like you did.

              He reacted like a bigot. Don’t pretend that I’m not offering arguments. That’s exactly what you’re trying to imply with all this “emotional reaction” bullshit you’re spewing. It’s a convenient way for you to ignore the fact that your arguments are being shredded and your bigotry is being laid bare. Fuck you.

              Anyone planning events for any free thought event better take that into account and plan for it if they want to have a successful event.

              This is more victim blaming and conflation of definitions. You’re simply wrong and making matters worse.

              Until discrimination against Atheists is a thing of the past, that the way it is.

              Fuck that and fuck you. This is more of your pathetic victim blaming.

              • El Barto

                GCT, you better get back on your meds or start taking them. Seriously, you really can use an anger management course. We’re all allies here and you’re freaking out because you disagree with a few minor things? Chill out.

                For the record my name is Bart Meltzer and I’m the former director of state and regional operations for American Atheists. Ken Loukinen is doing my old job now. My record for Atheist activism speaks for itself. I did that job for six years. During that time I appointed Edwin Kagin as the Kentucky state director for American Atheists bringing him into the organization. He is now the legal director. I was also on the board of directors and voted to bring Edwin on the BOD with us. Some of you may also know that Edwin is the founder of Camp Quest along with his late wife Helen. Before I allowed someone to become a director for American Atheists I got to know them pretty well. Edwin and I discussed Camp Quest many times in detail. I also promoted Camp Quest in American Atheists. I don’t think I have any problems understanding just what CQ is, who it caters to, and what it’s about.

                Discrimination against Atheists is a given in this country. It’s always prudent to fight it wherever it exists. That’s what I did for nine years straight. But it won’t be eliminated in our life time.

                With that in mind Atheists or any other free thinker needs to be vigilant and be prepared for for the possibility of discrimination when holding events that have the slightest thing to do with Atheists or Atheism. Anything involving CQ would fall into that category. If just one Atheist attends the event and mentions they’re an Atheist to the owner or staff, that’s all it takes to set off someone who is a bigot. Unfortunately in this case, that happened to include the owner of the restaurant and possibly some of the staff.

                Joe’s an ignorant bigot and probably always will be. But the same can be said for a hundred million other bigots. They live here in the USA. Most of them watch Fox News. But I digress…

                When arranging any event involving Atheists one better know that Atheists are going to be welcome if they want the event to be successful. Clearly they weren’t welcome at Joe’s. Too bad CQOK found that out when it was going on and not well before the event started.

                For whatever reason the CQOK director did not inform Joe that some of the people attending the event were Atheists and so they didn’t find out about Joe’s bigotry until the event already started. Wouldn’t it have been better to find out Joe is a bigot before hand and then have had a successful fundraiser somewhere else? I would have to say yes in this case.

                Now we all know that ideally we should never have to identify as Atheists or any other kind of non-believer. It’s our right in this country to assemble in public places and we need to fight for that right. The problem is that bigots don’t respect our rights. They never have. In fact, that’s what makes them bigots in the first place. And that’s been the same for every other group that’s ever been discriminated against.

                Most all of our civil rights we have in this country were fought for in one way or another at some point in the past. Not everyone is going to recognize our rights as Atheists and we need to be very aware of that. And we need to fight for that. Because we’re not going to get equal rights as Atheists without a fight. Just like everyone else.

                But this event was not about fighting. It was about fundraising. And in that endeavor, it was a limited success. Most of the funds raised were from sympathetic free thinkers who donated after they heard about the incident with Joe. Okay, well if that was the intent it worked out well. But that wasn’t the intent. The intent was to hold a four hour event. And in that regard, it failed. Bigoted Christians are out there. It that fact is simply ignored than one will always be taking a chance with whatever event they are attempting to hold.

                While I don’t know for sure why the CQOK director did not inform Joe that the event would include Atheists when he did verbally tell him about Secular Humanists and Humanists, I can say that it had a detrimental effect to the event.

                In my experience, most of the time that was because people were afraid to use the “A” word. They did not want to deal with the potential negative reaction that the word Atheist can bring on. I’m not saying that’s what happened here because I don’t know. But the result was the same.

                I always found that honesty is the best policy. It ferrets out the bigots and any potential problems when you want to find out about them. Which is long before the event starts. And I’ve arranged more meetings for American Atheist events than I can count. In February 2001 I set up the Desert RAM (Regional Atheists Meet) for American Atheists in Phoenix. I was the assistant Arizona state director at the time. I visited at least 15 hotels and told them exactly who we were, what we were doing, and what the goal of the organization was. Two hotels refused based on the fact that we were Atheists. They simply said they don’t want to deal with the controversy. Next hotel. Next hotel. Eventually I found the right one and the meeting was a success.

                One should never hide the fact that they are an Atheist. And if you’re a humanist setting up a meeting that involves Atheists, you better ferret out the bigots when you go to arrange the event and mention the “A” word in some way. If you don’t do that you’ll always be taking a chance that everything will be just fine. Obviously that doesn’t always work out. I think it’s better not to take chances.

                Regards,

                Bart Meltzer

                • GCT

                  Seriously, you really can use an anger management course. We’re all allies here and you’re freaking out because you disagree with a few minor things? Chill out.

                  What makes you think that you and I are allies? We’re not. You seem to want to keep the status quo of discrimination against atheists. You are not my friend or my ally. And, hell yes I’m angry. Blatant discrimination makes me angry, and rightfully so. Don’t attack me for getting angry. Why aren’t you angry? You damned well should be, and you would be if you weren’t defending the bigotry and making it worse.

                  For the record my name is Bart Meltzer and I’m the former director of state and regional operations for American Atheists.

                  I’m glad it’s former, because your conduct here has been beyond the pale.

                  Discrimination against Atheists is a given in this country. It’s always prudent to fight it wherever it exists. That’s what I did for nine years straight. But it won’t be eliminated in our life time.

                  Yet, here you are defending it. Hypocrite much?

                  With that in mind Atheists or any other free thinker needs to be vigilant and be prepared for for the possibility of discrimination when holding events that have the slightest thing to do with Atheists or Atheism.

                  Victim blaming 101. Perhaps we need to wear armbands? Would that satisfy you asshole?

                  For whatever reason the CQOK director did not inform Joe that some of the people attending the event were Atheists and so they didn’t find out about Joe’s bigotry until the event already started.

                  Again, I ask, shouldn’t this be binding on any organization? Shouldn’t any organization be required to disclose any atheists in their ranks before holding an event, just in case there’s a bigot that wants to protest? I think you see how stupid that is, which is why you’ve avoided it this whole entire sub-thread. Yet, that’s what you are proposing here. It’s victim blaming and atheophobic. Stop it.

                  And we need to fight for that. Because we’re not going to get equal rights as Atheists without a fight. Just like everyone else.

                  This is rich coming from you, the Uncle Tom that is defending bigotry and victim blaming.

                  But this event was not about fighting. It was about fundraising.

                  Fuck you. You don’t get to decide that we have to roll over and take it simply because we weren’t planning on being discriminated against.

                  While I don’t know for sure why the CQOK director did not inform Joe that the event would include Atheists when he did verbally tell him about Secular Humanists and Humanists, I can say that it had a detrimental effect to the event.

                  Because he doesn’t need to and because it was immaterial to the event. If we do it your way, then perhaps all atheists should wear identifiers at all times, right? Fuck you.

                  One should never hide the fact that they are an Atheist.

                  Finally, we agree on something, because we agree that atheists need to be out. But, you’re basing this on the assumption that CQ were hiding some atheist affiliation and therefore they are to blame for the bigoted actions of the owner when the fact that there are atheists involved with CQ is immaterial. If I go to a business meeting, should I make sure that I introduce myself and state for everyone that I’m an atheist, just in case there’s a bigot in there that wants to throw me out?

                  Again, let me re-iterate that I do not want people like you holding positions of power in atheist organizations. With “friends” like you, who needs enemies? We are not allies if you think that victim blaming is a way to help fight discrimination.

                • El Barto

                  I’ve tried to be cordial with you but obviously you don’t know how to talk with people you disagree with which is probably why you will never be any significant factor in our movement. People like you tend to get weeded out early. You’ll just be some insignificant vitriolic troll on a blog somewhere. Spanking an angry keyboard is probably your only form of Atheist activism. Good luck with that.

                  Well you know who I am so if you ever have the guts to talk to me personally I look forward to it. I kind of think you don’t have the guts though.

                  I’ll be ignoring and blocking any further responses from you.

                  Our dialog is now over.

                • GCT

                  I’ve tried to be cordial with you but obviously you don’t know how to talk with people you disagree with which is probably why you will never be any significant factor in our movement.

                  I see this a lot. Because you don’t use “bad words” you think you’re being cordial. Sorry, but defending atheophobic bigotry and engaging in victim blaming is in no way cordial.

                  People like you tend to get weeded out early. You’ll just be some insignificant vitriolic troll on a blog somewhere.

                  I’m the troll for standing up to your defense of atheophobic religious privilege? And, you’re not the privileged asshole who is trying to win an argument by shoving credentials in my face? You’re even more pathetic than I thought.

                  Spanking an angry keyboard is probably your only form of Atheist activism.

                  It’s infinitely better to just do that than to enable it like you are doing asshole.

                  Well you know who I am so if you ever have the guts to talk to me personally I look forward to it. I kind of think you don’t have the guts though.

                  Yes, veiled threats. How very becoming of you. Not only are you now engaging in victim blaming, but you’re also trying to silence me through threats. And, I’m the one in the wrong here? Fuck you.

                  I’ll be ignoring and blocking any further responses from you.

                  Our dialog is now over.

                  Yes, run and hide. You’re too much of an intellectual coward to defend your obviously wrong ideas that you have to resort to personal threats and blocking. Others will see how intellectually dishonest you are, even if you don’t.

                • GCT

                  In February 2001 I set up the Desert RAM (Regional Atheists Meet) for American Atheists in Phoenix. I was the assistant Arizona state director at the time. I visited at least 15 hotels and told them exactly who we were, what we were doing, and what the goal of the organization was. Two hotels refused based on the fact that we were Atheists. They simply said they don’t want to deal with the controversy. Next hotel. Next hotel. Eventually I found the right one and the meeting was a success.

                  One more thing.

                  This description of events leaves a lot to be desired.

                  Who were those 2 hotels? Do you think that maybe atheists might not want to spend their money staying at a hotel where the owners are atheophobic bigots? Nope, you just moved on, with nary a word. It’s their prerogative to be bigots after all, right?

                  Well, there’s a big problem with that. Part of making bigotry untenable is holding it up to the light. They may have the freedom to be bigots, but that doesn’t mean there should be no social cost to it. They can have their freeze peach, but we can also call them out on it and refuse to do business with them. Unfortunately, we have Bart McCarthy simply deciding for us that bigotry is just a way of life, that those who are bigots should not be held accountable for their bigotry, and that it’s actually our fault for being atheists. Like I said, you’re no ally of atheist activism.

    • baal

      From the evidence in the comments and blog posts (hearsay), it looks like he did not throw them out. He wanted the increased business. He ‘cancelled’ the fundraiser and felt that he was entitled to keep the 10% of sales that he pledged to the fundraiser. He’s calling that promised 10% of the sales his ‘personal contribution.’

      • GCT

        Wait, what? It’s not hearsay when someone who was there reports that they were asked to leave (or that it was made apparent they should leave). You can make the argument that we have competing testimonies, but it’s not hearsay to accept the testimony of people who were actually there.

        • baal

          “A statement made out of court that is offered in court as evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted.” cf Black’s Law Dictionary. What you mean to say is that it’s primary evidence and not a second hand account. Unless it’s said in court, it’s still hearsay in the legal sense. You’re arguing that the common usage is the primary / secondary one and that we have primary evidence here. I would say it’s a mix by that definition. Semantics aside, we can expect several details that we have currently to be redefined later and my current comments are based on what’s at hand.

          • GCT

            It has not been offered in court, so it’s not hearsay…by your own definition. If it were to be offered in court, I would think that they would have the people who were there testify, which would not be hearsay.

      • El Barto

        It’s sad that this kind of discrimination exists but not unexpected. I think in this person’s case (the restaurant owner) it’s due mainly to theistic ignorance. He probably hasn’t run into Atheists very much if at all so he was shocked when he found out and reacted emotionally.

        If he knew that Atheists were involved he probably would have reacted immediately and refused to host the event right off the bat.

        • GCT

          As if that makes it better? Damn you are a moron.

          If you are an atheist, then you’re nothing more than an Uncle Tom atheist. Stop enabling bigotry. The religious assholes you’re defending aren’t going to give you a cookie.

  • Alice75

    In the comments I see one patron asked for, and got, 10% of his bill back, which is great. As an Atheist, if I was asking local business to support us, I’d be darned sure to mention who we were. Clearly, repeatedly if necessary. If some kid came to my door asking for summer camp funds, and I found out it was Xtian, I’d be livid. (If I found out too late). I hope next time they do this, they make it clearer to the business owners who they are. Also, why would we want to support business with this attitude? We need to vote with our dollar also. I know of quite a few local restaurants that support our group, and some who don’t. Our groups should keep track of this (at least in our heads) and patronize the friendly businesses only.

    • GCT

      This is victim blaming. CQ is NOT an atheist organization. It’s a secular humanist organization, and they were up front about that. The owner got upset when he found out that there were atheists involved. This is blatant atheophobic bigotry and discrimination. Is it every organization’s onus now to disclose if they have any atheists that work for/with them to make sure that bigots get to be bigots?

      • Alice75

        So you wouldn’t be mad if the roles were reversed? If an org that is primarily supported by christians asked you to donate money and they didn’t fully disclose where the money was going?

        • GCT

          The did fully disclose. Where are you getting the idea that they didn’t?

    • http://twitter.com/DanAllosso Dan Allosso

      The establishment hosts fundraisers, which attract big groups of paying customers, by offering to rebate 10%. This happens everywhere. If the local pancake house said, “Oh, no, can’t let you have the money. I thought you said orchestra and you’re a BAND. I hate brass instruments,” would that make sense to you?

  • baal

    Oh – I should be in technical compliance with my legal obligations. I’m not anyone’s attorney and if you think I am, you’re fooling yourself. None of my comments here are legal advice and could be dangerously off base. Rely on it for nothing.

  • http://twitter.com/DanAllosso Dan Allosso

    Broken Arrow is a backward little village — Wait! No it’s not, it’a s city of over 100,000 in Tulsa County. Has this yahoo never met a non-Christian before? Must be a few Jews, Muslims, others. Bet he wouldn’t ban their fundraisers. Why not? Oh, yeah. For fear of the bad press.

  • http://profiles.google.com/conticreative Marco Conti

    Let’s say I am the business owner and I am an atheist (both things are true, btw). Let’s say that a group with the identical flyer that CQ presented to this guy approached me with the same type of deal.

    Their flyer actually says exactly what the CQ flyer says (after all science, inquiry, etc. are not an atheist prerogative).

    I then find out that the people behind it are Christians They are science and inquiry loving Christians but Christians. Believe it or not, there are such beasts. Some are even for the separation of Church and state.

    Basically, what I am saying is that as far as the way CQ represented themselves, the camp could have been a very liberal christian camp.

    Again, I am the atheist business owner thinking these guys are atheists, but then I discover that they are not. They are Christians.

    if I go back and renege on this deal because of their religion, how good do I look doing that? Am I not discriminating against them? Wouldn’t Fox news have a segment about the bad atheist owner that hates little christian kids that want to be scientists?

    I don’t see this as being very different. Sounds like the owner rather liked the goals of CQ until he discovered that godless people run it and attended it.

    I would be a bigoted jerk if I did that as an atheist and I am sure some of you would set me straight. But rather than hit this guy over the head with it, I think he should be talked to and maybe even invited to visit CQ to see for himself that they don’t “push” atheism as a religion or spend their days burning Christians at the stake to fend off the cold nights.

    • coyotenose

      That was very doable until he doubled down on bigoted actions by reneging on a business deal in progress, and tripled down by lying about the situation. He’s not shown himself to be capable of learning. That may change. Experience strongly suggests it will not, especially since his fellow Christians are going to flock in and reinforce his bad behavior.

  • T Richardson

    Just sent $10

  • Camille

    I’m hoping that the Camp Quest people in no way contributed to the bottom line of Joe’s BBQ. I believe that the restaurant owner has the right to support the causes of his choice. It’s unfortunate that he feels so threatened by critical thinking that he cannot support an organization that seeks to further this, but again, that’s his right.

    I just need to make sure I **never** eat at a place run by such a close-minded person.

    PS – How can I find out more about this camp? I’d like to send my kid!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kerry-Royce/1439262255 Kerry Royce

    As a Christian or rather should I say a “follower of
    Jesus” I would say that the owner of Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ in the city of
    Broken Arrow “missed the mark”. Missed the mark is another way of
    saying “sinned” against Camp Quest by breaking the deal once the deal
    was made and the dinner had begun. The Bible is clear in this when it says; in
    James 5:12 according to the International Standard Version “Above all,
    brothers, do not swear oaths by heaven, by earth, or by any other object.
    Instead, let your “Yes” mean yes and your “No” mean no!”

    He missed a golden
    opportunity to interact with people of a different “faith”and
    different belief system than Christianity. Instead of pushing people away from
    the triune God he had an opportunity to introduce God, “Jesus” to
    atheists.

    I myself “sin”
    (miss the mark) on a daily basis. The goal of every Christian particularly born
    again Christians is to “be like Jesus”. Christians fail at this all
    the time! And because we fail it opens us up to quite a lot of criticism.
    Matthew 7:14 warns us according to the New International Version “But the
    gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find
    it.”

    However, the only person that lived a perfect
    life and never sinned, that is, never “missed the mark” is our Lord
    and Savior Jesus Christ.

    Christianity, is an “bloody” religion in that it
    is only through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary that any
    of us can be saved from the anger of God. According to God’s Word Translation in
    Romans 5:9 “Since Christ’s blood has now given us God’s approval, we are
    even more certain that Christ will save us from God’s anger.” However this
    is taken grossly out of context and in order to get a feeling for the whole
    thing we should at least read verse 6 through 11 in Romans 5.

    Thanks for giving me this opportunity to shed a Christian
    view on Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ’s failure. But we all fail at one time or another in
    our lives and the cure for that is forgiveness. So I humbly ask you instead of
    cursing at the proprietor and leveling insults at all Christians, or residents of
    “red states” as I have read in the some of the comments section of
    this article; please try forgiving the man for “missing the mark”.

    As a side note: I live not far from Broken Arrow,
    Oklahoma. Probably won’t be eating there either!

    • 3lemenope

      Forgiveness and contrition go hand-in-hand. Before forgiveness becomes a reasonable response to this, the guy has to actually think he did something wrong, as breaking his side of an agreement that ended up benefiting him financially certainly is. Forgiveness is rather meaningless unless it is sincerely asked for.

      I agree with you that it is naughty (not to mention sloppy practice) to cast aspersions on entire groups for the bad acts of a few, and it is always good to hear that folks coming from different perspectives are willing to recognize the troubling complexion of situations like this one.

    • GCT

      He missed a golden opportunity…to proselytize? Seriously?

      (I’ll let the “perfect Jesus” crap slide as well as the no true Scotsman fallacy.)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

      Question is. Do you think you have the right to shun atheists before a deal is struck? Can you, for instance, show up as a ambulance driver, find out the person is an atheist and refuse to take them to the hospital. Can you refuse us service in a restaurant. Can you refuse to fix a flat tire if you drive a tow truck. Etc.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

      “However, the only person that lived a perfect life and never sinned, that is, never “missed the mark” is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

      Well if you call lying to people about being a god, inciting someone to steal a donkey, and getting nailed to a cross by the phrase “a perfect life” then I’m glad I don’t live such a life.

  • Srogue

    You know, we do have freedom in this country to not do things against our deeply held beliefs, or lack of. For instance if an owner who is a humanist, or atheist found out that an organization he was hosting or sponsoring a fundraiser for was anti-abortion, anti-gay or something else that was against his or her beliefs, I would FULLY support their right to cancel the fundraiser. So do I in this case. A christian is pretty much diametrically opposed to atheism. Nuff said. Grow up and quit your bitchin.

    • allein

      Even after it had already started?

    • Kengi

      Actually, the law in this country says that while you can discriminate, in a limited way, based upon things like political stance or clothing, you can’t discriminate based upon religious preference (or race or gender, or sexual orientation in some states).

      This also doesn’t even touch on the breech of contract.

      Grow up and learn the laws of the land in this nation before you bitch about something.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      It’s not like this has been address in the 220+ comments that preceded this or anything…

  • PA_Year_of_the_Bible

    Oklahoma Statutes §25-1402. Discriminatory practice.

    It is a discriminatory practice for
    a person to deny an individual the full and equal enjoyment of the goods,
    services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a
    “place of public accommodation” because of race, color, religion,
    sex, national origin, age, or disability.

    If this 10% charitable contribution arrangement has been advertised generally, and offered to churches or other “faith” organizations, it seems to me CQ has a cause of action.

  • Matt

    Well, I’m a Christian and frankly, every value that CQ endorses seems just awesome! I like separation of religion from government, I think science and free-thinking are cool, I like rational inquiry, I like the scientific method, and I’d like my kids to learn all those things too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Al-Pa/100001996399447 Al Pa

    ok eveyrones gona beat me iwth loaves of old french bread proly, but i could see, how this wasnt just the owners fault, *pauses for a few pieces of moldy bread to be thrown ath im* and i can see that its not the groups fault preciisely either, now here, is the rational part IF your talking about rationality and not just one side vs the other fighting for hte sake of fighting to be superior.

    HE SAID ON THE FLYER “atheists, agnostics, free thinkers” ok here, is a question… this is a insult/attack/diversive statement on several layers, first off it implies atheists arent free thinkers, it implies agnostics also arent free thinkers, and it implies some christains arent welcome if they like group mentality, ok well that free thinker part was the mistake, if your gona divide by sects of belief, you go by say…. religious, and non religious, and general open minded people. see wording… is what is about you dont call a fish a french fry,, you call it either by a scientific name, a general species name, or a nickname for its type, and thats why people know what is being talked about in a group, and it sounds really terrible the way it was worded, it was insulting to everyone, mostly to a portion of christians ( religious people in general but im just saying christains caus whatever… for some reason thats what everyone insists on calling it rather then anything else)

    so yea look, you dont create a flyer for a supposed wonderful thing that insults people, if a woman made a invitation to a childs birthday party that off handledly insulted several familys that were also sent the flyer, by calling them inadvertantly poor and saying their gifts werent welcome or thier children were asked not to touch the walls with their dirty unwashed hands… that would be insulting, and people, not everyone but alota women would call her a bitch… for being insulting and barking at people just because it was a option.

    if that flyer, had just been worded, nicely? say agnostics, atheists, religious, rich, poor, and lets just say… .kids whose parents were busy with work would be offered a shuttle program to get thier an be escorted safely and brought back home safely at a predesignated time, see that is nice and thoughtful and you would not have nearly an issue, people respond to politeness and a lack of barbed words in things.

    agreed it sucks about the 10 percent thing, but the guy basicly read the flyer and felt insulted and as if he would be supporting something that… say nazism back in the late 1920s, and you would say its not nazism, but its just a relative comparison, like people comparing sarah palin burning books in a library to nazi book burnings, the nazis basicly represent anything unpleasent people want to compare something to i suppose… im just saying the guy felt insulted and slapped in the face, so yea i could see that sort of, you wouldnt want someone to manippulate you into something then half way through you realize your being married off to some random person whos going to spend the entire marriage runing you around insulting you, you would get out of the situation fast :/

    • GCT

      Wait, you’re claiming it’s CQ’s fault because they have insulting flyers? What was “insulting” to the restaurant owner was the presence of atheists. You’re defending rank atheophobic bigotry and engaging in victim blaming.

  • Steve

    Ya all are a bunch of fag worshippers. The restraunt is doing good for the lord. Atheism is a illness.

    • GCT

      Flagged for obvious trolling.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Al-Pa/100001996399447 Al Pa

    look in the end i think a simple statement would solve this, the guy was worried, because would you support something your against morraly, say concentration camps back in the 1940s if you found out hte jews you turned in were being sent their? or the condition and decay of hte ghettos they were rounded up into before that ?! would you turn in a jew who broke one of hte countless rules that were restricted on them in the eras before hte 1900s? their was alota abuse, and people sometitmes got into deeper situations then they relaized they were gona end up in and forced to choose between two evils, and thats how the guy felt, im not saying hte camp or hte people runing it were bad or evil or doing wrong, but this isnt precisely anyones fault modern christianity has fractured so many times caus people dont want to live in a hierarchy, and have turned from order to chaos so no one knows what to do or believe but hte very basics and everyone is shouting back and forth in this chaos, this is madness, and hes just trying to find his little piece of … perfection? isnt everyone? so the guy didnt know what to do and he was stuck and had to act but he didnt know if he should work with them or if it was evil that had to be pushed away, no one wants to be called evil, most dont even like evil things or doing them to people… except as pranks to freinds and loved ones… caus people are really mesed up :P buut this is one of those cases where a person could act as a go between for hte restaurents owner and hte runners of the camp and some civil dialogue, and some discussion and thinking on both parts, and maybe even a few theologians could help psuh it because thier are plenty that are more concerned with the health of the overall condition of hte world rather then personal ideologies that things would be fine…. not everyone is out to see the world burn or so called “evil” be put to death, evil is more often then not just something that is in pain or causes pain because thats just how evolution, or some intervention has left the world, snakes have poison, creatures eat each other, fights occure, but we can work beyond that, and some arbitration and thoughtful discussion to help soothe the mans worries by people that share his hopes and goals and actually spend thier lives in search of it would help alot, and a judge acting as said arbitrator would help.

    all they need is some arbitration and bam, maybe he will actually host a entire food stand at the fair to help feed people as part of a acceptance of his neighbors and distant kin (geneticly speaking whether you go by adam and eve, or just evolution wise… everyoens family etc :? )

    hes not evil, the camp directors arent evil… but some of the people posting on here might be jerks…. but im sure only when thier bored and theirs someone to play with :P

    • GCT

      I love how you keep trying to compare his bigotry against atheists to someone having an issue with Nazis. Fuck you.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Al-Pa/100001996399447 Al Pa

        well im not going to compare it to sweden being neutral during wwII… that is completely not the point of the comment, besides whats more evil then genocdie? i guess i could compare it to americas 1800s expansion and 1700s expansions based on manipulating and consistantly betrayin native americans pushing them off one territory then another terroristing and killl them them… but i prefer comparing it to the abuses of the nazies.. caus something was actually done about that in the end :/

        • GCT

          So, bigotry against atheists should be compared to people who stand up against genocide and Nazis. Again, fuck you. Who the fuck do you think you are to make implicit comparisons between atheists and Nazis?

  • Krista Al Qirim

    Why was the flyer changed? I was under the impression that the flyer was the one we’ve seen over and over, but now there’s talk of a second flyer? Why was there a second flyer that hadn’t been run past Joe’s for approval? Who did that? And why?

    • GCT

      It’s the owner lying.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      The flyer wasn’t changed — there are some people claiming that the flyer was changed, but they have yet to cough up any evidence.

      In short, there was no “second flyer”.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson
  • 29A

    to: Sven2547 But if it involved Drinking,war, drugs and rap Then That is ok right. Religion Is just another way your not free. If you think you are then you live a lie.

  • axelbeingcivil

    They didn’t kick anyone out, they didn’t deny service to anyone, they just refused to participate in the fundraiser. I find their reasons for doing so disappointing but to talk about this as if they should seek legal recourse seems shocking to me. Why should they seek recourse? This is an upsetting turn of events but hardly one that violates anyone’s rights.

  • name

    I helped start and operate a cafe in Owasso Ok ( about 20 minute from BA) when one of our regulars found out that both me and my business partner were atheists she went bat-shit crazy! She even asked us (both adoptive parents) where we thought our beautiful children came from. WTH?? She was absolutely incensed. In all fairness I must disclose that a few days later she did come back and apologize….but, holy cow, what an explosive first reaction. Sad to say that when things like this happen in Oklahoma I don’t even bat an eyelid anymore….*sigh* I mean he did this to CHILDREN. At least honour your word and finish this fundraiser. It doesn’t mean you have to do another one. Ahhhh….to think I lived in GB for 4 years where it is more common for ppl to be surprised if you believe in a god and not believing is just the norm….and I chose to come back…what was I thinking? *facepalm*

  • https://twitter.com/#!/OffensivAtheist bismarket

    This is sad but i don’t think there’s anything that can be done except take this as a lesson & get something in writing in future (Just to be on the safe side). It would have been helpful if Joe had been advised to visit Camp Quests website when contact was 1st made. It’s a pain i know but from similar stories i’ve read before, it would seem the best course of action to take in the future.

  • DesertSun59

    Rational thought is anathema to a Christian worldview.

  • Nicolas Edwards

    Got to love(hate) douche bag restaurant owners. Ever wonder why christians are business people and atheist are scientist. the business people just want to make money while the atheist want to help the world.


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