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.
“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.”
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.