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Camp Quest restaurant booking cancelled after Christian owner discovers its atheist roots

JOE Davidson, owner of Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ in Oklahoma thought it was a great idea that Camp Quest wanted his establishment to host o host a fundraiser in order to raise money to educate children about science – until he discovered the nature of the beast.

Joe Davidson's welcome smile does not extend to atheists

Joe Davidson’s welcome smile does not extend to atheists

CQ was founded in 1996 as a residential summer camp  specifically for the children of non-theistic or freethinking parents (including atheists, agnostics, secular humanists, skeptics, rationalists, and others who hold a naturalistic worldview.

He promptly cancelled the event, stating:

It was explained to me that Oklahoma Joe’s would be supporting a camp intended to educate children on science, which we were proud to do. The Camp Quest organizers, prior to the event date, made no mention of their non-religious beliefs or that Camp Quest is intended to foster non-religious beliefs in children.
According to the Camp Quest website:

CQ says on its website:

Camp Quest is a place for fun, friends, and freethought for kids ages 8-17. Our camps provide a traditional sleepaway summer camp experience with a wide range of activities including sports, crafts, games, swimming, and campfires. In addition to our traditional summer camp activities, Camp Quest offers educational activities focused on critical thinking, ethics, scientific inquiry, philosophy, and comparative religion.

Camp Quest is open to all children and teenagers within the age range, but it is particularly geared towards building a community for children from atheist, agnostic, humanist and other freethinking families. Our goal is to provide a place where children can explore their developing worldviews, ask questions, and make friends in an environment that is supportive of critical thinking and skepticism.

CQ then said in a statement:

We want to thank everyone who has supported Camp Quest Oklahoma this week after their fundraising event at a barbecue restaurant was cancelled on Monday night. The cancellation of their fundraiser, which had already started, was due to the restaurant owner, Joe Davidson, claiming that supporting the camp wasn’t compatible with his Christian identity.

Since the cancellation, Camp Quest Oklahoma has raised over $5,000 in donations, and these donations have come from Christians as well as members of the secular community. We know that Mr Davidson’s views and actions do not represent all Christians, and have been especially heartened to see messages and donations from Christians like one man on Facebook who said ‘I am Christian and read on Reddit what happened. Donated because what they did was ridiculous. Hope it helps’.

It had more good news:

The Stiefel Freethought Foundation is matching Camp Quest Oklahoma donations with a $5,000 grant supporting Camp Quest, Inc’s national efforts.  Although we would have preferred this unfortunate event not happen, the silver lining is the awareness and support that we have received in its aftermath.  This broad community support will help Camp Quest Oklahoma, and the broader expansion of Camp Quest’s programs.

Camp Quest is focused on teaching children science and critical thinking skills, and providing a supportive and fun community. Our programs are open to campers from religious and non-religious families, and we do not label children with a worldview. Campers from religious families attend our camps and have positive experiences there.

Our programs do focus on providing supportive community for children from non-religious families, because these families are often excluded from participating in other youth activities such as the Boy Scouts, which requires children to profess a belief in God. It’s important that children from secular families have a place where they can be themselves, and learn that there are other families out there like theirs. It’s clear from recent events that this kind of safe space is particularly necessary in Oklahoma.

15 Responses to “Camp Quest restaurant booking cancelled after Christian owner discovers its atheist roots”

  1. JohnMWhite says:

    Can’t even be bothered to moan about this. It’s just what Christians do. To be fair, it’s what Christianity has done to them. Those who donated, good on them, but they were blatantly not driven by their exclusive, divisive faith and instead by their own conscience. If only they could realise that the little voice in their head isn’t god, it’s somebody much better behaved.

  2. ZombieHunter says:

    Well if anything this guy has shot himself in the foot and lost himself a lot of customers and given himself some negative publicity in the progress so if his business goes under it’ll be his own damn fault though I suppose he’ll blame it all on “obamie and them socialists”

  3. Canada Dave says:

    Wonder if he knows that a good deal of his patrons hold no religious affiliation whatsoever.
    If he did know would his restaurant become like those in the deep USA south with signs that read “whites only” or “blacks use the servants entrance”.

    He could hang out a few signs….perhaps “bible thumpers only”
    or “those without a god need not enter”….or “this establishment serves rations….not rationality”.

    Why isn’t the civil liberties union not all over this?

  4. Buffy says:

    It was a really douchey thing to do. It just goes to show Christians put their personal bigotries before all those things Jesus actually said. The nice thing is Camp Quest has now received more in donations than it ever would have made from the fundraiser.

  5. Ex Patriot says:

    This does not surprise me at all, after living there for 18 years because of a job I found that tht state has a extreme number of brain dead godbots among the population, I was always chasing them away from my door

  6. tony e says:

    If that had been an atheist shop owner refusing to accommodate a religious organisation we would have had, by now, the predictable, and now boring, cries of persecution.

  7. Matt Westwood says:

    The most heartening news of all is this:

    “We want to thank everyone who has supported Camp Quest Oklahoma this week after their fundraising event at a barbecue restaurant was cancelled on Monday night.”

    Just the fact that atheists and freethinkers know how to spell “barbecue”.

  8. JohnMWhite says:

    I’ve seen that one doing the rounds, and it demonstrates exactly why conservative Christians are so dangerous: a man who thinks the best way to show off his pro-life bona fides is to point a gun at any woman trying to control her fertility isn’t run out of town for being a shockingly barbaric thug, but is likely to be re-elected to Congress. That is what happens when scoring points with Jesus (and the NRA) means way more than doing anything remotely compassionate.

    So where are all the moderate Christians calling him out on this? Those exist, right?

  9. JohnMWhite says:

    Darn, wish we had an edit button, I forgot to add the truly terrifying part: I saw this guy on Bill Maher’s show this week, and while I certainly disagreed with him, he seemed almost sane compared to where much of the Republican party is right now.

  10. barriejohn says:

    What better way to validate one’s “pro-life” credentials than by threatening to kill people!

  11. Matt Westwood says:

    Reminds me of 6-year-old politics:
    “Everybody has to be friendly and nice. If they’re not they should be exickuted by a skellington.”

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