Well, this erupted over the atheosphere about a half hour ago. Turns out a BBQ place in OK had agreed a month ago to do a fundraiser for Camp Quest Oklahoma. It was one of those nifty things where you bring in a flyer and part of the proceeds of your meal goes to the organization of your choice. Always been a fan of those.
Well, the kids spend 2-3 weeks handing out flyers for this place, they go there, set up their table, eat dinner, and then after they have all eaten and paid, and pulled aside by the owner to be told that he found out that they are a camp run by humanists, and donating would be against his “Christian philosophy”, so he’s closing down the fundraiser aspect of things.
Davidson, of course, claims that he wasn’t aware that they were atheists. Plenty of people have pointed out that the flyer that he signed off on says both “humanist” and “free thinker” on it, but I’m going to assume for a second that the guy doesn’t know what those mean. However, you’ll notice the timing on all of those: he waits until after they have all given him their money, until they have dedicated weeks to advertizing for his restaurant, after he has wrung every last bit of cash and effort out of these kids, then he drops the bomb that he’s not going to give them the money he promised.
There are three points that I think really need to be addressed.
1. Even if he did just find out that Camp Quest is run by humanists, so fucking what? I mean, he was entirely behind it as a science camp when he presumably thought that good Christians were running the place. Does science change based on whether it’s being taught by an atheist or not? Let’s put creationism and climate change denial aside for a moment and pretend that we’re talking about a science camp for kids that doesn’t talk about religion in the slightest and just encourages children to be active in scientific pursuits. Is there somehow a difference if those people who are not going to talk about religion at all believe in the same floating magician as Davidson?
2. Joe Davidson continues to insist that they were not kicked out nor was anybody refused service. While this is in contention based on reports from members of CQ – OK, let’s say for a minute that that’s true. What does he want? His parade’s in the mail for being such a stand up guy that he’ll take money from atheists, even if he won’t help them raise it. Bravo, Joe! You’ve proven that your principles only apply to outgoing cash, not incoming. What an awesome person you are.
3. Let’s not pretend that this is anything other than it is: Davidson is stealing from children. They did work for him advertizing his restaurant and rather than pay them the 10% of proceeds that he promised, he closed down after all of their work was already done. The man is not just a liar, he is a thief, one with absolutely no scruples who is delighted to hide behind the skirts of Scripture when it comes time to pay up. This man (and his wife) stole from underprivileged children who wanted to attend science camp.
You know what? That deserves a Human Excommunication. I don’t know what kind of a human being knowingly steals from poor kids, and perhaps my imagination is too limited to be able to fathom such heartless cruelty.
JT has a little more on this, including screen caps from the now deleted Facebook fan page and an update where Joe has changed his story, and Hemant has details on how you, yes you, dear reader, can donate to Camp Quest Oklahoma since it’s clear that they’ve just wasted a month of fundraising time on people trying to take advantage of them.
You don’t steal from children.