Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Oklahoma Joe's BBQ in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma--would you like a side of bigotry with those ribs?

As you almost certainly know, I'm an atheist.  My husband is an atheist, and my teenage son is an atheist.  It has been our boy's dream for years to attend a Camp Quest, which is a secular camp that stresses science and adventure.  No indoctrination.  ALL are welcome, including kids who do believe but whose parents don't want to send them to a "church" camp.  This year marks the first year we've been able to swing it.

There are a number of Camp Quests serving different areas.  Last night, it came to my attention that one Camp Quest--Camp Quest Oklahoma--had planned a tuition fundraiser at a BBQ joint in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Joe's BBQ, in fact.  Now, don't mistake it for Oklahoma Joe's BBQ in Kansas City--yes, there is a link there, but until we know WHAT the link is, we don't want to slam the Kansas City folks--they likely have nothing to do with it, they may not agree at all with the Broken Arrow location.

Agree with what?

There's where it gets ugly.

You see, OK Joe's was approached by the Camp Quest OK folks about setting up this fundraiser.  The folks at Joe's were given all the usual information, the business cards, the camp brochures, the regular business information.  Understand, all these things include the words "Secular" or "Humanist" or "Free-Thinker."  You know, ATHEISTS.  OK Joe's okayed the fundraiser, in which ten percent of proceeds from the night would be kicked back to Camp Quest to pay for kids whose families can't afford camp tuition. All folks had to do was present the flyer and there you go--10% goes to the kids who need tuition assistance.

Nice, huh?

Here's the final flyer, which was approved by Joe of OK Joe's BBQ:

Notice the words "Free Thought" and "Humanist Values."

Again, this flyer was approved by Oklahoma Joe's BBQ.  There is no attempt to HIDE the purpose of this camp or the "ideology" behind it.  It is absolutely clear what this camp is, what it does, and who it appeals to.

All seemed great until the night of the fundraiser.  The Camp Quest OK folks were there, their materials and such set up, when someone from OK Joe's approached and asked to speak to one of the Camp Quest folks outside.  At this point, an hour into the four hour fundraiser, there were already donors inside, eating.  A few, in fact, had already eaten and left.  You know, their "ten percent goes to the camp" BBQ meals?  Some had already posted happy pics to Facebook, showing their fundraising BBQ feast.

And what did this someone representing OK Joe's BBQ have to say?

To paraphrase, he appears to have said, "This is against our Christian values.  We won't give money to your cause.  You need to leave."

They then put a notice in the business' door, claiming that Camp Quest had not "fully disclosed" their religious whatever-the-hell.  Here it is:

Seeming translation?  "We'll let the dirty atheists eat here, but we won't honor our agreement and support kids needing help with camp tuition, even though we said we would."

Now, the spokesman from Oklahoma Joe's BBQ has done quite a bit of fancy dancing since things blew up, claiming he never asked folks to leave (according to those he spoke to, he did--he asked the folks representing Camp Quest to take down their materials and leave), claiming that he just told them that OK Joe's won't donate the 10% of fundraiser sales to their cause.

After Ok Joe's had agreed to do so.

I'm left wondering--are they just so stupid that they don't understand what "Secular," "Humanist," "Free Thinking," "Critical Thinking" and "Scientific Inquiry" mean?  I mean, I suppose that's possible, though that still makes them losers who don't honor their agreements, whose word isn't worth squat.  Or are they the kinds of creeps who were hoping to drum up the Christian customer base by abusing some atheists?

My money's on the former, but either way, I can't imagine eating there.  Place left a bunch of kids in the lurch and went back on their word because they find someone else's ideology repugnant.

Imagine, if you will, that this was a group of Jewish kids fundraising for the local Synagogue's summer program.  Or a bunch of Mormon kids for their mission funds.  Imagine the outcry if this man and this business waited until an event was underway, then told the organizers, "No, you didn't fully disclose your beliefs, and I don't like your beliefs, so you need to take down your materials and go--deal's off."

Would you stand for it?  Would you support it?  I sure as hell wouldn't.  If a business pulled a stunt like this with Jews, Mormons, Muslims, or Catholics, I'd be RIGHT there, shouting.  Because this is crap, regardless of who the victim is.

Here's a link to the camp's site:

Oh, and if you're thinking of visiting Oklahoma Joe's Facebook page?  Don't--after scrambling wildly to pull any posts on the subject, they pulled down the page.  There are still ways to contact them, I'm sure, but the Facebook route has gone the way of the coward.

And that's all for this entry.  Grass seeds watered, chicken in the oven, and I'm outta here.


Word is Oklahoma Joe's BBQ now claims that the dirty atheists were pushing their dirty atheist materials on the poor, innocent folks in the restaurant. No, not the terms they used, but certainly the tone.  This is new, they just added this BS to the already BS story.  Witnesses say that's not true (though time will tell if certain types will leap up and mouth the lie).  So we have breaking the contract/agreement, screwing little kids out of their camp tuition, lying about asking people to leave, lying about whether or not they were told this was a secular/humanist camp, and lying about "atheist prosthelytizing."  Oh, and mass deleting comments from OK Joe's Facebook page before giving up and just pulling the page.

It's probably a good thing for Ok Joe's that there's not really a heaven . . . or hell.

Do not reprint without permission. © KAQ

1 comment:

  1. Just want to mention that they have now pulled their twitter account too.