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Oklahoma Joe’s Bar-B-Cue doesn’t like evil atheist kids who want to learn about science…

I guess it's time to write about another fiasco at an Oklahoma barbecue restaurant. Don't worry. This time around it doesn't have anything to do with the Video Vigilante and some guy named Scott Adams.

Last night, I was alerted to an odd situation developing in Broken Arrow. Apparently, a group called Camp Quest was having a fundraiser at a restaurant called Oklahoma Joe's Bar-B-Cue. No, not that Oklahoma Joe's. This is apparently a real Oklahoma Joe's. It's real as in it's actually located in Oklahoma. More on that later.

The fundraiser was one of those things where a non-profit or charity gets a bunch of people to come to the restaurant, and in turn, the business donates 10% of proceeds to the good cause. Here's the flyer:

camp quest oklahoma joes flyert

Basically, it's a fundraiser for a summer camp for children of atheists, naturalists and humanists, and since the kids don't spend time singing Kumbaya or whatever it is they do at church camp, they learn about science instead. At least I think that's what it is. I really hope it's not a cult or something. That would be awkward.

The concept of teaching children about the natural world didn't sit too well with Oklahoma Joe's owner Joe Davidson. Shortly after the fundraiser started, he announced that Oklahoma Joe's would not be donating any proceeds to the charity.

Here's a sign he put on his front door:

camp quest letter

How exactly did this fiasco happen? From the Friendly Atheist Blog:

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

He (Oklahoma Joe) 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'm sympathetic to the cause of Camp Quest, but I'd have to side with Oklahoma Joe's owner on this one. If he doesn't want to support the group because they don't conform with his narrow-minded Christian values, that's his right. Is it shitty that he had this awakening during the event? Yes. Does it reflect poorly on him and his business? Of course. Do I hope all of his children slap evolve fish emblems on their cars and convert to humanism? Absolutely.

That being said, I wonder what the ultimate-Christian Jesus would have done? Would he have cancelled the fundraiser, or would he have bitten the bullet and still donated money to a group that just wants to do something good for kids? Hopefully he would have done neither and simply turned BBQ sauce into wine, or better yet, cured the world of its problems. That would be awesome.

Anyway, instead of focusing on whether or not Oklahoma Joe's is right or wrong, let's move on to something more important. How in the world is this jackass getting away with destroying the Oklahoma Joe's brand? Oklahoma Joe's in Kansas City is legendary. I've never dined there, but I've seen it profiled on so many of those Travel Channel and Food Network shows that it's pretty much my favorite BBQ restaurant. Here's a statement they posted on Facebook:

oklahoma joes response

Two things:

1. I guess don't blame the original Oklahoma Joe's. It looks like they are innocent.

2. If you want to help the kids at Camp Quest recoup the money lost from this event, you can donate at their website. If you don't want to do that, at least go leave a mean Video Vigilant'esque Urban Spoon or Yelp review about Oklahoma Joe's. That actually sounds like something fun to do. That way, you can pretend to be the Video Vigilante and not have to stalk hookers and Johns or hang out with Scott Adams.

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