Little Rock, AR
I must say, that I do take pleasure in seeing my name mentioned right after the word, "Undeterred".
Willow Springs Water Park has long welcomed church groups at a discount.
Now, no one gets the discount.
A water park in the heart of the Bible Belt is ending the $5-per-person discount it had been offering on its entrance fee to church groups after the head of a secular charity that caters to inner-city youths requested the same deal for its kids.
The Willow Springs Water Park in Little Rock, Ark., had been knocking a few dollars off the price of admission for people who came to the park with their church group. The entrance fee was lowered 50 percent to $5 for children who came in that context. However, when Leifel Jackson, executive director of Reaching Our Children and Neighborhoods (ROCAN), a secular non-profit that seeks to help inner-city youth, asked if the 35 kids he wanted to bring to the park could get the same discount, he was rebuffed by a park office worker.
The park, which hosts Bible camps throughout the summer and has long catered to church groups, charges $15 for adults, $10 for children under 15 years of age, and $9-a-head for groups over 15 people. The park knocks $6 off admission for firefighters, law enforcement and members of the military.
Undeterred, Jeff Poleet, a second ROCAN administrator, phoned David Ratliff, Willow Spring Water Park's owner, to complain about what he felt was a discriminatory practice.
As a result, Ratliff decided to cancel the church-group discounts, rather than give ROCAN the same rebate on the park entrance fee.
Everbody, in effect, was going to have to pay the regular $10 cost for children attending the water park - and no one was going to get the old deal.
But the story doesn't end there.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation, a national non-profit dedicated to the separation of church-and-state, got wind of what had happened, and a lawyer from the group fired off a letter to Ratliff, informing him that he'd better not reinstitute the discount for church groups in the future, or on a 'covert' basis.
This isn't the first time, of late, that a business has gotten in hot water for offering discounts to faith-based organizations.
A Pennsylvania atheist filed a grievance with the state's Human Relations Commission this summer after he learned that Prudhomme’s Lost Cajun Kitchen in Columbia was offering a 10 percent discount on meals to people who brought their church bulletin with them.
“I did this not out of spite, but out of a feeling against the prevailing self-righteousness that stems from religion, particularly in Lancaster County,” John Wolff, a retired electrical engineer, told the Intelligencer Journal of his decision to go toe-to-toe with the restaurant.
“I don’t consider it an earthshaking affair, but in this area in particular, we seem to have so many self-righteous religious people, so it just annoys me.”
In that case, the restaurant's owner refused to halt the promotion. And the matter is still pending before the secular Pennsylvania commission.
|A former member||
What a joke,
Separation of Church and State has no bearing on this waterpark unless it is government owned, and more then likely it is privately owned which means the owner could very well if he was smart just deny access to anyone that is atheist.
and your case on discrimination would fall on deaf ears as athesim is not a recognized religion for discrimination.