Water Park Owner Won’t Budge on Church Group Discount Despite Protests From Atheist "Bullies"
One water park’s attempt to offer discounts to church groups, seniors, and members of the military led to cries of discrimination. The Freedom From Religion Foundation fired off a letter to the Arkansas water park after a non-profit group claimed it was denied the deal. The letter reads in part:
“Willow Springs Water Park’s restrictive promotional practice favors religious customers, and denies both customers who do not attend church as well as nonbelievers the right to “full and equal” enjoyment…Any promotions should be available to all customers regardless of religious preference or practice on a non-discriminatory basis.”
David Ratliff, the co-owner of the water park,
said that Mondays have typically been slow business days at the park, so they decided to offer this discount. Their revenue tripled! “It was good business, it worked out really well,” he said.
He revealed that the controversy began when a non-profit group requested the discount, but wanted to use it on a different day. “They got very upset, tied up our phone lines for 7 hours that day,” Ratliff said. They have since apologized, but in the process the Freedom From Religion group picked up on the story.
While the group is threatening to take Ratliff to court, he doubts it will happen. “Most of the time when you stand up to a bully, they walk away and that’s what I expect to happen here,” he said. In addressing why he calls the group a bully, Ratliff said, “They are trying to put their hands in my business and tell me what to do. I don’t believe what they believe, I wouldn’t ask them for their advice and I’m certainly not going to take it when it’s pushed on me.”
He said that he’s received support from around the country, “It’s most people’s position that as Christians, we’ve given up way too much for the way too few.”