Well I hope is satified now….he ended all discounts for everyone. The Water Park isn’t a government owned or operated one and the “separation of church and state” doesn’t apply to it. I wished the Water Park owners hadn’t caved in to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, because the foundation didn’t have a leg to stand on.
Well just after posting this aritcle, I ran across this one that says the discounts aren’t over and Willow Springs Water Park isn’t caving in to the Freedom From Religion foundation:
Exclusive: Christian Water Park Owners Dismiss Atheists‘ Attempts to ’Bully’ Them & Vow to Continue Season’s Religious Discount
On Monday, TheBlaze spoke with David Ratliff, who owns Willow Springs and operates it with his wife, Lou Ann. While it was originally reported that the couple would be discontinuing their deal for faith groups — a choice that was initially praised by the FFRF — David said that this simply isn’t the case. While the owners removed the discount from their web site while they sought legal advice, it was never ceased.
“We never stopped it. We just pulled it off the web site,” David told TheBlaze. “In no uncertain terms, we are continuing this program, however Labor Day is the only Monday left [in the season].”
The owners, who are Christians, initially started the religious discount to try and drum up business. But, it wasn’t only for those who embrace religious beliefs, as individuals over the age of 50 and military members are also eligible. The idea to implement it, David says, was his wife Lu Ann’s.
“This was originally started out as a market test to see if we could beef up our business on Mondays,” David explained. “We chose these three different groups based on the need [and the] importance of military, the fact that people over 50 would bring other guests, [and the fact that, in the religious groups] people are generally well-behaved.”
“We’ve always given discounts to churches. Up to now, it’s never been questioned until this non-profit wanted to use this $5 thing,” he continued.
When the park told ROCAN that the group would not be eligible for the religious discount, David claims that one of the men who runs the organization threatened him with a lawsuit.
After David and Lou Ann were told that Willow Springs was breaking the law, they sought legal advice to see if they are on shaky ground. As a result, the couple is confident that they are operating within bounds and they will, thus, continue to offer the discount throughout next month.
As for next season — something that the FFRF expressed fear over — David said that he and his wife haven’t yet decided what they will do regarding the discount.
“We’ve got to sit down and look at it. We may want to put a little twist on it. We may want to do it in a different fashion,” he explained. “But whether or not we do it will not be based on what the Freedom From Religion [Foundation says].”
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. (If that was me, I’d just have to take them up on that threat, because they’d lose big time.)
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.