An Open Letter from the National Atheist Party

On the evening of January 31, 2013, Chelsea Welch, a waitress at an Applebee’s in St. Louis, chose to take a stand.

For those of you that have not heard the story, she was serving a group of 10 people (5 adults & 5 children). Applebee’s policy for large groups is to an 18% gratuity to the tab, which was done by the computer. The group opted to try to avoid paying the gratuity by splitting their checks up individually. This group included a pastor, Alois Bell, of the Truth in the World Deliverance Ministries in St. Louis.

WNhIP9CDue that this was a large group, the computer attached the 18% tip to the checks anyway. When Ms. Bell paid for her check by credit card, she included a comment on the check after having scratched out the added 18% (which came out to $6.29), “I give God 10 percent why should you get 18.”

She claimed that she had left the tip in cash on the table, but this has not been confirmed.

A friend of Chelsea took a picture of the check and posted it on Reddit (, where it went viral. Upon seeing the posting, Pastor Bell contacted Applebee’s to complain which resulted in Chelsea being terminated for violation of company policy concerning customer privacy.

The National Atheist Party asks that you take a stand on this unfortunate and un-Christian event. This is not about how we feel about Chelsea being terminated, Applebee’s policies, or Pastor Bell’s judgment in who to tip or not and why, or the Pastor’s religious affiliation.

This is to help make something positive out of what we believe is an irrational donation of 10% of hard earned money to a deity and help out a person who relies on these tip to meet at least minimum wage; AND to promote the National Atheist Party!

Inspired by Deputy V.P. of Operations Susi Bocks, the next time you go out to dinner and every time thereafter when possible, when it comes times to pay the check, please include a tip of 28% (18% for the service, and 10% for all the gods we don’t tithe to) and write on the check,

“I give God 0%, so you get 28.”

This will serve several purposes; 1) It will make the server quite happy, and help “pay it forward” as it were. Truth is most servers make far less than minimum wage and are expected to make it up in tips. You can help make someone’s day and the hope is they will remember it.

2) This will be an obvious promotion for the National Atheist Party and odds are some will visit our website.

3) There is a good chance this will get picked up/go viral which will result in even more promotion!

Bottom line, I believe this to be a “win-win” situation all the way around!

Start today and by all means PLEASE make sure you take a picture of the check/receipt and post it on the NAP Discussion Group site or send it to me so I can.

(Signed) Bernard “Flash” Kellish
Acting VP of PR&M
National Atheist Party

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About David Rosman

David is the winner of the Missouri Press Foundation's "Best Columnist" in 2013 (First Place) and 2014 (Second Place), the 2016 Harold Riback Award for excellence in writing, and the winner of the 2007 Interactive Media Award for excellence in editing.
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