Last night, I got to hear author Katherine Stewart talk about her book, “The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children.” Before the talk, I was vaguely aware that there were fundy Christian groups pushing afterschool Bible Studies, but I had no idea just how extreme these groups actually are.
I don’t want to give away too much of the talk because I do want people to buy the book. But I do want to talk briefly about some of the highlights of the talk. Also, I will be publishing an interview with Stewart on Examiner within the next few days, so subscribe to my Examiner page.
What these groups are doing is using the cloak of authority that schools have to push their radical beliefs. Stewart told a story about how one little girl thought that since she learns facts in school, that these Bible Studies were teaching actual facts. While it is easy for us as adults to separate school programs from programs that happen to take place on school grounds, kids often are not able to make that distinction. In fact, when one of these groups was given the option for more space at a local church, they declined because they wanted their program to be in the school so that they can cloak their agenda under the authority of the school.
These aren’t just regular Bible Study programs either. I was pretty surprised by just how ridged the curriculum (if you could call it that) of these programs are. It isn’t a “club” as much as it is an indoctrination factory. All the “clubs” use the same text books with complete “lesson” plans that must be followed to the letter. Every “club” uses the exact same plan on the exact same day. There is no deviation and no original thought.
And guess what they preach? Their principle message is obedience to authority and complete and total submission. These groups aren’t just trying to convert atheists, they actually try to deceive Christian parents so that they can indoctrinate kids into a more extreme fundamentalism than parents realize.
- School shootings caused by ‘Under God’ in pledge (examiner.com)
- God & Guns (skepticink.com)
- 5 Shocking Ways the Christian Right Has Forced the Bible Into America’s Schools (alternet.org)
- I Was A Boy Scout; I’m Better Now (skepticink.com)