12 Responses

  1. Ima Freethinker says:

    Terrific review of an important, illuminating, and troubling book. Christians and other believers should be appalled and moved to action against the Child Evangelism Fellowship and their Good News Clubs. Tia is not about religious freedom–it is about an intolerant, fundamentalist agenda to warp minds and destroy science-based education.

    • SecularHumanist199 says:

      While christians and other believers should be appalled, for the most part they won’t be. Too many are either indifferent to the way the rights of the minorities are trampled by efforts like this bad news club, or they support the idea that all children need to be indoctrinated with their beliefs. Unfortunately there seems to be a small minority of christians who really care about not using public institutions to indoctrinate children and even those who do care are somewhat indifferent because they figure it doesn’t hurt them. They don’t seem to understand that the specific views being pushed by these radical groups are just as likely to conflict with their views of christianity as they are to conflict with the views of other religions or the non-religious.

      • Lisbeth Ogle says:

        My understanding of a higher power is MINE. I promise you those who share a pew in my middle of the road Methodist church do not share the same understanding of God, Jesus or the Bible. I CHOOSE to go to that church and listen to the ministers. There is no test or grade for my participation in a religious rite. In order for us to have religious freedom, our children must be able to choose their religion. If he has no choice of teacher, minister, doctrine, he has lost his right to religious freedom. I agree, we are ignoring the glaring truth and allowing marginal groups to dictate how our religious beliefs are interpreted. It is impossible for me to tolerate my evangelical friends and their rigid views, why should my child be subjected to that before he can formulate a personal choice? Love and Light people.

        • JNWesner says:

          Lisbeth, I’m pleased to hear a logical reaction coming from a Methodist — my former faith and that of some of my family. Will you bring this problem to the attention of your pastor/Sunday school class/adult discussion group? Might your church investigate whether this is impacting your city? Would you be involved in organizing mainstream churches against this invasion? This is the way reasonable religious people and groups can separate themselves from those who would use government to impose their beliefs. And it would earn you the gratitude of nonbelievers everywhere.

        • Patrick says:

          “In order for us to have religious freedom, our children must be able to choose their religion” I agree. However, studies have demonstrated that the odds of a person being religion in adulthood decline dramatically if that person was not exposed to religion as a child. I think “getting ’em while they’re young” is pretty much essential to the survival of religion. Almost no one becomes religious whose first exposure to religion occurs after they acquire critical thinking skills, i.e., after reaching adulthood.

          • Lisbeth Ogle says:

            That sounds familiar. I left a church 22 years ago when they started asking us to go to schools and gather around a flagpole. HUH? Separation of church and state?

  2. Keith Cumbie says:

    Indoctrination of the helpless. I remember being 5 and having a teacher tell me how I was going to burn in Hell forever if I didn’t have Jesus in my hearty. Pure savagery.

  3. HenryC says:

    As frightening as this is, we need to understand if these groups are actually proselytizing. Those rulings hinged on free access for rights of assembly and speech and equal treatment. There can be no legal doubt that they should be allowed to have equal access as other groups, as long as their activity remains within the group.

    The more frightening thing to me is the invasion of creeping evangelical tendrils into our military officer corps via ‘voluntary’ participation in religiously motivated groups. This is well documented and a real threat to the American values of military aloofness from political affairs, because most of the rabid evangelicals I know have no problem with ‘living their religion’ in their work and public lives. Imagine a religiously motivated military command structure ‘answering to a higher law’ in a time of national upheaval….not a pretty thought.

  4. john simone says:

    If Christian Good News clubs are constitutional, then someone needs to start a good ole fashioned Satanic Bad News clubs in the elementary schools. Hip Hip Hurrah for freedom of religion.

  5. Pamela James says:

    I forgot all about the “Good News Club” until this article showed up. My 40 something atheist adult children, use to go to the “Good News Club” in our neighborhood . They wanted to go because they served Cool Aid, something that I didn’t serve at home. They were free thinkers even in grade school, and never bought in to the program.

  6. Tina says:

    The “good news club” is pushed at our children’s school often! They tried to bribe the children with gifts to come and other children were pushing my 8 year old to join. My 8 year old was nearly swayed until I explained to her what they would be teaching her. Instead, we took her engineering class.
    My Children (6 and 8) have been harassed in latch key and in school about religion. You see, our 6 year old is truly scared that there may be demons and angels that he is unable to see watching him all the time. He fears this as he has been told by kids and adults that they are everywhere. We had to sit down an explain to him that there are no such things. As a result, he argued with another student when pushed on the topic that there are no such things as angels. An adult then got into the matter and got after my son for being wrong in front of all the other children. When we went to the adult to set her straight, our 8 year old begged us not to say anything as the other kids would be mean to them.

    GOOD NEWS CLUB my ass!