The Good News Club, which is sponsored by the Child Evangelism Fellowship, bills
itself as an after-school program of "Bible study." But Stewart soon
discovered that the Club's real mission is to convert children to
fundamentalist Christianity and encourage them to proselytize to their
"unchurched" peers, all the while promoting the natural but false
impression among the children that its activities are endorsed by the
Astonished to discover that the U.S. Supreme Court has deemed this – and other forms of religious activity in public schools – legal, Stewart set off on an investigative journey to dozens of cities and towns across the nation to document the impact. In this book she demonstrates that there is more religion in America's public schools today than there has been for the past 100 years. The movement driving this agenda is stealthy. It is aggressive. It has our children in its sights. And its ultimate aim is to destroy the system of public education as we know it
* * *
Although I'm familiar with this kind of religion, I was shocked at some of the things said to children in The Good News Club after-school programs.
Stewart's description of a typical program is truly frightening. One can only imagine what it does to a child to hear that a God who 'loves' them would ever send them to a fiery hell. One has to wonder how this kind of teaching will affect their view of love.
They are taught they must believe that Jesus died on the cross for their sins because that's the ONLY way to get to Heaven.
They are told to pray, to go to church, and, of course, to tell all their friends about Jesus.
One thing I found particularly disturbing is on page 140. Stewart tells of observing a Good News Club program with twenty-six children. Most of these kids are five-to-twelve years old.
The leader is a woman named Deborah, who has her five-week-old baby girl strapped to her chest in a baby swing.
She tells the kids that she was saved when she was three and a half years old. But her mother wasn't sure until she heard Deborah tell her two-year-old sister she was going to hell.
As if this isn't bad enough, grown-up Deborah proceeds to tell these 26 children we are all born in sin. And that the first thing her baby did after she was born was sin.
If you're wondering how a newborn manages to sin, Deborah explains, "Waah, waah, waah! She wanted her own way! Do you know that's a sin? She wanted her own way! We are born wanting things our own way, not God's way. And," she looks at the children for emphasis, "that's a sin."
Her baby cried. That's a sin? Wow.
What an awful thing to tell a child. Or anyone, for that matter.
I highly recommend this book.
And anything else written by Katherine Stewart.
Available from Amazon
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