Friday, June 22, 2012

When Good News Is Bad News

Cover of The Good News Club book, with a chalked hopscotch board in the shape of a cross on a playground
MinnPost's Beth Hawkins has an eye-opening interview with Katherine Stewart, author of The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Assault on America’s Children. (Nice cover, by the way!)

An excerpt:
[Religious organizations like good News Club are] taking advantage of a 2001 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Good News Club vs. Milford Central Schools. It removed any serious Establishment Clause concerns with Good News-style activities.

Whenever a school creates what is technically known as a limited public forum -- say it opens its doors to soccer or art or pretty much anything like that -- it also has to allow groups such as the Good News Club because the religious activities in the club are now basically considered nothing more than speech from a certain point of view.

The number of Good News Clubs in public school went up 728 percent in the 10 years since the Milford decision. Other religious initiatives have made use of that decision as well.
Stewart tells of "student-led" prayer events that are clearly adul- driven and of students repeatedly leaving religious pamphlets on another student's desk even when asked not to. She continues,
So finally the mom went to the pastor of the youth group whose kids were doing this and said, “Look, we know you mean well, but we’d really rather you didn’t do this.” And the pastor said, “We don't care about you, lady, we want your kid.”
It's hard to believe these proselytizers don't see how they are violating their own cherished Golden Rule. Would they want an atheist or Muslim group to treat their kids like this? Obviously not.

No comments: