Religion

Religion Weasels It’s Way into My Kids’ School

NOTE – This article was originally posted at Freethinking For Dummies and is posed here by the original author.

Tonight was open house at our kids’ Middle School. As we walked in the door, we were greeted by a woman handing out blue flyers about a before school program for kids who get there early to meet, have donuts and have “fun”. This program is to be held in the lower gym at the middle school.

Here is the front of the flyer. (Please forgive the poor quality, they were taken with my phone camera).

Wakeup 7

 

Here is the back of the same flyer:

Flyer 2

At this point I was still reading this.  I thought, considering that it said  ”Campus Life” that it might be a program rung by one of the local colleges.  The woman who was handing them out was standing right by the line where you had to get in to in order to get your child’s schedule.  She told us that it was a before school program  where kids could go, have donuts, hang out with their peers and have “fun”.   Never once did she mention that she was with a Christian organization.  Nothing in the literature that she handed even hinted at all that this was run by a religious group.

Fotunately, Lorraine noticed a table about six feet away from her that was set back and  that had this flyer on it:

flyer 3

We proceeded to ask the woman who was handing the blue flyers out why they didn’t state on those flyers that the program was being run by a Christian group.  She told use that their other information was available at their table.  When I raised the point the the table was set back and several feet away from where she was handing out her flyers, she directed me to her director.  I raised the same objection to him as I did to her and got the same response.  I pointed out that the blue flyer was misleading because it didn’t in anyway let parents know that this was a program offered by a religious organization.

At this point, Lorraine spoke up and asked if the kids were going to be told how much their faith will save them and that that  the must pray to god in order to be saved.  After some prodding by Lorraine, te said that, yes, they do try to help the kids find their faith and open themselves to discovering god and how he can work in their lives.  Basically, he told us that, yes, their goal was to convert children to their faith, although he was loathed to use the word “covert”, preferring words like “discovering their faith”, and “finding the faith inside themselves”.

We tried to find the principle to ask him why he was allowing this overtly religious group to meet every morning in the school cafeteria and indoctrinate children into their particular flavor of Christianity, but were unable to corner him.  We plan on questioning him on this as soon as we can.

Many parents would likely read the first flyer, which has no mention whatsoever about this being a religious activity, and figure that it would be a great way to feel safe dropping their kids off early at school.  What they probably wouldn’t know unless they had noticed the other flyers on the table is that their children would end up being encouraged to “find their faith” and pray  for Jesus to save them.

The one good thing was that after our confrontation with them, the group were handing out a smaller yellow flyer that did state that they were a religious organization.  I couldn’t tell if they were handing those instead of the blue ones or in addition to the blue ones.

Our public schools are supposed to be free of religious influence, but here, in the guise of a way for kids to “have fun” and get to know each other, and talk about issues that interest them, they are subtlety being indoctrinated into a set of beliefs that they, and their parents are unaware of and may disagree with.

 Featured image by mediummike.  All other images by the author.

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Jay

Jay

Jay is a dad, husband, and pet lover. He has a degree in Theater Arts and works as a Unix systems administrator, mainly because he has a degree in Theater Arts. He used to be a single dad, but now he is married to the perfect woman. He has two teenagers, a daughter, and a step-son. He also has an adult son. He shares his home with his wife, kids, an Australian Shepherd, and a bevy of adorable chihuahuas. He is a skeptic and humanist and tries to contribute to spreading rationality by writing about skeptical topics. You can find samples of his writing on his personal blog at Freethinking For Dummies, the JREF blog, and in Skeptical Inquirer magazine.

1 Comment

  1. February 10, 2014 at 4:33 am —

    Sounds an awful lot (with emphasis on awful) like the Good News Club. Katherine Stewart’s book (at that link), which we read for the Boston Skeptics Book Club and was the inaugural book for the Skepchick Book Club. In it, she describes the infiltration of our public schools by right-wing religious fundamentalists using stealth tactics exactly like this. I wonder if Campus Life is just a rebranding of the Good News Clubs, or if it is sponsored by a rival group?

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