Good News Club Launches Petition to Seemingly No One

Unless you’ve been living off the grid for the past month, you’ve heard about the Satanic Temple’s plans to create an after-school club for kids in direct opposition to the Good News Club.  While I’ve made it clear that I’m not super thrilled about the ST’s approach on this one due to kids being in the crossfire, I’ve stocked up on some Orville Redenbacher to watch this one play out.

As I’m vehemently opposed to the abusive practices of the Good News Club, I regularly scan social media to see what they’re up to.  Today I came across some posts from GNC’s parent organization, Child Evangelism Fellowship (I get the chills every time my inner voice says their name), asking their faithful to sign a petition on their website.

The intro to the petition reads:

God has used after-school Good News Clubs to do a great deal of good in the lives of children and families as well as for the schools and communities involved. Not surprisingly, groups of atheists continually oppose Good News Clubs in hopes of removing them from public schools.  Would you express your support of after-school Good News Clubs in public schools by taking a few moments to sign our petition?

My first thought — who the hell are you petitioning?  It doesn’t say on their website or anywhere on their posts.  Since the operation of GNCs in public schools are legal and currently unchallenged, why is CEF collecting signatures on a petition?  Is someone telling them they can’t do something? I sent them messages on Facebook and Twitter to find out (and yes I was polite).  They have not responded.  I’m less than shocked.

Image via screen grab

After clicking on the link to sign, I see things I’ve never seen on any other petition, which tells me that this, like the Good News Club’s permission slips, is intentionally not at all what it purports to be.

It starts with name, email, and location. No big deal. Then there’s a check-box question about how you heard of the GNC. Ok, sure. After that, there are two free-form text boxes asking why you support the GNC and then what impact has the GNC had on your life.  On a petition?  Sorry, no.  This is not a petition at all.  This is a request for testimonials so that the GNC can say, “Hey look everyone, we’re doing a good thing here and people shouldn’t be picking on us.”  I can only assume they’re proactively creating a case to stay in schools, predicting that districts may move to kick them out in order to keep the Satanic Temple out too, under equal access statutes.  As I’ve said before, if that happens, expect low-budget school districts to be bullied and dragged through the court system by CEF, a very well-funded and well-lawyered organization.

One day it would be great if CEF/GNC would just be transparent about something instead of trying to trick everyone into giving them what they want.  This is just another example of what an underhanded organization this is.  Something tells me that if someone filled this out explaining the negative impact the GNC has had on his/her life, being subjected to threats and intimidation, and subsequently seeking therapy to right the wrongs of their indoctrination, CEF would toss that testimonial right into the trash.  Feel free to test that out.

Because honesty is just an obstacle to the success of Child Evangelism Fellowship.

 


Kevin Davis

Kevin Davis is the head writer and editor for SecularVoices, co-founder of Young Skeptics, and author of Understanding an Atheist. He is known for local and national secular activism and has spoken at conferences and events such as Reason Rally 2016 and the Ark Encounter Protest and Rally.

View all posts by Kevin Davis →

3 thoughts on “Good News Club Launches Petition to Seemingly No One

  1. I agree. It’s about collecting names of allies that could, for example, show up at a school board meeting to sway opinion. An ethical organization would actually tell people that’s the purpose… but we all know about GNC ethics.

  2. GNC’s parent organization is Child Evangelism Fellowship? Where will I get my overpriced vitamins and muscle growth meals from now?

  3. RE: “Something tells me that if someone filled this out explaining the negative impact the GNC has had on his/her life, being subjected to threats and intimidation, and subsequently seeking therapy to right the wrongs of their indoctrination, CEF would toss that testimonial right into the trash.

    .
    Exactly that happened on Facebook the other night and this is a transcript:

    Donna Hill (From the Good News group)
    December 21, 2015 at 2:47pm

    Last I heard it is a free country. We held an event where I live and the kids had a great time. Twelve gave their lives to Jesus. We thank you for the publicity as it helped get the word out better than we could have done by ourselves. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. By the way, we did not disguise what our party was about. Parents knew coming in and were fine with it.

    ZF (parent)

    Donna Hill Actually, you are. So you manipulated twelve? Well, isn’t that nice. Since last March, just two of us, took 7 back from your clutches where we live. And this year we will prevent more. Our local freethinkers group is planning on inviting/forming such a group to our school. Even if they don’t start a group, they will be there, right next to GNC’s recruiting table, countering your every move with a kinder and gentler and less insidious message than you and yours.

    .
    Why am I so angry you might ask? But I bet you already know. Because of what people like YOU did to my daughter!

    I had a kindergartner in THERAPY because of what our local Good News Club put her young mind through. They LIED about not telling children about hell. And turned around while parents weren’t around and shoved hell down their little throats every damned week…And you seem to think you are so “benign” HA!
    Bashing babies on rocks? Genocide of killing entire groups of people? Yes,
    that’s exactly what verses came home on her little cards they sent with her! And
    they mentioned hell so much, and described in great detail what that meant,
    what happened there, and she even knew precisely how Jesus was gorily and
    excruciatingly nailed to a cross (as the organizer PROMISED they would never
    tell…”oh no, they’re too young to be told about the crucifixtion or
    hell, we won’t teach her about that. Don’t worry” Before YOU she never
    even knew the word hell and had no idea how Jesus died even though we went to an evangelical church…she only learned those things from YOUR type! GNC are
    generally a bunch of lying, sadistic, child-damaging Christian extremists who
    want to enslave the young with your vile beliefs to make sure they’re scared
    enough that they become your type of Xtians for life. My child, after months of
    therapy, finally got to a point the terror and nightmares stopped. Telling a 5
    yr old child that at 2 yrs of age if they write on a wall with a crayon like
    she did (disobeying her parents) that that 2 yr old would automatically go to
    HELL without YOUR god. How dare you tell innocent children they’re born evil?!?
    You are sick and sadistic in your interpretation of God. Seriously!? WTF is
    wrong with you people? And don’t lie and say you guys don’t do these things.
    Like hell! I’ve SEEN your curriculum, it’s posted on your damned website…you
    can’t even claim you don’t do those things. Your whole message is about hell
    and damnation, and you lie and trick children with treats and Christmas points
    for buying gifts if they’re good. Words can’t convey the disgust I feel towards
    your group. You should be seriously ashamed of yourselves. And IF there is a
    hell, the one’s going there certainly aren’t the children, it’s vile and evil
    adults like yourself. Don’t like it? Tough. It’s the damned truth. You guys are
    the only evil in our schools. And I warn everyone I know who gets near that
    door on the first day of school where you start recruiting innocent children
    and unwitting parents exactly what you guys do. And that’s the Good News that I
    will spread. The good of staying away from GNC like the plague that you are.
    Thanks to you, you’re turned off at least 7 children from Christianity forever!
    My daughter actually hates Christians like you and distrusts ALL Christians
    because of the evil behavior of the ones like you. So, YES, you ARE plenty
    scary! And yeah, it backfired, horribly and we spread the word and even more
    parents woke up and talked to their children and found out what you truly were
    up to…and we will continue to fight you. Keep slithering in, but never
    forget, many of us see right through your lies now. And you’ve got a fight on
    your hands now. And I’m not even in Oregon.

    Unlike · Reply · 2 · August 2 at 2:19am ·

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