Irony Alert: Good News Club Posts Article About Childhood Trauma

gnc_tvDisplaying of a total lack of self-awareness, the Facebook page for the “Good News Club on Television” (yes, that’s a thing) posted an article last week from Wikr, a clickbait-factory website, titled, “7 Childhood Traumas That Can Negatively Affect Your Children As Adults.”

The article doesn’t cite any specific study, but mentions “a group of researchers from McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts.” I’ve done some homework to try to nail down what study is being referred to here, but it’s unclear, since McLean Hospital participates in many of them in reference to this topic. So for this example, let’s just assume the article is legit (a stretch), because that’s not the real issue here.

The issue is that the Good News Club, a predatory evangelical organization who relies on deceiving parents and threatens little kids with eternal damnation, is trying to tell us how to avoid childhood traumas that affect us as adults. You’ve got to be kidding me. Considering the dozens of people I’ve talked to personally who have had to seek therapy to undo the damage the Good News Club and similar organizations have done to them, their complete lack of self-awareness is appalling but not surprising.  After all, if you ask them, volunteers for the GNC are doing God’s work and threatening kids with hell is completely justified.

Let’s run through the seven traumas and see where the Good News Club fits in.

1. Feeling abandoned

Want to avoid this trauma? Don’t send your kids to the Good News Club. Send them to a group that’s more inclusive and doesn’t have an unspoken “saved kids club.” The goal of Good News Club volunteers is to convince kids to meet 1-on-1 with a “teacher” to commit their lives to Christ and say a prayer of salvation. This will secure them a spot in heaven with their other saved friends and family. But if they don’t elect this path, well, they’ll be abandoned in “a dark place called hell” for eternity.

2. Feeling humiliation

Want to avoid this trauma? Don’t send your kids to the Good News Club. Similar to the first trauma, kids could feel humiliated if they apply just a little bit of critical thinking and they’re not convinced of all the “God loves you but he’ll still send you to hell” talk and they decline to go through the salvation process. Since the GNC encourages kids to proselytize to their “unchurched” friends, that often materializes as teasing about going to hell. Yes, kids can be cruel.

3. Feeling pressure

Want to avoid this trauma? Don’t send your kids to the Good News Club. I don’t even think I need to explain this one. Attendees of the GNC will feel pressure from the volunteers as well as other kids to become “saved” or else suffer their loving God’s wrath.

A screenshot from GNC on TV's YouTube channel.
A screenshot from GNC on TV’s YouTube channel.

4. Feeling betrayed

Want to avoid this trauma? Don’t send your kids to the Good News Club. This one may come later. When you fill a kid’s head with a bunch of myths and fables and sell them as the truth, you’re flirting with danger. When many of these kids get older, they realize none of the crap that was crammed down their throats in Good News Club is real, and that will certainly bring about a feeling of betrayal… betrayal by the GNC volunteers, and betrayal by their parents who sent them to that predatory place.

5. Suffering injustice

Want to avoid this trauma? Don’t send your kids to the Good News Club. One of the first things kids in the Good News Club will learn is that they’re inherently flawed. There were born sinners, and there’s nothing they could have done to avoid it. They are punished this way because of the mistakes of Adam and Eve in the garden. Being told this news may feel like an injustice to kids, since they didn’t personally do anything to deserve hell.  They’re also told that anything they “think, say or do” that displeases God is a sin.  So if you just think about sin, you go to hell. They’re convinced that sin is like a disease. The only cure is to commit your life to Jesus.

6. Being invalidated emotionally

Want to avoid this trauma? Don’t send your kids to the Good News Club. I think we’ve covered this one. There’s not much more invalidating than telling little kids they’re deeply flawed and that despite being a happy child before they walked in the door, there’s something very wrong with them. It’s possible that everything in their lives that made them happy before is wrong and goes against God because it’s not glorifying their deity. The music they listen to, the TV shows they watch, the games they play… all meaningless without Jesus (and very possibly riddled with sin).

7. Feeling rejected

Want to avoid this trauma? Don’t send your kids to the Good News Club. Kids who attend the Good News Club are faced with the ultimate rejection — rejection by God. If they don’t go through the salvation process and rid themselves of their sinful natures, the creator of the universe will personally reject them when they die and send them to eternal punishment and darkness, away from all of their family and friends.

So yeah, when the Good News Club shares an article about preventing childhood trauma, we’ve reached the pinnacle of irony.

One last item to note:  It’s that time of year again — back to school. Good News Clubs will be on the hunt to recruit kids to join their clubs.  Be vigilant in your local school districts. If you see a violation of church/state separation in respect to the Good News Club, ie. schools promoting or endorsing the GNC, notify a church/state watchdog group, or better yet, send it to me at contact@secularvoices.org and I’ll follow up.

 

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 →

21 thoughts on “Irony Alert: Good News Club Posts Article About Childhood Trauma

  1. and they did not mention “beind raped by a priest in the church”????

    that surely must be one of the most hideous of traumas in children life…

  2. How about the trauma — at least, I’d say it rises to the level of trauma — of being told (by people you trust) that you and everyone you love will burn in torment forever and ever (amen) if you (and they) don’t believe the right things and behave just so to avoid sinning? That right there led to a lot of long, anxiety-filled nights in my childhood.

    1. I cried myself to sleep many nights when my grandfather’s health began to turn. I had never asked if he was “saved” and he lived too far away and his dementia was too advanced to have that conversation at the time and I cried at my own failure and the thought that he might burn in hell for all eternity (because of me, my christian mind told me). It was a few more years after he died that I began my walk away from xianity and eventually all theistic/religious belief. I’ll never get those nights back, I’ll never erase the terror I felt. But, I can heal now that that toxic ideology no longer has it’s grip on me.

  3. Try all of the above MINUS the option to pray the sinners prayer or whatever, since super-Calvinism is the bestest and truest Christianity and it says God chooses us, we don’t get to choose, freewill is practically a dirty word, and this complete lack of spiritual agency is emphasized so heavily it seems like the central tenet of True Christianity ™, PLUS ‘the world is going to end any day now, you’ll never live to be an adult’, PLUS an ever-shrinking pool of people you see outside immediate family (schools of any kind are right out, as is associating with schoolkids, too far out in the boonies to go to the trouble of homeschool groups, oh most churches are evil so we’ll stop going in order to practice our sooper special True Correct Christianity with the three other families in the tristate area who believe the same super-fringe things we do, oops we ran out of money we’ll stop doing even that…).
    Fuck Harold Camping, and good riddance.

  4. My 5 siblings and I had catholicism shoved down our throats 24/7 from the time we were born. Believe me, the GNC teachings are *nothing* compared to what the catholic church taught in the 50s and 60s (and, from what I can tell, still does)! We were told that everyone other than catholics were going to go straight to hell, die early, etc etc. We were not allowed to play with non-catholic kids. We went to catechism for 4 hours on Saturday, and then to 1 1/2 hour masses on Sunday. When we were getting ready for confirmation, add another 4 hours every Friday. Every night we knelt down on the hardwood floor to say the rosary for an hour. (I had constant bruises on my knees.) And so on. By the time I was 13 I was an atheist, though I didn’t know the word til I was in my mid-30s. By the time I was 19 and my youngest brother was 11, all of us were at least skeptics. My dad, who was an atheist, converted to catholicism to marry my mom in 1950. He later described it to me as “a year of indoctrination” and said he had to go to the church every day while he was being indoctrinated. He told me he wouldn’t do it again, and shortly after us kids left home, he stopped being Mr Supercatholic and became an atheist again. He died an atheist, though my mom insisted on a funeral mass and burial in a catholic cemetery. He was cremated, which the catholic church very much discourages, but by the time he and my mom wrote their wills and durable powers of attorney, he was his own person again. This kind of thing can have life-long consequences, as you can tell. Now, all of us kids, and our children are one stripe or another of atheist.

    1. > He was cremated, which the catholic church very much discourages,

      Actually they’re OK with it, although a full body burial makes them more money. Still, try to find an RCC cemetery without a columbarium.

      What they do object to is splitting or scattering remains (because Jesus hates putting them back together?)

  5. Child predation, plain and simple. They may not be sexual predators, but they are still predators. They infiltrate public schools, specifically targeting children between the ages of 4 to 14 for indoctrination (the 4/14 Window), enticing kids with games and food to lure them into this particular form of Christianity.

      1. Also to silence victims.

        Father McFeely is in a unique position in both the children’s lives and the parents’ lives, in that he has, or claims to have, a line to god AND the authority to determine who is damned. He has power over the fate of your eternal soul. For a believer, that’s, uh, that’s some really heavy shit.

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