Kids Are Back to School, So Good News Clubs Are Back to Deceiving Parents

If you’re on Facebook and have any friends with kids, you are well aware that school is back in session for some and about to start for everyone else, because your news feed is full of “back to school” pictures.  I’m not saying that’s a bad thing.  I actually enjoy watching everyone’s kids grow up in one-year increments of time-lapse photography.

But back to school means that Good News Clubs across the country are gearing up for a new crop of unchurched and unsaved souls to pounce on, courtesy of purposely ill-informed parents, thanks to the deceptive practices of this abhorrent organization.  Today, while sifting through pictures of flame-engulfed #7 49ers jerseys and disgraced ex-Congressmen’s underwear on Twitter, I came across this, the absolute worst introduction of the Good News Club I’ve seen thus far:

THAT’S a Good News Club information and permission slip for a public school??  Oh no no no…

First off, it attempts to convey that the Good News Club is a non-denominational group.  While that may technically be true, that the GNC does not adhere to a specific denomination, the term non-denominational Christianity usually refers to a very general acceptance of Christian tenets.  The dictionary definition of non-denominational is, “open or acceptable to people of any Christian denomination.”  Yes, the GNC welcomes any denomination, but the teachings of the GNC are far from acceptable to most Christians.  The Good News Club is very much a fundamentalist Christian group that teaches children that every word in the Bible is true and should be taken literally.  That’s not the concept people think of when they hear “non-denominational.”

Second, and most importantly, where is the information about what kids will do in Good News Club meetings?  Where does it say that children will be told they’re inherent sinners worthy of death and eternal separation from their loved ones?  Where does it say that children will be told they are flawed and that they must accept GNC teachings as the only cure to what ails them?  Where does it say that GNC “teachers” will attempt to persuade children to recite the Prayer of Salvation in a one-on-one meeting with a GNC volunteer in order to “save” them from the wrath of God?  Where does it say that the reason the GNC has these meetings in schools instead of churches is because children are conditioned to trust people called “teachers” inside the walls of their school and not question what’s being taught?

It doesn’t, and that’s 100% on purpose.  The Good News Club lacks transparency and has since its inception.  The GNC routinely employs psychologically abusive tactics in order to convert children, have them evangelize to their friends, and grow the numbers for their local churches.  This is a predatory organization that focuses in on children’s worst fears.  That’s the truth, and that’s what parents need to know.

Stick that on your fucking permission slip someday and then we’ll see how popular you really are with parents and teachers.

 


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.

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28 thoughts on “Kids Are Back to School, So Good News Clubs Are Back to Deceiving Parents

  1. The permission slip also fails to include a disclaimer that the club is not sponsored or endorsed by the school. I’m not sure why parents are instructed to notify the teacher.

    1. Good catch on the disclaimer, although based on the fact that the school tweeted the permission slip from their official account, it appears they may actually be endorsing the club, another big issue.
      To answer your second statement, they have to notify their teacher so the teacher keeps them late and does not send them home on the bus on GNC days.

      1. I’m certainly no constitutional whiz kid, but can a religious organization use a public school as a meeting/instructional place? Seems to me something is wrong with that.

        1. Yes. They won that right in a Supreme Court case in 2001, Milford Central Schools vs Good News Club. They are permitted to use public school facilities under free speech, as long as the school is open to any and all groups to use it. They are using it as an outside agency, unaffiliated and unendorsed by the school, so the topic of the meetings can be whatever they want. Also, the meetings must be open to the public.

          1. GNC “chapters” have reneged on open meetings laws before though. It was reported on one of the other P.A. Blogs here.

  2. I’m hoping more sensible parents will take a hint from “…Child Evangelism…”. It’s one thing to send your kid to Vacation Bible School at your own church, but why would they think anyone from outside should evangelize to their children? I would think that most parents believe that it’s for them to decide what their kids are to be taught, and those two words put together should say to them that ideas which may not be their own will be taught at GNC. Are typical Christian parents really stupid enough to just sign their kids over to anyone?

  3. If my son were this age again and wanted to go to this club, I’d let him. It would take about two, maybe three club meetings (with discussions at home about what they covered) for him to change his mind. Kind of like with Cub Scouts. One after school leader, when we pulled son from her program, told me that son would fight authority all his life. And he does, when he disagrees with it.

  4. Not surprising. The fundamentalist Christian believes so strongly in the eternal damnation of the unsaved, that s/he’ll do whatever it takes. Whether that’s to lie, cheat, fabricate, distort, or deceive (all the things they attribute to “their enemy” – how ironic!) It’s been a facet of Christian history from the days of the “true church” redacting their own scriptures, burning “heretical” books (usually with their authors and adherents), inserting their own passages into Josephus, you name it. People haven’t changed since then. If the church was blatantly dishonest 2000 years ago, you can bet it’ll remain so to this day. sad.

    1. I don’t get it. Is there some kind of cosmic scorecard that records all the souls each individual has saved? Does the weekly winner get a free lunch with Jeebus when they get to heaven? Does Ed McMahan show up and give you some celestial prize ($1,000 a week until you’re reincarnated)?

      1. ” Is there some kind of cosmic scorecard that records all the souls each individual has saved?”

        Of course, God has a set of books in which all actions are recorded and that would, by definition mean how many souls someone saved. These books will be opened on judgement day. That’s what some people believe.

        Plus many believe there will be varying degrees of reward in heaven. IOW, not everyone will be treated the same. So I would guess there might be many who believe the more souls they win for Jesus, the greater their reward in heaven.

        1. Wow. Just wow. What’s the use of even trying to get into heaven. Sounds like the good old days on Broadway in SF where strip clubs had barkers at the entrances trying to entice the unwary tourist from the Midwest. Their pay was based on the number of “souls” they managed to bring inside. Thanks for the insights. I never knew about this dark side of xtianity. What a way to waste your life.

  5. When I was an evangelical xtian pastor, non-denominational was synonymous with, “Fightin’ Fundies” a term I learned in seminary. The fightin’ fundies are the ones who are constantly at war with some other xtians over doctrinal minutia or swinging wildly at any of the culture war targets or, more likely, both at once. The reason they are non-denominational, usually, is because they can’t get along with anyone else.
    And all that shit about the hell fire and wickedness-it is all implied in the words “xtian evangelism”.

  6. Back in the mid-forties my grammar school teacher announced that a lady was offering after-school Bible stories in the school auditorium for any student who wanted to attend. A parent-signed permission slip had to be presented. I wanted to attend because I would have signed up for anything that would keep me away from my grandmother another hour. The lady who presented the Bible stories had a flannel-board and paper-doll Bible figures with a bit of flannel on the back to illustrate her stories. After each story she asked if there were any questions.

    One afternoon a little boy raised his hand and asked, “do dogs go to heaven?”

    The Bible-story lady said, regretfully, that they do not, because “dogs don’t have souls.” I decided she was a fool and never went back.

    I didn’t tell my grandmother, though. I just played in the school-yard until Bible study was over and then went home.

    1. Flannel boards, yeah! Did your regular teacher have one of those trays filled with some kind of thick jelly that she would use as a duplicator? Pour on some smelly liquid, lay the master on it, rub back and forth a number of times, then lay blank sheets and rub the to pick up traces of ink that the master left on the surface. Then all the kids would get a teeny bit high smelling their worksheets. Fun days, the late 40s. No bibble lessons, though, thank Satan (all hail Satan).

  7. JEZZUSSSS! It’s STILL separation of Church & State! “Christians”, please leave us alone. We do not try & convert you!

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