Local Mom Gets Attacked Online by Good News Club Supporters for Standing up for Church/State Separation

It’s no secret that I often scour social media for references to the Good News Club, in an effort to prevent schools and school districts from advertising the clubs or showing unconstitutional favoritism toward them.  When I find a violation, I respond to the school, and so far have been very successful in getting posts taken down. And when not successful, I’ve rallied the troops to assist in amplifying our voices.  In every instance, schools have removed their Good News Club references in the end.

Today I came across a something posted to a Facebook parent-teacher group by a mother in Virginia, Heather Davis (no relation), who was looking for more information on what the Good News Club is.  Her son asked her if he could join, and Ms. Davis thought she remembered getting a flyer through the school earlier.  Another member of the group responded, letting her know what the Good News Club is.  Ms. Davis replied with her thoughts on the separation of church and state, saying she thought getting a flyer for a religious group through a public school was inappropriate.  Then the persecuted Christians jumped on her.

I’ve posted the entire thread below and have not obscured the names of the participants, as this is a public Facebook group.

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We see this type of reaction often from supporters of the Good News Club or other promoters of religion in public schools. I have no doubt that most of the kids who attend the Good News Club enjoy it.  But that’s not the issue here.  Often, the abused aren’t aware they’re being damaged.  Yes, to many of the kids who aren’t thinking critically, or dare I say, not allowed to think critically, the Good News Club is exactly as advertised — fun and games and stories from the Bible.  What they don’t realize, and often times do realize later in life, is that the Good News Club employs a psychologically abusive narrative.  They teach kids they’re inherently flawed and have sinful hearts, and the only way they can fix their broken souls is by accepting Jesus as their personal savior.  In other words, “You’re no good without Jesus, and you’re doomed to eternal separation from everyone you love. Unless…”  The Good News Club works to tear down a child’s self-esteem in order to repair it with fundamentalist Christianity.  It’s calculated and abhorrent.  Remember, these kids can be as young as 4 years old.

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Unfortunately, these supporters of the Good News Club just don’t get it. But I don’t expect them to.  Instead of trying to understand Ms. Davis’s objection to the distribution of religious flyers through her public school, the other members of the parent-teacher group jumped on her for suggesting such a practice might be objectionable.  Their defenses went up immediately and never came down, despite Ms. Davis saying multiple times that she’s not looking to challenge the existence of the club or start any trouble.

Imagine using the same “logic” they’re attempting, but with a different subject, say… abortion. “If you don’t like abortion, then don’t get one.” I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t fly with them.  The “if you don’t like it, don’t do it” tactic is flawed in so many ways. I don’t like rape, and I don’t do it. But I’m not ok with other people getting raped. So I should just shut up about it, right?  Yeah, no.

After reading this discussion, I personally reached out to Heather Davis to offer my support and thanks for speaking up for church-state separation. I also pointed her toward more information on the Good News Club, via goodnewsclubs.info, and offered to help her start a Young Skeptics chapter in her school if she’s interested.  I hope she takes me up on that offer.  It sounds like they need it.

 

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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 →

33 thoughts on “Local Mom Gets Attacked Online by Good News Club Supporters for Standing up for Church/State Separation

  1. What is that saying again? You will know them by their love? Or was it you will know them by their illogical spittle flecked rantings? They profess to be the former, but it is clearly much easier to figure out who is christian by the latter.

  2. I’m fairly sure that the litany of calls to the effect “if you don’t like it, ignore it”, would turn to howls of protest at anything they didn’t approve of.

    Hence the objections to Baphomet monuments being placed next to ones of the 10 commandments, to Satanic Church clubs being held alongside the GNC’s, and to mosques being built opposite churches and synagogues.

          1. The BSA kind of messes it up for everyone because:
            (1) They are run by adults — think cub scouts.
            (2) They have a “religious principle” that says “no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God.”
            (3) They have a Congressional charter.
            (4) They get to use our public schools to spread their message.
            (5) If the BSA can get a Congressional charter and permission to use our public schools to indoctrinate kids, why not have the Good News Club be able to do the same?

          2. OF COURSE the BSA is run by adults. But the BSA does NOT exist to promote a particular *religious* world view. The “Good News Clubs” do.

          3. Sure. You can give them some song and dance about how you’re on a spiritual journey, trying to figure out your place in the universe, and that will suffice. The BSA doesn’t promote the Christian religion over all others. Good News clubs do.

          4. Does not exist to promote a particular religious world view?
            Have you read their religious principle lately?

          5. Re: “Vague references to a god are not a particular religious principle, i.e. the Christian religion.”

            (1). They’re the ones calling it a “religious principle”; not me.
            (2). They have essentially said that they prefer monotheism, preferably Judeo-Christian monotheism (but, admittedly, sometimes monotheistic Buddhism).
            (3). They espouse Judeo-Christian religion at the same time they pretend to revere indigenous culture that’s been primarily polytheistic and animistic. Really, they mostly make a mockery of both.
            (4). They marketed themselves to my kid and his friends, and put their “religious principle” on the membership form.
            (5). As a retired military veteran, they have quite a bit of gall to tell my son and his friends and the parents of his friends that just because I’m an atheist I somehow cannot be the best kind of citizen.
            (6). The BSA should NOT get special treatment from the government to spread their particular religious nonsense, no matter how watered down it is.

          6. The BSA still excludes atheist kids. And because of that, they don’t deserve to get a pass on the ‘social betterment’ thing.

          7. The BSA is a private group. They shouldn’t be allowed to use the school communication methods either.

  3. Note how quickly the ‘hate’ card was played? You have raised an objection to us pushing our beliefs on impressionable children therefore you must hate Jesus/God/Me!

  4. Sounds like a job for THE SATANIC CHURCH!

    Why, those christians were so loving and awesome for saying the kids/parents could just throw away the flyer. Since the GNC isn’t ran by the school, then these parents wouldn’t object to TSC passing out flyers and running an after school club at their school. I mean, TSC club won’t be ran for the school!

    1. Except that the Satanic Temple has not been successful in removing the GNC in any of the schools they’ve opened or distributes flyers in. No one will be able to remove the GNC except school boards or the courts. They have way too much money and support.

      1. I don’t think that would be the point, though. I mean, sure, TSC would encourage christians to drop the programs. However, if the programs can’t be dropped, they should at least be countered by a secular group.

        1. That’s TST’s point, though, as stated by their leadership. They’re doing this to get schools to drop all their programs. It’s the same tactic they use with religious monuments and Bible distribution. They’re using shock value to try to get all religious groups banned. They don’t intend to open 5,000 ASSCs in GNC schools. However, prior to ASSC we already launched an alternative called Young Skeptics. It just doesn’t get as much press because it’s not as controversial.

  5. Thanks for this, Kevin! There’s something about the GNC that really gets under my skin, a feeling that only gets worse as clubs have found their way into four elementary schools in our county. And thank you for posting a link to Young Skeptics – it may offer a viable alternative to the sugar-coated hatred peddled by the GNC. I’ll have to look into what it takes to bring the Young Skeptics clubs here.

    1. I’m sure they wouldn’t like that either, because they don’t seem to have the ability to separate church and the role of public schools in our society.

  6. didnt seem like they were attacking her-but they got really defensive about her mentioning that they should not be distributing flyers during the school day.
    There doesn’t seem to be a specific legal issue with the good news club, since it’s not part of curriculum, but there’s definitely a moral argument against teaching 4 year olds they are going to hell. But thats not much different than what goes on in homes all over America.

  7. I’d like to ask all these “Good News Club” defenders if they’d be supportive of the school’s distributing flyers for an After School Satan Club.

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