Winter is coming.
This week, the Freedom From Religion Foundation reported that FFRF is joining forces with Protect Our Children and Southeast Wisconsin Freethinkers to warn Milwaukee-area parents that Child Evangelism Fellowship, the organization responsible for predatory Good News Clubs, is beginning a two-week evangelism blitz in their communities and schools.
Each year, CEF chooses a new US city that they feel is just godless enough to need their “assistance” in poisoning the gullible minds of children by teaching them a fundamentalist view of the Bible — that everyone is a sinner, even for just thinking about sinning, and that “everything in the Bible is true because God never lies.” Say it with them and you’ll get some candy. Nope, not creepy at all. CEF’s city-targeting program is called Good News Across America and has focused on Little Rock, Boston, Salt Lake, Minneapolis, Denver, Portland, Indianapolis, and Chicago (cleaned that one right up) in the past. In order to accomplish these invasions, CEF partners with local fundamentalist churches, charges them a fee for training, and requires volunteers to sign their Statement of Faith that includes the following:
- The Bible is inerrant
- The Genesis creation story is true
- The supreme mission of Christians is to preach the gospel to every creature
- Jesus will return and you should be constantly looking for him
- Those who aren’t saved will be thrown into a lake of fire and punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.
They sound like a lot of fun at parties.
CEF’s goal in Milwaukee is to set up 5-day clubs similar to Good News Clubs, that are akin to a fundie boot camp for kids. In these clubs, according to FFRF, CEF focuses on sin and their belief that all children are sinners until saved by Jesus Christ. They shame and frighten kids by telling them their sinful ways make them undeserving of God’s love and eligible for eternal separation from everyone they love. Imagine all of the things you hear from wackjob street preachers, reworded to a kid’s level, and put into songs and “fun” activities.
The biggest issue I take with CEF is that they’re liars. You want to have a Bible camp for kids? Fine. You want to run an after-school Bible class, fuck you, but ok fine. But don’t lie about your intentions. Be transparent. Show us what you want to teach kids (if you want to see their curriculum you have to buy it, and it’s not cheap). And above all, don’t lie to parents. But that’s how they operate. They tell school officials and parents that they’re all about fun, games, prizes, and lessons from the Bible. Bullshit. They’re about spreading fundamentalism disguised as a “non-denominational” club, and they’re about scaring the shit out of little kids until they feel compelled to say a prayer of salvation one-on-one with a church volunteer and can be deemed “saved.” CEF then reports that “victory” to their donors and sponsoring churches so they can get even more money to assist them with saving the world. If half the parents who send their kids to CEF’s clubs even knew what happened there, the shit would hit the fan and this vile organization would get the exposure they deserve. I’d love to see the day when CEF is forced to pay for the therapy that many of its attendees have to go through later in life to correct the guilt instilled in them by Good News Clubs.
FFRF is encouraging vigilance during this effort, asking people to “observe and document the activities of 5-Day Clubs that spring up in their community, so parents are not deceived about the clubs’ true nature and purpose.”
And by the way, FFRF is based in Wisconsin. Coincidence that Milwaukee was selected? I doubt it.