Atheist Groups in Winston-Salem Will Protest Against Christian Group That Proselytizes to Children

If you’re in Winston-Salem, North Carolina this weekend, you’re in luck: The Child Evangelism Fellowship’s Children’s Good News Spectacular is coming to town:

There’s no problem with them gathering itself — they have a right to do it — but CEF is the group that has been starting Good News Clubs in elementary schools nationwide in an effort to proselytize to kids who aren’t old enough to know better.

So a group of atheists are going to protest against them this Saturday:

The protesters, which include The Forsyth Area Critical Thinkers, The Americans United for Separation of Church and State, The Triangle Free Thought Society and The Unitarian Universalist Church, say they are worried C.E.F. will try to organize more of its radical Bible clubs in area public schools.

“This group comes in and acts like a traditional Christian, accepting everyone type organization, when what they really want to do is evangelize small children to then go out into the student body, our student body, and evangelize the rest of the children,” said Jim Moury with the Forsyth Area Critical Thinkers.

Moury says he has more than 30 signed-up to protest Saturday’s event.

“They have this as a way to get students and parents interested,” said [Moury]. “It doesn’t sound like there’s anything wrong with it. They get kids in there and suck them in with their book without words –– kids who are too young to understand what heaven, hell and salvation are.

One of the many, many problems with the Good News Clubs is that it’s unreasonable to think that kids at that age can separate a school-sponsored event from a church-sponsored event held at the school. To the kids, these clubs just seem like an extension of their classes.

CEF knows this well. That’s why they try to brainwash the students at a young age.

Katherine Stewart literally wrote the book on the organization and I asked her what she thought of the protests (via email):

“I applaud the efforts of community members in the Winston-Salem area to speak up for the constitutional principle of the separation of church and state. The Good News Club may present itself as a benign effort to share its religious views with small children. But its real purpose in being in the public schools is to convince small children — many of whose families do not share the group’s fundamentalist Christian beliefs — that the school endorses a particular variety of religion. Deceiving small children in public schools into believing that there is a state-sponsored religion is not part of the free exercise of religion.”

Since the Christians aren’t going to admit that out loud, it’s up to the atheists to do it for them. Protesting this weekend — and getting the attention of reporters — may be the best way to raise public awareness about what the Good News Clubs are all about and why parents need to be cognizant of their tactics.

If you’d like to find out more information about the protest or go there yourself, check out FACT’s Meetup site.

(Thanks to Richard for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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