U.S. Religious Zealots Sneak Into Scottish Schools Without Parents’ Knowledge to ‘Help’ With Lesson Plans

It’s déjà vu all over again.

My previous post was about Christian worship in public Scottish schools and looked at the galling fact that all pupils are signed up for it automatically, no parental permission necessary.

As if on cue, I then came across a minty-fresh example of where this state-sponsored indoctrination can lead.

British newspaper the Daily Record just revealed that a U.S.-dispatched group of Christians, affiliated with the Church of Christ, has been helping out in Scottish schools. Head teacher Sandra MacKenzie (pictured below) of the 400-pupil Kirktonholme Primary School in East Kilbride knew what the missionaries were up to — the paper says she even invited them – but the kids’ parents were left in the dark. They only realized what was happening when their children came home with Creationist books they had been given at assembly. The books

… denounce the theory of evolution and warn pupils that, without God, they risk being murdered in a harmful, disgusting world.

Teacher Sandra MacKenzie (via East Kilbride News)

According to the paper, the American missionary group has been involved with the East Kilbride school for eight years. One of its members recently opened up about her intentions, and it wasn’t a desire to help with the standard school curriculum. Instead, she said, she wanted to bring the light of the Lord to Scotland, which she described as “a place full of darkness and emptiness that is in big need of Jesus.”

The Church of Christ have targeted Kirktonholme as a “mission” and have several members helping with classes and giving lessons in religion. …

Parents were also furious to learn that cash raised by children which they thought was intended for school funds had been given to the sect to build a church nearby. …

At an assembly at Kirktonholme on Monday, the sect handed each pupil two books, one called Exposing the Myth of Evolution and another titled How Do You Know God is Real?

[Parent Paul Sanderson] told the Record he could not believe their content. He said: “They looked fair enough at a glance and one had a dinosaur on the front, but it didn’t take long to see they were spouting crazy, right-wing nonsense about how evolution never happened — real flat earth stuff. The second book talked in such threatening terms about other religions, and compared those who didn’t believe in God to those who carry out abortions.

He decided to take the books away from his five-year-old son, and the boy burst into tears.

“When I asked why he was crying, he said the man who gave them to him told him they were really, really important.”

The U.S. missionaries have also been allowed to distribute books at Greenburn Primary, a local school for children with special needs. In all, at least 1,000 evangelical books seem to have made their way from the U.S. to the Kilbride schools in the past 12 months.

For some reason, the town appears to be a bit of a magnet for religious zealots.

A ministry set up by New Zealanders Richard and Mary Harp arrived in the town in 2010 for a five-year mission aimed at setting up a youth club to build relationships in the community and evangelise families through fundamental Bible study.

The district council has now condemned the methods of the evangelist meddlers as well as the poor judgment of the Christian schoolmarms they’re in league with, acknowledging that “these books do not feature in mainstream teaching. It was not appropriate for them to be given to pupils in this way.”

Amen to that.

About Terry Firma

Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder of Moral Compass, a now dormant site that poked fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards. He joined Friendly Atheist in 2013.