Good deeds: the perfect Trojan Horse

Here’s something that’s old hat by now.

A global evangelical group that strives to place young missionaries in public schools has sparked concern among some Vancouver teachers who fear the Pais Project volunteers in their school are trying to convert students.

Pais apprentices have been working in University Hill secondary for months, offering individual tutoring and English-language assistance during the day and coaching sports teams after hours. According to their Face-book postings, they’re also “taking advantage of every opportunity to build up strong relationships with these students [and] to share God’s unconditional love with them.”

Doing good takes a backseat to evangelism!  And why not?  English tests?  How important are those compared to saving people from eternal punishment?  So who can blame the believer for taking time that could and should be spent learning to talk about Jesus?  Who could blame them for making that the prerogative?

This, of course, is not an oddball occasion.  Evangelists use feeding the poor (with the resources that don’t go to ministry) and hamstring other charities they use as a Trojan Horse to preach.  Similar groups to these people are trying to weasel their way into public schools here in the United States knowing full well that it’s illegal.  Why should they care?  If you thought young people were teetering over the brink of eternal torture, would you let a few laws prevent you from trying to rescue them?

It’s completely obvious and understandable how religion fucks up our priorities.  The people aren’t bad (generally), but their actions make sense within the context of their beliefs.  Wrong beliefs, as always, cripple our ability to be better.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Rory

    Devil’s advocate: from the story, it sounds like there haven’t been any clear incidents of wrongdoing (i.e., open proselytizing), parents are just worried about their possibly religious agenda. What would our response be if this sort of question was asked about an atheist group that was volunteering in schools? Would it be fair to say that an atheist group was simply using good works as a Trojan horse to promote secularism?

    If anything, I find this story encouraging in that the parents actually recognize that the group might have an agenda and are expressing concerns about it. Contrast that with the Bible Man case, or the Cranston situation, where you have parents openly supporting religious enroachment into the schools.

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