NTSC: Katherine Stewart

First thing: Katherine Stewart has many books.  One of them is The Good News Clubs.  Buy it.  Read it.  Trust me on this.

Good New Clubs are something I did a lot of research on when I was with the SSA.  At one point I even called their national HQ as a sympathetic parent.  The person with whom I was speaking flat out told me that most people come to Christ between the ages of 4-14 (as Doug Stanhope puts it, while they’re still Santa Claus eligible), which is why we need to be evangelizing to them in their elementary and other public schools.

What they try and do is have older students evangelize to younger students right after the end-of-school bell in order to give the impression that this is school-taught material.  This can, and does, have a powerful effect on children.  Katherine Stewart gives several examples of children coming home and saying to their parents that you go to hell if you don’t believe in Jesus, and it must be true because they taught it in school.

From the manual of the GNC:

“King Saul should’ve been willing to obey god completely, but he disobeyed by keeping the king alive.”  Lesson: partly disobeying is still disobeying.  Teaching Statement: having the children repeatedly shout: “God will help you obey.”

Scary shit.

Also, at one point one of the higher ups in the their ministry in charge of proselytizing to Hispanic kids said “Don’t disparage the Catholic Church, at least not in the beginning.”  Let there be no doubt: evangelists like this are about manipulating, not about presenting the facts.

In some cases, teachers at the schools are aiding with the deception.

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.

  • Glodson

    In their guide to proselytizing to Hispanic kids, the manual advises “Don’t disparage the Catholic Church, at least not in the beginning.”

    Yes, cure those Latino children from being the wrong flavor of Christianity, and when they are in your grasp, shit all over the Catholic church.

    I find this all pretty telling. It is dishonest, and it is brain washing. But they’ll happily accuse others of these, even though I have no desire to use fearmongering and other tricks to get children to disbelieve in god. I’m rather confident the evidence will stand for itself. All I need to do is show the kids how to examine evidence and think critically. They’ll write their own arguments in as people present bullshit.

  • Kimberly

    The making it seem like the school is endorsing the group doesn’t surprise me. My school had a church rent out our building one year. I had students tell me they were mad they were required to go to the church Wednesdays and Sundays and I and the other teachers didn’t show up. I asked them what the were talking about. We have apartments on either side of the building the kids call our playground the park and play there after school and on the weekends. The church members would go out on the playground and tell the kids they were required by the school to come to their services and drag them inside. I told them to run home and tell their parents these people tried to grab them next time because the church was lying. A parent called the cops and the church stopped using our school.

    Another thing a month after they started using our school we had a break in. Over the course of the summer and then fall we had a series of 10 break ins. Including someone pulling the school safe out of the wall and taking it. One teacher came after hours on a Wednesday so her husband and her could move a new bookshelf into her room. She found members of the church in her pod taking pictures of the computers and other equipment. They had not rented out those rooms – they shouldn’t have even been allowed in that pod. Oddly enough the string of breakins stopped after the church left.

  • baal

    “The church members would go out on the playground and tell the kids they were required by the school to come to their services and drag them inside.”
    Technically, this is known as kidnapping (even when they release them a hour later). Well, I suppose it’s all ok if the end is to love and serve the lord (or something).

    I’ve asked the schools near me geographically and the ones my son has (or will) attend about the GoodNews group and other religious groups and have been pleased to find none are present. I advocate that (after reading her book) everyone take a similar interest in their local schools and maybe ask to attend if such a group has activities in your schools.