Adolph Hitler founded a youth group movement in 1923 which he called the Hitler youth. He realized that to gain control of the people he would have to start with it’s youth. He ingrained within the youth members the idea that Nazi beliefs were the only true ideas and that embracing these ideas would make Germany the greatest country in the world. He created nationalists within the ranks of the Hitler Youth, nationalists who grew to despise the rest of the world, considering all other nations inferior. Hatred was fanned for all other races, and for those who rejected the idea of such hatred. The Hitler Youth were directed to report everyone who rejected the ideas of Nazism, even their own parents.
Now let us turn to present day, to a school, possibly near you. Let’s talk about “The Good News Club”, also known as “Child Evangelism Fellowship” (CEF). The Child Evangelism Fellowship was formed by Jesse Overholtzer in 1937, presently headquartered in Warrenton, Missouri. There are currently “Good News Clubs” in over 3000 elementary schools in the United States. On June 11, 2001 the USA Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing CEF’s Good News Clubs to meet in public elementary schools after school hours, based on equal access and protection from viewpoint discrimination. There is more Christianity in today’s schools than in the last 100 years.
Parents in school districts across the nation by consenting to allowing their child to attend these after school activities of the CEF are providing the church in Missouri thousands of new adherents. The children are urged by their CEF handlers to witness to their parents as well as other children in the schools they attend.
The methods used by these elementary school evangelists to attract the tots whom they wish to convert include the distribution of candy and cookies.
Children are instructed that they are born sinners in need of salvation. The classes include methods children can use for personal growth, including prayer, studying the Bible, and sharing their beliefs with other children. These classes, it is plainly stated, are “for the purposes of converting the children to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, disciple them in the word of God, and establish them in a Bible-believing church for Christian living”.
When the CEF approaches a school for the purposes of installing a “Good News Club”, they describe the club as a form of “moral instruction” from a “religious perspective”. Truthfully so, but they leave out the rest, the part about the teaching of religious doctrine, in which the club also engages.
The CEF, in their own literature, describes public schools as “mission fields”, and the evangelization process in the schools as “harvest work”. Children of other faiths are considered unsaved and in need of salvation.
In short, the CEF program became a source of disruption and division in many schools as people of other faiths began to feel alienated. Many parents had mistakenly assumed that since it was allowed to operate within a school building that the CEF program would be a kind of neutral harmless Bible club. However, the CEF is a fundamentalist type of Christianity. It is intentionally exclusive of Muslims or Jews, nor even liberal Methodists or Catholics, which for the CEF are simply people who must be converted.
Whereas parents can understand that such groups, holding session after hours on school property, are not endorsed by schools, children do not have this same luxury and look upon the CEF teachers as having every bit as much authority as the regular public school teachers. Schools, after all, are compelled legally, by our Judicial system, to allow entities like the CEF, which are not part of the school system, into the public schools. Just as children at elementary school age are ripe for proselytizing because of their pliable and trusting nature they are just as incapable of reasoning that just because a club is in a school does not mean it is endorsed by the school. However, this is the way the CEF wants to be perceived… as part of the school. When offered space in a nearby church, the CEF consistently refuses to move.
I would suggest any parent read :
The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children by Katherine Stewart,
Read it before you commit little Bobby or Suzy to The Good News Club.