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I saw Tom Taylor has books for sale at The Home Place restaurant. Apparently he either is or was treasurer of Child Evangelism Fellowship.
Here’s an interesting, relatively brief, video of the CEF.
And she tells the honest to the bone truth in saying, “If atheists, Muslims, Jews, or any other group were to insist on opening a network of thousands of adult-led clubs for public school kindergarteners and were to reward them with candy and prizes for recruiting their fellows, systematically attempted to deceive parents about the nature of the teachings they were offering, and misrepresented their activity as “study” rather than proselytizing, well then I would write a book about it and oppose it vigorously. And may I point out that in my book, I do write about programs sponsored by the Kabbalah Center and the Scientologists that I consider inappropriate.”
NO OTHER GROUP would be allowed into the schools and we all know it.
Sandi, it’s not so much that no other group would be allowed in. Certainly, parents opposed to those programs would make a stink but I don’t think it comes from the school administration.
I think it demonstrable other programs are allowed in and mostly welcomed although they continue to be a minority. You will of course have outliers.
But the real problem with things like the Good News Clubs is they’re underhanded and deceitful.
1) As they point out in the film, children have a hard time differentiating between these programs being permitted with being school endorsed. Children know their parents send them to school to get an education in how the world works and they take it all in. By having these clubs put up posters, sometimes taught by teachers, etc. it gives the children the impression their parents want them to learn this stuff and that it’s true. The children expect adults in schools to teach them.
2) The clubs, mostly through omission, “lie” to the parents. They advertise themselves as non-denominational which sounds like Christianity lite. So Catholic parents will send their children for example only later to find their children have been taught the Pope is the anti-Christ and unless they accept the brand of Christianity being taught at the GNC’s, they’ll burn in hell.
3) They use their children to bully other children into attending. It’s painted as a loving act because otherwise the children will burn in hell. I suppose if you really believe this stuff and care for your classmates, that’s somewhat true, but still it’s a form of bullying.
4) They teach children through fear and loathing. They tell the kids they were born with original sin and simply by being born (as if the kids asked to be?!) they deserve death and the only way to get past that is through accepting Jesus.
5) They teach unquestioned obedience. They use the example of Saul(?) and the Malachites(?). Saul was ordered by God to wipe out the entire tribe of Malachites but in showing some compassion and letting some people live, he’d disobeyed God and that’s wrong. Can you imagine what would happen today, or 1939 say, if some charismatic leader found a population already conditioned to the idea that killing is OK if the supreme leader ordered it?
A very good article about the ‘Rawlsian veil of ignorance’ which I’d never heard of before. Mildly philosophical about a just society.
A just society, according to Rawls, is a society whose structure, whose rewards and punishments, are set up before we know what position we will hold in it. The Rawlsian veil of ignorance cuts deeper than most people realize. Take for example old-fashioned meritocracy: grades, schooling, intelligence. Should intelligence be highly rewarded? Would you set up society to reward the smart heavily if you didn’t know you’d be smart? Most of smart is your parents, in terms of nutrition, education and genetics. You don’t choose your parents, you can’t know that you’ll be smart before you’re born. Smart is mostly not a choice, neither is healthy, nor a type A personality, and so on.
….But what the past 40 years have proven is this: if you lose your job, you’re on your own. If you’re in your 40s and 50s and you lose a good job, you’ll probably never, ever, have a good job ever again. People who are displaced by economic change, good or bad, aren’t taken care of. We have reduced retraining, made welfare and unemployment insurance harder to get, increased university tuition, not made efforts to find or create new, good jobs. We hire foreigners to take over the job of older techies, since they cost too much.
People know, they know and they are right, that economic change, in our society, could cost them everything. Their job and any prospect of a good job. Their house. Their marriage. Their health care and even their life.
So they grasp tightly to what they have, and everyone fights to make sure that nothing really changes. Each person, with their little or big piece of the pie, fights viciously to keep it whether it’s good for society or not. They are right to do so……
Such child-recruitment evangelical organizations find fertile soil in our public schools where children are directed to say “under God” every day as part of the Pledge of Allegiance and where likely the national motto “In God We Trust” is prominently displayed (as it is on our currency). The message is clear: Christianity is *established* by the government as the preferred religion of the American people.
And #3 Scott, referring to your point (5), how you do think we end up with tragedies like Jonestown and Waco?
@5 Name Withheld, how do we end up with Jonestown and Waco?
I think many of the features of our society are due to us “learning” what is “right” from our neighbors. There is too much going on in the world in general to examine the proper course of our lives for the most part. We take cues from those we associate with. Tribal evolution.
If you’re unfamiliar with it, one of the most famous studies of Obedience to Authority was done by Stanley Milgram. You can still find his study in book form at Amazon. It’s one of those books everyone should read. You can read more about him here:
Stanley Milgram (August 15, 1933 – December 20, 1984) was an American social psychologist.
He conducted various studies and published articles during his lifetime, with the most notable being his controversial study on obedience to authority, conducted in the 1960s during his professorship at Yale. Milgram was influenced by the events of the Holocaust, specifically the trial of Adolf Eichmann, in developing this experiment.
His dissertation while at Harvard, small-world experiment, would later help researchers articulate the mechanics of social networks and explore the mathematical relation to the degree of connectedness, most notably the six degrees of separation concept. ……
You should also see Robert Myers’s work, The Authoritarians.
But there is some recent debate about Milgram’s work. I’ve not had time to read this but it may be relevant.
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Wed, 18 Dec 2013 14:06:31 +0000