I was recently reading a post over at Critic of Christianity’s blog regarding being a child proselytizer in the past. It struck a nerve with me as I have recently been dealing with the local chapter of The Good News Club at my son’s school. He began coming home and saying some bizarre things and jumping to irrational conclusions. For example, last week he said a dog pooped in the pavilion on the playground at school. I made a comment to the effect of “Who would let their dog make a mess and not clean it up?”. His calm and immediate response was “Maybe the devil did it.” My response to this of course was bewilderment. I asked him where he learned this stuff and was alarmed that he said school. More specifically, on Thursday’s when he meets with The Good News Club at after school care. I told him immediately that there was no such things as monsters or devils. He is having a hard time coming to terms with this thought because he believes in God. He even said Jesus lives in his heart. We used to be regular church attenders but haven’t been in over a year. He remembers all of this and TGNC only reinforced it. His dad and I contacted the school the next day and had him removed effective immediately. The teacher actually asked for me to explain why we were removing him. I tried to be respectful and told her that his dad and I did not agree with some of the things that he was learning. She asked me to elaborate, so I did. I told her that we were not religious and furthermore I did not agree with teaching children to proselytize. She let it go after that.
The night before we spoke to the school, we did a little research on The Good News Club. If you have a few minutes to spare, watch the video that is posted. If you have school aged children and TGNC in your area, beware. They state point-blank that their target age group is ages 4-14. I am ashamed that I did not realize that my child was learning things that are potentially confusing him. We had an age appropriate conversation and talked about the fact that some people do not believe in God and also that different people believe in different things. He knows that this is okay and there is nothing wrong in it. I’m not sure at his age how much he understands, but we are really trying. It is amazing how concrete and non-negotiable a child’s mind can be at his age. He literally will believe almost anything that you say. That is why they target such a young age group.
Here is the part that REALLY upsets me: The after school care teacher told me that she is active in teaching this class and that my son is going to be one of two children not participating. She said that they were made to sit outside of the library and be quiet for an hour while the other kids participate. I went to a Learning Express in order to buy him educational games to play while he waits. My child is being isolated because he will not be participating in a Christian activity. We are currently composing a letter to the Board of Education regarding this issue. I am not happy with the thought that no one is watching my child because they are busy indoctrinating other children. I do not know a lot about the law regarding issues that involve the Separation of Church and State in public schools. I know that TGNC has been able to get around it in the past and won a lawsuit and can stay on the premises of public schools. If anyone has any thoughts or ideas, please send them my way. Thank you for reading!