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Bible Clubs Terrorize Children

Christian Talk Podcast

The Oregon group, Protect Portland Children, has launched a campaign to stop “Good News” Bible-based clubs from being established in their area saying that the Bible clubs “terrorize children.”

The group is so concerned about the “terror” that they’ve taken out a full page ad (see below) in the local newspaper, The Willamette Week to warn parents of this danger.

Here are some of their concerns about the Good News clubs, they:

– Have an aggressive recruiting campaign
– “Harvest” children as young as 4 years old
– Have extreme doctrines that harm children
– Use hardcore fundamental indoctrination
– Teach that children “deserve to die”
– Teach “submission to authority”
– Teach “toxic, fear-based doctrines” that “cause traumas in children”
– Teach “harmful ideas”

Teaching children to “submit to authority”… who does that? Why would we want children to obey the law, follow the orders of a police officer, fight fighter, or worse… their boss? And then there’s that “shame” word. Why would we want kids to have a foundation for right and wrong? Because knowing that you’re doing something wrong usually produces shame, and we wouldn’t want that, right? I don’t know about you, but I want my kids to listen to authority and I want them to know right from wrong. And those teachings are not mutually exclusive from knowing how to exercise critical thinking.

Protect Portland Children goes on to say that the Good News group is using public schools to indoctrinate children, yet they are not sponsored by the school. The Clubs are functioning as an after school program that parents can choose to send their children to… or not. Lots of different types of after school clubs meet on school campuses. That doesn’t make them endorsed by the school. To say that the group is “using public schools to indoctrinate” kids is intentionally misleading to elicit a particular response.

Parents have the right to choose what type of program they want their children involved in after school. If they want them to be in a Bible program, that’s their choice.

Let’s face it, if parents are doing their jobs, every child is “indoctrinated” in something. Some families choose the Bible as their foundation, some the Torah, some Mother Nature, some Wikipedia. Our schools are indoctrinating our children in worldly matters, whether you like it or not. Indoctrination becomes a bad word when the teaching goes against what you believe to be true.

And speaking of “fear-based doctrines”… isn’t that what the Protect Portland Children group is preaching with their misleading ad campaign?

Photo credit Michael Mol

Thanks to Patheos for covering this important article and to The Willamette Week for publishing the ad.

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Joe Messina

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