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Stealth evangelism groups

A useful list from Americans United.

If any of your school board candidates cite to these materials or get funding from these institutions, get after them.

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Submitted by PA_Lady on

I didn't know these kinds of groups were still around until last year when either the Power Team or the Strength Team was at our high school. I heard about it after the fact, from my extremely irate daughter who (along with several others) had gotten a detention slip for leaving the assembly.

Not that anyone actually had to serve detention; the school learned a valuable lesson: never mess with a pagan teenager who keeps the ACLU on speed dial "just in case."

Submitted by PA_Lady on

She does want me to point out that she's never actually had to call the ACLU, but threatening to do so keeps the school off her back. Plus having them on speed-dial impresses her friends.

According to her, it wasn't that intense, except for when the teacher at the exit tried to make her return to her seat because "someone who wasn't living in a Christian home needed to hear the message." When she and the others refused, the teacher gave them all detention and sent them to the office.

The principal did try to tell them the detention was for being rude, but Miss M. told them she thought the ACLU would see it differently -- and would they like her to call them? The principal very quickly backed down.

I'd actually love to get her to write about some of the issues from her perspective; she's incredibly engaged and quite the social activist already -- and in just 12 more days, a new Independent will be registering to vote!

Submitted by PA_Lady on

in her opinion. Since 7th grade, we've had worse battles with them over free speech and religion issues.

And "You need to..." is definitely a hot button she inherited from me.

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Submitted by chicago dyke on

kudos to your daughter, PALady. tell her to never, never back down in the face of the fundies.

i'm not surprised, but damn i'm sick and tired of reading about "educators" pushing religion on our kids. i mean, that's not even legal, right? right? i know it happens all the time, but jeebus. this is why if i had kids i'd homeschool them if i couldn't afford a very expensive, academically oriented secular private school.

Submitted by PA_Lady on

I'll pass those kudos on to her. I always joke that the problem with teaching your kids to think for themselves and stand up for what they believe is that they'll use it against you. :) Inconvenient sometimes, but I love watching them get involved and take action.

It's not legal. The problem is evangelicals believe they're justified in breaking the law because they're "right" and the laws are wrong. For them, this is another front in the holy war and anyone who opposes them is literally a tool of the devil.

One thing I don't think the fundies realize is how many people, but especially kids they're driving away from Christianity in general. Most of my kids' friends are agnostic or atheistic because they were so turned off by what's become the face of Christianity. Even if they'd grown up in mainline or liberal churches, identifying as Christian today means being identified with fundies.

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Submitted by chicago dyke on

due to upheavals in the family when i was a child, i went to a lot of different schools. i started out in a very rural all white but me and sis public school system that practically defined "small." then i got put in a fancy secular private school with a motto "100% college acceptance for all our grads." then i went to a suburban school system that is pretty typical of suburban school systems.

in each case, teachers and administrators felt that we needed to go to informational rallies on a regular basis. my mom actually wrote a couple of nasty letters to the schools, asking them when they had the time to actually educate me if i had to go to so many mandatory assemblies. in the rural public school, the fundies were the most regular groups to hold rallies, and the barely disguised they religious evangelicalism at them. and yes, we had no choice but to go and sit thru them.

interestingly, educational fascism isn't limited to public schools. at the private school (and this was in the 80s) the big requirement was "health" rallies. AIDS! be afraid! you can get it from a mosquito! don't ever have sex! ever! i'm sure you can guess how effective those were...

if anyone wants a homeschooling curriculum that i guarantee will get your kid into a top 25 college, just let me know. it's what i do, when i'm not working one of my other 3.5 jobs.

Submitted by PA_Lady on

My school did this all the time as well. There are two that really stand out -- the spandex-clad "rock band for Jesus" whose drummer couldn't keep a beat, and the "save it for marriage" Donny and Marie-type act that made sex sound like the most dangerous and disgusting thing ever -- but all of them were very overt, not even the thinnest attempt at disguise. And every last one of them would pick me out of the audience to ask, in front of the world if I knew Jesus died for me, for me,suffered and died and was tormentedin hell for me. (Ugh, even now, my face burns thinking about it.)

This because I was in my Joan Jett-phase, and black leather could only mean "OMG SATAN WORSHIPPER!!" :)

AIDS in the 80's.... Our hospital was one of those at the forefront of the AIDS crisis because it was a teaching and research hospital, and my mom was a nurse on the AIDS ward, when AIDS patients were still segregated. So much of my social activism developed back then because of her example. She took on the area churches when they said AIDS was a punishment from God. She took on the school board and the PTA to have safe sex taught in the sophomore and senior health-ed classes. She even passed out condoms at the prom. (Embarrassing at the time, but now I think it's cool.)

I'd love that curriculum! I know a few parents who'd love to homeschool if they could find a good, secular curriculum. M. will be a senior this year, but anything that can strengthen her English and composition skills would be a huge help.

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Submitted by chicago dyke on

a long while back here i got into a really nasty blog fight with one of our better and more regular posters of that period about the changing trends in religion in america. i argued just what you're saying is happening is happening. i've had this flamewar with another poster over at Hoss' place too; he doesn't believefundie religious belief among the young is declining as i do.

personally, i think it's a combination of things. the internet is the biggest one. any kid can look up "history of jeebus" or "what is pagan belief?" etc., and their parents don't even have to know. add to that the explosion of "supernatural" cultural icons in popular culture- vampires, WoW games, LOTR and Potter madness... xtianity must seem so boring in comparison.

but i also agree that one thing the young hate is pushy hypocrites telling them what to think and do, esp when the young can see how very obvious it is that many xtian figures are nothing more than lying hucksters. again, this is facilitated by the intertubes, where a young person can easily research the preacher or whomever is telling them they must have xtian faith.

i don't have high hopes for the next generation, as they've been robbed of education, a functional economy, democracy... like a lot of doomy people, i believe that neofascism and a continuing decline towards third world kleptocracy here is inevitable. however, i also believe that we're very close to breaking the hold xtian belief has had for too long in this country. if i had the time, i'd apply for grant money to research this topic. i know from my time in div school that very few surveys and scholars are asking the young the right questions about belief, and even fewer are published and read widely.

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Submitted by chicago dyke on

children: feel free to contact me. i've worked in highly selective college admissions for over a decade now, i know what i'm doing. as always, it's so much better if you can talk to me before your kids enter the 9th grade. i'm sorry more folks aren't aware that yes, it really does matter what they're doing in that period, and yes, there are things you can do to overcome the shortcomings of whatever current educational reality your kids have, even if you're busy and broke. but anyway, for Correntians, you get my stuff for free.

Submitted by PA_Lady on

I was just thinking about how the internet has changed everything when I was writing about AIDS in the 80's. Imagine the difference in the response, in the action taken, etc., if AIDS was starting to appear now.

I just read somewhere, (maybe at slacktivist?)* that the total population of self-identified evangelicals hasn't changed in...40-50 years? I think. Whoever the author was, the theory is that while evangelical churches tout the number who are converting, the number of people who identify as evangelical has remained static because either a) equal numbers are leaving -- either to other sects (ie: mainline) or leaving Christianity altogether, or b) the same people are simply moving from one evangelical congregation to another, or some combination of the two.

Combine the easy access to alternate information with the belief that many Christians are hypocritical and uncaring about real problems in today's world, like poverty, homelessness, etc, and I agree that while Christianity as a religion will survive, the numbers will diminish, and the fundies will lose the power they currently wield.

*ETA: Yep, it was at slacktivist: "Crept out the back door"