Over 100,000 Public School Students To Get Lessons On Killing Unbelievers
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 02:32:36 PM EST
In a May 30, 2012 story in The Guardian, journalist Katherine Stewart, author of The Good News Club: The Christian Right's Stealth Assault on America's Children reveals that next Fall over 100,000 elementary school students in American public schools will receive explicit coaching on the scriptural justification for killing unbelievers, every last one - drawing on Old Testament scripture that, according to Pennsylvania State professor Philip Jenkins, author of Laying Down the Sword: Why We Can't Ignore the Bible's Violent Verses, has historically been used by the Pilgrims to justify slaughtering Native Americans, by Catholics and Protestants to justify slaughtering each other, and during the early 1990s in Rwanda, to justify killing Tutsis.  
The genocide lessons - which emphasize that divinely-mandated instructions to kill unbelievers must be carried out thoroughly and without reservation, will be taught next year in "Good News" clubs in over 3200 public schools across America, by the Christian fundamentalist ministry Child Evangelism Fellowship.

As Stewart describes, the CEF's new curriculum is quite direct - there's nothing "spiritualized" or metaphorical about its use of scripture.

Paraphrasing the Old Testament scripture I Samuel 15:2-3, the Child Evangelism Fellowship's new lesson plan teaches, "You are to go and completely destroy the Amalekites (AM-uh-leck-ites) - people, animals, every living thing. Nothing shall be left." The manual then instructs the teacher to tell students, "That was pretty clear, wasn't it?" Stewart continues,

"Even more important, the Good News Club wants the children to know, the Amalakites were targeted for destruction on account of their religion, or lack of it. The instruction manual reads:

"The Amalekites had heard about Israel's true and living God many years before, but they refused to believe in him. The Amalekites refused to believe in God and God had promised punishment."

The instruction manual goes on to champion obedience in all things. In fact, pretty much every lesson that the Good News Club gives involves reminding children that they must, at all costs, obey. If God tells you to kill nonbelievers, he really wants you to kill them all. No questions asked, no exceptions allowed."

Stewart emphasizes, it doesn't stop there. As I Samuel describes, Saul was not fully compliant with God's orders to kill every last one of the Amalekites and their livestock - he let the king and some of the animals live. The lesson repeatedly hammers the point to students that Saul did not pass the "test" of obedience to God's word.

The lesson ends with the declaration, "If only Saul had been willing to seek God for strength to obey!"

In The Good News Club: The Christian Right's Stealth Assault on America's Children (read a review of the book by Rachel Tabachnick), Katherine Stewart explains that this deeply disturbing indoctrination, carried out in public schoolroom classes after the school day has ended, is fully legal according to a 2001 Supreme Court decision which ruled that it was unconstitutional to prevent religious clubs such as the "Good News Clubs" from setting up in schools because religion really amounts to speech from a religious viewpoint - in other words, it was a free speech issue.

Emphasizes Stewart, these new clubs that have sprung up in schools across America tend to be run by people from outside the local community, typically fundamentalist Christians who use stealthy and deceptive methods to evangelize children. According to Stewart, the clubs themselves often split entire communities, creating inter-community conflict where none had previously existed.

The Child Evangelism Fellowship carries a range of prejudices typically associated with the politicized religious right. In an op-ed published in the January 2012 newsletter of the Child Evangelism Fellowship Alabama Chapter, chapter head Doug Clarke writes, in an apparent call for CEF instructors to covertly use scripture to instill anti-LGBTI prejudice,

"there are new state laws now in California which “require homosexual indoctrination for all students” in the school systems across the state...

What can be done to counteract these things? Proclaim the truth to replace the lies that children are hearing. This is just one blatant example of how the enemy is feeding lies to the children of today. The answer is Good News Clubs in the schools. In a recent Good News Club lesson on fear and God’s answer to fear, the teacher taught about Saul’s wrong response to fear of going to a witch for advice. Children as young as five began to talk about Ouija boards and other things to do with witches.

It is shocking that they know of these things so young. Children need to hear the truth about how they were created, how God loves them, and how God can save them and make them the persons He wants them to be. They need to know what God says about things like witches and homosexuality. These can be addressed in Bible lessons in discreet ways so our children will have truths that prepare them for the lies they are receiving."

Katherine Stewart's deeply disturbing Guardian story comes only days after the release of a new book by one of the original architects of the contemporary politicized Christian right,  Colonel V. Doner, whose Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America warns that the evangelical right's "neo-fundamentalism" is coming to mirror the radical Islamic fundamentalism behind the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Writes Doner,

"While many fear the Islamic fundamentalists' plot to place the world under Islamic Law, the Sharia, most Americans may not know that Christian conservatives, long the dominant wing of the Republican Party, are increasingly falling under the spell of theocratic utopianism with its goal of establishing "God's Law" as the law of the land."

In the book, Colonel Doner ("Colonel" is his name, not a title) describes his background, as a "Christian Jihadist", and his break with the Christian right movement he'd helped to create, writing,

"I realized that the main difference between "our people" and "their people" (Islamic fundamentalists) was that ours (with the notable exception of bombing abortion clinics and assassinating doctors) had not (yet) resorted to violence."

At the core of Doner's book are two chapters devoted to Sarah Palin and the New Apostolic Reformation - possibly the most radical, and perhaps the fastest growing, segment of American evangelicalism - a faction of "Neo-Fundamentalism" so politically and ideologically extreme that Doner worries its leaders might trigger a second American civil war.

The New Apostolic Reformation is the charismatic evangelical tendency in evidence in the 2006 documentary Jesus Camp, which covers a Christian summer youth camp run by child evangelist Becky Fischer, who, in the documentary, expresses her hope that the Christian children at her camp will learn to be as dedicated to their faith as Palestinian suicide bombers.

Making a major appearance in the documentary, at Fischer's camp, was NAR prophet and The Call ministry founder Lou Engle, whose The Call stadium events have included exhortations from Engle and his young disciples, from onstage, for their followers to become martyrs for the cause.

Youth pastors from Engle's ministry are currently running after-school evangelism clubs, similar to Child Evangelism Fellowship's "Good News" clubs, in California public schools.

Engle's ministry played a major role, in 2008, in helping mobilize churches in California to pass the anti-same sex marriage voter amendment Proposition Eight. In May 2010, Engle took his The Call event to Kampala, Uganda, in apparent support of a bill, looming before Uganda's parliament since 2009, that in its original form would allow the execution of gay Ugandans for something termed "aggravated homosexuality".

Speaking to BBC reporter Sorious Samura, at the Kampala The Call rally, powerful Ugandan evangelist Julius Oyet, who openly calls for the execution of homosexuals, stated that "Lou Engle is a strong ally" and interpreted Engle's The Call rally as clear support for the bill.

Beyond advocacy of martyrdom and virulent opposition to LGBTI rights, another theme that the New Apostolic Reformation shares with militant Islam is its desire to destroy objects associated with competing faiths.

In March 2001 in Afghanistan, the Taliban dynamited the mammoth 6th Century "Buddhas of Bamiyan". New Apostolic Reformation doctrine teaches that followers of competing belief systems practice idolatry and witchcraft, and NAR leaders advise their followers to burn, smash, or otherwise destroy or dispose of books, art, and other objects associated with competing beliefs, such as Catholicism, Mormonism, Islam, Jehovah's Witnesses, Hinduism, Buddhism and other eastern religions, Christian Science, native religions, and Baha'i.

This June 2nd, 2012, United States Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) will be a featured speaker at a conference hosted by the Fort Mill, South Carolina ministry of Rick Joyner,  a major apostle and prophet in the New Apostolic Reformation. In a 2007 "prophetic" writing, that seemed to envision a coming Christian version of Sharia law, Joyner declared,

The kingdom of God will not be socialism, but a freedom even greater than anyone on earth knows at this time. At first it may seem like totalitarianism, as the Lord will destroy the antichrist spirit now dominating the world with "the sword of His mouth" and will shatter many nations like pottery... the kingdom will move from a point of necessary control while people are learning truth, integrity, honor, and how to make decisions, to increasing liberty so that they can.
correction: (June 6, 2014) The original version of this story incorrectly stated that the quote from Child Evangelism Fellowship Alabama Chapter head Doug Clarke was from an op-ed by Clarke that was published by the national newsletter of Child Evangelism Fellowship, Impact. The op-ed was published in the newsletter of the Child Evangelism Fellowship Alabama Chapter, Clarke Chronicle.

You can read my review of Katherine Stewart's book The Good News Club at

http://www.alternet.org/story/154435/the_religious_right's_plot_t o_take_control_of_our_public_schools/

by Rachel Tabachnick on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 05:17:57 PM EST

Child abuse.

by phatkhat on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 05:47:01 PM EST

In a New Apostolic Reformation website belonging to a Scott Webster Ministries, Webster coolly calls the story of the smiting of the firstborn of Egypt "strategic genocide". How very Taliban. This is how perverse these people have become.  

by annette williams on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 08:23:19 PM EST

Why not mobilise volunteers to set up a humanism and ethics club after hours?

by annette williams on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 08:35:29 PM EST
The Secular Student Alliance (secularstudents.org) is such an organization, and one to which I send support as I am able. The problem is, they have a very hard time getting permission to use school facilities to hold meetings and events. The religious groups have no such problems.

by phatkhat on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 10:04:56 PM EST
At my school, about 2/3 of the religious groups on campus have questionable ties, if they aren't overtly dominionist.  They have no problems getting recognition, and I know in a few cases the students don't really run the program... it's a minister assigned by the church who runs it (against school rules).  At the same time, when a progressive Christian group tried to get started, the school refused them and then delayed for months.  A single progressive Christian group... the only one.

I also have heard that things like that - progressive or secular groups having problems (unless they're specifically for a certain activity/interest, like chess or radio).  Yet the "Good Christians" are running around crying "Persecution!".

I think groups like the Gay-Straight alliances are also having difficulties in this area, but that was a rumor.

by ArchaeoBob on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 10:33:12 PM EST

student groups were only at the high school and college levels.  The Good News Clubs are in elementary schools. Are you aware of any secular/freethinkers type clubs at that level? An expansion of Camp Quest perhaps?

by BGBlade on Sat Jun 02, 2012 at 09:21:51 AM EST

The comments regarding the complete destruction of nonbelievers reminds me of something my youth pastor said (back when I attended a fundamentalist private school).  During bible class he said flat out that there were only two options for getting America 'right' with God: pray for the salvation of the unsaved or...kill anyone (even the 'little bitty babies') who did not accept Christ as their savior.  A few of the students were equally zealous in their willingness to take human life if it served a divine purpose.

Few people realize that the fundamentalist criteria for the return of the Messiah is contingent upon the world being bathed in a sea of blood. Heaven help us of those people ever acquire access to the Football.

by LupusGreywalker on Sat Jun 02, 2012 at 09:06:28 AM EST

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