© Intrinsic Dignity
Every year, thousands of public elementary
school children bring flyers and permission
slips home to their parents, seeking to take
part in an after-school “Good News Club”
inside one of over 3500 public elementary
schools in America.
The flyers promise an hour or more of fun
and Bible-centered character and moral
education. Because the club takes place on public
school grounds, parents assume their children will be safe and unharmed.
But the snacks, games, prizes, songs, and fun activities mask a dark
message of shame and fear indoctrination. The Good News Club
curriculum is filled with over 5000 references to sin, and thousands more to
obedience, punishment, and Hell. It stresses Old Testament narratives of a
retributive God who must punish sin, warns children that they will suffer an
eternity in Hell if they refuse to believe, and stresses complete obedience as
the supreme value. Meanwhile, salutary themes such as the “Golden Rule”
are almost entirely absent from the curriculum.
As documented in this site’s sections on “Shame” and “Hell” and individual
lesson reviews, Good News Club tells children as young as preschoolers
that they have “dark” and “sinful” hearts, were born that way, and “deserve
to die” and “go to Hell.”
The Club prominently advertises its meetings to public school children in
colorful take-home flyers, posters hung in school hallways and on school
bulletin boards, and signs placed on the school frontage sidewalk during the
club meeting. Students are encouraged to wear “Good News Club” T-shirts
during class and rewarded with candies and other prizes for bringing
classmates to the Club. Then, immediately after the closing bell, the Club
delivers its dark gospel message to young 4-12 year-old children in the
public school classrooms, cafeterias, gymnasiums, and libraries.
The Good News Club’s dark gospel, reinforced often enough, robs children
of the innocence and enjoyment of childhood, replacing it with a negative
self image, preoccupation with sin, fear of Hell, and aversion to critical
Click on the thumbnails to the right to read various modern authors’
remarkably consistent recollections about what they learned at Good News
Clubs growing up.
Children should not be ashamed of themselves, intimidated from critical
thinking, or inculcated with divisive stereotypes. Encourage public school
districts to update their facility use policies to protect children from
psychological and emotional maltreatment and manipulation.
Click thumbnails below
to read other authors’
accounts of the
Good News Club