Child Evangelism Fellowship’s Threat to Triangle Freethought Society and Sophia for the short documentary “Sophia Investigates The Good News Club” by Scott Burdick

Feb 20, 2013

Child Evangelism Fellowship is attempting to censor Scott Burdick’s documentary “Sophia Investigates The Good News Club” and have it removed from his YouTube channel.

We encourage everyone to write to the sponsors of the Good News Spectacular, scheduled for August 24th, 2013 and ask them to remove their sponsorship from the event as they may not know the insidious nature of what they are supporting.

If you live in Colorado or close by, please come see Richard Dawkins, Katherine Stewart, Sean Faircloth and Eric Cernyer talk about this important issue on Feb 27th in Colorado Springs and Feb 28th in Denver.





Link to a pdf of the image above  – pg1  pg2

Scott Burdick’s response to the Liberty Council threat
The privacy complaint is a meritless attempt at public issue censorship by Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) and Mr. Bob Fowler, the longstanding full time director of CEF’s Greater Raleigh Area (North Carolina) chapter.  The YouTube video that is subject to the complaint is a professionally videotaped and edited documentary.  The documentary explores the newsworthy controversy surrounding Child Evangelism Fellowship’s Good News Clubs, which — following a 2001 Supreme Court decision — has expanded into nearly 4000 American public schools.

All of the excerpts identified in the complaint are portions of an interview taken of Mr. Fowler, with his prior written consent (see link), at CEF’s publicly attended Good News Club Spectacular at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds on Aug. 25, 2012.  Mr. Fowler spoke directly, voluntarily, and with full knowledge he was on camera, to the filmmakers.

No portion of this non-commercial documentary includes anything that the law would identify as a “private fact” or an intrusion into private seclusion (e.g., an intimate detail of one’s private life that is not generally known).  The cited excerpts also include nothing that would be considered morbid, sensational, or offensive to a reasonable person of ordinary sensibilities.

Also, in his role as a CEF director, Mr. Fowler — known as “Mr. Bob” — has a very public profile.  This is evidenced by other public videos featuring Mr. Bob (see, e.g., http://youtu.be/fcTkd2UlnAYhttp://youtu.be/Dulmub3ADuw), CEF Raleigh’s website www.cefgra.org, other news articles (see, e.g., https://www.au.org/church-state/january-2001-church-state/featured/evangelism-public-schools-and-the-supreme-court), and over 2700 Facebook friends (http://www.facebook.com/#!/cefmrbob?fref=ts). 

The issues explored in this documentary concern newsworthy matters of significant public interest.  The Good News Club has been the subject of scores of lawsuits, countless journalistic articles (including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post), and journalist Katherine Stewart’s recent book “The Good News Club.”  The documentary offends no legitimate privacy interests.  We respectfully ask YouTube to deny the complaint.

Link to an excellent brochure by www.IntrinsicDignity.com

Facility Use Policies – Protecting Children from Harmful Organizations in Public Schools


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30 comments on “Child Evangelism Fellowship’s Threat to Triangle Freethought Society and Sophia for the short documentary “Sophia Investigates The Good News Club” by Scott Burdick

  • The CEF knows this will documentary embarrass them for their blatant violations of the First Amendment and they will have to answer some tough questions. So like many other God bothering charlatans have done before, they are trying to abuse YouTube’s regulations, as happened with Pat Condell and (at least) one of his videos.

    I kinda hope this ends up in court, because then all the CEF’s lies will be uncovered and on public record.



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  • 2
    Neodarwinian says:

    Religious freedom.

    Defined as freedom for the religious. That is, freedom is slavery.

    Give these people the power, or the power back and they will make the US into Saudi Arabia with water.

    Naturally they do not want this investigation on youtube as the internet is the place where religion goes to die.

    ( quoted from thunderfoot )



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  • Interestingly, the Good News Spectacular’s current site only has sponsor lists up to 2009. Are they trying to shield their sugar daddies from bad PR?



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  • 4
    FrugalSolar says:

    That was an awesome documentary. I was not aware of the clubs, and their assault on young children. I’m glad I don’t support McDonalds or Chic Filet. It disturbs me to see any attempt to replace science with fantasy. I don’t see how our civilization can survive, unless we can outgrow our superstitious beliefs.



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  • 5
    QuestioningKat says:

    I hope this gets wider attention. Only 10,700 some people have seen it so far. Maybe someone should get a cable access station to start showing these movies. If certain TV stations give discounts to religious TV shows I think they should offer the same to secular programming.

    Regarding the children being filmed, I can only find two areas in which children can be identified without a parent in the shot. Whether or not they had permission or a parent was nearby and allowed the filming, I do not know. Most all the shots were typical of a news style program.



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  • In reply to #5 by QuestioningKat:

    I hope this gets wider attention. Only 10,700 some people have seen it so far. Maybe someone should get a cable access station to start showing these movies. If certain TV stations give discounts to religious TV shows I think they should offer the same to secular programming.Regarding the children being filmed, I can only find two areas in which children can be identified without a parent in the shot. Whether or not they had permission or a parent was nearby and allowed the filming, I do not know. Most all the shots were typical of a news style program.

    Good idea! I worked on a public access cable show for years. Public access is completely free to everyone that lives in the viewing area. You don’t even need to be a customer of the cable provider. You just need to fill out a couple of quick forms and request a weekly timeslot. When it gets approved (usually takes a couple weeks), you just need to send them the show on a DVD. It’s very easy to do. Where I live the cable provider is Cablevision, I don’t know how other providers handle their public access programming though. Here is a list of public access TV stations.

    EDIT: I just thought of this… It would be great if an organization like RDF produced 30 minute and 60 minute segments that can be easily downloaded and burned to DVD. Everyone would be able to start a public access show and use these segments.



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  • 7
    Magorian says:

    The actions of the CEF here an obvious attempt at censorship in the interest of self preservation, and a foolish one at that. Should the video be removed by Youtube or, less likely, by court order, it seems likely that the Streisand effect will take hold. We’ll have to thank them for the publicity.

    I’m looking forward to seeing this panel speak on the 28th.



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  • 8
    scottburdick says:

    In reply to #6 by R[A]Y:

    This is a volunteer effort by myself and Triangle Freethought Society — being done to get the word out. There are no profits at all, so there is no fee required to show it.

    RDF is producing a dvd that will be available at cost at the Colorado events as well.

    Thanks for helping to get the word out!

    Scott Burdick
    You can contact me at scottburdick (dot) com (at) gmail (dot) com



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  • In reply to #8 by scottburdick:

    Scott,

    Thanks for the reply.

    This is the idea… An organization like RDF or Triangle Freethought Society can collect a bunch of documentaries and video clips that don’t require a fee to use from YouTube or wherever. Then compile all these videos into a bunch of separate 60 minute playlists. No fancy editing is needed, just keep adding videos until the runtime is exactly 60 minutes. Then export these playlists as separate videos and make them available for anyone to download.

    People would be able to go to their local cable company and sign up for a weekly 60 minute public access television program and use these videos as their actual show. This would work as long as they are free to use and no one is making a profit or explicitly asking for donations in the videos.

    I know that it would take time and effort to download and edit them together, but if enough people were interested in this idea it would definitely be worth it.



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  • 12
    scottburdick says:

    In reply to #11 by Silvercosmo:

    Great documentary. Didn’t know about any of this. There is one thing that was in it and in the comments that I checked into. McDonald’s did not post that sign about agreeing with Chick Filet. http://www.snopes.com/photos/signs/chickfila.asp
    How do parents handle this being taught to there children? These people are very persuasive.

    Well, since it was one of the GNC people saying that in the film, I’m not surprised. But it is true that a whole bunch of McDonald franchises sponsored the event. If all their sponsors knew what they actually teach in these clubs, my guess is there would be many fewer giving them money and free advertising.



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  • 13
    QuestioningKat says:

    In reply to #6 by R[A]Y:

    In reply to #5 by QuestioningKat:

    I hope this gets wider attention. Only 10,700 some people have seen it so far. Maybe someone should get a cable access station to start showing these movies. If certain TV stations give discounts to religious TV shows I think they should offer the same to secular programming.Regarding the children being filmed, I can only find two areas in which children can be identified without a parent in the shot. Whether or not they had permission or a parent was nearby and allowed the filming, I do not know. Most all the shots were typical of a news style program.

    Good idea! I worked on a public access cable show for years. Public access is completely free to everyone that lives in the viewing area. You don’t even need to be a customer of the cable provider. You just need to fill out a couple of quick forms and request a weekly timeslot. When it gets approved (usually takes a couple weeks), you just need to send them the show on a DVD. It’s very easy to do. Where I live the cable provider is Cablevision, I don’t know how other providers handle their public access programming though. Here is a list of public access TV stations.

    EDIT: I just thought of this… It would be great if an organization like RDF produced 30 minute and 60 minute segments that can be easily downloaded and burned to DVD. Everyone would be able to start a public access show and use these segments.

    I mentioned the cable TV access show because it is already being done in Austin for the Atheist Experience led by Matt Dilahunty. You can find past TV shows on Utube or listen to podcasts via iTunes. Keep in mind that a wide audience might tune in. If the DVD/video is too heady or boring, you’ll lose viewers. If you could find people in say two or three cities, you could plan a weekly show featuring videos such as this or even science shows, maybe interviews, etc. Either you could pull together or exchange shows via round robin. good luck!

    By the way Scott, I enjoy your movies, but don’t forget to keep painting!



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  • In reply to #13 by QuestioningKat:

    I helped produce a live public access TV show every week for about four years. I completely agree that if a video is too heady or boring people might not tune in, but you have to keep in mind that a majority of the people that watch a public access show probably won’t watch the next episode airing next week. I don’t think that there’s a risk of losing recurring viewers, because most people aren’t recurring viewers. No one talks about public access shows at the water cooler.

    If 60 minute compilations of free to air, professional looking documentaries and videos are aired on a weekly basis I think there would be enough people that stumble upon it and watch it to make the effort worthwhile. If an organization like RDF put together five or six of these 60 minute compilations related to their cause (like science education and evidence-based understanding) anyone would be able to get a 60 minute public access timeslot and air these videos. Like I said, I don’t think many people tune into public access shows religiously, so it wouldn’t be a huge deal if the videos are repeated every few weeks. RDF’s website URL can scroll at the bottom of the screen so viewers that are interested can come to this website. Of course someone would need to make sure that the videos don’t contain anything that goes against public access policy, like explicitly asking for donations. It would be okay to direct viewers to the website where donations can be requested.

    I think this would be a good opportunity for people that want to get involved. It wouldn’t be time consuming, so people’s activism could remain unknown to friends and family. It’s a way for people to be anonymous, but still support the cause by having a public access show that can reach thousands of people in their homes.

    I don’t know… It’s just an idea.



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  • 15
    scottburdick says:

    In reply to #14 by R[A]Y:

    In reply to #13 by QuestioningKat:

    I think it’s a great idea. I have an interview with Richard that is about and hour, and another with Dan Barker that is an hour, and I could easily lengthen the Good News Club Video to an hour since we’ve got lots more material we shot there and of Katherine. If anyone actually has a cable access program willing to show these, let me know and I’ll make them the specified length and just put them on dropbox for anyone to download for broadcast.

    Scott



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  • 16
    brown dwarf says:

    In reply to #15 by scottburdick:

    In reply to #14 by R[A]Y:

    In reply to #13 by QuestioningKat:

    I think it’s a great idea. I have an interview with Richard that is about and hour, and another with Dan Barker that is an hour, and I could easily lengthen the Good News Club Video to an hour since we’ve got lots more material we shot there and of Katherine. If anyone actually has a cable access program willing to show these, let me know and I’ll make them the specified length and just put them on dropbox for anyone to download for broadcast.

    Scott

    I really hope that people start taking this idea seriously. This is the next step for rational ideas to be made available to the general public. Most people i know will never visit an atheist website or youtube channel to find this information. With the millions of youtube channels and websites it will be like a needle in a haystack, but if its on tv millions of people have their tv on constantly flicking through a relatively small amount of channels trying to find something interesting.
    There is an abundance of great material on youtube that could be shown on tv to an audience of potentially millions. We could also show richard dawkins documentaries The Root of All Evil, Enenies of Reason, Faith School menace on constant repeat for everone who missed it. This will quickly raise public awareness of the harmfulness of religious indoctrination and bring about a tipping point towards more rational thinking. We could also show the many great debates of atheists v christians by richard dawkins, ayaan hirsti ali, sam harris, and the late christopher hitchens.
    We could also televise and broadcast all the upcoming atheist / secular / humanist conventions / conventions. Atheist stand up comedians, atheist music videos, atheist themed movies, good science documentaies about evolution, cosmology and the age and wonders of the universe.. Documetaries highlighting the plight of freethinkers in other countries who are being locked up for their non belief are already online and could be shown to millions.
    In the uk information tv have several channel broadcast nationally via sattellite, cable and freeview. http://information.tv/?cid=3
    They sell hourly slots for £500, so if you buy a 1 hour slot once a week for a year it will cost £26000. This money could easily be raised if promoted on this website or the british humanist association at the next atheist convention. If anyone is interested in getting this started and knows of a cheaper national channel offering airtime PLEASE let us know. I would like to get something rational on air asap to counter all the religious nonsense and pseudo science being broadcast constantly. This is very urgent!!!



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  • In reply to #15 by scottburdick:

    In reply to #14 by R[A]Y:In reply to #13 by QuestioningKat:I think it’s a great idea. I have an interview with Richard that is about and hour, and another with Dan Barker that is an hour, and I could easily lengthen the Good News Club Video to an hour since we’ve got lots more material we shot there and of Katherine. If anyone actually has a cable access program willing to show these, let me know and I’ll make them the specified length and just put them on dropbox for anyone to download for broadcast.Scott

    Like I said in a previous comment… I would start a public access show tomorrow if the videos were available. The only rules are that there can’t be anything “obscene” or commercial in them and you can’t ask for donations. You can say, “We urge everyone to go to http://www.xyz.org for more information.” You can NOT say, “We urge you to donate by going to http://www.xyz.org.”



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  • 18
    scottburdick says:

    Just email me your contact info and I’ll be happy to send you some films. I can edit the one I did with Richard for the first one, since it is close to an hour. My email address is scottburdick (dot) com (at) gmail (dot) com. It would be great to have as many people hear it as possible. Thanks for the help with making something like this happen!

    In reply to #17 by R[A]Y:

    In reply to #15 by scottburdick:

    In reply to #14 by R[A]Y:In reply to #13 by QuestioningKat:I think it’s a great idea. I have an interview with Richard that is about and hour, and another with Dan Barker that is an hour, and I could easily lengthen the Good News Club Video to an hour since we’ve got lots more material we shot there and of Katherine. If anyone actually has a cable access program willing to show these, let me know and I’ll make them the specified length and just put them on dropbox for anyone to download for broadcast.Scott

    Like I said in a previous comment… I would start a public access show tomorrow if the videos were available. The only rules are that there can’t be anything “obscene” or commercial in them and you can’t ask for donations. You can say, “We urge everyone to go to http://www.xyz.org for more information.” You can NOT say, “We urge you to donate by going to http://www.xyz.org.”



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  • 19
    HolySchmidt says:

    If it’s at all possible, and only with the permission of its producer, of course, someone should download the documentary from YouTube, in the event it must be spread across the web like a California wildfire.



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  • 20
    brown dwarf says:

    I think we rationalists are missing a great opportunity here to get our message onto the tv screens of millions. PLEASE Richard Dawkins, start your own tv channel. Millions of people visit this website every month. You are the most well known atheist in the world today. All the atheists on youtube will be more than happy to have their material shown on national tv. You could easily advertise it here on http://www.richarddawkins.net. I honestly believe It could become the most popular channel on sattelite, cable or freeview tv. The only atheist tv show in the world is http://www.theatheist-experience.com on austin public access tv. They have years of great material in their archive and i’m sure they would love to have it broadcast to millions as well.
    Maybe Mr Sean Faircloth could look into this. From watching his excellent presentations he seems like the kind of person that would recognise the huge potential of this. We need to get his speeches about the ten point vision for a secular America and the religious tax avoidance scam on the tv screens of ordinary people who would not visit atheist websites or YouTube channels.



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  • In reply to #20 by brown dwarf:

    I think we rationalists are missing a great opportunity here to get our message onto the tv screens of millions. PLEASE Richard Dawkins, start your own tv channel. Millions of people visit this website every month. You are the most well known atheist in the world today. All the atheists on youtube will be more than happy to have their material shown on national tv. You could easily advertise it here on http://www.richarddawkins.net. I honestly believe It could become the most popular channel on sattelite, cable or freeview tv. The only atheist tv show in the world is http://www.theatheist-experience.com on austin public access tv. They have years of great material in their archive and i’m sure they would love to have it broadcast to millions as well. Maybe Mr Sean Faircloth could look into this. From watching his excellent presentations he seems like the kind of person that would recognise the huge potential of this. We need to get his speeches about the ten point vision for a secular America and the religious tax avoidance scam on the tv screens of ordinary people who would not visit atheist websites or YouTube channels.

    Scottburdick and I are starting to do this. He will edit the few videos he has and I will air them on a public access show that I’m in process of getting. If this project works and we feel that it’s worthwhile, then we can try to persuade organizations to get involved. Maybe they can create a forum so people can discuss the latest episode. The website address could be advertised during the show. Maybe the website can have instructions that explain how to apply for a public access show so everyone can start airing the episodes in their areas.



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  • 22
    brown dwarf says:

    Hi. I think your idea is a brilliant one and will be very successful in raising general awareness of the mass population. Unfortunately, In the uk we don’t have public access tv, but I did a bit of research and found information tv who sell hourly slots for £500 or can even get you you own channel to broadcast nationally 24 hour a day, 7 days a week.
    Below is a letter i sent to the richard dawkins in january in the hope that someone with a lot more influence than me could startup a tv station. I strongly believe that this is what the atheist visibilty movement needs to awaken the minds of people who cannot see the harm that religions are doing around the world, and find it hard to grasp basic scientific ways of thinking:

    Dear Professor Dawkins
    I have read your books and seen and listened to a lot of your talks. The secular, rational thinking atheist visibility movement makes a lot of sense to rational people like myself. However, i strongly believe that we need to take the next step if you want to get the message to the majority of people. I mean the kinds of people who are non- believers but still go along with thinking that religions make the world a more moral place. Those people who dont know about or visit your website or will not because they believe the false hype about ‘militant’ secularism / atheism etc.
    You need to get a tv channel or at least a slot on one of the many cable and sattelite tv stations here in the uk such as http://www.information.tv/?cid… (their website say they can have you on air in less than a week on sky tv, cable or freeview) You say you get a million hits a month. You can show your own documentaries to millions of followers and reach millions of new people with the excellent videos of Sean Faircloth and Dr Elizabeth cornwall. You can allow other video producers or youtubers like http://www.thethinkingatheist.com, http://www.theatheist-experience.com James randi, askanatheist.tv, etc, to get their shows broadcast to millions of people.
    On sky tv there are over 20 christian god channels constantly pertetuating the delusion, over 20 islam channels, phsychic tv channels, the caravan channel, controversial tv Read this:(http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-a… If they can get their own channel then surely it cant be that difficult?

    I believe that Just one rational tv station is all it will take to tip the scales and wake people up.
    You can publicise the plight of victims of religious laws.
    You can expose and debunk religious charlatans and fraudsters
    You can televise and broadcast your next tour.
    You can have atheist conventions from around the world televised and broadcast to millions
    You can help advertise camp quest and other secular and / or science organisations.
    You can broadcast your many excellent documentaries such as ‘the root of all evil’ and ‘faith school menace’ and any future ones in the making.
    You can broadcast your many atheist v theist debates and others by Sam Harris, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and the late Christopher Hitchens etc.
    You can publicise Maryam Namazie’s excellent ‘one law for all’ campaign.
    You can rent out hourly slots and make money for fundraising.
    You can advertise the station here on your website and include a program guide.

    Please let me know what you guys think.

    The topics you talk about need to be heard by as many people as possible so they can understand what is going on and why you do what you do.

    Atheists have won the Internet, but the message is not getting out because the media still rule the airwaves. You need to take the next logical step and get on tv. The cost are affordable, for example, on sky, controversial tv charge about £300 for an hour slot and do deals for more airtime. You could collaborate with other atheist websites, producers and atheist celebrities to help fund it. People like Tim minchen, Ricky Gervais, Richard Branson, Angelina Jolie, Bill and Melinda Gates, and many more atheist celebrities may be interested.
    Information tv could get you your very own channel number where you could rent out slots to the many atheist producers on YouTube and make money in the process. There are tons of archive atheist material online that could be shown 24 hours a day. You could take the lead and start something unstoppable. People would love to have their material shown on tv to an audience of potentially millions. There is not one atheist or secular humanist tv channel on the airwaves anywhere in the world. This is so overdue and 2013 should be the year we start one. We had the reason rally last year, lets get it done and start an humanist channel on tv this year!
    If the media don’t like it and try to ban it, this would only add to its publicity causing more people to watch and increase the spread of rational ideas, critical thinking, and awareness of the harm of religions.

    Good luck and happy new year

    Stephen



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  • 23
    brown dwarf says:

    I was just recently talking about the need to get on tv in the comments section about the preachers on the god channels in the uk claiming to cure cancer and aids through the airwaves!
    http://www.www.richarddawkins.net/news_articles/2013/2/25/religious-satellite-tv-show-miracle-hour-risking-lives#rdf_thread

    I gave a list of where to find thousands of great videos posted on http://www.thethinkingatheist.com resources section.
    Another website I found has links to thousands of online videos in the categories section half way down the page to the right. They also produce a regular weekly news show called the infidel.

    http://www.atheismtv.com/blog/

    We need to get something positive about atheists on air asap before the religious can do permanent damage to the public perception of atheists, secularists, and humanists. In the uk at the moment faith schools are on the rise and given special privilege to divide children and discriminate in their admissions of kids and recruitment of teachers. Even our deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has decided to send his son to a catholic school even though he is an atheist, but his wife is catholic. This is because the general public perception is still that the church is a source of good moral values and discipline. We need to bring to the publics awareness the sex scandals, child abuse, money laundering, tax avoidance scams, homophobia, sexism etc. and unfair privileges that they enjoy. It used to be acceptable if a school with the best resources only accepted white children. Most intelligent people now consider this to be wrong. Faith schools discriminate according to the parents religious beliefs and it won’t take much for people to recognise the similarity.
    The good news club documentary will be great for consciousness raising in this regard.
    Keep up the good work.
    I will be willing to help in any way I can. My email is steviexx32@hotmail.com



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  • 26
    stormclouds says:

    A pretty lady representing her side while teenagers video tape the other side…well, I suppose it should be admitted that you have the upper hand when it comes to presenting your argument via Media.



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  • 27
    stormclouds says:

    And one other thing, when my tax dollars stop going to support public education, I should and do have an advent interest in what goes on in those schools. What you don’t seem to understand is that the lack of religion is religion and it is being taught every day in public school inside every curriculum. To have an afternoon club meet and share the Gospel is presenting both sides. Kids like these clubs because there are people who care about them and the stuff presented makes sense. As adults we are trained to evaluate how what we will believe will impact our life.



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