Americans United To Honor Investigative Journalist And Youth Activist During Awards Ceremony

Oct 2, 2014

By Americans United

A journalist who exposed the Religious Right’s efforts to infiltrate America’s public schools and a Mississippi student who bravely challenged unlawful religious activity at her public high school will be recognized by Americans United for Separation of Church and State on Nov. 10.

Katherine Stewart, author of The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children, will receive Americans United’s Person of the Year Award.

Stewart’s book dissects an evangelical Christian movement aimed at students attending public elementary schools. Called “Good News Clubs,” the effort focuses on children who are in many cases too young to read. Sponsors of the clubs, which often meet immediately after school, believe that even very young children can make professions of faith. Many parents view the program as an ecumenical Bible study and aren’t aware of its hardcore fundamentalist slant.

Kirkus Review said of Stewart’s book, “Solid reporting… compelling investigative journalism about an undercovered phenomenon.” The Minneapolis Star-Tribune noted “the book is an important work that reveals a movement little discussed in the mainstream media, one Stewart worries is poised to damage ‘a society as open and pluralistic as ours.’”


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2 comments on “Americans United To Honor Investigative Journalist And Youth Activist During Awards Ceremony

  • @OP – Many parents view the program as an ecumenical Bible study and aren’t aware of its hardcore fundamentalist slant.

    Ah! “Bible Study”? I wonder how many who have been taught “bible study” as children, have any idea about the history of the origins of “the bible” or its stories?

    …. .. The polytheistic Canaanite gods and the murderous fights of their priests for dominance of the OT god of war!

    The numerous “gospels” written decades or centuries after supposed events, with their false claims to be authored by illiterate disciples of an itinerant Jewish preacher. The later faked additions to the Roman edited stories, and mistranslations even more centuries after supposed events – not to mention the shed-loads of fake ” holy relics”!

    I wonder how many in their “bible study” know of the contradictory “gospels” of the competing early Xtian sects, and the destruction by book burning conducted by disputing sectarians calling others “heretics”?

    What Muhammad ‘Alí discovered at Nag Hammadi, it soon became clear, were Coptic translations, made about 1,500 years ago, of still more ancient manuscripts. The originals themselves had been written in Greek, the language of the New Testament: as Doresse, Puech, and Quispel had recognized, part of one of them had been discovered by archeologists about fifty years earlier, when they found a few fragments of the original Greek version of the Gospel of Thomas.

    About the dating of the manuscripts themselves there is little debate. Examination of the datable papyrus used to thicken the leather bindings, and of the Coptic script, place them c. A.D. 350-400. But scholars sharply disagree about the dating of the original texts. Some of them can hardly be later than c. A.D. 120-150, since Irenaeus, the orthodox Bishop of Lyons, writing C. 180, declares that heretics “boast that they possess more gospels than there really are,” and complains that in his time such writings already have won wide circulation–from Gaul through Rome, Greece, and Asia Minor.

    Quispel and his collaborators, who first published the Gospel of Thomas, suggested the date of c. A.D. 140 for the original. Some reasoned that since these gospels were heretical, they must have been written later than the gospels of the New Testament,
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/story/pagels.html

    Tracing the history is difficult because of the “wish-thinking” input over the centuries, from “scholars with preconceptions”, and the destruction of “heretical” documents!



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  • I had many, many years of Bible study and (though not in school), and it was as you say, a template to be placed upon our lives without exposure to the larger context. (I asked the difficult questions.)

    I wonder if the parents naively thought that this was a “Bible as Literature” class, or were they really so blase as to allow outright “Bible study” in public school? Very troubling.



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