Thursday, April 12, 2012
"The Good News Club" and the Bad News About Religion in Schools
What I got was so much more.
Katherine Stewart has obviously put a lot of effort into this book - she gives several first-hand accounts of her experiences, be they at the recent uproar in Texas over the conservative "rewrite" of textbooks, to the after-effects of the divisive and polarizing nature of the Good News Club, or even in the lion's den itself - an evangelical conference teaching people how to infiltrate the public school system.
Beyond that, though, Katherine does a superb job of going over the fight for secularism throughout the U.S. history - even I, myself, an activist among atheists, was surprised to learn that the same fight we have today between the Republican and other conservative theocrats and secularists of today was fought just the same in the mid-1800's, the theocrats using the same arguments as they do today.
Furthermore, Katherine goes over how key decisions by conservative and religious Supreme Court justices such as Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas casting religious groups in schools as protected by the first amendment (categorizing it as "freedom of speech" rather than "freedom of religion") has drastically altered the tactics and efficacy of evangelical groups' targeting of children.
These are but a few of the topics Katherine Stewart discusses in her book, and I've only touched on the surface of the topics present in this article. Bottom line: this book will open your eyes to the problem of encroaching evangelicals on the public school system (and the children in those schools) and create a sense of urgency within you to do something and get involved - which is definitely something atheists (and non-atheist secularists) can definitely stand to do.
On a related note, I've scheduled Katherine Stewart to come to Kansas City and give a talk about her book. It's not something to be missed! Find out more in the Facebook event post: