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Good News is bad news for kids I would like to...

October 01, 2004

Good News is bad news for kids

I would like to respond to the letters claiming that a religious

club in a public school is just what kids need (Coastline Pilot,

Sept. 24).

The authors may be correct that it is now legal to have religious

clubs on our school campuses because the current Supreme Court has

deemed it so. So too was it legal to keep and sell slaves,

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discriminate against blacks and other minorities in employment and

public accommodations, deny women the right to vote and to put

Japanese Americans in internment camps. That does not make the

Supreme Court right, nor does it make it consistent with traditional

American values.

I'm sure that these families are full of wonderful people with

good morals and good intentions, just like most Hare Krishnas or

fundamentalist Muslims or whatever religion you might think of.

Let's face the facts, the reason the Good News evangelical group

wants to hold meetings on public school campuses instead of their own

private schools, churches or community centers is so that they can

have access to our young, impressionable children. One of their major

admitted goals is to proselytize and convert our children; all you

need to do is check them out on the Internet and you will see their

goals.

The fact that Katy Crumley thinks that it is wonderful that the

opportunity for "our elementary children to learn the great truths of

God ... " is all the more reason for great concern. It is a slippery

slope, indeed. Evangelical Christians are not the only religious

groups that maintain as a core goal the recruitment of young people.

So too do the Scientologists, the Moonies and Heaven's Gate. Do we

truly want our public schools to become arenas for all religions to

recruit our children? While the Good News Club may not be the same as

David Koresh or Jim Jones, we must all agree that it is not legal for

our public schools to decide which religions get access to our school

facilities and children and which do not. If we've learned nothing

else from the events of Sept. 11, and the current situation in

Afghanistan, Iraq, and many parts of the world, it's that the wall of

separation between government and religion should remain inviolate.

Otherwise, we are subject to religion/government hybrids like the

Taliban encouraging people to engage in suicide attacks against

others, all in the name of their particular god.

Whatever way you look at it, the Good News Club is bad news for

our public schools.

ELIZABETH ANSELL

Laguna Beach

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