43 of 58 people found the following review helpful
Well researched, lots of first hand accounts,
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This review is from: The Good News Club: The Christian Right's Stealth Assault on America's Children (Hardcover)
The bottom line is that people who believe in the separation of church and state, be they religious or otherwise, will find Stewart's book hard to put down. Anyone who believes we need to put prayer back in the schools will find this book offensive.
I found Stewart's book to be well researched. She conducts numerous interviews, attends relevant events, and reports first-hand accounts. Despite the title, she doesn't just talk about the Good News Club. She talks about churches being run out of public schools, children being encouraged to evangelize to their classmates (which is legal, although adults cannot), the Texas school board's curriculum modifications, and many other issues related to schools and religion. She gives a fascinating history of Supreme Court cases that have helped bring religion back into the schools after the separation of church and state was originally enforced. And she describes what schools were really like when religion was included and how members of minority religions, such as Catholics, did not feel welcome in the publicly funded schools.
On the surface, the Good News Clubs in public schools seem harmless since they are after school and parents consent to having their kids attend. Personally I am not opposed to bible study on campus after school, but Stewart addresses some legitimate concerns about how this particular organization runs the clubs and divides school communities. They represent themselves as non-denominational, but they teach the bible from an evangelical perspective that may be offensive to Catholics and more liberal Christians who believe that heaven is open to those who lead good lives, even if they haven't had an evangelical conversion experience. And as a non-evangelical, I worry about kids in a club like this approaching my kids on campus and telling them they are going to hell for not belonging to the right religion (as she relates in her book). So I'm glad she brought this to my attention so I can prepare my children to handle peer-to-peer evangelizing encouraged by these clubs.
While I don't agree that the situation is as dire as Stewart makes it out to be, I did find her book to be fascinating and she gave me a lot to think about.
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Initial post: Mar 3, 2012 9:05:34 PM PST
Be careful what you believe as "legitimate" research in any book. She obviously found people to talk to who would "prove" her agenda. All parents sign a permission form for their kids to come to Good News Club and know that we teach about Jesus. You don't have to send your child to it. I am a volunteer at my local school for Good News Club. To write a book like this about a club that has had far more positive results than negative makes me wonder if in sending her child to the club in the first place, she was out to write this book just to defame it.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 8:17:17 PM PDT
Another ignorant godbot who doesn't have the faintest clue about how research works, much less how to do it properly.
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