Katherine Stewart, author of The Good News Club; The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children, will speak at 7 PM on Saturday, October 20, at the Physics Auditorium, Wake Forest University. A book signing will take place immediately following her talk.
Stewart, an investigative reporter, first became aware of the Good News Club in January of 2009 when the elementary school attended by her children added what it called a “Bible study” class to its after-school program. Her curiosity turned to concern as she discovered the unstated purpose of the club, sponsored by the Child Evangelism Fellowship, which is to evangelize young children and convey the impression that their school favors a particular form of the Christian religion.
She soon learned that the program was part of a nationwide initiative to “take back” America’s public schools and instill in them a fundamentalist Christian agenda. Stewart’s two-year investigation took her across the country to training sessions for Good News Club leaders, who are taught how to evangelize children as young as five years old; to new churches “planted” in public schools on Sundays; and to a Texas State School Board meeting, where the rewriting of textbooks from a fundamentalist Christian perspective seemed to be more important than choosing books that would help students to someday function as educated adults. Everywhere, she experienced what she considered stealth and deception in getting the fundamentalist viewpoint into public schools. There are currently Good News Clubs operating in more than 3,500 schools across the country.
Copies of her book will be available for purchase and signing. The event is free and open to the public.