This fall, more than 100,000 American public school children, ranging in age from four to 12, are scheduled to receive instruction in the lessons of Saul and the Amalekites in the comfort of their own public school classrooms. The instruction, which features in the second week of a weekly "Bible study" course, will come from the Good News Club, an after-school program sponsored by a group called the Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF). The aim of the CEF is to convert young children to a fundamentalist form of the Christian faith and recruit their peers to the club.
There are now over 3,200 clubs in public elementary schools, up more than sevenfold since the 2001 supreme court decision, Good News Club v Milford Central School, effectively required schools to include such clubs in their after-school programing.
The CEF has been teaching the story of the Amalekites at least since 1973. In its earlier curriculum materials, CEF was euphemistic about the bloodshed, saying simply that "the Amalekites were completely defeated." In the most recent version of the curriculum, however, the group is quite eager to drive the message home to its elementary school students. The first thing the curriculum makes clear is that if God gives instructions to kill a group of people, you must kill every last one:
"You are to go and completely destroy the Amalekites (AM-uh-leck-ites) – people, animals, every living thing. Nothing shall be left."
"That was pretty clear, wasn't it?" the manual tells the teachers to say to the kids.
Even more important, the Good News Club wants the children to know, the Amalakites were targeted for destruction on account of their religion, or lack of it. The instruction manual reads:
"The Amalekites had heard about Israel's true and living God many years before, but they refused to believe in him. The Amalekites refused to believe in God and God had promised punishment."
The instruction manual goes on to champion obedience in all things. In fact, pretty much every lesson that the Good News Club gives involves reminding children that they must, at all costs, obey. If God tells you to kill nonbelievers, he really wants you to kill them all. No questions asked, no exceptions allowed.
Asking if Saul would "pass the test" of obedience, the text points to Saul's failure to annihilate every last Amalekite, posing the rhetorical question:
"If you are asked to do something, how much of it do you need to do before you can say, 'I did it!'?"
"If only Saul had been willing to seek God for strength to obey!" the lesson concludes.
Child Evangelism Fellowship, The Guardian 64 Comments
[6/20/2012 3:28:32 AM]
Fundie Index: 79
Submitted By: Brendan Rizzo
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This is a disgusting display of a religion trying to start a religious war. There's no other way to look at a children's lesson about murder and genocide being okay if you do it for god.
6/20/2012 7:55:18 AM
In other words, genocide is OK if it's God telling you to do it.
Tell me again how religious people have the moral high ground over atheists?
Fuck you and your god.
6/20/2012 8:25:25 AM
The CEF doesn't even have the justification for the effacement of the Amalekites right. It wasn't about rejecting Yhwh, but rather constantly raiding the Hebrews...typically wherever the old and/or children were focused. In short, the Hebrews understood the Amalekites to be nothing but an order of utterly craven brigands. More a motive of self-defense than ensuring the exaltation of Yhwh. (Can't say why they thought the Amalekite children were hopeless, though...)
6/20/2012 8:50:45 AM
Well isn't that special!? ... And I suppose God left the Chinese alone because He knew they would just kick the living sunshine out of his chosen people! /Church Lady
Too bad these kids aren't sophisticated enough to form that argument. They'll teach this Bible bilge to kids, but not basic philosophy! Oh no! Can't have kids that can out-argue their brain-dead parents! /rant
6/20/2012 8:52:15 AM
But guys, guys! Christians are sooooo persecuted and never allowed to express their faith!
6/20/2012 9:48:54 AM
They want to murder me for being a non-believer? Fine, they're going to have to go through my 12-gauge shotgun first. Fucking fundies, man.
6/20/2012 9:56:55 AM
How in the flying fuck is this legal?
6/20/2012 10:15:12 AM
Funny how god only reveals his wishes to individual people at moments of intense privacy.
And Brendan, stop with the doom and gloom. Even the fundies can't overcome the fundamental geopolitical strength of the United States.
6/20/2012 10:29:23 AM
Doesn't sound like Good News for the Amalekites.
6/20/2012 10:59:36 AM
So, teaching children to kill those who believe differently from them is OK, nay, laudable. Got it.
P.S. Who Would Jesus Kill?
6/20/2012 11:12:22 AM
BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD! SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!
6/20/2012 11:15:43 AM
"Muslim fundamentalists, Jewish fundamentalists, Christian fundamentalists, and just plain guys from Montana, are going to continue making life in this country very interesting for a very long time."
6/20/2012 11:39:12 AM
And now I feel sick. Are these the same people who are horrified that Muslims are told by their version of God to kill infidels? Birds of a feather...
Future suicide bombers in the making. I hope these people will stand for what they have done, when the first kid snaps and kills his/her school-mates.
6/20/2012 11:59:30 AM
> Even more important, the Good News Club wants the children to know, the Amalakites were targeted for destruction on account of their religion, or lack of it.
But that's pretty pointless, isn't it? God is all-knowing, all-wise and all-loving. God has his plan, and it is not the humanity's job to interfere. If the God tells you to go kill a bunch of people, then you go kill a bunch of people. You don't need to know what they did, you don't need to rationalise it, you don't need any extra comfort.
I mean, that's what the fundamentalists are saying about every other Biblical issue. Don't think, God knows the best, the right answers are in the Bible. If you have to be explained why something needs to be done, you've been thinking, and that's bad.
Of course, if you do that, you can at least claim you were just following orders. By anticipating orders, e.g. extending the order to destroy a group of people to destroying other groups of similar people on your own volition, you get hanged in Nuremberg.
6/20/2012 12:06:23 PM
This is where indoctrination begins.
It ends with murder.
6/20/2012 12:15:33 PM
@Filin De Blanc,
Al Qaeda training camps condone keeping POWs alive.
6/20/2012 12:17:07 PM
The supreme court said WHAT!?
6/20/2012 12:33:52 PM
One of the best rock group names ever.
6/20/2012 12:41:35 PM
Such a glorious sight, to see the deconversion process forging ahead, don't you thing?
6/20/2012 12:58:43 PM
I'd rather we not teach kids that genocide is ok in any circumstance, especially when I might be a target of that genocide.
6/20/2012 2:29:21 PM
"In its earlier curriculum materials, CEF was euphemistic about the bloodshed, saying simply that "the Amalekites were completely defeated.""
Years ago they were embarrassed by how bloodthirsty their God was.
Today they openly teach young children to kill unbelievers and the unbelievers children.
6/20/2012 3:04:55 PM
Oh My Dog!
These are vile people.
6/20/2012 3:24:35 PM
Great, now we need lethal AND tranq weapons incase we get attacked by brainwashed fundies and they bring kids with them. I'm not blowing off a 7-year-old's head just because of crazy fundies.
6/20/2012 3:35:38 PM
Lovely, an army of ultra-brainwashed killers for god. The Borg are beginning to look tame in comparison.
6/20/2012 3:38:34 PM
The CEF is one of the best arguments for forced sterilization I've ever seen.
6/20/2012 4:13:34 PM
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