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Culture Wars Come To Minneapolis Schools

Minneapolis school officials worry about prayer, religious group claims discrimination.

Religious controversy in the Minneapolis schools. Sounds improbable, right? 

Not so, according to MinnPost columnist Beth Hawkins. A 65-year old evangelical group called the Child Evangelism Fellowship wants to bring its "Good News Clubs" to city schools, and they've gone to court with the district to force them to include the club in school-supported after school activities at one Northside school.

The clubs’ purpose is undisputed: “As with all CEF ministries, the purpose of Good News Club is to evangelize boys and girls with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and establish (disciple) them in the Word of God and in a local church for Christian living," (said CEF’s director for Minnesota, David Tunell).

District support includes permission to let club participants ride on the after-school "activites bus" and the provision of after-school snacks. After you read Hawkins' report, ponder this: should the district prohibit religoius evanglists from operating as part of an after-school program, or is that discriminating against a religious group?

Kristin Jones March 15, 2012 at 10:13 PM
I'm all for children being involved in as many activities as they'd like to, or are able to participate in. That said, providing public transportation for such groups seems wrong. Local school funding is low and if multiple religiously affiliated groups wanted to do the same, there wouldn't be the space or the money to accomodate everyone. Since it's a church-based group, or a "Christian fellowship group", perhaps they can find a space to host their group and provide transportation on their own without involving tax payer dollars. It seems like that is how most local church-affiliated groups meet.
Dana Bratton March 16, 2012 at 04:42 AM
Very glad that the Good News Clubs are being offered to the children after school as a former CEF Missionary and currently a missionary and pastor in Thailand. As to transportation if the school board and community provide public transportation for other after school activities then there is no reason why they should not also transport those children who attend the club.
melis March 23, 2012 at 01:39 PM
One question, would a muslim group be allowed to "teach Islam", or a Jewish group be allowed to invite kids into their faith? I have a sneaking suspicion that not only would they NOT be allowed but the the christian community would be screaming about indoctrination. Children should be allowed to "practice" there faith in school but should be protected from the advancement or imposition of religion in public schools.

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