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The Christian Right's Assault on Public Education and the Science Curriculum

This meetup is a production of Americans United for Separation of Church and State (Georgia).
Since the topic concerns threats to the integrity of the teaching of science in public schools, the Atlanta Science Tavern is pleased to be a co-sponsor.

In 2009, the Good News Club came to the public elementary school where journalist Katherine Stewart sent her children. The Club, which is sponsored by the Child Evangelism Fellowship, billed itself as an after-school program of “Bible study," but its real mission was to convert children to fundamentalist Christianity, all the while promoting the false impression that its activities were endorsed by the school.

Astonished to discover that the U.S. Supreme Court had deemed this activity constitutional, Stewart set off on an investigative journey to dozens of cities and towns across the nation. The result, her book The Good News Club, documents the impact of this legal decision and demonstrates how the aim of this group and others like it is to undermine our system of public education.

Please join us as Stewart describes the continuing efforts on the part of certain fringe elements of the evangelical Christian community to inject their religious views into public schools, making clear the link between climate science deniers, creationists and this movement.

Katherine Stewart was born in Boston. She started her career in journalism working for investigative reporter Wayne Barrett at The Village Voice and freelanced for Newsweek International, Rolling Stone, Marie Claire and others. She cowrote the book about the musical Rent and, after moving to Santa Barbara in 2005, published two novels about 21st century parenting. Most recently she has written for The New York Times, Reuters, the Daily Beast, Bloomberg View, and Religion Dispatches. She lives with her family in New York City.

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  • John

    Since this wasn't an official AST event, I suppose it wouldn't be fair to judge it by AST standards. Suffice to say there was very little new content presented. The presentation inexplicably started 1/2 hour early, so some of us hadn't gotten our food yet, then had to eat during the presentation. The Q&A period was mostly people in the audience expressing their opinions and ran way too long at 50 minutes. I'm sure the speaker was tired too.
    As I said, this is not the standard for AST talks or audiences, so if you've never been to an AST talk, you should try it.

    May 29, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    A very timely topic.

    May 29, 2012

  • Charles

    Visual aids would have been helpful. Extremely knowledgeable presenter!

    May 28, 2012

  • Ken M.

    Could have used some visual aids and more supporting evidence than Falwell's words.

    May 28, 2012

  • John C. ("Chris") S.

    Very important presentation. Lively and lengthy Q&A at the end.

    May 27, 2012

  • mike b.

    Scary and informative talk. Great company.

    May 27, 2012

  • Lola B. J.

    The speaker was obviously well informed on the suibject; however, she read her speech to the audience. I thought that she would be giving us some information about how to combat the problem of religion in public schools. We Met some nice people.

    May 27, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    The meetup was great--an incredibly important topic! Is there any way Manual's or Science Tavern can put some light on the podium? It seemed absurd that the only person in the dark was the person giving the talk. That was very annoying.

    May 27, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I had read about the issues in the New York Times. The speaker is very articulate, and has well-reasoned, logical arguments to back her opinions.

    May 27, 2012

  • Marc M.

    Speaking defending science education, it looks like Fernbank Science Center is in jeopardy. Please take a look at our message board to see what you can do to help.

    http://www.meetup.com/AtlantaScienceTavern/messages/boards/thread/23633432/

    May 25, 2012

  • Frances

    Anyone interested in carpooling from Sandy Springs please email me. Thanks.

    May 14, 2012

  • Marc M.

    Thanks, Rita! Just a reminder, let's keep the discussion over on our message board, since comments here (including this one) generate emails to all attendees. Here's the link: http://bit.ly/K3bvkZ

    May 1, 2012

  • Margaret

    Creationism and the bible have no place in public education. I want my children to learn about the scientific method. How can one test the hypothesis of creationism?

    May 1, 2012

  • Kathryn

    Where does one go to find a "far left public school education" ? I have yet to find one.

    April 25, 2012

  • Marc M.

    Thanks for your comments, Deb. I'm asking folks to move this discussion to our message board, just to keep the comment-generated emails to a minimum. Here's the link: http://bit.ly/J9K3uR

    April 25, 2012

  • DG

    Sadly, the far left public school education is just as one sided and ill informed as the far right. My child's teachers rarely teach both sides of a topic, be it science related, sociology, economics, or even the arts. Creationism is the least of public schools' problems.

    April 25, 2012

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