The Freethought Society (FS) and the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia (EHSP) continue a commitment to co-host quality speakers. We are pleased to announce Katherine Stewart as the speaker for Monday, January 28, 2013.
Stewart’s presentation is based on her popular book, The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children.
In January, 2009, Katherine Stewart learned that the Santa Barbara public elementary school her children attended had added a Bible study class called the “Good News Club” to its afterschool program. She soon learned that the Good News Club—a seemingly spontaneous and voluntary after-school program—was in fact part of a larger, calculated initiative by national advocacy groups whose declared aim is to “take back” America’s public schools and repurpose them with a Fundamentalist Christian agenda.
What happened in Stewart’s community is happening nationwide: at the end of 2010 there were more than 3,500 Good News Clubs operating in public schools across the country, and the number is rapidly increasing. What’s more, a landmark 2001 Supreme Court ruling not only permits such an unusual pairing of schooling and religion, it effectively makes it obligatory.
In The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children, Stewart sets out on an investigative journey to uncover the effect the Good News Clubs and similar initiatives have on our schools, children, and communities. She travels to dozens of cities and towns across the country and visits regions famous for their piety, like west Texas and Alabama, as well as places known for the opposite, like Seattle and New York City. Everywhere, she discovers religion-driven programs inserting themselves into public school systems with unprecedented force and unexpected consequences.
The Christian Right’s strategy to “take back America” is stealthy, calculated, extremely well-financed, and coming soon to a neighborhood near you.
The presentation will take place at 7:00 PM at the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia (1906 South Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). Stewart will expose a well-funded, highly coordinated effort by Christian Nationalists to use public schools to advance a fundamentalist agenda.
Stewart is an investigative journalist and author. She began her career working for the Village Voice, Newsweek International, Rolling Stone, and Marie Claire. Stewart has also written for The New York Times, The Guardian, The Daily Beast, Bloomberg View, and Religion Dispatches.
Read more about Stewart and her eye-opening book here: http://seattletimes.com/html/books/2017469135_br10goodnews.html