Kevin Davis 
Member since Apr 22, 2015

Recent Comments

Re: “Atheists fight Christian afterschool club

@Bart: This is not a competition of ideologies. (Young Skeptics does not teach an ideology and has nothing to do with religion) Like I said in the interview, I don't have an issue with religious instruction. It's the methodology that we take issue with. Using psychologically abusive tactics by stripping down a child's self-worth and threatening them with hell, only to sell them their brand of literalist Christianity as the cure is fundamentally damaging to the psyche of a child. The other problem I have is that teaching children something inside the walls of a school that directly contradicts what they're taught in their classes (creationism) undermines their science education and can have lasting effects throughout their education. It's very difficult to be successful in the sciences if you don't accept science.

6 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Kevin Davis on 04/23/2015 at 9:33 AM

Re: “Atheists fight Christian afterschool club

@Don Sherman: First, Young Skeptics isn't in any sense going after the Good News Club. Some of the founders of Young Skeptics, along with other concerned residents, are doing what we can to address the GNC. As someone totally removed from the situation, you're unaware of anything we've done or are working to do. So please don't assume we're not doing all we can, because we are.

We've been regularly attending GNC meetings, gathering as much information as we can, talking to experts, and will be presenting our case to the school superintendent. That's about as much detail as I'm willing to divulge to someone uninvolved in this issue. I hope that you can shift from arguing about something you're uninvolved with, to showing empathy for the kids in our community and do your own research into the activities of the GNC. I suggest you take a look at the links and videos that have been shared in other comments on this article.

7 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Kevin Davis on 04/22/2015 at 6:37 PM

Re: “Atheists fight Christian afterschool club

@Don Sherman: I didn't say that not one parent can monitor. I've been to meetings and there have been parents there, but they're always the same ones, and they don't monitor the whole meeting; just the end. I was responding to your suggestion that parents rotate attendance by saying that's not always possible. I would absolutely encourage parents to attend and see what goes on. These people need to be under the microscope, and that's why I, like many others, speak out against them. I'm doing my part to raise awareness.

This is not as simple as "if you don't like them, don't send your kids." There's a bigger issue here. I'm concerned for the welfare of the children in my community. If you were aware of someone doing psychological damage to children in your neighborhood, are you saying you wouldn't want to do something about it just because it's not your kid? I also have concerns over horrible rankings of scientific literacy in the US. Groups like the GNC who are teaching kids creationism and undermining their science education contribute to the scientific illiteracy in this country.

And slander/defamation only applies when what is said is not true. We have plenty of evidence that what we allege is the truth.

13 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Kevin Davis on 04/22/2015 at 2:24 PM

Re: “Atheists fight Christian afterschool club

@Don Sherman: Most parents aren't able to attend meetings at 3:30 pm to monitor what's being taught to their children. Most of them are working during school hours.

Spreading beliefs to your children is one thing. Sending your children to attend a group that uses psychologically abusive practices and attacks a child's self-worth under the guise of "fun, games, and bible stories" is another.

Like I said, I don't have a problem with religious instruction generally. I have a problem with the tactics of the GNC: attacking children's self-worth, misleading parents, and a complete lack of transparency (for good reason).

10 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Kevin Davis on 04/22/2015 at 1:36 PM

Re: “Atheists fight Christian afterschool club

The City Newspaper seems to have glossed over the deceitfulness and manipulation inherent in the Good News Club's practices. While it's true that parents have to sign a permission slip to have their children attend, the slip does not explain what's being taught. It's a benign-looking presentation, simply stating that the GNC teaches lessons from the Bible. What they're NOT telling parents is that they teach a specific brand of Christianity that most Christians do not subscribe to. They're teaching fundamentalist Christianity and Biblical literalism. As Esteves admits, they're teaching creationism along with that. That means that the GNC is undermining the children's science education by teaching them that evolution is untrue and that the earth is not as old as geologists would assert. Does the permission slip say that? NO. Does it say that the GNC is telling their children that they're inherent sinners worthy of death? NO. Does it say that they're teaching a literal view of the Bible that contradicts the education they'll get from real teachers? NO. The GNC is so secretive that they will purposely mislead parents in order to get them to send their kids, and does not share their curriculum outside its organization. Why the lack of transparency? If the GNC was proud of what it teaches and there's no psychological abuse or intimidation, then why not share the curriculum? There are the questions that should have been asked in this article.

If you are a parent of a child in the Good News Club, it's time to start asking questions. Is your 7-year-old emotionally mature enough to recite the Prayer of Salvation and evangelize to his/her friends on the playground? Because that's exactly what the GNC is asking kids to do. Most first graders still want to be cowboys and princesses when they grow up, not little soldiers for Christ. They're in no position to make the life decisions these volunteers are pressuring them to make.

Here's a great example of the lengths the GNC has gone to in order to protect their secrets. This semester, they tried to prevent outside observers from sitting in on GNC sessions (which are required by law to be open to the public) by attempting to intimidate them and even calling the Monroe County Sheriff's Department to try to prevent them from attending:
http://dividedundergod.com/2015/03/27/good-news-club-discovers-its-harder-to-intimidate-adults-than-children/

-Kevin Davis

28 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Kevin Davis on 04/22/2015 at 9:48 AM

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