Is Something Wrong With This Picture? Any hints?
In a May 30, 2012 story in The Guardian, journalist Katherine Stewart, author of The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children reveals that next Fall over 100,000 elementary school students in American public schools will receive explicit coaching on the scriptural justification for killing unbelievers, every last one – drawing on Old Testament scripture that, according to Pennsylvania State professor Philip Jenkins, author of Laying Down the Sword: Why We Can’t Ignore the Bible’s Violent Verses, has historically been used by the Pilgrims to justify slaughtering Native Americans, by Catholics and Protestants to justify slaughtering each other, and during the early 1990s in Rwanda, to justify killing Tutsis.
The genocide lessons – which emphasize that divinely-mandated instructions to kill unbelievers must be carried out thoroughly and without reservation, will be taught next year in “Good News” clubs in over 3200 public schools across America, by the Christian fundamentalist ministry Child Evangelism Fellowship.
As Stewart describes, the CEF’s new curriculum is quite direct – there’s nothing “spiritualized” or metaphorical about its use of scripture.
Paraphrasing the Old Testament scripture I Samuel 15:2-3, the Child Evangelism Fellowship’s new lesson plan teaches, “You are to go and completely destroy the Amalekites (AM-uh-leck-ites) – people, animals, every living thing. Nothing shall be left.” The manual then instructs the teacher to tell students, “That was pretty clear, wasn’t it?”