As a science teacher, I am very concerned by the amount of supernatural mumbo-jumbo that goes on in the public schools. At many junior highs, high schools and colleges, there is a chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Now this organization is over thirty years old, but it has taken on a new dimension since 1990. Every September, FCA groupshelp sponsor See You at the Pole rallies. During a SYATP rally, students gather around the flag pole to attempt to conjure up supernatural help for our country.
This may seem harmless enough, but I think it is important to look just a little closer. As Steve Majeski recently posted on our ACA e-mail discussion group, SYATP is backed by some real heavies in the theocratic right. Steve snipped this from an American Family Association "Action Alert" update...
More than 3 million teenagers are expected to pray on their campuses before school on September 16 observing the eighth annual See You at the Pole -- National Day of Student Prayer. . .See You at the Pole is a student-initiated and student-led movement that began in Texas in 1990 with a single church youth group.
The visibility of See You at the Pole -- with so many teenagers participating in the event -- has led to a greater awareness among adults of the problems students face at their schools every day. In response, thousands of churches are expected to recognize and pray for Christian students and educators in their services, September 12-13, the weekend before See You at the Pole."
The policy book that school districts follow explicitly states that religious clubs may meet if the school is a limited public forum, and certain conditions are met. Included in this list of conditions: “Meetings must be voluntary and student initiated." Now, I work with kids every day, and for the life of me I can’t see them organizing anything on a national scale without a lot of help from adults. SYATP and FCA are about as student-initiated as the TAAS test.
These rallies are not about a bunch of Christian kids getting together to meet each other. The “recognition of Christian students" discussed by the AFA is really just another recruitment tool for the theocrats. Future Ralph Reeds can now be identified as early as the seventh grade. The SYATP web site was certainly marked by the sign of the theocrats. Links to legal help include the American Center for Law and Justice, and the Rutherford Institute.
As for FCA itself, lets take a look at what they promote. In their question and answer section, they encourage children to reject science, tolerance and reason:
Question: A good friend of mine has AIDS and I'm struggling with whether this is God's judgment or not. Can you help me?
Answer: The Bible teaches there were no diseases in Eden. But when Adam and Eve sinned, part of God's judgment was to curse the ground. . .So, indeed, AIDS is a judgment of God against sinners. But so is every other form of illness! . . .Suffice it to say then that all illness is because we live in a sinful, abnormal world.
Question: How should I as a Christian regard a homosexual?
Answer: The Bible gives two very clear statements about homosexuality. 1. It is a sin. The old testament saw it as a sin demanding capital punishment. New Testament words say: "indecent..abandoning the natural function.. burning in desire..strange..depraved..not proper.." 2. Homosexuals can be converted from homosexuality.
Well, there you have it. While teachers try to promote critical thinking, tolerance, and an understanding of germ theory, evangelical Christians sabotage their efforts at every opportunity.