The fundamentalist group, the CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship), has utilized its foothold in the public schools, enabled by the 2001 supreme court decision, to push its ever-increasing extremist agenda of intolerance and hatred that legitimizes even genocide of groups who believe differently than the CEF, all under the euphemistic, innocuous title of the “Good News Club”. This could, incidentally, include not only other religions like Islam, but even mainstream Christians who do not go along with their literalist beliefs. The article is also making the point that using the school grounds (likely classrooms) to inculcate this kind of message imbues it with more authority and makes it appear to a small child as if the school approves it.
It is important to point out that while Jesus taught and practiced kindness, love, and compassion, he was a departure from the Old Testament patriarchal god of wrath who was more than ok with genocide and in fact demanded it regularly towards the Mesopotamian peoples who practiced goddess worship. The case of Jezebel and her people is instructive. This is why the radical religious rightwing are so hellbent in their persecution of women and people who believe differently than they do. These hatemongers who preach this vile swill now have representatives in the highest court and every branch and level of government.
As Dorothy R. commented on this article, the Bible should not be taken literally; Joseph Campbell said that people read the Bible as prose (literal) when it should be read as poetry (symbolic). Her interpretation, though a very meaningful one, does not undo the fact that the Hebrews quite literally wiped out whole civilizations justified by their self-serving religious beliefs and must be acknowledged as quite real in their violence.
The most disturbing aspect of all this is that young children are being terrorized and brainwashed in this way when they are much too young to be able to cognitively evaluate it or defend against the emotional impact of it, and the eventual way this will affect larger society. Whether their parents think it is “ok” to subject them to this or not (some of them I’m sure don’t realize the content of these “lessons”) does not make it ok. This is a form of emotional and psychological child abuse and the CEF should be up on charges of such in my opinion, as well as arguably the parents of these poor kids who are, for all intents and purposes, hostages.
The overarching danger here is that the Judeo-Christian extremists today are following in the footsteps of the Hebrews of ancient times and continue to read biblical passages like this as literal injunctions to mindlessly apply in the present as they were in the past and to inflict this authoritarian fascism on others, even innocent little impressionable minds. This is monumentally abusive of our children, our schools, and society at large and MUST BE RESISTED if we are to retain our democracy. It is a violation of the separation of church and state and puts us ever closer towards being a fundamentalist theocracy.