Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) has been reaching out to America’s youth with the Gospel message of Jesus Christ for the past 75 years. One of the ministries of CEF is Good News Club. According to their website,
“Good News Club® is a ministry of Child Evangelism Fellowship® in which trained teachers meet with groups of children in schools, homes, community centers, churches, apartment complexes, just about anywhere the children can easily and safely meet with their parent’s permission. Each week the teacher presents an exciting Bible lesson using colorful materials from CEF Press®. This action-packed time also includes songs, Scripture memory, a mission’s story and review games or other activities focused on the lesson’s theme.”
One of the schools where a Good News Club met is located in the Minneapolis Special School District No. 1. That is until the school district told them that they could no longer be part of an after-school program because they were proselytizing.
Liberty Counsel Vice President and General Counsel, Steve Crampton has filed suit on behalf of the Christian ministry stating that after-school programs are private, not public functions and that they are free to proselytize if they want to. In a statement concerning the case, Crampton said,
“Therefore, they’re entitled to engage in proselytizing. This district has taken the unusual, frankly maybe even the unique step of dubbing all their after-school programs to be district-sponsored. In other words, it’s no longer private speech; it’s the school speaking.”
“I think it is maybe an increase, if you will, on the war on religion in the public square across America.”
The case is now before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and Crampton believes the court is not going to agree with the school district’s claims and will rule in favor of CEF.
Over a decade ago, Milford Central School District in New York denied the request of a group that wanted to hold a Good News Club on school facilities after school hours. Even though the school was allowing other groups to meet and use school facilities, they denied the request. The case made it all the way to the US Supreme Court who ruled in 2001 that Bible clubs such as Good News Club must be allowed the same access to school facilities after school hours as they give to any other organization.
I’m sure that Crampton will be using the landmark decision of Good News Club v Milford Central School District in his arguments before the Eight Circuit Court and that the court will have to rule in favor of the Christian club because of that Supreme Court decision.
Everywhere I turn in the news these days, I read example after example of schools and teachers that purposely violate the constitutional rights of students in the infamous notion that there is supposed to be a separation of church and state. If you add up all of the legal costs involved in all of the lawsuits created by this war against Christianity, it would probably be enough to feed and house every homeless person in the country. But the haters of Christianity don’t care about anything else or anybody else except themselves and their private war against God.
I not only hope and pray that the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals rules in favor of the Good News Club, but that they also hold the school officials accountable for their wrongful actions. The court needs to make the school district and the officials involved pay all of the legal costs incurred by the Liberty Counsel and their clients. Perhaps when other schools see that it could cost them valuable dollars that they don’t have in today’s economy, they may think twice before attacking the rights of their students.