Protect Portland Children is organizing a campaign to stop after-school Bible classes from meeting in Portland public schools. The Bible classes, called Good News Clubs, are sponsored by Child Evangelism Fellowship. In partnership with 30 Portland churches, the CEF is working to expand into the Portland area schools this fall.
Robert Aughenbaugh, a co-founder of Protect Portland Children, is hoping to persuade parents not to allow their children to participate. He particularly objects to the CEF’s teaching that all people are sinners, an idea he thinks is inappropriate to teach children because it makes them feel fear and shame.
The CEF counters that the Bible clearly teaches that all people are sinners and that people need to understand this concept in order to see why God’s love is good news.
Legally, the Portland Public Schools will not be able to keep Good News Clubs from meeting on their property. In 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Good News Club v. Milford Central School that school districts can adopt policies that apply to all groups wanting to use school property, but the policies cannot treat religious organizations any differently from other groups.
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