Evangelism as public education?

I belong to a humanistic web group here in Michigan and recently someone noticed that one of the community colleges was giving a class called the Alpha Course, meant to determine what relevance Jesus has in the lives of its students. The humanists alerted the ACLU and apparently they agreed that the separation of church and state was being violated, and managed to shut the class down. This article discusses the situation. What do you think? Is this an attempt to evangelize, or just education?

3 thoughts on “Evangelism as public education?

  1. From the article:

    “Steinberg said one look at the Web site convinced him that the school district would be violating Constitutional provisions regarding the separation of church and state if it offered the class.”

    I took a look at the same Web site, and I have to agree. It looks like a thinly-veiled Bible study for the uninitiated, in no way resembling an academic class. I have to respect the desire by Christians to spread what they believe through discussion and kindness. On the other hand, pretending their end goal isn’t conversion in order to get public money seems dishonest at the least. This violates the separation of church and state and they were offered the opportunity to rent a room. Trying to get sympathy or blur the church/state barrier by getting the media involved only seems more shallow.

    I’m afraid I have to censor myself now, as I feel pretty strongly about this topic. I resent the fact that there’s no organized opposition to proselytization…for people who aren’t religious, any attention or time spent on the subject is just wasted time and energy. The ACLU gets involved when it’s a matter of government-sponsored religion (and for that I’m grateful), but the various churches have so much money, manpower, and brainwashing experience in their corner that they are consistently unopposed in their quest to make the whole world believe their fairy tales. The young, poor, and uneducated of the world can only take so much constant pressure before they join the ever-swelling ranks of the brainwashed masses.

    So much for censorship, huh?

  2. I agree wholeheartedly. Any “class” that has as its “objective: to establish whether Jesus Christ has any real relevance for their lives” is a very thinly veiled Sunday school.

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