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Dd brought home religious tract from school

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 
I am all for the freedom of religion, and I respect that everyone has their own path. We have a church in town that is at the center of a lot of controversies. It's called The Door Christian Center. A lot of people consider it a cult with mind control. They discourage TV and outside friendships, and people spend all their free time at the church. They have this horrible halloween haunted house showing abortions and murder to scare people into converting. At a local festival a pastor of the church got on a megaphone and was telling people they would go to hell if they didn't accept Jesus. The also put up a model of the twin towers as a scare tactic. Some teens faked their own abduction to avoid going to church. I could tell stories . . but anyway the point is that I really don't want anything to do with this church.

A girl in dd's class is a member of this church. Her mom tried to talk to me about her church last year in the parking lot and I was polite but firm about not really being interested, thank you. This started as a friendly conversation asking her where she moved from and she said her church sent her to our area (the head church is here, they have branches all over).

So anyway, yesterday dd brought home a tract. On one side was a picture of the world next to the sun. A neat picture like you would find in a science book. The other side had a very scary message talking about everyone being born into sin and facing eternal hell and damnation if they don't accept Jesus, etc. And then the address of the church. Being a good reader, she read most of it and had questions. I had to assure her she was not going to hell and talk about how it's not okay to try to sell your religion to other people. My dd said that this girl had given a tract to every student in the class. This was at lunchtime. The kids were told by the girl not to tell their teacher.

I took it into the principals' office this AM and she was flabbergasted and shocked. She took the tract and said she would address this.

I'm just venting. I don't know what makes that mom think it's okay to tell my 7 year old she's going to hell if she has different beliefs. A neighborhood girl also talked to my dd about how bad people go to hell and good people go to heaven. This girl is nice and her family is nice, and they don't try to convert anyone. I think it was just a discussion the two had for some reason. I had just finished talking to her about what different people believe and having many paths up to the top of the mountain speech. Maybe it was timing, I dunno, but I was not ready to deal with this tract and the message it had.

I also wonder in the back of my head why would small children be taught about something scary like hell at church? Isn't that more of a concept for older children to learn? Why not teach younger children the positive values of their religion and try to keep them the innocent people they are until they are able to think critically and in a more mature manner?

Edited: Mods please move this to the Spirituality forum if you need to. :-)
post #2 of 66
That is horrible!!!

And terribly unChristlike!
post #3 of 66
I believe that targetting children is against the law. here it is anyway.

I feel very very sorry for that little girl.
post #4 of 66
What is going on with this???

My 11 yo brought how a pocket-sized New Testament from school the other day!! Said a couple of "old people" were standing at the end of the 5th grade hallway handing them out, shaking the kids hands and saying, "Congratulations!"

I've called the principal, but not gotten a return call yet.
post #5 of 66
When I was in 6th grade I sat next to a boy who was a JW. He always brought religious tracts to school and I always accepted them so I wouldn't hurt his feelings. But looking back, I wonder if his parents encouraged him to distribute the tracts in (a public) school.
post #6 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjanelles View Post
What is going on with this???

My 11 yo brought how a pocket-sized New Testament from school the other day!! Said a couple of "old people" were standing at the end of the 5th grade hallway handing them out, shaking the kids hands and saying, "Congratulations!"

I've called the principal, but not gotten a return call yet.
I remember getting one right across the street from the school as I was walking home. They were handing them out to everyone and your first instinct is to take what someone gives you, so I did. I think that off school grounds it's legal. Not sure about that though.
post #7 of 66
I still can't get beyond the church group here that was petitioning the local planned parenthood(which happens to be one street over from the elementary school and everyone has to go by them...) and they were marching around shouting and carrying pictures(HUGE pictures) of aborted babies and fetuses and so many other scary things. I WAS SO DISGUSTED!

Talk about grossing me out and being completely out of line!!! Fanatics scare me so much....
post #8 of 66
Wow. I'm sorry that happened.

I am a Christian, and I believe we all need to believe what Jesus said, but I don't think that is the best way to share beliefs with other people, to say the very least.
Honestly I think that church would freak me out too!

If you can, let us know what the school did.
I heard on the radio (on a law show) recently that it's against a child's free speech not to be allowed to say whatever or hand things out at school, but I think there also should be a school rule against handing things out that can really scare a child.
I mean (coming at it as a Christian), other things are 'dangerous' too, but you don't just go around DC and start handing out tracts of vicious dogs or child molesters or traffic accidents... I don't get it.

How do they think they are going to get anyone to 'their side' if they are alienating people and scaring children?
post #9 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamatolea View Post
....they were marching around shouting and carrying pictures(HUGE pictures) of aborted babies and fetuses and so many other scary things. I WAS SO DISGUSTED!


I know!!!
They do that here too. I hate it when I am stopped at a red light, and suddenly see *bam* right there in front of innocent little DC those huge pictures.
I always point in the opposite way, and am like "HEY!! LOOK AT THAT (really exciting tree/red truck/whatever)!!!!" and my DC think I'm crazy.
post #10 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Love View Post
Wow. I'm sorry that happened.

I am a Christian, and I believe we all need to believe what Jesus said, but I don't think that is the best way to share beliefs with other people, to say the very least.
Honestly I think that church would freak me out too!
Exactly. It's not about sharing beliefs, it's about the scare tactics involved. My dd's have my blessing to choose whatever faith they want when they are adults, but I pray that they don't choose some off-the-wall organization that uses scare tactics to get people to convert.

At least a good discussion came out of this-- and probably many more-- and hopefully my dd will be a stronger person because of it.

I will ask the principal about what was done about this in a few days.
post #11 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by USAmma View Post
I also wonder in the back of my head why would small children be taught about something scary like hell at church? Isn't that more of a concept for older children to learn? Why not teach younger children the positive values of their religion and try to keep them the innocent people they are until they are able to think critically and in a more mature manner?
I think because to them, it's all about that, the saving souls, the conversion moment, etc. Beyond that, they seem to have nothing to offer. And they don't seem to care how they get you, just that they get you (i.e. "soul saved"). When a church is not so much about that, but more about the walk, the learning, the growing, those things are emphasized more and I think a kinder, gentler kind of religion is the result.

The sad part is, the emphasis on this only drives people away IMO. I was exposed to people like this during my childhood and they turned me off so much I didn't want anything to do with Christianity whatsoever for a long time.
post #12 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by USAmma View Post
Exactly. It's not about sharing beliefs, it's about the scare tactics involved. My dd's have my blessing to choose whatever faith they want when they are adults, but I pray that they don't choose some off-the-wall organization that uses scare tactics to get people to convert.

At least a good discussion came out of this-- and probably many more-- and hopefully my dd will be a stronger person because of it.
That's awesome. What a great way to look at it: a teachable moment.
post #13 of 66
OH, hunny (yes, I got told to for doing it, but I do it-hunny, and I mean it like sister or 'gurfrient' or compadre or whatevss, but I digress), I'd have half a mind to invite the mom and dad over and ask them if they've yet accepted the lordy be satan into their lives.

I'd then go on to tell them about big fish tales and which stories I thought fell under *that* umbrella in, ahem, certain books, and then to cap off, I'd ask if they heard of the flying spaghetti monster yet. (or whatever that thing is...it IS a funny parody, but I probably only have it half right......which would bring up a 'whole nuther' ball of wax about half hearing, the telephone game, and only hearing what you need and when you need it to suit your needs). Then, I send their stunned butts home to reflect. THankyouverymuchforyourpamphlet. Nice toilet literature. (literally).

but that's just me.
post #14 of 66
and their home would have a special place in my heart on say, mischief night.

There is more than one way to scare the bejesus out of someone. You scare my kids, I toilet paper and flaming poo bag your doorstep. We're even. sort of.


I'm soooo mature.......
post #15 of 66
Well to the principle for saying she would address this. That is great to hear.
post #16 of 66
Ok. I wouldn't really do any of that. Ok, most of it.

Ok, any of it that I thought would be traced back to me.

I would seriously have no problem w/speaking quite frankly to any parent who put suggestive or scary stuff in the face or hand to face of my own young child. That much, I stand by.
post #17 of 66
*sigh* The hard part out of all of this, as I see it, is that these fanatical religious REALLY think they're doing the right thing by using scare tactics. Personally, I wouldn't want any part of living in that much fear, but at least, I guess, they have some way (being "saved") to allay that fear a bit...
post #18 of 66
That is just messed up, especially such a threatening message! :

People used to give out bibles in front of the school buses at my Jr. High. It was annoying b/c they'd practically SHOVE them into your hand, and I felt guilty just throwing it down, so I'd leave it on the bus seat when I got home.
post #19 of 66
we've had this issue happen before-our school policy is that the school must be the one to distribute it, therefore the content is subject to principal approval. the only thing the local church here distributes is info about church youth programs (which still ticks me off, but they have a right to do so.)
post #20 of 66
I think you did the best thing by alerting the principal. Personally, I would have cut the tract into the shape of an inverted pentacle, and sent it back to school with my DC to hand back to the other kid. But that's just me.
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