An after-school program which the Supreme Court has ordered that public schools have to resource is teaching children that they must obey genocide orders.
The lesson is contained in the second week of the Bible study course from the Good News Club, an after-school program sponsored by a group called the Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF). The aim of the CEF is to convert young children to a fundamentalist form of the Christian faith and recruit their peers to the club.
The 3,200 clubs reach more than 100,000 American public school children, ranging in age from four to 12, and uses public school classrooms because CEF know that young children associate the public schools with authority and are unable to distinguish between activities that take place in a school and those that are sponsored by the school.
The genocide instruction is based on the story of Saul and the Amalekites, from 1 Samuel (15:3), in which God said to Saul:
Now go, attack the Amalekites, and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.
This has been used through the ages to justify genocide, including by the Puritans when they wanted to get rid of Native American tribes.
The Bible study course had previously said merely that “the Amalekites were completely defeated.” But this has been revised to make it clear that if God gives instructions to kill a group of people, you must kill every last one:
You are to go and completely destroy the Amalekites (AM-uh-leck-ites) — people, animals, every living thing. Nothing shall be left.
“That was pretty clear, wasn’t it?” the manual tells the teachers to say.
It now says that a teacher is to make clear that the Amalakites were targeted for destruction on account of their lack of religion:
The Amalekites had heard about Israel’s true and living God many years before, but they refused to believe in him. The Amalekites refused to believe in God and God had promised punishment.
The instruction is drilled home: if God tells you to kill nonbelievers, he really wants you to kill them all, no exceptions allowed.
If you are asked to do something, how much of it do you need to do before you can say, ‘I did it!’?
Mainstream Bible teaching, as exemplified by bible.org, says something different:
The test is how well that person has pleased God by obeying His Word, and by challenging others to follow him as he obeys. This is not said to justify autocratic leadership, which merely claims to speak for God. This is said of biblical leadership, which is based upon, and tested by, the Word of God.
According to the majority Supreme Court opinion which allows the Clubs to operate in public schools, written by Justice Clarence Thomas, they could be characterized, for legal purposes, “as the teaching of morals and character development from a particular viewpoint.”
Rwanda Genocide Memorial picture by configmanager