Are Evangelicals Recruiting Bainbridge Students?

Posted by on October 14, 2013 at 9:34 pm

state and church streets

Inside Bainbridge pulled an article that was published briefly last night, October 13, when we learned that a piece of information we had received was inaccurate. Here is our revision of that article.

On October 8, Woodward Middle School Principal Mike Florian announced in a letter to school parents that an investigation had been initiated by School District Assistant Superintendent Peter Bang-Knudsen about the presence of three youth pastor volunteers at the school over the last three years.

The investigation was prompted by concerns expressed by parents. The three men, who all represent evangelical churches, were brought into the school without the knowledge of the PTO or parents and were given ongoing access to students in the lunchroom, where they reportedly spent most of their time talking with kids. Only two of the three men had been vetted, and only with a basic background check.

A key question of the current investigation is whether the youth pastors were recruiting impressionable children in their school.

A four-page document from youth organization Bainbridge Island Young Life, titled Young Life Bainbridge Island/North Kitsap Leader Packet—Job Description, calls on young adult Leaders to “reach out to every kid in every school in Bainbridge Island/North Kitsap.”

The document describes in detail the job responsibilities of leaders: “We are looking for laborers who can pour out their lives with real abandonment for Jesus’ sake. The high school/Jr. High [sic] culture is a foreign culture. If you’ve sensed God calling you to Young Life and you’ve been pleased you don’t have to go to Africa or Ethiopia, you need to understand that the high school campus IS a foreign mission field. The harvest is plentiful. . . .”

Under its Contact Work section, the Volunteer Leader Job Description states that Leaders are to

  • “spend 2-4 hrs per week outside of club in contact with non-Christian adolescents, creatively endeavoring to build friendship relationships. This contact should be a [sic] least one general and one specifically personal time with kids.”
  • “Take personal responsibility for developing deeper relationships with at least three non-Christian kids.”

Under its Campaigners section, the Volunteer Leader Job Description states that Leaders are to

  • “Actively seek to disciple at least one person.”

Under its Camping section, the Volunteer Leader Job Description states that Leaders are to

  • “Prayerfully prepare to get specific kids to camp, whom we have been building relationships with.”

Bainbridge Island Young Life head Lance Klopp told me that the three pastors at Woodward are “unofficially affiliated” with Young Life and that they attend some of the group’s camps and events but are not Leaders.

When I asked Klopp if Young Life has Leader volunteers in any Bainbridge schools, he said there are Young Life parent volunteers in BHS and possibly others, but there are currently no non-parent Young Life volunteers. However, Western Washington Young Life lists Woodward and BHS as having active ministries. And the Every School alliance, of which the national Young Life organization is a member, shows Woodward and BHS as having been “adopted” for evangelical “outreach.” The Every School website provides detailed strategies for how to create school campus ministries.

Woodward Principal Florian, a leader at the Peninsula Bible Fellowship, told Inside Bainbridge that no one from Young Life has been a volunteer at the school since he became Principal in 2009.

School Board President Mike Spence said he is familiar with the Young Life document and is concerned about its language and intent: “We can’t facilitate this; a kid who is a member of Young Life has a right to free speech, but we can’t enable this at Woodward. It’s a fine line that we’re walking here: The moment we facilitate [church recruitment] it crosses the line.”

Spence guessed that the investigation would conclude by the end of this week.

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Photo courtesy of Ian Sane.

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Categorized | Community, Schools

137 Responses to “Are Evangelicals Recruiting Bainbridge Students?”

  1. Rebecca says:

    Let the character assassinations continue! I'm just thankful that many of the kids at Woodward are sticking up for these men. I hope the people pointing the fingers don't plan on launching an investigation on school teachers, faculty, mentors and BI sports clubs. Let me tell you, there are LOTS of us that are religious and you will not have enough faculty, mentors and coaches to run your schools/programs. Oh, and by the way…people pointing the fingers? Your lunch shift is Monday-Friday from 10:00-2:00. I suggest you get down to Woodward ASAP.

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    • Community says:

      I think most are appreciative of anyone who volunteers but if some of the activity is illegal or unethical, the district can help prevent this by having well defined volunteer guidelines ( Perhaps the community as a whole can be involved in helping create these guidelines, so all opinions are taken into account) . This would in turn make a more comfortable situation for all volunteers and perhaps encourage others to volunteer. As a community it would behoove us to focus on the process for current and future volunteers.

      As for individual accountability, we should assume good intent and let the investigation dictate as to any negligence, illegal activity or a pattern unethical behavior.

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  2. Shelley says:

    Check your facts. Young Life is NOT New Life Church . You have it all wrong.

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  3. Violet B. says:

    The mission of these evangelicals is to infiltrate schools in order to convert impressionable and vulnerable children. Read the whole document. What’s even more shocking is that this isn’t happening only in our area, middle schools have been targeted across the country.
    Number of previous cases where youth pastors were allowed back into the school once they were discovered: ZERO.
    Reason: it’s ILLEGAL.
    The veil of secrecy here was so thick, it has been going on for 8 years. Let’s see what the investigation reveals.

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  4. ttcstar says:

    For some, religion is a God-send (no pun intended) – it give them hope and faith in a kinder, more compassionate world, a community, light out of a darkness of feeling alone, and something to believe in that helps them make it through all of life's adversities and unanswerable questions and addictions, and the oft painful existential realities of the world. For others, it is a strait jacket, a limiting, mind numbing, creativity stomping, mechanistic social prison that they simply can't relate to. For some God is inside us, for others God is outside us. For some, God is Goddess, for others God is Jesus, for others the divine is a wave form, a presence in every thing, every living being, and for some the whole idea of a God is unrealistic … Personally, and in the work I do, which is to run Teen Talking Circles, we run by the motto that each of us has a perspective, none of us has the only answer, but we have our answers and many questions, and they may change, and often do over time as we grow and understand more perspectives and develop our thinking…To be truly compassionate beings on the planet and truly community co-creators, we need all our perspectives at the table… — and we need to respect and hear all perspectives; both victims and persecutors, all forms of faith, all belief systems, all points of view. It's when we can expand to include all this that we are truly a thriving community – because each of us has a piece of the puzzle. But it is when we dominate others with our views that we become oppressors. Any one point of view, religion, opinion, belief, political ideology that attempts to push itself onto a young, vulnerable person, who is still searching for their own wisdom and answers– their own faith and beliefs — through organized infiltration in the guise of friendship and/or covert manipulation, especially in our school systems (or in a Teen Talking Circle) or school sports team or school social club, is truly in my book doing an injustice and might better achieve their deeper intentions standing on a public street corner, on a soap box and speaking their truth — those who have ears to hear will respond naturally — and the message will be far deeper and more authentic, and it gives everyone the respect and freedom to stay and listen and make relationship, or to leave because they are respected as agents of their own lives and do not have an interest. If we are to be a true democracy, we need to make room, in the appropriate places, for all voices in our human body to be heard. As a Catholic Priest said to me once in the 1960s after I told him I found God through an out of body experience, "God (or put your own word — the divine or the Great Spirit or nature) works in wondrous ways!" Public schools are not the place to push any religion, but to open the great books and study the great works of art and openly dialogue about the multiplicity of ways God is defined and find each our own truths…Linda Wolf, Founder/ed Teen Talking Circles. PS – After 20 years+ of working with teenagers, I can honestly say the only wisdom that sticks is the wisdom they come up with themselves, as we encourage them to hear their own inner wisdom and follow that….

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    • Elizabeth Greene says:

      Wow! This is so well-written and that's exactly how I feel, but wouldn't have been able to express it so eloquently. This issue makes those opposed to the pastors presence as people who are anti-God or against those who are just trying to help kids…when that couldn't be further from what I believe and your comment expressed that perfectly. Thank you!

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  5. RationalThought says:

    So I'm guessing that Rebecca would be ok with Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and people from other than Christian religions engaging in the same tactics, right? Saying that employees at a school are religious and that this is the same thing as non-employees coming onto campus to recruit for a specific religion is ridiculous. School is a place for learning and no one should have access to kids at school without parental permission who isn't a school employee and engaged in public school learning. And those employees who are "religious" continue to be free to practice their own religion, but they are not free to recruit for it. It's really not that hard to figure out the very big difference!

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  6. Cheryl says:

    According to the New York Times, evangelicals have lost ground in the U.S. and are losing major political battles as well:

    "First, evangelicals, while still perceived as a majority, have become a shrinking minority in the United States. In the 1980s heyday of the Rev. Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority, some estimates accounted evangelicals as a third or even close to half of the population, but research by the Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith recently found that Christians who call themselves evangelicals account for just 7 percent of Americans."

    There are a lot of us that are religious, but a small minority are evangelical. I believe those churches are having difficulty retaining their own youth, so have to proselytize ours. Proselytizing isn't appropriate on public school property. That's why it should remain illegal, and not hidden.

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    • waytoomanydaves says:

      You're depending on the NYT to deliver facts on a political issue?

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    • Ed says:

      If it is in the New York Times it must be true!

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  7. Toby Jones says:

    Some have suggested that the concerned parents who brought this to the District are asking the school to discriminate against religious pastors and are, therefore, 'on thin ice' constitutionally. The fact of the matter is that all of the non-parent volunteers over the past 2 years (not 7 years) were from one religious orientation (Christian Evangelicals from local churches), there were no Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Protestants, Baptists, etc. among them. There is indeed a constitutional issue here, but it's due to the CLEAR ENDORSEMENT of a particular religious orientation by the WMS administration, not by concerned parents. The fact that both the Principle and Vice Principle are Evangelicals and that they have invited in New Life fanatics to distribute free lunches to teachers, among other things, is almost ipso facto evidence of a constitutional violation based on the endorsement language in the Establishment Clause. There is indeed thin ice here, and the WMS administration is standing on it.

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    • Disgusted says:

      I am Catholic, military and volunteered countless times. I was asked about my job by the students and I answered. I was asked about my marital status and I answered. I was asked about my kids and I answered. I asked about my religious beliefs and I answered. I was asked about what sports I liked and I answered. So I guess I am guilty of being honest…or as some would suggest, spreading my religious views. I simply see it as answering these very smart and curious young adults as if they are young adults. Heaven help us if we question the religious believes if those that work and volunteer in our schools. Looks eerily similar to dark periods in world history.

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      • Carrie says:

        The issue is not their beliefs, its their professional job that is the issue. They work for churches who seek to convert as many of the 185,000 unclaimed Kitsapers as possible. I have no idea how many there really are, but that number comes from New Life's website.

        Are you a paid recruiter for the Catholic Church? If not, I thank you for your service to our community, appreciate your willingness to volunteer, and I hope you will continue. I also support your right to answer all of those questions posed by students.

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        • Disgusted says:

          So now it is because they are paid by the church. Interesting the concern seems to change. So I volunteer at m Church in the youth ministry. Are there concerns with me volunteering at the school?

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    • Zachary says:

      The lunches were from a different church. We were just thankful for
      What the teachers are doing and wanted to say thanks. They came with
      No strings and we didn’t throw our name out there. Not everyone in
      Evangelical churches are proselytizing, people are people and sometimes
      We want to say thanks for the hard work with the kids. A number of the parents at
      Our church have had kids go through the school system. It’s not an us vs. them situation
      If we don’t want it to be. We’re all part of the same world with the same realities.
      Take care

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  8. jack says:

    Whether hard-core republican or democrat, christian or atheist, have the guts to agree that our public schools should be free from political and religious solicitation. Documents from any organization targeting public school campuses should bother all of us. Speak loudly and clearly on this issue.

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  9. Cheryl says:

    Principle and Vice Principle evangelicals on Bainbridge, bringing in their brand of fundamentalism?

    Can the school board investigate this conflict of interest before the district is legally challenged?

    I have a family member who works at a public education institution and they're noticing illegal hiring practices as well, and the religion behind that workplace bullying is Mormon. As long as these cliques are hidden they can exert undue influence in many ways that are not appropriate.

    Evangelicals are only 7% of the US population. Worldwide, it is the evangelical or extremist branches of religion (fundamentalists) who are so adamant they kill for their beliefs…..and, the neocon Moral Majority was neither if I recall.

    Now that I've learned more, this is HORRIBLE. Fire the Principal and VP before a very expensive law suit ensues.

    With the youth pastors "special privileges" granted by key administrators for access to campus, that compounds the vulnerability of all the youth.

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    • Disgusted says:

      Are you really comparing the Principal of Woodward to someone who would kill in the name of God? Really? Unbelievable. How sad.

      Why don't we send the Special Police thru Bainbridge and round up all the Christian teachers and banish them from the Island! That will keep them from having any contact with your fragile kids who are surrounded by all the positive influences they come in contact with on TV, the internet, etc.

      Welcome to the inclusive village of Bainbridge Island!

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  10. Janet says:

    At 10:30 this morning, Woodward parents received the first statement from the BISD on this matter. Assistant Superintendent Peter Bang-Knutsen encourages parents who would like to share first hand information on this matter with the independent investigator to contact him directly at pbangknutsen@bisd303.org.
    This is a significant step in the right direction. Until now, the only official public statements we have received are from Mike Florian.
    Let's shine a big, bright light on this whole thing.

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  11. Jean says:

    This is indeed a witch hunt….and one that can ruin people's lives and reputations. Most of what I am reading in response to these articles is more than untrue! Most of it is gossip and perceptions of a a very few unhappy, discriminating parents (and yes, even employees). Woodward has done nothing wrong nor have their administrators who only care about the safety, security and well being of your children. There is no "recruiting" going on in the school…it is NOT allowed…nor has it been attempted. There is no preaching, no underhanded means of brainwashing your children, no nothing! Woodward is still the amazing and caring school it has always been. When these "anonymous" "concerned" parents come forward with honest and truthful information…then maybe they can be taken seriously. Anonymity is hardly the way to spread your vicious lies. No one should be considered on "thin ice" when you know nothing about the truth!

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    • Woodward Parent says:

      There is a history of parents screaming to the principal about these pastors loitering in the gym, directing social clicks, and, via peer pressure, recruiting the popular kids to invite other impressionable kids towards outside parties at their churches. Even playing match maker with boys and girls in order to trick the kid who has a crush on another kid into coming to the party. Well being of the kids? How is that good for any kid, to mess with their head in junior high, when they are supposed to be learning? The people who are trying to protect the administration belong to the churches themselves, and it is their life's mission to convert the non-believers. Get them out of our public schools and remove the administration, or it will continue! What about hiring practices? Hmm, will be interesting to see what kind of science is being taught and overall teachers' church affiliations at Woodward who where hired by this principal. What about the types of songs at the holiday concert? The truth is flooding into the investigator now. Let's see. Not a witch hunt, simply against the law.

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      • Diane says:

        Lots of hearsay in your post but no factual incidents reported or recorded. The reason we have a seperation between church and state is to ensure the freedom of religion from the tyranny of the state. Goose step much?

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      • Disgusted says:

        Why don't you become involved in Woodward and you would know the answer to all of your questions! There is full and open access to all classes at Woodward…put your money where your accusations are and volunteer.
        I guess your too busy sitting at home dreaming up accusations to actually volunteer. Thanks for your support!

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  12. Community says:

    An important point that very few seem to be focused on – Regardless of their affiliation, there doesn't appear to have been any proselytizing done by these volunteers. At the meetings thus far, no one has alleged that the volunteers were trying to recruit teenagers. SO….If none was done, even after all the time and opportunity these volunteers had to do so – then the text of the "handbook" is entirely IRRELEVANT. The focus of this article on the handbook, as it is text that most outside the church would find highly objectionable, makes this article seem just like sensational journalism. What if everyone found purple shirts objectionable, and a church had a handbook suggesting that members encourage children to wear purple shirts, and members of that church went into the schools, volunteering their time. This is analogous to everyone in the community crying foul, saying that this means that the volunteers are going to try and get the kids to wear the objectionable color….when NO ONE has alleged that the volunteers EVER promoted purple shirts. Also – as for comments by others that entirely unrelated Young Life members have tried to push their religion on them at some point in the distant past, as proof that these volunteer must have been up to no good — there is a very good reason that sort of argument doesn't work in the law. Too bad people still employ it for unfounded character assassination.

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    • jack says:

      Wrong on 2 points:
      1) Children did claim that they were being solicited. The children complained to their parents who, in turn, went to the school district. Without that action, we would not be having this discussion. To expect 12 and 13 year olds to stand up publicly on an issue like this is silly.
      2) The words of the document DO matter. It clearly identifies campuses as rich target areas. The spirit of that document is clearly wrong but I doubt you will have the moral constitution to fight to correct their error.

      Right on 1 point:
      The law will prevail and it speaks clearly against solicitation on public school grounds.

      Whether hard-core republican or democrat, christian or atheist, have the guts to agree that our public schools should be free from political and religious solicitation. Documents from any organization targeting public school campuses should bother all of us. Speak loudly and clearly on this issue.

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      • Community says:

        Jack — you don't know me and, just because you don't agree with me, doesn't make it necessary to make personal attacks about my "moral constitution" or what kind of "guts" I have – since you simply have no idea what you are talking about in that regard. I have spoken to several people who attended the community meeting on both sides of the issue and, from their report (and I asked about this directly – including from those who are very close to the actual investigation), it was repeatedly stated that the complaining parents were unaware of any recruiting taking place. Instead the genesis of the complaints were reported to be (i) that the members of this church were allegedly given different access to children than other PTO or district vetted volunteers (some of these allegations have since been pretty convincingly refuted by other parent volunteers) (i) preference in selecting volunteers was allegedly given to these church members (over other volunteers) and (iii) the extent of background checks. I dare say that these issues are sufficient to have a "discussion". I'm not interested in "rumors" and those ready to jump to conclusions without facts – particularly when those unfounded conclusions will have such a damaging impact on three volunteers in our community. I'd rather wait for the facts to come out in the investigation.

        I strongly oppose religious solicitation on public school grounds for many reasons, not the least of which is that it is unconstitutional if supported by that public school. Sure – I don't like the church documents (probably just as much if not more than others, since I myself have been the subject of very aggressive proselytizing by evangelicals), but it appears that everyone has focused so much on this literature that they forget what the real issue is, and what the public really knows. If no credible evidence of proselytizing is uncovered (and I'll be the first to admit that they may find some, but haven't heard of any yet), do you still think these volunteers (or those from their church) should be banned? I can guess what the gut reaction of those rampaging about this literature would be – and that is likewise unconstitutional.

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      • Diane says:

        Wrong two times.

        Only one girl went to her parent and said she thought one of the pastors was "creepy". There was no actual pastor that spoke to her. Prior to the "creepy" comment no one has ever filed any charge dealing with these guys. Clearly you have never volunteered for lunch duty at Woodward or you would know there is no way to hold any conversation while monitoring the chaos during lunch.

        Two the document is a "young life" document . These youth pastors come from different churches, one of the churches is a Presbyterian USA denomination, pretty mainstream. To hold a youth pastor responsible for a different churches doctrine is the same as saying all Muslims are "creepy"…completely not true! How stereotypically intolerant of you.

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  13. It is Cool says:

    Shhh . . . let’s wait. Before we draw up the battle lines, before we split our community in two, before we close ranks and start tearing each other apart, let us see what the facts reveal.
    There is a Taoist proverb about sitting in muddy water — thrashing about only muddies the water further; it is better to sit still and allow the mud to settle. Then one can see.
    What can we agree on as a larger community? I think we can agree that proselytizing in our schools is inappropriate. Perhaps this entire discussion begins and ends at this point.
    We will see what the investigation reveals, but all accounts to date suggest that there has been no proselytizing . . . none whatsoever. If this is true, there is no issue, and we have made the water very muddy indeed, to the benefit of no one.

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  14. Toby Jones says:

    Even if proselytizing in it's most obvious form didn't happen, there's still a problem with having Youth Pastors on campus. Why? Because their job descriptions clearly show that youth recruitment is their objective and goal. No one expects these paid recruiters to have handed out bibles. But what they ARE doing is initiating relationships with your unsuspecting child in the lunchroom. Here's how: first and foremost by 1) Making an acquaintance 2) Becoming their 'friend' and 3) Establishing their trust. These are the steps that enable eventual recruitment like: Hey, why not come to my church', which happens when they find your child outside of school (yes, they have asked for personal information on the kids, which is what started this whole thing). Thus, WMS is enabling these Pastors to initiate the most difficult part of their recruitment: meeting and engaging with your kids in the lunchroom. Did you know that 2 of these individuals also volunteered to attend the School Dance? This is a Fact. Did you know that Mike Florian ran this 'program' outside of the normal PTO volunteer program? Why? Did you know that these men are associated, unofficially, with Young Life? Go check out their website. Evangelical do not help their cause by sneaking into schools and preying on our kids under the pretense of being unbiased, civic-minded volunteers.

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    • Carrie says:

      Well said! Recruitment is not a simple, "Hey, my name is John, you should come to youth group" – that's advertising. Recruiting is much more subtle. I emailed Mike Spence and said I'm 100% certain these guys are not handing out Bibles on campus, but that doesn't matter. They are establishing contact and identifying potential converts. Recruiters for ANY political or religious institution do not belong in a public school, I don't care if they are atheist, christian, muslim, conservative, liberal.

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  15. blackhook says:

    Religion does not belong in public schools …period! What is so hard for religious people to understand about this?

    Our society allows freedom to worship, but it also calls for secular education & government. For those who want to continue to proselytize in schools, I suggest moving to religious states like Iran or Saudi Arabia.

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    • Disappointed says:

      So do we stop teaching the unit on Mohammed? If this witch hunt results on getting rid if ALL religion in our schools, including the month long unit on Mohammed…bring it on!

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      • Houston Wade says:

        Teaching religion from an academic perspective is not the issue. Trying to win converts is. Plus, there isn't a month long unit on Mohammed, there is month-long unit about all the major religions of the world including Christianity. Religion is part of the humanities, and to learn about the beliefs of humans (Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Zoroastrians, Agnostics, Atheists, etc…), we are better prepared to be able to relate and empathize with them and understand another perspective from other people.

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    • For the sake of our children says:

      Should there be a separation of church & state – absolutely! Our constitution calls for it & our founding fathers stated it, our Christian founding fathers. You would be hard pressed to find one that wasn’t Christian. Now however, if you are a Christian you ARE discriminated against. The constitution was written to protect our religious freedoms, all religious freedoms. We need to protect our constitution & religious liberty.

      The problem is religion is in public schools and being taught, just about every religion except Christianity. For example the religion of evolution, most people have been brain washed into thinking is science/fact & we are not allowed to express any facts that show there is no foundation to this entire theory. There is no evidence at all in this theory to explain even how life began but they want to state it’s factual that we’ve evolved. The public schools are in no way religiously neutral.

      The point to which we have come is scary, our country which was once so great whose founding fathers were God honoring men. A country in which are freedoms were protected, is crumbling. Now not only are you not allowed to state your beliefs but you are not allowed to be a Christian. If you are you are a Christian you’re told you should move to Iran or Saudi Arabia. Others have previously stated that we need to protect the majority as if to say we shouldn’t protect the minority, really? While others are talking of firing people before any facts are in, what about innocent until proven guilty? We as Christians are expected to be tolerant of any and all other viewpoints but intolerance is hurled not only at our beliefs but at us just for being Christians. I do not know any of the people nor am I affiliated with any of the groups under accusation other than being a Christian myself.
      Those of you who are Christians & have children in the public school system, please seriously read & contemplate the remarks being posted here. Previously someone who said they have worked with teenagers for the last 20 years stated “the only wisdom that sticks is the wisdom they come up with themselves as we encourage them to follow their own inner wisdom and follow that”, if we had 2 slices of bread & some mayo we’d have a great bologne sandwich with that comment. If you don’t think your children will be influenced by that type of new age thinking that is completely surrounding us these days, and if you think they won’t be influenced by their peers, or the ideas that are pounded into their heads for 8 hours a day for 12 years then I have to say you are crazy or extremely naive. Also if you think, well if there were no Christian students left, there would be no more salt. We are obviously way past that, this alone shows that not only can we not stand up for what we believe but we can’t even be Christians without being under attack.

      In our society it has come to the point at which we can not send our children into the public school system & expect them to still hold onto their Christian morality & spiritualism upon graduating. At this point we our sacrificing our children to the world.

      I am asking parents to prayerfully consider the command of Deuteronomy 6:7, ” You shall teach them them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you rise up”. Who and what kind of ideas are teaching your children? I believe an exodus is what needs to happen. If you are ready to take a hard look at the true state of public education, there is a film that will show you the reality of it, Indoctrination, please consider watching it for the sake of your children.

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      • Houston Wade says:

        It is obvious that you either did not pay attention in school, or you had really bad teachers.

        First, any "holes" that you poke in evolution are usually through a misunderstanding of scientific theory or a misreading of the evidence. Evolution exists. Anyone can sit around a think of stuff, but proving if you are right is the hard part so many are not willing, or not equipped, to find out. Experiments prove evolution. Period. Creation "Science" is not a science because there is no experimentation that proves their hypothesis true, no methods, no corroborating studies, no infallible observations. It is not science. Reading the Bible and thinking of stuff is no different that sitting around listening to Pink Floyd albums and thinking of stuff. Neither is science.

        Also, students learn about Christianity in school. First big units come in 7th grade, then again in Western Civ sophomore year, and a third time senior year in Humanities.

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        • Sake of our children says:

          I may not be a scientist but I do know enough to recognize the difference between an hypothesis and a proven fact. There is difference between evolution and adaptations within a species- one is factual & one is as you said, someone sitting around thinking of stuff.

          Wow, no difference between reading the Bible & listening to Pink Floyd?

          And even though I do have a simple faith in God’s Word , both reason and science refute evolution. There is scientific evidence that indicates that intelligent creation is truth.

          One example showing that the majority of scientists are blinded by their an idea of and old earth
          -In 1990, Dr. Mary Schweitzer discovered T. rex bones that were partially un-fossilized. While examining the bone specimens, Schweitzer’s team identified red blood cells. Investigation revealed the presence of hemoglobin in the bone specimens. These findings conclude that dinosaurs are much younger than previously claimed. Since then, she has continued to find soft, fibrous tissue and blood vessels in other dinosaur bones. Why haven't these been found before? Probably because, blinded by assumptions of an old earth, scientists have never looked for them before. And, true to form, Schweitzer automatically questioned the clear evidence rather than re-examining her assumptions! But when a creationist scientist does that, it’s labeled unscientific.

          How is it possible for so many people to be wrong? It is human nature to follow the crowd, even when the crowd is clearly in error. The Bible says, “You shall not follow a crowd to do evil” (Exodus 23:2 NKJV). That covers our actions, and should also cover our philosophies. It doesn’t matter if the whole world believes in the theory of evolution.

          Remember, there was one point in earth's history when everyone believed the world to be flat.

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          • Houston Wade says:

            Dr. Mary Schweitzer is not a creationist. Although, she is a practicing Christian. Her data did not support that dinosaurs were younger than previously supposed, but in fact the same age as presumed. What her data did show was that under certain circumstances soft tissue could be preserved in a fossilized state inside the bones of long dead creatures. What you have read about her was made up by creationists. Their did one of two things: didn't understand the data, or they lied about it to serve their own interests. Schweitzer would be the first to tell you the Earth is 4.55 billion years old. I have gone to a talk she had about her experience with creationists manipulating her data to serve their own purpose.

            No, you don't know the difference between a hypothesis and a fact. A hypothesis would be: The Earth was created six thousand years ago.

            Then you would have to concoct an experiment, or experiments, to see if your hypothesis is correct. Your experiments could include: radiometric dating of rocks and fossils; dendrochronology (tree rings); soil/rock layer sampling; ice core data; measuring the distances to far away objects in space; studying where the Sun is on the main sequence of a stellar lifetime; etc… If one of these things shows that the Earth is older than 6,000 years the confidence in your hypothesis will be questioned. If every experiment ever conducted shows that the Earth is older than 6,000 years (which is the case), then your original hypothesis of "The Earth was created six thousand years ago," is what is what we call "null"; or not true.

            A fact is accurate data measured, or a repeatable observation made.

            Remember, there was one point in the Earth's history where everyone believed the Earth was created 6,000 years ago, and the majority of them lived in a time when everybody thought the earth was flat.

            Trust me, I am a scientist.

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            • Sake of our children says:

              Oh, I realize you are a science teacher and have noted how you have accused me of not paying attention in class or having had really bad teachers because of my belief in creation & wonder if that's how you speak to your students who have a different viewpoint from yourself or question you in the classroom?

              As far as Mary Schweitzer not being a creationist, I realize that, that's why I stated "true to form, Schweitzer automatically questioned the clear evidence rather than re-examining her assumptions! "

              As far as being able to prove we live on a young earth, I will tell you I can't but there are many evidences of it. I will also tell you you can't by any means prove evolution and there are many contradictions to it. If we had complete knowledge of every aspect of our physical world, both animate and inanimate, we could calculate the number of inventions that are represented in them. When we assert that our world has been created by a Creator, we imply the existence of a mind that not only invented nature but brought it all into existence. The greatness of such a God cannot be exaggerated!

              It is probably safe to assume that the majority of contemporary scientists do not accept the authenticity of the creation account of Genesis 1 and 2. The reason for this is not hard to guess. There is no evidence that the writer of the book of Genesis was aware of the existence of gravitational force, of atoms, neutrons, protons and electrons, of the mass of the earth, or of the dimensions of the solar system. In other words, from a modern perspective, the creation account of the book of Genesis was written in a background of scientific ignorance.

              Yes, in science, the burden of evidence is on the proposer of the theory. So although the evolutionists have the burden of providing evidence, they take no responsibility for a detailed account or for any evidence demonstrating feasibility. Contrarily, they go so far as to imply that anyone holding them to the normal requirements of science is feebleminded.

              Reproduction may be called a Regularity because billions of people have witnessed billions of new individuals arising that way, and in no other way, for thousands of years. The origin of life was a Unique event and certainly not a regularity. Therefore, according to mathematical logicians, the only possibilities left are that life either was generated by chance or by deliberate design. The standard for impossible events eliminated evolution so the only remaining possibility is that life was designed into existence. The probability of the correctness of this conclusion is the inverse of the probability that eliminated evolution, that is, 104,478,296 chances to one.

              Life was designed. It did not evolve. The certainty of these conclusions is 104,478,296 (1 followed by 4,478,296 zeros) to one. This evidence suggests a Designer who designed and built the entire biosphere and, for it to function, the entire universe. Primary and secondary sources from history properly provide additional information on the Designer because the biological sciences are not equal to that task.

              Yes, the words of the Bible: “"For in six days the Lord made the heaven and the earth, the sea, and all that is"” Exodus 20:11 still make beautiful, and wonderful sense.

              Again, if you want to call it a theory or an hypothesis there is no certainty in evolution. Evolution is one model to explain the untestable past. I do know enough to recognize the difference between a theory and a proven fact. SINK THE BEAGLE!

              And again I recommend a book to you just incase you do not read the other post, it's called, Evidences for creation: natural mysteries evolution cannot explain. Available on Amazon, written by a biochemist. Covers cosmology, biology, and biochemistry.

              And for anyone else who may be reading this there are many, many creation science videos and articles and books to read that are easily understandable for even the non-scientist. A good one for even young children is the set of 3 videos, Incredible creatures that defy evolution, kids love them since they are about animals. And are kids need some balance if being sent into the public school system. Another one that I actually have not seen but would probably be pretty good because he usually adds some humor and is easily understandable is the Top Ten Questions About Genesis and Creation DVD featuring Ken Ham. The one however that I feel is A MUST WATCH is Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, which sheds a real light on evolution.

              Well, creation speaks for itself, I of all people don't need to speak for it. I don't need to think that I'm the greatest thing that's ever evolved, after all I was created in the image of God. I can respectfully disagree, I hope you can do the same. I originally commented on this post because people were speaking of firing people & sending people to Saudi Arabia before any facts were in, remember innocent until proven guilty? You see my passion is not really for science but for people and with that I can and will say,
              God Bless (not your ideology but) You! :)

              "I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken." Psalm 16:8

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  16. Karen Ahern says:

    I am so sorry some of you can not open up your minds and understand buddying up to children, a captive audience in a public school, is an age old tactic used for purposes of converting others to their beliefs. It is the first step to engage them. In that these youth pastors were involved with Young Life speaks for itself. This is manipulation of children, wrong and illegal, whether it is a White Supremacist Organization, Christian Evangelicals, Pagans, etc.. The past History of Young Life at the High School is very relevant and after buddying up to unsuspecting students, they were invited to their camps. Indeed, Young Life is on a mission to convert others in public schools, not just ridiculously self righteous, but very illegal and their covert tactics are shameful as is the Woodward Administration for allowing them in the school. Thank you, Inside Bainbridge, and Woodward parents and students for bringing us the facts and speaking out.

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    • Disgusted says:

      I am sorry you cannot open your mind and your eyes to what is a good ole lynch mob out to tar and feather three volunteers for their religious beliefs! Hitler would be proud of Bainbridge that is for sure.

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      • Houston Wade says:

        Ah, a good ol' Hitler reference… Comparing a man who killed some 30 million people due to his Christian beliefs and projected his brand of Catholicism upon an entire continent through force, is a long way from wanting to ensure the separation of church and state stay intact in our small community.

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  17. aka OD says:

    Interesting how this forum shows no concern about the lack of a background check on one of the volunteers who is being accused here.

    I also find it hard to believe that our school staff would allow preaching/recruiting on school property. Just because these guys belong to young life, does not mean they have signed up for their leadership charter. That is what the investigation will tell us.

    Honestly, Young Life is not a fundamentalist off shoot. As I know them, they are about witnessing by being a positive example, by being good people and not by openly forcing their beliefs down your throat, or trying to sway your opinion. Unless you ask, they do not bring God up beyond traditional Christian rituals like praying before a meal.

    I believe they are the same people who put on the hugely popular "Fugitive" game in Battle Point every year. (Please correct me if I am wrong). I have taken my kids there a few times and I do not recall any mention of who or what I should believe in.

    However, if we want to presume them guilty right away, then we should probably get to work looking into all volunteers backgrounds and personal lives to see who might belong to or has belonged to belief based groups that have similar leadership charters encouraging recruitment.

    We could pick right up where good old Tail Gunner Joe left off.

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    • Carrie says:

      Depending on the level of involvement, I don't necessarily think background checks should be required of all volunteers. There are, unfortunately, plenty of bad guys out there who don't have records yet. Background checks provide a false sense of security. The best way to protect our kids from predators is to educate them on the tactics adults use to establish inappropriate relationships.

      As far as your comments on Young Life – did you read the linked document? I only ask because it's hard to reconcile your observations of them as people who don't try to sway your opinion with their guidelines for Leaders to establish friendship relationships with at least 3 non-Christians and "prayerfully prepares to get specific kids to camp, whom we have been building relationships with".

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    • Lisa says:

      I totally agree with you on the background check issue. I believe all volunteers, parents or not, should have background checks prior to volunteering in any school setting. It is simple to do and should be mandatory in all school districts. I do not understand why only two of the three youth pastors had background checks. It is either district policy or it is not. We also much teach our children to trust their instincts and how to protect themselves but background checks are a basic safety check the school should provide that can weed out known sex offenders and felons trying to gain access to our kids.

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  18. Truthplease says:

    Mr. Florian definitely does know that David Day, New Life and youth pastor (hard to distinguish between Young Life and New Life, but it should not matter, if everyone should be allowed access to our kids) was with our children in the lunchroom and gym (where no other parent volunteers could go).

    Please see this video where Mr. Day is speaking of his past pornographic and sexual addictions at a New Life event. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmqsBDpf2xg

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    • Ellen says:

      Holy Smokes! Does the school district need any further evidence beyond this YT video that youth pastors should not have access to our children at school?

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      • Carrie says:

        I almost hate to say it, but I don't think it's relevant that he watched a lot of porn as a teenager. First off, I have a feeling their guidelines for "porn addiction" are a heck of a lot more narrow than your average person, and second, if we start digging into the personal lives of teachers/volunteers, that crosses a line. That's where I start to wonder, could we have people calling to exclude someone because they play a lot of violent video games? For being gay? It doesn't sound like he was watching porn, as an adult, with minors, or that he had a problem with child pornography (which would obviously be a totally different situation).

        My issue with all of these pastors is that they are there under the guise of just being good guys, helpful community members filling the thankless role of wiping lunch room tables, but they are truly there to make as many contacts with adolescence as possible so they can approach them about attending youth group at a later date when they see them around town.

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  19. Randy Francisco says:

    This will be a tough one for Peter, but surely he will sort it out.

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  20. Ellen says:

    The youth pastors are volunteering in the Woodward lunchroom because it provides access to 700 youth 5 days a week. With that opportunity they can get to know some kids, form relationships and build trust, and at that point suggest activities off-campus that introduce them to their religion.. The school district should not be enabling and facilitating this activity. The presence of religious/youth pastors in our schools violates the trust between the school district and the parents.

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    • Disgusted says:

      It can't be they are volunteering simply because they want to help in the lunch room! Of course not! There has to be an ulterior motive for someone wanting to help! Those sneaky, creepy Christians…watch em, they are coming for you and your kids.

      How ridiculous is this witch hunt…my kids are getting a first hand view of The Crucible.

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      • Houston Wade says:

        What is with all the Crucible references? Did you actually comprehend the play? It is about a community that is a theocracy. There is no separation of church and state, and they want so desperately to blame something other than themselves for their problems that they scape goat girls as being witches. What happened in Salem in the 17th century is a big reason why we must maintain a separation between the government and organized religion!

        Plus, the Crucible was written in response to a right wing Christian (Joseph McCarthy) ruining the lives of a bunch of perceived godless communists, non of whom were accused of volunteering for schools and trying to convert school children to communism.

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  21. Kate Jackson says:

    All the testimony that the evangelical community gave at the school board meeting (including the pastors themselves) explicitly showed all the building of relationships that the pastors were doing at Woodward: helping kids with their problems, their shyness, etc. One young woman described how Danny helped her through one of the toughest times in her life and she wouldn't have made it without him. She pointed out that she didn't join his church until LATER. Score one for Danny.
    Look, proselytizing is a serious issue, and it is only one of many, many problems that arise from bringing these men into our school like this, as other comments have pointed out. The investigator has a lot on her plate with this case.

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    • Woodward Parent says:

      So, Danny succeeded in recruiting the girl who testified. He probably got a good employee review from his employer for that, and was able to chalk off another successful non-Christian conversion. Well done, Danny. Why did Danny say the day before in an interview with Kiro that all he does is sweep floors and prevent food fights? Apparently he does more. Woodward Christian School's image has been well hidden from the parents sending their kids there.

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      • Zachary says:

        I’m wondering what all the anti-Christian
        people are so intensely worried about?

        What do you think happens when someone
        becomes a Christian?

        I’m seriously curious

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        • Caroline says:

          New Life believes (per their website) that we will live forever and you can either let Jesus lead you and go to Heaven, or you end up in Hell. I don’t share that belief. I don’t want my kids to be taught that I’m going to hell.

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  22. jack says:

    Educate yourself on this national topic by reading "The Good News Club: The Christian Right's Stealth Assault on America's Children".

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  23. Rod Stevens says:

    Three observations:

    1. We don't really know what these men "volunteered" for. On the one hand, some people say that volunteering in the lunch room is nothing short of being a janitor who picks up after kids and stops food fights. On the other hand, we are hearing that these people "provided valuable male role models" and spoke about "their purpose". Just what we they told to do, or not do?
    2. People write of this being a "public place", as if this was a somewhere where no one was alone. In fact, these settings can be very isolating, especially if you feel left out of all that is going on around you. Don't discount this as a place to fish for lost souls.
    3. This situation seems to have gone on for two years. The principal had ample time to think about all the issues brought up here in the last week. And where was the superintendent during this time? Are we to assume that there is no supervision of principals?

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    • Jack says:

      Faith Chapel is a hands-off superintendent, and the principal act like he is the king of his fiefdom. She will not interfere with any of the principal's unwritten "rules". She can hide, but she is fully complicit in this situation by her silence over the years. Perhaps, this would be a good time for Woodward Social Studies classes to discuss Thomas Jefferson's "wall of separation between church and State." Maybe, the principal should attend the class as well. Education is a lifelong journey!

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  24. Joe Blakely says:

    As an island parent this is pretty disturbing. Please keep digging.

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    • DIsgusted says:

      I agree…this witch hunt is VERY DISTURBING!

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  25. Ross Van Haugen says:

    It has been said that some of these youth ministers have helped kids out when they have problems. This is not what they are supposed to be doing. Counseling youth in the school environment is tightly controlled, and subject to supervision by trained and licensed professionals.
    It has not be shown that these youth ministers are licensed to deal with youth problems In fact, they barely have been vetted to be on campus interacting with the youth.
    Therefore, the school is violating many of its own policies, and allowing itself to be liable for abuses by these people who most likely are not certificated to be in the business of providing mental and emotional counsel to these kids. The school has violated it policies of screening those adults volunteering to assist the school in minor capacities. And the school has violated the policies that prohibit adult volunteers from proselytizing.
    The only possible reason this has occurred is that the Principle has both allowed and sanctioned this conduct. This is a gross violation of policy, law and good sense.
    For the religiously oriented, this is not about the gentlemen in question being fundamentalist Christians. It is about them performing services that either violate the law or violate policy. These men were not screened adequately either, and there is some question as to whether favoritism of religious affiliation took place in selecting these people.

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    • Brittany says:

      Gee, I’m sure glad when I went through those difficult teenage years, the only adults who cared enough to reach out to me and provide counsel and wisdom during difficult times were those who were “trained and licensed professionals” working under “tight control and strict supervision”. Only wait, that’s not what happened. Adults in my life took an interest in my well-being – at school and otherwise – and provided advice and counsel as necessary.

      This entire travesty makes me sick. Character assassination, libel, presumption of guilt, and baseless accusations abound!

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  26. Tom says:

    If you are a Christian on Bainbridge watch out; the lynch mob of left wing hate is out to cast you as a sneaky, creepy pedophile, whose sole purpose in life is to recruit new prey. I am Jewish and my grandmother read about this assault on one's faith and started to cry.
    A sad, sad day for all on Bainbridge; the community will be forever one if fear and hate. The secular progressives who tear others down to validate their own empty soul has won. Congratulations!

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    • Ross Van Haugen says:

      I find your comment very hard to believe. Sorry, but my mother (who happens to be of the Jewish faith) was outraged by this. The thought of her grandchildren told they would burn in hell for not converting to Christianity by a Young Life minister brought out the tiger in her. Knowing many of her friends, I imagine they feel the same way.

      You still don’t get it about the proselytizing Young Life crowd. These people can have their faith and live it to the max. However, that faith must stop when it comes to its creepy ways of luring youth into its fold. It really does say something about an organization when it preys on youth, lures them with parties and camps, and keeps dossiers on them. This is not religion! This is an assault.

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      • Tom says:

        Thank you for clarifying for me my grandmother’s reaction; how foolish of me to read her response the way I did. How silly of me. Also thank you for now accusing the volunteers of telling the kids at school they are going to hell. That is a new fabrication that I had not read before. I am sure that your army of zealots recruited a couple more to light a torch of hate toward Christians. Well played!

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        • Ross Van Haugen says:

          You have obviously not been told by your contemporaries in a public school situation that you are going to hell if you do not follow the particulars of their fundamentalist faith. That can be said of Christians, Jews, or Muslims. When it comes from the mouths of your contemporaries it certainly hurts. However, when those contemporaries are egged on by adults in fundamentalist religions, it is contemptible.

          I don't know if the "counselors" from Young Life, for that is what they are alleged to be, tell young people. However, I do know that fundamentalists tell people they are going to hell if they don't convert. I know that most people who are not fundamentalist Christians are repelled by someone of their sect telling others that they are going to burn in Hell. The point is that these gentlemen are undoubtedly fundamentalist Christians. They belong to proselytizing groups. They have unsupervised and unfettered access to children. And Young Life as an organization has a long history here and elsewhere of subversion and sneaky behavior to get at kids. It is further documented that the Principal at Woodward has abused his privileges as a teacher with his fundamentalist leanings. When a math teacher fails a kid who scores 800 on the math portion of his SAT, you know something is sorely wrong. And it is not the students attitude that is rotten, it is the "adult" in charge.

          I find it beyond belief that someone of the Jewish faith would not be sensitive to others being told that they are going to Hell because they are not Christians, since this is the blood crime that fundamentalist Christians have used for generations to vilify Jews. Hence my utter disbelief at your assertion. However, if your granny is cool with kids being told they are going to Hell, so be it. It does not matter is she is Jewish, Catholic, Hindu or believes in the Flying Spaghetti monster.

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    • Kris Carroll says:

      school employees with a nearly 30 year history of participation in teacher prayer breakfasts on school property before classes begin, who invite paid youth pastors to interact with students shouldn’t be surprised at any investigation. just as certain science teachers who ignore district guidelines to insert creationism in their lessons, aren’t surprised they are slapped on the wrist year after year after year when parents complain. at least this time the district is making an effort to investigate

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  27. Gary Smith says:

    Are you kidding me?! Who the [bleep] gave Principal Florian the authority to bring in evangelical youth pastors (3 out of 3 slots available, if what I’m reading is correct) to be ‘positive male role models’ or ‘counselors’ to my kid and all the other kids whether parents like it or not. We give consent or are able to opt out of many things I have no problem with like HIV/AIDS material the kids are going to learn. Why weren’t we told about this ‘mentoring program’ or whatever it is? When are we going to get answers? This is seriously messed up!

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  28. It is Cool says:

    I think it would benefit all of us to tread more lightly here. Let’s not make up our minds until we know the facts. If these volunteers are proselytizing, they need to be removed. If they are not proselytizing, it would be wrong to remove them. It would be wrong for two reasons:

    1) We cannot declare someone guilty by association. We are seeing a lot of fear based on chains of association that are tenuous at best. Someone found some objectionable materials online then proceeded to try to link those materials to the volunteers in question. This seems like quite a stretch. These materials are not even linked to the churches where these guys happen to work as far as I know. It seems unfair to assume the worst. This sort of ‘This-is-what-those-kind-of-people-do’ approach feels dangerously like religious discrimination.

    2) What if, for a moment, we assumed the best instead of assuming the worst? What if the volunteers’ faith inspires them to help in the community? What if their faith simply makes them want to support our youth and encourage them to feel valued and to believe that everything is OK? This is what the volunteers are telling us, but more importantly, this is what the kids are telling us, at least that’s what all the kids at the school board meeting told us. Does anyone else worry about throwing the baby out with the bath water? If we believe the testimony of the kids themselves, these guys are in fact a positive, encouraging, non-proselytizing presence at the school. At the board meeting the kids had the courage to get up in front of the community to express their thanks to these volunteers for helping them get through when they needed help. This seems profoundly important to me. If these volunteers are really helping our kids, I don’t care whether they are Buddhist, Agnostic, or Christian.

    This is about the kids, right?

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  29. Chuck Depew says:

    Let's wait a bit before raising the pitchforks. I attended YoungLife in high school (way back in the old days) and know the current leaders. YoungLife is not part of some vast "right-wing" conspiracy. Their camps are not part of some cult initiation. They simply try and support teenagers who may not feel comfortable talking with parents or institutional counselors. I know that proselytizing is not their priority despite their personal beliefs and kids are pretty attuned to ignoring adult agendas. Let's trust our kids and let let the school district do their work.

    The golden rule always works for me ….or is that too preachy.

    Chuck Depew

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  30. Woodward Parent says:

    Do our kids need this? http://christianagnostic.wordpress.com/2012/08/07

    Mysterious characters lurking around the back of the school, directing the social lives of our children, introducing kids with crushes, conning the popular kids into inviting others to church parties and playing god. Or, just sweeping up crumbs?

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  31. Janet says:

    Some folks are calling this a witch hunt on the part of any parents who dare to ask questions when they hear about what has been going on without our knowledge or consent. Parents aren't the only ones who find some of the details disturbing, so do many other members of our community.
    The district is undertaking what is likely a very expensive investigation by an outside expert that has lasted a week and a half so far and is still ongoing. They have also likely consulted lawyers, given the constitutional and liability questions, also a costly proposition. I doubt they would spend so much time and so much taxpayer money simply on a claim that a child heard other children call the pastors' behavior "creepy." If it were simply a matter of some of the children feeling uncomfortable with the pastors' presence in their lunchroom, while all else was transparent and appropriate, I trust our district leaders would have handled the situation in a much different manner. The investigator is collecting information and evidence from many people who have first-hand knowledge of what has taken place (not rumors). Let's see what the investigation report reveals and what the district and school board are planning to do as a result of the findings.

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    • Disgusted says:

      Not a witch hunt? Really! You need to reread The Crucible. This hunt would even make the citizens of Salem nervous.

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      • Houston Wade says:

        Would it make the citizens of Salem nervous because they were a theocracy that murdered young girls they perceived as not being part of their state mandated religion? What happened in Salem is a big reason for the separation of government and religion we enjoy in our secular society today.

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  32. Sake of our children says:

    I am posting this again because I mistakenly sent as a reply which would seem to be directed at one person however I meant this to be a public comment, I apologize for any misunderstanding.

    Should there be a separation of church & state – absolutely! Our constitution calls for it & our founding fathers stated it, our Christian founding fathers. You would be hard pressed to find one that wasn't Christian. Now however, if you are a Christian you ARE discriminated against. The constitution was written to protect our religious freedoms, all religious freedoms. We need to protect our constitution & religious liberty.

    The problem is religion is in public schools and being taught, just about every religion except Christianity. For example the religion of evolution, most people have been brain washed into thinking is science/fact & we are not allowed to express any facts that show there is no foundation to this entire theory. There is no evidence at all in this theory to explain even how life began but they want to state it's factual that we've evolved. The public schools are in no way religiously neutral.

    The point to which we have come is scary, our country which was once so great whose founding fathers were God honoring men. A country in which are freedoms were protected, is crumbling. Now not only are you not allowed to state your beliefs but you are not allowed to be a Christian. If you are you are a Christian you're told you should move to Iran or Saudi Arabia. Others have previously stated that we need to protect the majority as if to say we shouldn't protect the minority, really? While others are talking of firing people before any facts are in, what about innocent until proven guilty? We as Christians are expected to be tolerant of any and all other viewpoints but intolerance is hurled not only at our beliefs but at us just for being Christians. I do not know any of the people nor am I affiliated with any of the groups under accusation other than being a Christian myself.

    Those of you who are Christians & have children in the public school system, please seriously read & contemplate the remarks being posted here. Previously someone who said they have worked with teenagers for the last 20 years stated "the only wisdom that sticks is the wisdom they come up with themselves as we encourage them to follow their own inner wisdom and follow that", if we had 2 slices of bread & some mayo we'd have a great bologne sandwich with that comment. If you don't think your children will be influenced by that type of new age thinking that is completely surrounding us these days, and if you think they won't be influenced by their peers, or the ideas that are pounded into their heads for 8 hours a day for 12 years then I have to say you are crazy or extremely naive. Also if you think, well if there were no Christian students left, there would be no more salt. We are obviously way past that, this alone shows that not only can we not stand up for what we believe but we can't even be Christians without being under attack.

    In our society it has come to the point at which we can not send our children into the public school system & expect them to still hold onto their Christian morality & spiritualism upon graduating. At this point we our sacrificing our children to the world.

    I am asking parents to prayerfully consider the command of Deuteronomy 6:7, " You shall teach them them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you rise up". Who and what kind of ideas are teaching your children? I believe an exodus is what needs to happen. If you are ready to take a hard look at the true state of public education, there is a film that will show you the reality of it, Indoctrination, please consider watching it for the sake of your children.

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    • Ross Van Haugen says:

      No one, and I repeat this at the top of my lungs, no one who denies the validity of the proven Scientific theory of the evolution of the species, can be taken seriously.
      I stopped reading and hearing anything you have to say after you called evolution a religion, and claim that it is disproven. Darwin's theory explains how we evolved, and does nothing to talk about the "beginning". You can be a good Christian, Catholic, Jew, or just about anything else and buy into that.
      You are obviously a zealot, and can not be taken seriously by thinking, rational humanity.

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      • Disgusted says:

        Typical reaction….you disagree so you degrade their view and beliefs. And you aren't filled with hate?

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        • Houston Wade says:

          Believing that evolution does not exist despite the more than one hundred and fifty years of evidence on the contrary is silly. If your mind is so clouded by the belief in Creation "Science" then you should probably send your kids to a private school or just homeschool them. We need scientists in our society. Scientists that can manipulate DNA, grow bacteria cultures, perform ethno botany, and trace genetic traits through a progress of speciation. Public schools have to train these students for the fields of science if we are to understand disease, ecosystems, climate, geology, and the environment and progress our society into modernity.

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      • Sake of our children says:

        Darwin's theory is simply that theory or you might want to call it an hypothesis. You are exactly correct in your statement that it does absolutely nothing to explain how this evolution began. Where did it start again? The truth is that the hypothesis of evolution is based on huge assumptions about things that happened in the unobservable past. Remember that the scientific method requires observation and repeatable research. So calling evolution science doesn’t make any sense. Now in saying this I will say that there is difference between evolution and adaptations within a species- one is factual & one is fictional.

        Thousands of true scientists believe in creation, but they are consistently silenced by the atheists who have a vice grip on science journals, academic privileges, and a media who put the beliefs of faulty men above the Word of God. Yet blatant persecution of scientists who merely question it is widely practiced. Highly esteemed scientists who dare to suggest different explanations, find themselves censored, ostracized, even without a career.

        Honest science and logic show that our marvelous and very complex world could never have evolved by accident. I believe it happened just as Jesus says it did. I'm sorry you feel all of humanity can not take me seriously because I have A BELIEF that differs from your own.

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        • Houston Wade says:

          Wrong again. What you have demonstrated through your argument is that you obviously do not understand how science works. Evolution is a theory and not a hypothesis, because to be a theory thousands of experiments must come to some sort of certainty. A hypothesis is what one makes about a potential outcome of an experiment. The experiment is what conducts to see if the hypothesis is correct. Evolution exists. The goatsbeard flower of Eastern Washington has evolved into a separate species that cannot mate with the goatsbeard flowers of Eastern Europe (from whence they came) in less than 50 years. This is fact.

          What you claim to be science (obviously "creation science") is not science. No hypothesis is made, no experiments are conducted. It's just some people sitting around reading their Bible and thinking of stuff. That is not science! Anyone can sit around and think of stuff, that's easy. The hard part is getting off your butt and conducting an experiment to see if you're right.

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          • Sake of our children says:

            If you want to call it a theory or an hypothesis there is no certainty in evolution. Evolution is one model to explain the untestable past. I do know enough to recognize the difference between a theory and a proven fact. There is difference between evolution and adaptations within a species- one is factual & one is as you said, someone sitting around "thinking of stuff".

            There is a book, you might think kind of dry, no pink floyd, purely science, it's called, Evidences for creation: natural mysteries evolution cannot explain. Available on Amazon, written by a biochemist. Covers cosmology, biology, and biochemistry. My copy is currently loaned out.

            Creationists quite often don't have to disprove the evolutionist theories or hypothesis, give them time & usually the evolutionists do it themselves. Your one example really proves nothing because there are numerous factors that could come into play on why plants won't cross.

            However, there are many studies disproving evolution claims, many even on plants such as , a paper in Nature describing a plant that can fix its own mutations, without using DNA as a template. The plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, is able to revert from a homozygous recessive mutant form, known as Hothead, to a heterozygous normal form by altering the DNA base sequence on one of the homologous recessive genes. Normally, an organism directly inherits the genetic information from both of the parents. Inheriting the same mutation from both parents means that the organism will have two copies of the mutant allele with no way to fix the mutation. However, two copies of the mutated form of the Hothead mutation activate an error correction mechanism that fixes the mutations in that gene as well as others. Subsequent generations of plants end up carrying one or more corrected copies of their genes. In a well-designed study, the authors carefully exclude many types of random changes in favor of a template-directed process. The phenotype reversion could result from incomplete penetrance, masking epigenetic change, or seed contamination. All of these were ruled out. In addition, DNA sequence modifications could result from transposons (jumping genes), repeated sequences, a high rate of random mutation or correction through alleged gene conversions. Each of these were also ruled out. Specific nucleotide mutations were consistently fixed, which is inconsistent with a random occurrence. Natural selection is supposed to work by favoring certain traits that provide a selective advantage and eliminating those that are even slightly deleterious over the generations. The raw material of evolution is supposed to be the spontaneous mutations that will impact effective reproductive success. These so-called "beneficial mutations" will be selected for in future generations.The mutation repair mechanism found in Arabidopsis is different. How do you select for the ability to fix a mutation that you don't have? This may be the ultimate biological catch 22. A mutation repair mechanism can only provide a selective advantage to those individuals that have the mutations and get them fixed. It does nothing for any that lack the mutations and therefore would potentially be lost through mutation to itself or just by genetic drift.Since mutations are the raw material of evolution, mechanisms which reduce the number of mutations would work against evolution. Un-designed mutation repair templates cannot distinguish between mutations that are harmful and those that are beneficial. As far as evolution is concerned, mutation repair would be risky business. Fewer mutations would mean reduced opportunity to generate those rare mutations that are supposed to provide a benefit, so it would make evolution that much harder and require even more time. This looks like yet another mechanism designed to stop created kinds from drifting significantly from the original basic design. The observation of a mutation repair mechanism in Arabidopsis clearly shows the wisdom of the Creator and helps organisms to "reproduce after their kind." Nonetheless, it is unlikely to convince ardent evolutionists who are committed to naturalism. No matter how strong the evidence for design and creation, they will exclude the possibility and remind themselves that what they see is not designed but evolved.

            This study should encourage creationists and hopefully persuade others that the Bible is true and can be trusted !

            For the believer who may also be a scientist, the words of the Bible: “"For in six days the Lord made the heaven and the earth, the sea, and all that is"” Exodus 20:11 still and make wonderful sense.

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            • Houston Wade says:

              Why should a plant be "intelligently designed" to repair damaged DNA, but we humans get cancer and die? If we were designed in His image, then why does our design mutate and that mutation often kills us horribly? What do you think biologists are working on right now? Well, they are manipulating (forced evolution) DNA to repair mutated cells that cause cancer. In a way, scientists are using the effects of evolution found in other flora and fauna to "intelligently design" a solution to a deadly disease!

              The world was not created in six days. How do I know? Because if the Heavens and the Earth were formed in six days 6,000 years ago then we shouldn’t be able to see light from the heavens that is 13.8 billion light years away. If it took that light 13.8 billion years to get here, and not 6,000, was the entire Universe created and then 13.8 billion years later the Earth was created?

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              • Sake of our children says:

                I was not going to reply any further but because you are replying to me in 2 different areas of this article. I will answer these 2 final questions you have here along with a few thoughts which I hope you will at least consider. I do not want anyone to have the mistaken belief that in a clash between science & religion the latter would be the loser. Simply put warfare between religion & science is mere mythology. Science & religion can & do coexist. And actually both of your questions which are posed here are scientific and can be answered & found in God's Holy Word.

                "BE READY ALWAYS TO GIVE AN ANSWER TO EVERY MAN THAT ASKETH YOU A REASON OF THE HOPE THAT IS IN YOU" 1Peter 3:15

                Please parents train your children & yourselves in apologetics, teach them of their backing in history & science so they may stand firm. For there is a reason for the hope that is in you! We are called to be educated, that we can do the work that God has assigned to us. We must do all in our power to seek PERSONAL consecration to God. It is not more mighty men, not more talented men, that we need in the presentation of the truth but men who have a knowledge of God & Jesus Christ, whom He has sent. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline." Proverbs 1:7( written by King Solomon, said to be one of the wisest men to ever live & said to be written to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young, and to make wise men wiser). The HUMBLEST soul linked with Christ is a power, and his work will abide. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Cor.12:8.May the Lord help us to understand His divine will, and do it heartily, unflinchingly, and there will be joy in the Lord.

                "I am only one but still I am one. I cannot do everything but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do something I can do."-Helen Keller

                The Judeo-Christian faith is based on an unshakable belief in God's existence. This is in the face of an apparent absence of coercive proof, which unbelievers & skeptics are quick to point out. Too many times we play the so-called faith card in answering such a challenge. There is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with confessing faith in God's existence. "Have faith in God", Mark 11:22. But faith however admirable is a subjective entity. We need objective data that carries undeniable, solid evidence of the existence of God, two such undeniable facts, one historical & the other science.

                For HISTORICAL proof of God's existence in the book of Exodus, chapter 19, verses 10-20, there is an event that happened only once in history of humanity. Approx. 3,500 years ago, God presented Himself to upwards of 2 million people at Mt.Sinai. God THUNDERED the words of the Decalogue to the Israelites who, with weak knees, begged Moses to ask the Lord to stop talking to them lest they die. As a reminder of this momentous occasion, the Lord wrote His spoken words on tablets of stone. These events were the culmination of a succession of unprecedented happenings associated with the departure of the Hebrews from Egypt. Several considerations make this historical record a certain evidence for God's existence. One being the Dead Sea Scrolls have conclusively proven that the Hebrew Scriptures were transmitted with astonishing accuracy in the last 1900 years. Based on this, we can be equally confident in the same in the transmission during the previous 1600
                years as well. Also, the sacred nature of this Biblical narrative precludes the possibility of deliberate fabrication. Third, the yearly observance of Passover by the Jews for the past 3,500 years corroborates the historicity of the Biblical account. During the commemorative meal, the Seder, the head of the family is required to recite the story of the exodus to the children according to the command of Moses in exodus 13:8. By this practice, observant Jews form an unbroken, unaltered link between our time & the time of the exodus.

                Onto science in my next post immediately to follow- sorry but history, science, and the Bible have a lot to say on this one, so keep on reading.

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              • Sake of our children says:

                Onto SCIENCE, based on what we know about life, paired with the utter failure of laboratory demonstrations or even any coherent theoretical description of how life could come into existence abiotically, it is time to admit the obvious: the existence of life is a coercive evidence for the reality of the Creator God of the Bible. Before the universe came into existence there existed from TIMELESS eternity, God. That God had no beginning is utterly beyond human comprehension. We live in a cause & effect world. All things here, including the planet itself, had a beginning. We know this because of the presence of naturally occuring radioactive isotopes. On an infinetly old earth all radioactive elements would have decayed into nonradioactive daughter products. There are no independent means of verifying that God was the first cause of everything, but we do have God's own assurance: "God is not a man, that he should lie" Num 23:19. Moreover, the fundamental reliability of natural laws gives us assurance that the Creator is trustworthy. And although the Bible was written by human beings, sixteen verses, Exodus 20:2-17 are not of human origin but a direct transcript of God's words. God says in verse 11," For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is." These words cannot be misunderstood, reinterpreted, or modified. These ten verses, the ten commandments, are also a transcript of His character of love.

                Albert Einstein- "Now, even though the realms of religion and science in themselves are clearly marked off from each other, nevertheless there exist between the two strong reciprocal relationships and dependencies. Though religion may be that which determines the goal, it has, nevertheless, learned from science, in the broadest sense, what means will contribute to the attainment of the goals it has set up. But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason. I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: SCIENCE WITHOUT RELIGION IS LAME, RELIGION WITHOUT SCIENCE IS BLIND."
                "I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangements of the books, but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God."-Albert Einstein
                I will now say so there is no misunderstanding here, Albert Einstein didn't believe in a personal God. However he wasn't an atheist either, he could see the remarkable design and order of the cosmos, but could not reconcile those characteristics with the evil and suffering he found in the world.
                I will also agree that God is so awesome we will never be able to understand Him completely, He is beyond human comprehension. That being said there are many things we can now of God, He is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present, He is infinite. He is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation. He is Creator, Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation. He is just and holy, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. And the study of God's purposes in creating the universe is a rewarding subject worthy of contemplation throughout eternity. This much is clear- a manifestation of infinite love prompted God to share the joy of existence with created beings.

                Now, hang on I'm just about to answer your first question but you will have to read it in the post that will immediately follow.

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              • Sake of our children says:

                Now, I believe Albert Einstein had some of the same types of questions as your FIRST QUESTION why if we were created in His image, do people get cancer & die. That is a very good question & that type of question has probably been asked millions of times. How could an all-powerful God allow the suffering that exists in our world? And it comes back to this- we live in a fallen world. God created a perfect world and on day 6 after HIS creation was finished, "God saw all that He had made and it was very good." However, because He loves us He gave us free choice. It wouldn't be love if it was forced upon us. We were made in the image of God with individuality, the power and freedom to think and to do. Though created free beings, each is an indivisible unity of body, mind, and spirit, dependent upon God for life and breath and all else. When our first parents disobeyed God, they denied their dependence upon Him and fell from their high position under God. The image of God in them was marred and they became subject to death. Their descendants share this fallen nature and its consequences. They are born with weaknesses and tendencies to evil. You see the first lie/ deception ever told & believed by humans was, "You will not surely die, the serpent said to the woman. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God". Genesis 3:4. Two things Satan did here, he tempted Eve saying, don't you want to be like God? And this called the character of our perfect, holy, righteous, all loving Creator into question and Eve literally bit into it, the fruit and the lie. That is when this world fell. However that was unfortunately not the beginning of sin. Satan had obviously already fallen, he was tempting Eve to sin. Speaking of Lucifer who became Satan, Isaiah 14:12-15 says," How you are fallen from heaven,O Lucifer,son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground,You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart:‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,I will be like the Most High.’Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,To the lowest depths of the Pit. What did Satan want to do- he wanted to be like God and ascend above God. What did he say to Eve, “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God". He was blaspheming God's character trying to say, God doesn't want you to be like Him that's why He doesn't want you to eat from the tree. Satan had fallen & had brought along with him a third of the angels (Rev 12:4) & he wanted to bring down the human race with him. Instead of trusting in God, and believing the truth because he wants the best for us, she believed the lie that she could be like God. Now
                think about the theory of evolution, in this theory there is nothing above the human race (we have exalted our throne). It sounds like the first deception to me, there's no higher power than us, I guess Satan is sticking to the same old trick that has worked from the beginning (he's speaking to our ego). God's word told that this would happen, 2 Peter 3:3-5," in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water." It is also intriguing that the angel in Rev 14:7 who is giving an end-time message is calling for a renewal & an uplifting of creationism, "and he said with a loud voice, "Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgement has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea".
                Is there any hope? Answer to follow next post..

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              • Sake of our children says:

                Now I don't want you to think that there isn't any hope, there's great hope & wonderful promises, remember Satan will be brought down to the depths of the pit and Romans 5:17-19 says,"For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous." Also Roman 8:18-24 is wonderful," I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation
                was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. " In Christ's life of perfect obedience to God's will, His suffering, death, and resurrection, God provided the only means of atonement for human sin, so that those who by faith accept this atonement may have eternal life, and the whole creation may better understand the infinite and holy love of the Creator. This perfect atonement vindicates the righteousness of God's law and the graciousness of His character; for it
                both condemns our sin and provides for our forgiveness. The death of Christ is substitutionary and expiatory, reconciling and transforming. The resurrection of Christ proclaims God's triumph over the forces of evil, and for those who accept the atonement assures their final victory over sin and death. It declares the Lordship of Jesus Christ, before whom every knee in heaven and on earth will bow. (John 3:16; Isa. 53; 1 Peter 2:21, 22; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4, 20-22; 2 Cor. 5:14, 15, 19-21; Rom. 1:4; 3:25; 4:25; 8:3, 4; 1 John 2:2; 4:10; Col. 2:15; Phil. 2:6-11.) In infinite love and mercy God made Christ, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him we might be made the righteousness of God. Led by the Holy Spirit we sense our need, acknowledge our sinfulness, repent of our transgressions, and exercise faith in Jesus as Lord and Christ, as Substitute and Example. This faith which receives salvation comes through the divine power of the Word and is the gift of God's grace. Through Christ we are justified, adopted as God's sons and daughters, and delivered from the lordship of sin. Through the Spirit we are born again and sanctified; the Spirit renews our minds, writes God's law of love in our hearts, and we are given the power to live a holy life. Abiding in Him we become partakers of the divine nature and have the assurance of salvation now and in the judgment. (2 Cor. 5:17-21; John 3:16; Gal. 1:4; 4:4-7; Titus 3:3-7; John 16:8; Gal. 3:13, 14; 1 Peter 2:21, 22; Rom. 10:17; Luke 17:5; Mark 9:23, 24; Eph. 2:5-10; Rom. 3:21-26; Col. 1:13, 14; Rom. 8:14-17; Gal. 3:26; John 3:3-8; 1 Peter 1:23; Rom. 12:2; Heb. 8:7-12; Eze. 36:25-27; 2 Peter 1:3, 4; Rom. 8:1-4; 5:6-10.)

                So WHY DOESN'T HE STOP THE EVIL NOW you ask, 2 Peter 3:3-9," Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead HE IS PATIENT WITH YOU, NOT WANTING ANYONE TO PERISH, but everyone to come to repentance." Simply His character is love & He wants to save as many people as possible.

                The answer to your 2nd question will immediately follow and I think my answer to your second question will surprise you.

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              • Sake of our children says:

                Before I answer your SECOND QUESTION a couple quotes by Robert Jastrow, who was the director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, "For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries."
                " Scientists have no proof that life was not the result of an act of creation, but they are driven by the nature of their profession to seek explanations for the origin of life that lie within the boundaries of natural law."—Robert Jastrow, The Enchanted Loom: Mind in the Universe

                The Bible is never wrong not to say that people's understanding of it sometimes is, which brings me to your SECOND QUESTION. Before I answer your question I need to tell you I am not a follower, I study things out for myself, I wouldn't believe a historian just because he said it, I wouldn't believe a scientist just because he said it, and I wouldn't even believe a creationist just because he said it, and I will tell you my viewpoint on this is not the same as many creationists. I believe your questioning Exodus 20:11,"for in six days the Lord made heaven and the earth, the sea, and all that in them is"?First we need to go back to the VERY beginning Genesis 1:1," In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (VERSE 2 )The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.(VERSES 3-5) Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day." DO YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENED? The six day creation week did not start until verse 3, the first day did not take place until verses 3-5. The heavens and the earth were already here before the creation week started, the earth was lifeless, it says void without form. So now your asking doesn't that contradict Exodus 20:11? No, continue reading Genesis 1:6-10,"Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day. Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. So how could God create the heaven (firmament) on day 2 of creation week if the heavens already existed before creation week began? They are speaking of 2 separate things. The firmament spoken of in the second day of the creation in the Hebrew is raqiya (raw-kee-ah) which means the firmament or visible arch in of the sky. My Bible dictionary says the great arch or expanse over our heads, in which are placed the atmosphere and clouds. What He created on day 2 of the creation week was our atmosphere, he was preparing the earth so we could live here.

                For clarification: before creation week the heavens (as you think of them) & the earth were already here but the earth was without form and void (lifeless) & during creation week God spoke into existence our atmosphere & created life as we know it. I hope that answers your question & think we might at least partially agree on that one.

                So, I believe it was quite recently when scientists came up with the universe being as old as they are now saying but what they have done is proven what the Bible was saying, "In the beginning". Thank you science again for proving the accuracy of the Bible.

                It would be my hope that you could see you don't have to choose science over God, they do coexist. Remember Albert Einstein, he was a pretty well-known scientist, and a pretty smart guy and he believed it. :) "SCIENCE WITHOUT RELIGION IS LAME, RELIGION WITHOUT SCIENCE IS BLIND."- Albert Einstein

                Romans 1:20, "For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse."

                MAY GOD BLESS YOU!

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              • Houston Wade says:

                Whoa. That's a lot of Bible quotes.

                To say that the Bible is "never wrong" is to paint yourself into quite the corner. For one thing, the books of the Gospel were most likely not written by people who actually witnessed Jesus' life and all the stories of his life were basically plagiarized from the previous messianic tales of Romulus, Mithras, Oedipus, Ra, and Hercules among a few; and when this was pointed out to the early Church Justin the Martyr basically said that the Devil created those stories thousands of years prior to Jesus' life to trick us. Sort of the same false logic behind why dinosaur bones are found in rock that dates to 70 million years, under rock that dates to 40 million years, under rock that dates to 10 million years, under rock that dates to a million years ago, under rock that dates to a few thousand years ago, under rock that we just watch get made.

                "No, no, the Devil put those dinosaur bones there to trick us!"

                "No, no, dinosaurs existed with man before the great flood…"

                That is fantasy.

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              • Houston Wade says:

                here is something you are not going to like to read:

                There is no corroborating historical evidence that Jesus ever walked the Earth.

                The only books that were written by people who supposedly witnessed and participated in Jesus' life were thrown out by the Church at the councils of Nicea and Trent because they painted Jesus as a flawed man who sinned and had a hard time coming to grips with his own destiny. This was not the narrative the Church wanted. They wanted a Jesus without sin who was ALL God. Read the Apocrypha sometime, things like the Gospels of Thomas, James, and Mary Magellan.

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              • Houston Wade says:

                Now, going from "God created the Heavens and the Earth in six days," to "The Heavens and a blank mold of the Earth already existed, God just had to paint it like a piece of pottery at Dancing Brush and put it in the kiln for a few days," are two entirely separate arguments.

                At no time in our past did people ever live for 900 years. At no time in our past was there a flood that covered the entire planet. Noah's Arc never existed. These are all myths created by the authors of the Bible to explain what they didn't have the tools to explain. The Bible was written by a primitive people who didn't even possess the concept of zero, how can they be expected to know exactly how the Universe came into being?

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              • Sake of our children says:

                "He who has a knowledge of God and His word through personal experience has a settled faith in the divinity of the Holy Scriptures. He has proved that God's word is truth, and he knows that truth can never contradict itself. He does not test the Bible by men's ideas of science; he brings these ideas to the test of the unerring standard. He knows that in true science there can be nothing contrary to the teaching of the word; since both have the same Author, a correct understanding of both will prove them to be in harmony. Whatever in so-called scientific teaching contradicts the testimony of God's word is mere human guesswork.

                Are you just bored? You can't possibly be serious with these remarks. Come on, really, comparing the life of Jesus to Hercules, it is literally beneath me as a Christian to even go there. I think you better try hanging onto your day job because while you may be able to fool some people in the classroom what you're speaking now is just complete foolishness & mockery. You should crack open a Bible before you start commenting on it. Do you know what the 4 books of the Gospel are? Bible 101- for Kindergartners- Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The book of Matthew was written by Matthew, a tax collector who left his work to follow Jesus. In the Gospels of Mark & Luke he is called by his other name, Levi. Matthew's main purpose at the time of writing was to prove to his Jewish readers that Jesus is their Messiah & did that primarily by showing how Jesus in his life & ministry fulfilled the OT Scriptures and predictions of the Messiah. The book of Mark was
                written by John Mark closely associated with Paul & Barnabas. Luke was written by Luke, a physician by profession, a friend of Paul & it is believed he also wrote the book of Acts, both books are addressed to Theophilus whose name means "one who loves God". In this Gospel, Luke wanted to show that the place of the gentile Christian in God's kingdom is based on the teaching of Jesus & wanted to commend the preaching of the gospel to the whole world. He emphasizes recognition of gentiles in God's plan, and has a special interest in the poor, the role of women, and concern for sinners. The book of John was written by the apostle, "the disciple whom Jesus loved". This gospel was obviously based on the recollections of an eye-witness. The writer himself states his main purpose, "These are written that you may believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name" John 20:31. This book shows the love of God so wonderfully, how could anyone deny the beauty of John 3:16? Noted theologians throughout the ages maintain that it was indeed the disciple John who penned the famous Biblical book. However in my own opinion the best evidence is, The author John himself also CLEARLY STATES he wrote it himself,“This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and wrote them down, and we know that his testimony is true” John 21:24. If you can deny that you can deny anything but it doesn't make it true.
                You said the only books written by people who witnessed Jesus' life were thrown out by the church- I don't know where in the world you get this sort of nonsense but you need a new source. "A simple man believes anything but a prudent man gives thought to his steps" Prov.14:15 . And by the way, the Apocrypha is a set of books not considered authoritative, or divinely inspired, in Judaism or Protestant Christian churches, and as such is not accepted into Scripture.There are 263 quotations to the Old Testament in the New Testament and not one of them refers to the Apocryphal.The gospel of Thomas, obviously not included in the Bible actually alludes to 14-15 books of the new testament. Leading evidence shows it is thought to be written approx, 175-200 AD. It is so long after the fact and has no real relevance about what it says about Jesus. The other Gospels are all written within the first century. What people like about the Thomas gospel is it's gnostic flavor, salvation through self knowledge, self discovery, and the spark of divinity within. If we could just discover our inner divinity like Jesus we can be like Him. It once again plays to our pride/ego, again sounding similar to the first lie/deception as well as evolution. The idea that there are alternate gospels that are as legitimate as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John does not withstand scrutiny. It would be a waist of my time to go over the rest of these books not included in the Bible, the example of Thomas shows there are obvious reasons they have been excluded.

                Next post addressing your statement,"There is no corroborating historical evidence that Jesus ever walked the Earth."

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              • Sake of our children says:

                Addressing your statement,"There is no corroborating historical evidence that Jesus ever walked the Earth."
                Today's historians (including the majority of non-Christian historians) specializing in 1st Century, Middle-Eastern history nearly all agree that a teacher and holy man called Jesus lived in 1st Century Palestine, collected a band of followers and was executed under the order of the Roman prefect of Judaea, Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem around AD30.
                We have clear evidence that within a few years of this (AD 40 to 50), communities of Christians had become established throughout the eastern half of the Roman Empire – despite hostility and persecution from the Roman authorities and the non-Christians they lived amongst. Historians can tell us that all types of persons became Christ–followers. This wasn’t a faith restricted to one ethnic group or social class. Jews, Greeks, Romans, Syrians, Ethiopians, Egyptians, the rich, the poor, men, women, slaves and the free became Christ-followers at this time. We have clear evidence that by AD64, there was a Christian community in Rome that was large enough to come to the attention of the emperor Nero and be blamed for the great fire of Rome.
                What did these first Christians believe about Jesus? We have good evidence that these Christians believed that Jesus was the Son of God and that He’d died and appeared to His disciples three days later (also known as the Resurrection). They also believed that He’d died as a sacrifice for their sins. Christian beliefs developed and modified in the centuries following Jesus. However, belief in the Resurrection of Jesus and what it meant has remained a constant – a constant that can be traced with certainty to within a few years of Jesus death. Historians know that “something happened” in Jesusalem around AD30 to convince Jesus’ disciples that He was the Son of God. This “something” caused the birth of Christianity and caused it to spread like wildfire through the Eastern Roman Empire. This “something” caused all types of people to become Christ-followers – despite extreme hostility and persecution from those they lived amongst. This “something” caused Christianity to grow – despite almost continual persecution for the first 300 years of its existence.

                You said concerning earth "a blank mold of the Earth already existed, God just had to paint it like a piece of pottery at Dancing Brush and put it in the kiln for a few days," – no God didn't have to do that much work, God speaks things such as our atmosphere into existence.

                Methuselah lived 969 years-Gen 5:27. But even a life span of 969 years is sadly abbreviated when we consider that God initially created us to live forever. Think how old Adam & Eve would be if they hadn't fallen approx 7000 years old! Wow! But that's nothing someday we have the option of living forever/eternally- hard to comprehend but something worth thinking about!

                Next post:the flood & science

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              • Sake of our children says:

                Such a catastrophic global event as the Flood should have left worldwide evidence of its occurrence. Science shows that, indeed, it did. There are global deposits in the layers of rock quite consistent with (though not proof of) the Genesis Flood. These deposits contribute to the way in which the rock layers are identified and defined. Gigantic sequences of sandstone covered by shale and limestone in what are called Cambrian rocks; massive, transported limestone found in certain rock levels; as well as coal and oil deposits found throughout these levels—all these deposits are consistent with the Flood. Furthermore, the destruction of life on this earth during the Genesis Flood was extensive, as described in Genesis 7:21 and 22. In our modern world there is little preservation of plants and animals that die. These organisms are decomposed and recycled to provide the nutrients necessary for life to continue. However, buried within the earth are extensive fossil concentrations with evidence of a wide variety of plants and animals that do not exist in our world today, again evidence consistent with the Biblical Flood account.

                In the 1920s, astronomers discovered that virtually all clusters of galaxies appear to be moving away from all other clusters; this indicates that the entire universe is expanding. Why is it then that the Bible as you say was written by primitive people when the Bible indicates in several places that the universe has been “stretched out” or expanded. For example, Isaiah 40:21-23," Do you not know? Have you not heard?Has it not been declared to you from the beginning?Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. He it is who reduces rulers to nothing,Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless.Also in Psalm 104:2,"The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent", and Isaiah 42:5," Thus says God, the Lord, who
                created the heavens and stretched them out", and Jeremiah 10:12 He has made the earth by His power,He has established the world by His wisdom,And has stretched out the heavens at His discretion.and Zechariah 12:1,"Thus declares the Lord who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him,Job 9:8,“He himself alone spreadeth out the heavens ”.
                This would suggest that the universe has actually increased in size since its creation. God has stretched it out. Science once again proving the Bible to be accurate, thank you! Who again is primitive, who is climbing those mountains, to find the Bible truth has been there all along?

                1 Timothy 6:20-"O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge"

                With that advice from Paul, I must say au revoir & God Bless!

                Recommended further readings: John 3:16-21 & 2 Peter 3:9

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              • Houston Wade says:

                First, the book of Matthew was not written by Matthew. It was written decades after the Matthew would have been alive by someone else (between 70-110CE).

                Second, the Heavens are not "stretched out like a tent" so they were wrong again. I am a geologist and an astrophysicist, there is no evidence of a global flood. None. The rock layers show nothing of the sort. The largest floods for which there is evidence on the entire planet is in Eastern Washington called the "Scab lands" and that was from the breaching of a glacial dam in Montana during the ice ages.

                You can recommend Bible verses all you want. I have read the Bible cover to cover, I have read every single book of the collected Apocrypha, I have read the Book of Mormon, Science and Health, the Bhagavad Gita, Satanic Bible, the Koran… I read these because it is interesting to know what people think and believe. Misinterpreted, or conveniently interpreted passages from the Bible do not have relevance to scientific work being done today.

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  33. Concerned Parent says:

    Couple of questions/thoughts come to mind:
    1. Does the author of this article have an ideological leaning on this topic that she is not admitting to? If she has a bias that is not disclosed, I think she is doing a disservice to the community/readers and to the subjects.
    2. Why is Young Life brought up in this Article? Young Life is not relevant except that the author seems to think that private religious organizations are a menace to all BI schools by lumping a completely separate organization in on this article.
    3. There has been no allegation that there was any proselytizing by the youth pastors for their own church or Young Life. If it turns out that no proselytizing took place, will that satisfy this author? From the tone and frantic concern she exhibits, I think not. Perhaps a teacher or coach that has a religious faith but is not proselytizing is also going to be unacceptable to her, especially given the microphone she has of appearing to be a journalist but instead is advocating a position? It seems that this author has no idea that someone can have a personal faith and still do other jobs in life well. The author thinks that someone is violating someone's rights by having a faith. how sad.
    4. For those that actually care about the Bill of Rights, here is Amendment I: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Read it again. Perhaps the author should read this and realize that the same Amendment that allows her to write a biased article and publish it is the same Amendment that gives people the right to have a faith and exercise this.

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  34. Tom says:

    Thank you for clarifying for me my grandmother's reaction; how foolish of me to read her response the way I did. How silly of me. Also thank you for now accusing the volunteers of telling the kids at school they are going to hell. That is a new fabrication that I had not read before. I am sure that your army of zealots recruited a couple more to light a torch of hate toward Christians. Well played!

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  35. Ross Van Haugen says:

    Noting now that folks are making wild claims of Christian discrimination in a predominately Christian community leads me to believe that this has nothing to do with generic Chrisitanity, but fundamentalist Christianity.
    Christianity is not at danger here. No one is asking kids to become pagans or Muslims or anything else.
    Sane people are demanding that organizations like Young Life, whose goal is to lure youngsters into their club be regulated as required by law.

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    • Disgusted says:

      The lynch mob is only stating that if you are Christian you can't volunteer at the school. Sure, that is not an attack. Are we going to vet all volunteers to ensure they are not active in their church? Establish a Christianity Review Committee to determine if a volunteer's religious views are acceptable?

      You need to review the definition of attack.

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      • Caroline says:

        That is a blatant distortion of the argument. People are not "stating that if you are a Christian you can't volunteer at a school". One of the regular parent volunteers in my child's class is active with New Life, and I'm not calling for her to be barred from volunteering, because that would be crazy as her personal faith is not a factor. Just like the personal faith of these three volunteers in question is not a factor – it's the fact that their job involves increasing attendance at youth functions for a particular church.

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        • Disgusted says:

          Is that what the issue is now? Is that why they have been called creepy, sneaky, implied to be pedophiles, etc. The only thing being distorted is the constantly changing argument to prevent these three members of our community from volunteering. On the one hand you say volunteers are capable of not bringing their religion into the school, but then go on to state these three volunteers are not capable of keeping their work outside of school.
          Keeping changing your story…the plot of hate and exclusion remains the same.

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          • Caroline says:

            I think any inference that these men are pedophiles is inappropriate and uncalled for. I would never make such an accusation.

            A churchgoing parent volunteer doesn’t have a financial incentive to recruit “unchurched” kids. All three volunteers in this case have jobs that require a steady stream of youths attending their events. Big difference, at least from my perspective.

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    • Disgusted says:

      You want deprecation of church and state, but you openly admit you want government to regulate certain religions. Unbelievable!!!

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      • Toby Jones says:

        Where does Caroline 'openly admit she wants government to regulate certain religions'? I don't see that. What I do see is that you appear to be making stuff up and not really responding to what's been said in the comments you respond to. Read carefully, my friend. Focus! Try to follow the argument. Pay attention. Let me help you: Caroline's central point is this: IT IS NOT ABOUT THE RELIGION OF THESE MEN, IT'S ABOUT THEIR JOB RESPONSIBILITIES AS PAID YOUTH RECRUITERS. Can you follow that? Try reading it twice.

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  36. Gary Smith says:

    Wowza! Anti-intellectualism on a grand scale. Just wait. You'll see what's gonna happen. You may have your guy-in-the-sky ideas and think the rest of us should put up with the creepy tactics of your brethren but the law of our land does not agree with y'all. Perhaps you should start your own private school and leave the public ones alone.

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    • Disgusted says:

      Wowza? And my argument is not intellectual…really? Your lynch mob must share the same talking points that state if you can't win the argument call the other side of the debate stupid. I think most people stop that tactic in middle school. I will pray for you and your ilk to learn how to overcome such hate in your heart.

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  37. Lincoln Miller says:

    Regarding David Day and his YouTube posting, I think what he testifies to totally qualifies him to work with youth. If I've got a teenage boy or girl – I have two – and I've read Martin Daubney's article – http://dailym.ai/15E1SVa (please don't censor this again, InsideBainbridge.com) – then I want David on my side.

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    • redhare1064 says:

      Lincoln Miller: You have not been censored, nor has anyone else in this comment stream, although we reserve the right to do so. If anyone's comment has not appeared, it is because of an Intense Debate issue. One person has emailed Inside Bainbridge regarding a missing comment, and we have written back twice. Our best guess is that the messages we have sent the person have been snagged by a filter. However, Lincoln, if you falsely accuse us of censorship again in this public forum, you will be censored.

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      • Lincoln Miller says:

        Julie: Thanks for your response. My earlier comment on a predecessor article contained a URL, the body of which contained the title of a web article from The Daily Mail. Immediately preceding the URL, I made a direct comment to the full URL to bring attention to the title and subject matter of the web article (and as a courtesy to those who may not wish to click on the hyperlink in light of the article's subject matter). However, when InsideBainbridge printed my comment, the URL was shortened/altered with the critical portion (I.e. the title of the article) removed. The effect created confusion and ambiguity in my response and caused that portion of the comment to lose meaning. Whether the editing of the URL was intended to censor or not, it had the effect of doing so.

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        • redhare1064 says:

          Lincoln Miller: Inside Bainbridge did not edit or alter in any way your original comment. Any change you refer to is either your own error or an Intense Debate issue.

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    • Gary Smith says:

      Fine. Have him in your Sunday school. He can talk about porn all he wants.
      But please, don't foist him on the rest of us.
      You have a choice – you think it qualifies him to work with your children.
      To me, this disqualifies him from being given access to my children without a background check AND my consent.
      Oh, wait…Florian didn't give me a choice.
      Right.
      That's the problem.

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    • Ellen says:

      I watched the YT video and I don't want David Day or other non-school personnel "counseling" 12 and 13 years olds. My reaction to the video: Twisted.

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  38. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you to Inside Bainbridge for having the courage to write articles that fully explore all of the facts of this very sensitive issue. I am now a big fan of this on-line news source because I know they will report the full story. Well done Inside Bainbridge!!!

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  39. Violet B. says:

    Wait a minute, if evangelicals are such a small percentage of the population (7%), how did Woodward end up with 100% of the covert lunchtime child counselors being evangelical youth pastors (3 out of 3)? That smells fishy.
    It also begs the question: how many evangelicals have been hired at Woodward during Mr. Florian's long tenure? This is a PUBLIC school, and one would expect the employees within its walls to reflect the diversity of the larger community around it. I hope the investigator is looking into that too…

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    • Disgusted says:

      Wow…really! We are going to use a persons religion as a basis of hiring? You actually want the School board to demand to know the religious affiliation of all it's teachers? I thought you wanted a deprecation of Church and state but now you want the government to have the right to know your religious affiliation! Really? As I have said before, Hitler would have been proud to call Bainbridge home given the level of effort that is ongoing to eliminate a specific religion on Bainbridge. Shameful!

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      • Houston Wade says:

        Quit it with the Hitler references. A separation of religion from our public institutions is the exact opposite of what the Third Reich was striving for. If these me were recruiting kids for their church on school grounds during school hours, or during school events, in an official capacity as volunteers, they were breaking the law. The reality is that Mike Florian, the Principal of Woodward, is an evangelical Christian who has a history of trying to preach to his students; so it's not too far of a stretch to assume that the volunteers at WMS were there for the specific reason of recruitment and sanctioned by the principal.

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        • Ross Van Haugen says:

          Houston,
          Thank you for your personal testimony on the shenanigans of Young Life, and the lack of professionalism witnessed by you in High School by the now Principal at Woodward.

          Most of us know exactly what has transpired, and why. It is left to the fundamentalists who have no problem with proselytization of young people in schools to cast brickbats at people who only want rules and laws followed.

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        • Are you kidding me? says:

          A separation of religion from our Public Institutions is the exact opposite of what Third Reich was striving for?? Are you kidding me?! In 1938 Jewish children were expelled from German schools.In 1942 all schools closed to Jewish children. It actually started before that when in 1934 Jewish students were excluded from exams in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and law. If only it would have stopped at the schools.
          You have made it publicly known that you have had a problem with authority figures & principals since you were a child from your own website written in third person. http://www.houstonwade.com/bio.html
          Adolescence: Happy but a troublemaker,…, started to make the lives of undeserving authority figures a living hell
          Teen Years: Enjoyed high school tons… Until new assistant principal rose to power and Houston
          was force to make his life a living hell…
          Maybe we need a social studies class on why people “pick” on others, “look down” on others, even hate others. Guide them in making the connection of how these attitudes, perceptions and assumptions can rapidly get out of control if left unchecked. As I think the attitudes, perceptions, and assumptions n this site are getting out of control. It’s almost liberal hate mob mentality. I don’t have a problem with asking questions but the accusations are incredulous. I also find it disturbing how history is continually being revised and becoming further from the truth in schools. The curriculum that is being designed today are a pathetic example of liberal bias and political correctness.

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          • Houston Wade says:

            Well, Anonymous heckler, here is a simple fact that you failed to comprehend: The third Reich was Catholic. They legislated according to Hitler's misguided Catholic doctrines and projected their religion upon society and this greatly affected the "other" religions like Judaism. To the members of the Nazi party there was no distinction between their work and God's work (as perverted as that may seem)

            I do have a problem with those who abuse their authority and I make no qualm about speaking up about it (obviously). If my principal, or math teacher, or councilman, or senator, are doing a terrible job or are abusing the power the public has entrusted with them, then I sure hope I am not the only one raising a stink.

            Also, can you give some examples (or even just one) of curriculum that is "a pathetic example of liberal bias and political correctness" or are you just making things up?

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            • Are you kidding me? says:

              Hey, first I want to apologize because I partly misread your first statement on the third reich,
              misperception- my bad. But don't you think it's going down the same path as Naziism when we start pointing fingers at people because of their faith and start assuming that volunteers "were there for the specific reason of recruitment and sanctioned by the principal." Similar to how Hitler villainized the Jews. Why don't we let the investigation take it's course before making a villain out of someone?

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              • Houston Wade says:

                No, I don't think it is similar at all. It is against the law to promote or recruit a specific religion via a public institution in an official capacity as a representative of said public institutiin in our country. If we were just launching an inquiry because the men were Christians that would be different, the inquiry was launched because of complaints that they were breaking the law in several ways from recruitment to illegally counciling students without a license or parental permission.

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  40. Sage says:

    Let's everyone remember where this started. No hate anywhere, just some questions, that were never answered.

    1) Who are these non-parent lunch volunteers?
    2) Why are they not on any schedule? Why did they have different access than parent volunteers?
    3) How many lunch volunteers do we need?
    4) Why are they allowed in the gym when other parent volunteers were not?
    5) Why were they allowed to have different roles "mentor" "positive male role model""counselor" that our community was not aware of?
    6) Why were they asking personal questions of kids and kids friends?
    7) Do they have background checks?
    8) If we have outside people volunteering in a capacity that the staff, community and parents are unaware of, why were the parents not informed?

    Clarity, transparency and communication are at the heart of this for me.

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    • Disgusted says:

      Not true. The headline to each of these articles even makes it about religion, what alone the content that is filled with specifics about the volunteers' religion! In addition, the questions you ask you state as fact. Is it fact that parent volunteers are denied access to the gym? The hundreds of times I volunteered at Woodward I had access to the gym.
      So what is the real issue? Great question.

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      • Sage says:

        The headline of the article, is that, an article – generated by the press – which has helped turn us against each other, instead of seeking clarity.

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      • Houston Wade says:

        You don't understand the difference between a question and a statement. These are all questions that if answered will then become statements and hopefully facts. Also, in case you haven't been aware, this is about religion because it has come to some parents' attentions that these men may have been recruiting kids to their churches, which would be illegal. Mixed in with that potential ethical violation may be many other violations such as a lack of background checks, leaving/letting students be mentored by these volunteers, and leaving volunteers who had not passed/been given background checks alone with children, etc…

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  41. Bea Hample says:

    I am a senior citizen with no children or grandchildren in the local public schools. Even though I am on a fixed income I have always voted for any tax levy to benefit the schools because public education is very important. It is the way that many people can improve themselves and make a better life. From what I am learning about this situation, it seems that some of the tax dollars I willingly give to help the schools will be used not for whiteboards or for teacher salaries but to investigate and legally defend this outrageous behavior.
    For shame!

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  42. Gary Smith says:

    A guy at poker night said he heard that one of these youth pastors brought into the school is RELATED to the vice principle!! If true, OMG. One with a porn addiction (admitted), one with no background check (says Florian) and possibly one with ties to the VP. That is seriously messed up!
    Do I have to act as a bodyguard for my kid at the school dance coming up? Are we sure these guys won't be at dances anymore?

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    • Discuss it says:

      I'm looking forward to hearing the full investigation findings, and I think there is certainly enough here to justify the inquiry and the very reasonanable questions being asked. With said, I think we need to be careful before posting information heard at the poker table. There are reputations and perhaps even careers at stake here.

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      • Kate Jackson says:

        The principal and the vice principal were not too concerned about their reputations or careers when they brought in 3 fellow evangelicals to have special access to vulnerable children at lunch. Not too concerned about parental consent, background checks, policies or laws. Not even too concerned that these men were counseling children about their problems without a license, consent or any oversight.
        It turns out that parents and other people ARE concerned. About all of it.
        The investigation continues…

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      • Woodward Parent says:

        Too bad they spent their careers turning Woodward into a religious recruiting center. It's illegal. In the story just released in the Bainbridge Review, Mike says, "I have not had a single report of any of our volunteers proselytizing or recruiting students on campus.". I have a piece of paper in my hand, written by him, acknowledging a complaint last year. This whole thing blows my mind. The level of denial and unprofessionalism is amazing.

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      • Jean says:

        The associate principal is NOT….I repeat…is NOT related to ANY of the youth pastors. If just one person would get their facts straight before passing on gossip ("a guy at poker night"–unbelievable! OMG.)– this situation would not be so truly and utterly OUT OF CONTROL! The gossip these parents have passed on has created so much angst it's ridiculous. Volunteers not allowed in the GYM???? Not true! Recruiting, proselytizing, preaching–all untrue. Pastors invited from the principal's church–absolutely UNTRUE! People making up what they want and passing it along—VERY TRUE!

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        • Ross Van Haugen says:

          Jean,
          How do you know all of this to be true?
          Have you been witness to every interaction of these proselytizers to each and every young person? Did you not hear that one young person received counseling from the volunteers?
          Clearly, some rules have been broken. That's a real problem you can not deny.
          And unless you happen to be in a very privileged or "all seeing/all knowing" position, you are not the person to tell us what did or did not happen, nor whom may be related to whom, nor which visitors were invited in, nor who may have been denied access to anything.
          It is obvious, on the face of it, and given the actors of this drama, that something is terribly wrong. Surely you can understand why some parents and the community in general is outraged.

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  43. Toby Jones says:

    So what involvement does Young LIfe have in all this? Young Life is essentially a front organization for participating fundamentalist churches that provide funding to Young Life in exchange for funneling adolescents into their respective youth programs. Young Life organizes many youth camps and social events that are presented as being just fun civic-minded community events that all kids can attend. They down play the religious objectives in the marketing of these events, but leverage the friendships that are made there to then encourage religious participation in the churches that fund them. It works like this: New Life Youth Pastors leverage the students they already know at the WMS lunchroom, for example, to befriend and encourage new friends to attend these fun youth parties off campus on weekends. What could be the harm in that? The new kids attend these parties, golf events, whatever, and then are invited to a Young Life Camp (the next step in the process)…often involving an overnight stay. (If you're curious just go online and see what happens at these overnight Young Life Camps). At the camps the kids are 'love bombed' and encouraged to go to other social religious events with other camp friends, and so it goes. It often starts with the lunchroom where these Youth Pastors work with students that already belong to a Young Life participating church by encouraging them to invite new students to outside activities. In this way, these honest Youth Pastors avoid the appearance of proselytizing by leveraging their existing kids to do the 'dirty work'. If you are a parent who is not fundamentalist, and have your own faith, you should be very wary of the day that your child is invited by another child to one of these Young Life events. This is the entry point. The beginning. Remember, Young Life is a front organization for participating churches. It's goals are very, very clear. (Please go to their website and spend an hour reading it. Their objective are spelled out quite clearly). By the way, did you know that all 3 Youth Pastors from WMS attend Young Life events?. This comes directly from the Grant Dragon of Young Life on Bainbridge himself: Lance Klopp. It all starts in the lunchroom.

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    • Caroline says:

      I second spending time on the Young Life site, as well as the New Life site (www.newlife.tv) They give kids as young as kindergarten tickets to the church store to "entice" them to bring friends, and in some of their documents, their leaders are instructed to ask kids (again as young as 5) to think of a friend who doesn't know the love of Jesus and then they are told to pray for that child.

      I have a lot of friends who have a strong faith and it's gotten them through some hard times. Churches can do wonderful things for local communities in terms of food drives, etc. My kids attend a local Christian preschool, even though I'm not a member of the church and I'm not actively recruited to join. I don't hate on Christians, but I am very wary of sects of Christianity that place a high emphasis on recruiting new people, and getting kids as young as 5 to do their work for them! I really feel like it's a family's decision to introduce their children to religion and it makes me very angry when people try to overstep those boundaries.

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  44. Charles D. says:

    I don't live on Bainbridge, I don't even have kids, but my cousin told me what was going on up there, I read all of the comments here and I couldn't resist chiming in. Purely hypothetically…

    Top 10 Reasons principals should not bring in men who are religious recruiters to be counselors at lunch:

    10. Getting parent consent is just a hassle. If you don't get it, you could be in trouble.

    9. The school district doesn't like it because it opens them up to lawsuits.

    8. It's hard to keep it secret from parents and teachers and your boss (though it can be done).

    7. Once discovered, it just looks bad.

    6. Even if you condition the kids to view it as "normal" you run the risk of one of them saying something about it to someone rational.

    5. It could ruin your reputation and career.

    4. It can erode public trust in you and in the school district.

    3. People who believe in the separation of church and state can get really mad at you.

    2. It's wrong.

    1. It's illegal.

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  45. Ron says:

    Love the street sign. Almost as good as the one in Colfax WA corner of Wall Street and Main Street.

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