Stop Christian Group from Evangelizing Military Youth Using Taxpayer Money

club beyond

Target: The U.S. Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta

Goal: To stop using taxpayer money to fund a fundamentalist Christian group that is unconstitutionally proselytizing the children of America’s service members.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) recently discovered that a fundamentalist Christian group is using taxpayer money and Department of Defense resources to evangelize the children of U.S. service men and women. The group, known as Club Beyond, says that its mission is to “celebrate life with military kids, introducing them to the life giver, Jesus Christ, and helping them to become more like him, while offering youth a chance build meaningful relationships.” Club Beyond, part of the larger organization Military Community Youth Ministries (MCYM), organizes weekly meetings, retreats, and, among other events, “Purity Conferences,” which promote abstinence-only pledges and are not unlike Purity Balls.  Founder of the MRFF, Michael L. Weinstein, explains how Club Beyond is part of the larger Dominionist agenda of the Christian far-right to establish a nation governed by a fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible by indoctrinating these vulnerable young people, all on the taxpayers’ dime. Indeed, the government gave $2 million to MCYM in 2011 and increased the amount to $2.5 million in 2012.

Lately there has been some discussion about the devastating effects of the War on Terror on America’s service members, and with good reason. But the children of military personnel also experience psychological turmoil, including depression and anxiety, due to their parents’ careers. The MCYC is taking advantage of these children and teens to further their evangelical mission using tax money and is violating the “no religious test” clause of the Constitution in doing so. Besides the unconstitutionality of the group, the means by which MCYC carries out its mission is quite unsavory. Its methods include pizza and movie nights, recruiting students at public schools near military bases, and even stalking kids on school buses to find out where they live.

The unrelenting reach of MCYC has pervaded military bases to the extent that nonreligious youth organizations for these children nearly cease to exist. Sign the petition below to demand that the Department of Defense uphold the U.S. Constitution by stopping funding for MCYC and instead use the funds to institute nonreligious support groups and youth clubs to help the children of military personnel cope with their emotions and find peer support.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta,

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) recently discovered that a fundamentalist Christian group is using taxpayer money and Department of Defense resources to evangelize the children of U.S. service men and women. Founder of the MRFF, Michael L. Weinstein, explains how Club Beyond is part of the larger Dominionist agenda of the Christian far-right to establish a nation governed by a fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible by indoctrinating these vulnerable young people, all on the taxpayers’ dime. Indeed, the Department of Defense awarded $2 million to MCYM in 2011 and increased the amount to $2.5 million in 2012.

The group, known as Club Beyond is part of the larger Military Community Youth Ministries (MCYM), says that its mission is to “celebrate life with military kids, introducing them to the life giver, Jesus Christ, and helping them to become more like him, while offering youth a chance build meaningful relationships” by organizing retreats and so-called “Purity Conferences.” Its methods include pizza and movie nights, recruiting students at public schools near military bases, and even stalking kids on school buses to find out where they live.

The children of military personnel unfortunately experience psychological turmoil, including depression and anxiety, due to their parents’ careers. The MCYC is taking advantage of these children and teens to further their evangelical mission using tax money and is violating the “no religious test” clause of the Constitution in doing so. The unrelenting reach of MCYC has pervaded military bases to the extent that nonreligious youth organizations for these children nearly cease to exist.

As American taxpayers, we demand that the Department of Defense uphold the separation of church and state protected by our Constitution by stopping all government funding for MCYC. The funds should be appropriated to developing nonreligious support groups and youth organizations for the children of military personnel so that they may learn to cope with their emotions and find peer support.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: via Military Community Youth Ministries

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One Comment

  1. Not with my taxpayer money!

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