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Today’s blacklisted American: Rhode Island school district blacklists Christian afterschool club because it is Christian

Rhode Island: haven to oppression
Oppressive Rhode Island

They’re coming for you next: The Providence school district in Rhode Island has now been sued by the Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) for unfairly blacklisting CEF’s afterschool Good News clubs from using school facilities for meetings,

For nearly two years, the Providence Public School District has blocked CEF Rhode Island from hosting its elementary school Good News Clubs on district school facilities. However, other organizations such as Boys and Girls Clubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, YMCA, and Girls on the Run are given free use of school facilities for after school programs.

Note too that the school district had already approved CEF’s Good News clubs in 2019. According to the lawsuit [pdf], filed by the non-profit legal firm Liberty Counsel:

The District approved CEF Rhode Island’s August 2019 Rental of School Facilities application, allowing CEF Rhode Island to lead an afterschool Good News Club at William D’Abate Elementary School for the 2019–2020 school year, without any facility rental fee. Forty-eight children signed up for the club, but the club could only accommodate twenty children due to space limitations at the school.

When the Wuhan panic shuttered everything in 2020, this club stopped meeting. When CEF officials contacted district in 2021 to restart the club, they found district officials uncooperative, apparently looking for reasons to deny the club access. For the next year and a half district officials stonewalled CEF, repeatedly demanding new documents and then becoming non-responsive when CEF fulfilled every request.

It is important to note that the principal at D’Abate Elementary School, Brent Kermen, wanted the Good News Club to resume meeting, and worked with CEF to try to get his superiors at the district to give the go-ahead, all to no avail. In fact, when CEF demanded the same access to the schools that others were getting (including the YMCA, another Christian-based organization), the district responded by halting all the afterschool programs. Apparently, school officials decided it was better to deny children all extracurricular activities than to allow this one religious organization access.

In 2023, when the district once again allowed some outside organizations to run afterschool activities while still denying CEF access, CEF enlisted Liberty Counsel to file a lawsuit, claiming the district was violating its rights under the first and fourteenth amendments to the Constitution.

This story illustrates several things. First, government officials in places like Rhode Island have apparently become addicted to the power they obtained during the Wuhan panic. Beforehand, they approved CEF’s application without question, recognizing that the law required them to do so even though these government officials — generally Democrats and hostile to religion — were likely not happy about having a Christian club in their schools. After COVID, they realized they could get away with the arbitrary use of power to deny CEF access, and decided to use it to blacklist its Good News clubs.

Second, this is not the only case of vindictive blacklisting and oppression by government officials in Rhode Island. Its school system has attacked and slandered parents for asking for school curriculums, blacklisted teachers for questioning the introduction of racist and Marxist anti-American material into history classes, maintained discriminatory racist hiring practices, banned Christian books from its public libraries, and destroyed doctors for not following its insane and irrational COVID mandates.

In 2022 its state legislators proposed imposing exorbitant fines on anyone who refused to get the COVID jabs, essentially making those individuals second class citizens. Meanwhile, one of its senators in Congress, Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse, has repeatedly proposed criminalizing anyone who dared disagree with the left’s agenda.

It is probably going to take more than a simple lawsuit to change things in Rhode Island. The blacklist culture there appears to be deeply rooted. If anything, I would expect the Rhode Island government to impose even more intolerant oppression in the coming years, all with the apparent approval of the majority of its population.

And if you live in Rhode Island and disagree, prove me wrong. Fix things. Stop stamping your boot into the faces of people you disagree with. The state was founded by a religious refugee, Roger Williams, in order to establish a haven for religious liberty. It might be nice if Rhode Islanders remembered the heritage and tried to live it.

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  • David Eastman

    PJMedia has an article up today discussing how one of the recent USSC decisions clarifies law in this area and, from my IANL viewpoint, makes a lawsuit in the instance you describe a slam-dunk.

    However, you’re probably right that it will take more than lawsuits to fix this.

  • David Eastman: Heh. I just finished reading that article and had the same thought. It specifically notes that religious clubs cannot be denied free use of public facilities.

    The problem however is not with a handful of school officials. It is now the culture to blacklist and oppress. A large plurality of America now thinks traditional conservatives are all “white supremacists” who must be stopped, by any means necessary. Winning one lawsuit or two will not change this.

  • ‘Girls on the Run”? Ladies on the Lam? Footloose Females? Did Sir Paul McCartney write their theme song?

  • Col Beausabre

    Baaanndddd on the run !

  • James Street

    It’s interesting that the Democrats have the support of, and they support, all other religions including satanism.

    One tends to think of Christianity as kind of an impotent gathering of old people who meet on Sunday mornings and listen to tired sermons about sin and hell and then eat stale cookies in the after-church coffee hour.

    But there’s something about Christianity that terrifies the left.

  • Milt

    While Conservatives Slept

    What is happening in Rhode Island —

    “government officials in places like Rhode Island have apparently become addicted to the power they obtained during the Wuhan panic …[and after] COVID, they realized they could get away with the arbitrary use of power to deny CEF access, and decided to use it to blacklist its Good News clubs.” —

    seems to be happening in blue cities and states across the country, apparently with at least the tacit approval of their voters. In a very real sense, these people have effectively rejected and repudiated what were once the fundamental values and institutions of this country / culture — freedom of speech, the Rule of Law, the right to self defense, and their prerogatives as parents, among others — and accepted a rebranded version of Marxist ideology in their place. Given a choice, most of these people would probably vote for something approximating life in Cuba or in Communist China (San Franciscans would go full stop and opt for a North Korean style society) as opposed to the American Republic that the Founders bequeathed to us. Give us “free stuff” and “protection” from the bad Christians and conservatives, they implore, and we will happily give you our children and accept living as serfs. Such a deal.

    The tragedy from a conservative point of view is that almost no one saw this cultural revolution coming, and their lackluster response has been mostly too little, too late*. Indeed, even at this late date, many conservatives *still* do not understand that is this a
    *cultural* conflict about fundamental values and ways of governing as opposed to the traditional left-right partisan political fight over which means were best to achieve commonly agreed upon ends. Today, however, the great divide among our populace is about ends and the kind of country / culture / society that people want to live in, and the left has succeeded beyond its wildest dreams in convincing so many Americans that that they should despise the nation (and its institutions) that they grew up in. Thanks to their efforts, this country no longer shares a common set of beliefs about what constitutes a good society or the rules by which it should operate, and, in short, there is no longer a consensus about what America ought to “be,” or even if it should continue as we have known it. A truly remarkable achievement in destroying consensus in a such a short period of time.

    *Analogous to England in the 1930s —

    Thus our present — and possibly unwinnable — culture war. As other observers have suggested, this fundamental disagreement about values and ends may have already gone so far that the only way for something like an American state to survive is to embrace a kind of radical Federalism in which the several states agree to remain together as a trading bloc but without sharing a common national culture or even a common Constitution or set of laws. If the goal of conservatives has been to “conserve” our national culture and former ways of life, well, we have FAILED SPECTACULARLY at that, and we are now reaping the whirlwind. But here we are.

  • Alej Marcos


    Hurry up, TEXIT – get us out of the sewer Old America has become.

  • Jay

    I think Rhode Island should look back at it’s history. Ask them what would Rhode Island’s founder Roger Williams do in this situation? Even though his name is on everything in the state, I doubt most of the people there know who he was, or it is no longer taught in schools. The colony was founded on religious freedom.
    Rhode Island has fallen. Some say it fell during the 1970’s when it became a dumping ground for Massachusetts’ young larva-liberal politicians. It has fallen now none the less.

  • pzatchok

    One of the base problems is leftists think the constitution actually states “separation of church and state” and means that all government facilities can never reference a religion or God, instead of what it actually says “establishment of religion”.

  • Max

    “Establishment of religion”
    Like global warming, for which there is no evidence, backed up by science pulled out of thin air, unproven, not verified, destructive to our entire way of life!
    or Fauci‘s carbon dioxide mouth which is the embodiment of science… is a great example of all our leaders today declaring themselves the arbitrators of truth above all else because if they don’t, they will go to prison for the crimes and murders they’ve committed. (fake it until you make it)
    The establishment of “make-believe” being real, whatever makes you feel good is your reality? That it is your right to feel good no matter whom you hurt or how many lives you destroy.
    Where the “rule of law” are more like “guidelines” meant for others… but not for the ruling elite who have a higher purpose… who’s every action and breath are full of good intentions, no matter where those good intentions lead.

    The woke religion has been established with the backing of government by refusing to enforce established law, actively banning and delisting the freedom of speech…. especially if the speech contains truth and not the narrative that our woke masters desire to help them get away with lawless behavior, stealing from the treasury, and taking other peoples property in the name of good governance, or reparations for past perceived crimes.

    The religion of corruption of everything we hold dear.
    This is how dark ages are created and maintained.

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