WARNING: As a new Marketing technique... Churches are strategically-inserting congregation members into Board/Officer positions of many Community Groups (Social, Education, Business Professional, Political, civic, Special Interest, Discussion, Informational, Family, Economic, Humanitarian, Trade, Ethnic etc) in order to push religious agenda and dominate Board Voting bias regarding those Group's decisions!
We must aware of what's happening and educate ourselves and others how to combat these actions.
?HOW can church member majority be addressed if there's no 'specific' Group ByLaw stating a particular church (or religion-supporting peoples) can't have MULTIPLE members serving Board postions?
?HOW to balance 'ethics' when the church Board members are also associated to that specific Group's mission or purpose?
?HOW to encourage fellow Atheists (who are Group attendees) to serve Group Board positions so there's a better non-theist representation... 1) Most are busy with jobs, family, other Groups... 2) Should we specifically tell them about this new church Marketing ploy and risk being viewed as a Conspiracy* theorist or hater or being told that they don't want to upset the Group's apple cart & they don't want to be an Atheist Ativist?
Often, churches ask several of their church members to serve on the same Community Group's Board so that the Board votes are influenced by the religious majority! Often the church will ask to pay only ONE 'family' Membership Fee yet demand ALL their congregation members be consided voting Board Members! Traditionally, the Group's Secretary emails Board Members the upcoming Business Meeting Agenda & when there's religion/church-benefitted topics, more of the church members attend to vote!
Ironically, those Community Groups are just grateful to get the churchs' Board Membership fee and extra bodies to *hopefully* help with Group projects. The church's tremendous WEALTH (local $$$'s + parent church $$$) pays for church members' to be Board Officers in those community groups. Ministers enthusiastically-encourage their congregation members to "go forth and Represent-the-Church" in community Groups. The ministers then sneakily-'counsel' such members on: how to cleverly-propose church projects to the Group's Board accompanied with a far-fetched mutual benefit; how to sweetly-state that famous psychological/unspoken-expectation/guilt-based "We scratched your back once, now you must scratch our back" technique during Board meetings!... (i.e. the church member/Board Officers request that Group support their church's 'Interfaith Leadership Conference' or 'Faith Public Event' & they remind the other Board Officers that their church has several people who belong to that Group or that the church gave a 'love offering' to that Group)...clever technique to get unsuspecting Board Members to side with the church member's request.
If an Atheist Board Officer speaks-out against the 'religious influence and bias', the Atheist becomes the bad person who discriminates against 'positive faith efforts' and is in constant battle to keep the Board focused on the Group's mission. Subsequently, those Groups become a 'sub-group' of the church (unbeknownst to people who blindly donate $'s to the group becuase of their mission). Eventually, the Group's Board Members are dominated by christian church members & the Board Votes are always in majority favor of what the church members push for. Eventually, less of the church Board Members help at the Group's events but stay active in their Board (decision-making) positions. Non-theist attendees (especially young adults) perceive the Group to be supporting religious causes and they stop attending.
I speak from experience & see this happening in several community Groups I belong to and/or monitor Board activity. I view this as strong-arm 'Bullying' (albeit, presented with 'christian smiles & humanitarian spirit' & reinforcements of how they're not a 'church' but a 'faith community' or 'spiritual family').
*Arizona Governor Brewer recently added a "Fairth" department to the state political office... makes one wonder if there's a church-dominated AZ State Board that approved that department