Adventures in ACE I: In Which Oddities Are Explored

I recently spent an instructive few months reading Jonny Scaramanga’s blog, where I learned just how screwed up Accelerated Christian Education is. Imagine a room full of young kids stuffed in study carrels (“offices,” in ACE parlance), sitting silent on hard plastic chairs while they’re taught truly-true Christian things from thin newsprint booklets. As they grind through their science lessons, they answer review questions such as:

Christ’s shed blood is the _______ of our salvation. (Science PACE 1085)

Welcome to the whacky world of ACE, where until recently kids were taught that the Loch Ness Monster exists (and is a plesiosaur – checkmate, atheists!). Considering this is an “education” produced by (virtually) the same company that supplies the supposedly secular Responsive Ed curriculum, and is taught to far too many kids in Christian private and home schools worldwide, we should pay close attention to their shenanigans.*

Let us investigate the violence done to the earth sciences, shall we? Continue reading “Adventures in ACE I: In Which Oddities Are Explored”

Adventures in ACE I: In Which Oddities Are Explored
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Congratulations! You’re Going to Hell! 1. Hell is an Empty Threat

Hell pisses me off. It took one sick, evil fuck to come up with the concept of believe-or-burn-eternally. Brilliant, though: terrify believers and potential converts with the worst possible fate if they don’t do what you say, then give them relief from that terror by promising heaven if they just follow instructions. And really, it doesn’t take much to convince them, because you catch people while they’re young and/or vulnerable, ensuring those threats of eternal torment grip them and refuse to let go.

Of course, the people making this threat are generally sure they’re saved and have nothing to worry about. Or they’re just parroting what they were taught as children. And they don’t think of the consequences, don’t care, or actually want their listener to cower in mortal terror. Continue reading “Congratulations! You’re Going to Hell! 1. Hell is an Empty Threat”

Congratulations! You’re Going to Hell! 1. Hell is an Empty Threat

Wot Your Filthy Atheist Lucre Hath Bought

Oh, my darlings, you have filled my coffers with coinage with which to purchase freaky fundie stuff, and I have filled my shelf.

Creationist crap, plus some books debunking same.
Creationist crap, plus some books debunking same.

Mind you, this is only the beginning, and doesn’t show the books I’ve got on the Kindle. We’ll be busy for quite some time, and by the end of our journey, we will be able to wipe the floor with the Flood Geologist / Christian school graduate / Intelligent Design spewer of our choice.

Should you run across any titles you wish me to add, shoot me the info. We’re gonna have such fun…

Wot Your Filthy Atheist Lucre Hath Bought

Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education: In the Beginning…

For a while, now, I’ve planned a series on the kind of creationists who like to run around calling themselves geologists and invade GSA meetings under false pretenses. People like “Stone Stubborn” Steven Austin, who does real geology only to the extent it gives him a Trojan Horse into professional journals and meetings. These smarmy barstards have a distressing tendency to lie by omission, trying to lure actual geologists into associating with them by pretending they’re legit, and then telling their fundie flocks they’ve presented their work professionally, therefore their creationist crap is SCIENCE – only failing to mention that wasn’t open and avowed creation science they were presenting to the professionals.

But, you know, they’re kinda clownish, and I can just hear people poo-poohing their danger to the scientific community. Nobody outside of a handful of fundie freaks takes these Young Earth Creationist douchebags seriously, right? We’re not at risk like biology is, yo. No one’s boarding school boards trying to muck with the geology curriculum, so let the rabbits wear glasses and Steve Austin play totes legit geologist to the church-addicted crowd.

Um. Continue reading “Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education: In the Beginning…”

Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education: In the Beginning…

Keeping Up With the Creationists, Vol. I, Issue 1: Ain’t Just Private Schools, Kids

Hello and welcome to what I hope will be a weekly feature, Keeping Up With the Creationists, in which we peruse some creationist news and remind ourselves that, no, alas, creationism isn’t dead. It’s not even sleeping. It’s wide-awake and kicking in not only Christian private and home schools, but in our very own public school systems.

Yes, public. Continue reading “Keeping Up With the Creationists, Vol. I, Issue 1: Ain’t Just Private Schools, Kids”

Keeping Up With the Creationists, Vol. I, Issue 1: Ain’t Just Private Schools, Kids

Adventures in Biblical Literalism Vol. II: A Mighty Wind

This literal reading of the Bible has made me think God’s a rather flatulent fellow. Two lines of Biblical evidence point me toward this conclusion.

It begins right at the beginning. The ol’ KJV has it that, before God turned the lights on, the Spirit of him was moving on the face of the waters. But most scholars say that the NRSV is a more accurate translation, so let’s turn to it to figure out what this Spirit stuff is:

¹In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, ²the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God* swept over the face of the waters.

Wind being a polite euphemism for fart, I think we all know what that means: Continue reading “Adventures in Biblical Literalism Vol. II: A Mighty Wind”

Adventures in Biblical Literalism Vol. II: A Mighty Wind

Adventures in Good Christian Education: A Preliminary Foray

This should be good. I’ve taken time off work. I’ve got nearly a full bottle of extremely yummy Columbia Valley winery late-harvest Reisling in me. And I’m shopping for Christian science textbooks.

Yeah, buddy!

The thing that got me started is ACE. I know from Jonny Scaramanga that ACE is not the place you go if you want good geology. I mean, seriously – vapor canopy? Yeesh. I’m delighted Jonny’s the second result that came up when I searched “Accelerated Christian Education Geology” on Google. Oftimes, the Christianist textbooks are the only things that appear in the first few pages of search results, and it’s depressing that the criticisms don’t appear sooner.

Anyway. Where was I? Oh, right.

So no shit, there I was, trying to find ACE crap on Amazon, and Amazon made me love them so hard. Continue reading “Adventures in Good Christian Education: A Preliminary Foray”

Adventures in Good Christian Education: A Preliminary Foray

No. I Won’t Give Churchgoers Cookies For Doing the Minimally Decent Thing.

A friend pointed me toward this story by telling me a Methodist church got a new pastor, who promptly ran the gay choir director out, and guess how many in the congregation left the church over it? I knew what she was fishing for. She wanted me to feel the warm fuzzies that a bunch of religious folk had protested the treatment of one of their own.

No.

“Eighty percent!” she said, as if the number would change my mind.

Nope. Not impressed.

The conversation stalled shortly after as I refused to debate further whether or not one should encourage such basic human decency by praising it, lest the people involved give up trying to be good due to lack of kudos. I don’t like to have these conversations over chat to begin with, and when it’s chat at my job and I’m trying to work, I like it even less. It takes more time than I have to hammer the point home that I’m not going to give them cookies for doing the minimally decent thing.

Image is an irritated dark gray cat, with the caption "No cookie for you."
Kitty courtesy Isabel Bloedwater via Flickr.

So let me unsling my Smack-o-Matic™ now: Continue reading “No. I Won’t Give Churchgoers Cookies For Doing the Minimally Decent Thing.”

No. I Won’t Give Churchgoers Cookies For Doing the Minimally Decent Thing.

In Solidarity With Students, I Present Jesus -n- Mo

The following photo would be enough to get me kicked out of just about any freshers’ fair in Britain:

Jesus -n- Mo
Jesus -n- Mo

So these are two lovely rocks from the Skykomish River, and I’ve named them Jesus and Mo because it seems many religious people have not yet learned to be reasonable adults. I know, I know, this comes as quite the shock to those of us in countries where the religious majorities are oh so sensible. But for those who have not yet learned that one group’s sacred thingies are other groups’ not-at-all sacred thingies, it seems random things will need to have the names of mythological folks plastered to them until the dumbfuckery stops. Continue reading “In Solidarity With Students, I Present Jesus -n- Mo”

In Solidarity With Students, I Present Jesus -n- Mo

Perhaps Because It’s Horrific Bullshit?

All right, I’m appalled. I had a friend whose gradual slide deeper and deeper into Christian faith (Baptist, I believe) meant we gradually drifted apart. We’re still Facebook friends, and occasionally I see his updates. He’s got two young beautiful children – and is doing his best to raise them in the faith.

I don’t think he realizes how horrific that is, even though he just linked to an article explaining why.

The author dismisses the heroic Bible stories taught in Sunday School. All those messages of loyalty and goodness, he sez, are just awful. Total lies! Jesus is only a postscript! Of course it’s causing kids to leave the faith! Because what they need to hear, apparently, what’ll keep their butts glued to the pews, is this:
Continue reading “Perhaps Because It’s Horrific Bullshit?”

Perhaps Because It’s Horrific Bullshit?