We all know neglecting to feed your kids is wrong, right? Neglecting to give them shelter, or medical attention (unless you’re religious in some states – a blind spot in the law we need to fix), or any other basic necessity of life is illegal. You might even get popped for emotional neglect. But in some states, you’re legally allowed to steal a child’s future. Extremist homeschool parents and their allies call it a right. They decide what their children get to learn, or if they get to learn at all. Educational neglect, to them, is their right. A child’s right to the future an education can give them is beneath their consideration.
To the people who write this stuff, this apparently isn’t horrifically creepy indoctrination – it’s just a good education. Show a kid evidence for evolution, on the other hand…
And to think I’ve signed on to read a whole grade of this shit. Including the tests. And those terrible cartoons. I’d ask you to save spare change for the Replace Dana’s Liver fund, but you’re probably going to need that money for your own transplant. I’m so, so sorry.
*If the pics don’t show, just click where they should be – they’ve been temperamental.
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)
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.
Oh, my darlings, you have filled my coffers with coinage with which to purchase freaky fundie stuff, and I have filled my shelf.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.