What My Christian School Taught Me About Atheism

This is a guest post written by Jonny Scaramanga.

ACE schools don’t have teachers, they have “supervisors” and “monitors.” Most of the week, the children work in isolated cubicles called “offices,” completing worksheets (“PACEs”) that incorporate Bible lessons into every academic subject. If they need help, they raise one of two flags. The Christian flag will bring a supervisor who (in theory) helps with academic questions, while the national flag summons a monitor, who gives permission to do stuff like go to the bathroom or score their work (students mark their own work from answer keys). Since ACE students can’t do anything without permission, monitors are busy.

Because they think it’s a great way to teach “responsibility,” it’s common for schools to train older children as monitors. They lured us in by counting it as an extra half-credit towards ACE’s worthless high school diploma, and it had the added bonus of gaining the school a bunch of unpaid staff. Back in my day (1998), monitor training consisted of eight PACEs, which took five days. Training to become a supervisor was exactly the same, except you had to go to an approved training center and attend some seminars. ACE has since made the training process even more super-efficient, and you can now go from an unqualified nobody to a fully recognized ACE supervisor in four days. That’s the only training you need. Or, as they put it in 1980:

Although a B.S. degree in education is preferred, the only requirement is a B.A. (Born Again) in Salvation!

I can confirm that my supervisors did indeed appear to have degrees in BS.



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Is It Child Abuse to Teach Religion to Your Children?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, answers the question: Is it child abuse to teach religion to your children?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next!

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Arizona State Senator Says He Opposes Common Core Because… It Promotes Algebra

There are legitimate reasons people might oppose Common Core, a national set of standards that 45 states have already adopted. You could say it’s too expensive for cash-strapped districts to implement, or that it doubles down on standardized testing, or that it holds students and teachers to unrealistic expectations… but when certain conservatives complain about it, they jump right to the Crazy Reasons.

Like the Alabama woman who claimed Common Core was “anti-Christian, anti-capitalism, and anti-America” indoctrination.

Or the Christian radio host who believes Common Core will somehow starve children’s souls.

But I’ll admit I’d never even considered Arizona State Senator Al Melvin‘s reason:



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These Are Good Reasons to Leave Your Church

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, rebuts a Christian pastor’s article on 5 Bad Reasons To Leave Your Church:

You can read more of my response here and Pastor Aaron Loy original article here.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next!

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Creationist Criticizes Atheist Convention’s Anti-Harassment Policy, Saying ‘Christian Conventions Do Not Need’ Them

After seeing allegations of sexual abuse at Christian schools like Bob Jones University and Patrick Henry College, it’s worth asking whether there’s a pattern there. Is there something that needs to change about the culture at those schools that might help alleviate the problem — or at least give the victims at those schools a way to report problems without feeling like they did something wrong?

This isn’t a problem unique to Christians, obviously, but it’s one that needs to be addressed wherever it occurs. In the case of atheist conferences, we’ve seen organizers start to promote codes of conduct and that’s a welcome sign. It’s not an admission of any wrongdoing, but a way to let attendees know that their safety is a priority and any reports of harassment will be taken seriously.

But that’s not the way Creationist Dr. Terry Mortenson sees it. In a piece promoted by Ken Ham, Mortenson seems to think the existence of a code of ethics is a black mark for American Atheists:

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