Answering Kids’ Questions About Humanism

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, was created for a religious education class. The teacher sent me a bunch of questions posed by his students (who were approximately ten years old) and I attempted to answer all of them:

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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Why is This Public High School Biology Teacher Showing His Classes a Video of Kent Hovind Teaching Creationism?

What would you do if your son came home from his public school and asked you, “Dad, do you know who Kent Hovind is?”

Besides telling him, “A guy who’s in jail because of tax evasion,” you might bring up that he’s a shameless promoter of Young Earth Creationism. And what caused your son to ask you that question, anyway?

It turns out his Biology teacher was showing them clips from Hovind’s pro-Creationism video “Lies in the Textbooks” (full sermon below):



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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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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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Alabama House Overwhelmingly Approves Bill That Will Put Ten Commandments Displays in Public Schools

Last week, we learned that Alabama State Rep. Duwayne Bridges (R, obviously) was sponsoring a bill that would allow public display of the Ten Commandments:

House Bill 45 would amend the state Constitution to say:

Property belonging to the state may be used to display the Ten Commandments, and the right of a public school and public body to display the Ten Commandments on property owned or administrated by a public school or public body in this state is not restrained or abridged. The civil and political rights, privileges, and capacities of no person shall be diminished or enlarged on account of his or her religious belief. No public funds may be expended in defense of the constitutionality of this amendment.

The Ten Commandments shall be displayed in a manner that complies with constitutional requirements, including, but not limited to, being intermingled with historical or educational items, or both, in a larger display within or on property owned or administrated by a public school or public body.

The legality of these displays is sure to be questioned now that the House has voted overwhelmingly in favor of the change:

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