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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Could Atheism be the End of Charity? (Hint: No)

While not the focus of a recent article in the Columbus Dispatch, the Columbus Coalition of Reason and quite a few of its member organizations are mentioned favorably because of their awesome tradition of doing community service. For example, the Humanist Community of Central Ohio has regular blood drives every eight weeks and Mid Ohio Atheists sponsors collections for the Harmony House shelter in Mansfield, Ohio. This is not necessarily news (but it is still great to hear).

However, despite all of the great work that non-religious groups can do, researchers are still concerned that charitable giving will decline along with the decline of church attendance. Some are concerned that soup kitchens and medical facilities (most often funded and run by religious organizations) will close because they won’t have the support they used to.

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Jerry Boykin Believes in the Return of Rambo Jesus — and Says That the Savior Wants You To Buy an AR-15

Words fail, so I’ll just let this speak for itself. It’s the just-surfaced audio of a speech that Jerry Boykin, executive vice president of the Family Research Council, delivered at the WallBuilders’ Pro-Family Legislators Conference in November:



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Christian Columnist: Liberal Activists Are Like Men in ‘Trench Coat[s] Trying to Give Candy to a Child’

The editors at the Kingsport Times-News in Tennessee must be really starved for content. For the third time in the past nine months or so, they’ve published a grossly homophobic column by resident Mark Atkins, who seems to have made it his personal mission to spread as much vitriolic slander about gay people, trans people, and women as possible.

In his past writings, he’s said that homosexuality is a disorder and that consensual pre-marital sex will essentially destroy civilization. This time, he’s after anyone who’s okay with gay people at all, comparing them to abusers and pedophiles. Hemant has written about this guy before — here and here — and like Atkins’s previous editorials, this one’s not available online. Here’s a picture of the latest clip:

The gist of the piece is this: “Openly gay men will always creep out straight men.” That’s the actual, verbatim thesis statement. Some highlights:

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