Mock the prophet, get mauled: Morality lessons with ACE

2014-11-27 13.42.08

Do you know the story of Elisha and the bears? Don’t feel bad if not: it’s one of those Bible stories most Christians would prefer to gloss over. In The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins uses it as evidence that the Bible is barbaric. Christians who don’t believe the Bible is inerrant are quick to file it under Not Inspired. Even those who do think it’s the Word of God often describe it as ‘difficult’. In case your memory needs refreshing, here it is: 23 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he wa … [Read more...]

Movie Review: Stations of the Cross (or why teaching fundamentalism to kids is dangerous)


A few weeks ago I was asked to help out with promo for Stations of the Cross, a film about Catholic fundamentalism. It's debatable whether Catholic fundamentalism is actually a thing, but we'll ignore that for now. I ended up briefly appearing on London Live TV to discuss it (the clip is online here, although I don't know how long for).I don't honestly know whether I liked this film. It seemed to go on much longer than its claimed running time, and despite allusions to dark humour in other r … [Read more...]

Christian Rock Thursdays: Michael Sweet says abstinence is cool

Michael Sweet condoms 85% effective

I grew up as an ardent Christian rock fan. Now I am an atheist. "Christian Rock Thursdays" is a series where I talk about another song from the old days.In 1994, Michael Sweet submitted a video to MTV and they didn't play it.Of course, about a gajillion other bands did the same thing, but Michael Sweet was a Christian and his song was about preserving your virginity, so clearly this was an anti-Christian conspiracy.Oddly, MTV hadn't minded Sweet's message when he was the lead … [Read more...]

The Government’s policy on creationism makes no sense

A more sensible policy than the current Government's.

A few weeks ago I spoke to a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group. Also speaking were anonymous whistleblowers from Park View school, the centre of the Trojan Horse affair, and an anonymous escapee from an unregistered Haredi Jewish school (he described it as 'ultra-Orthodox').Following this, Lord Warner (who chaired the APPHG meeting) asked several Parliamentary questions to try to ascertain the Government's position on all this. And the answer is that Government policy is b … [Read more...]

Christian Rock Thursdays: Jesus thrasher turns atheist

vengeance rising human sacrifice

This week in Christian Rock Thursdays: Christian musician becomes an atheist. In the Christian music scene, a brief internal panic ensues. After Christian rock came Christian metal, and then, inevitably, Christian thrash. The first ever Christian thrash band was Vengeance, who hastily had to rename themselves Vengeance Rising when they discovered a secular band of the same name (this is becoming a recurring theme). Roger Martinez, the singer, sounded horrible to me when I was a kid, and sounds r … [Read more...]

Jonny Scaramanga on the Godless Spellchecker podcast

Some of you may be aware of Godless Spellchecker on Twitter. He has amassed a stupid number of followers by correcting the spelling of athiest [sic] bashers.He also has a podcast, and I am on it!For my new readers, this is a good summary of my work on Accelerated Christian Education so far, and for those who have been following me since my humble WordPress beginnings, this has some stuff I haven't talked about before, particularly my time at the C of E faith school I went to before … [Read more...]

How bad can Christian education get? This bad.

ACE score station

What's worse than an ACE school?A badly run ACE school.I recently bought a pile of second-hand Accelerated Christian Education English workbooks (PACEs—Packets of Accelerated Christian Education) from eBay. At the time, the fact they were used didn't seem particularly relevant—it was just a chance to buy them cheaper. But it turned out that what the students and teachers have written in them—and what they haven't written in them—is even more illuminating.When a school signs up to teac … [Read more...]

Hello Patheos, my name is Jonny.

Jonny is bearhugged

Hi. I'm the new kid. If you read Patheos a lot, you might have seen me before. Hemant Mehta at the Friendly Atheist has had me as a guest poster once or twice, as have Kylie Sturgess (Token Skeptic) and the fine people at No Longer Quivering. James McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix) and Fred Clark (Slacktivist) have said occasional nice things about me in public, too. So I've finally blagged my way onto Patheos and joined the ranks of bloggers jostling for your attention and ad-clicks.According … [Read more...]

Christian Rock Thursdays: Home schooling saved my life (featuring Christian ska!)

Christian Rock Thursday are back! (Although they'll probably continue to be intermittent for the rest of 2014)This week's installment is from B.O.B. (Bunch of Believers). There's now a much more famous rapper called B.o.B., and every time I hear his name in a conversation about music, I momentarily wonder why there's been a resurgence of interest in mediocre late-90s Christian ska.Ska punk hit the mainstream in the 1990s with the arrival of the Mighty Might Bosstones (1993) and No … [Read more...]

Can you get into university with an ICCE Advanced Certificate?


Are you a student studying the International Certificate of Christian Education? Are you hoping to go to university? If so, I have some bad news for you. It will probably be harder to get into higher education than Christian Education Europe and your school told you. The ICCE claims an extensive list of universities that have accepted the Advanced Certificate for university entrance. After looking through universities' responses to Freedom of Information requests, however, it appears that a … [Read more...]