About Jonny Scaramanga

Darn straight I’ll eat alone with a woman

I do not care about Mike Pence's marriage. If it is true that he will not dine alone with women other than his wife, I should think this is generally good news for women.I don't mean to be over flippant here. Smart women have pointed out that if Pence is still following this policy, it puts women staffers at a disadvantage and might explain all those photos we've seen of Pence in important policy meetings with nary a woman present. There are good reasons to think a policy like this could … [Read more...]

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Iowa seeks exemption for Christian school with history of abuse

Last week I reported that Iowa House Study Bill 186 would allow a fundamentalist Christian school to operate with no accreditation and no licensed teachers. This weekend, the bill's sponsor, Tim Kraayenbrink, defended his decision, according to the Fort Dodge Messenger: The Republican from Fort Dodge said the school will close without the exemption.“They deserve to stay open and serve these children,” he said. “I will not change my mind on this.” What Kraayenbrink did not say is that Anchor … [Read more...]

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Iowa state bill to allow unaccredited fundamentalist curriculum

The Iowa House is to vote on a bill that would allow a school for troubled teens to use an unaccredited curriculum. House Study Bill 186 would allow Anchor Character Training Center in Fort Dodge to use the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) curriculum. This curriculum would be provided by nonlicensed teachers.The Des Moines Register reports that an unnamed Iowa legislator (possibly Rep. Matt Windschitl) has claimed that ACE is accredited "in several states". No evidence is supplied f … [Read more...]

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Out among the stars: Defeating the legacy of religious indoctrination

Guest post by James Ridgers. It’s the nature of revelations, I suppose, to come at unexpected times and in unexpected places. Mine came about four years ago at a Planetary Society event hosted by Bill Nye and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. When Tyson spoke about his oft-quoted position on humankind being composed of stardust, something suddenly made sense to me that I’d been wrestling and grappling with for several years by that point.I should lend some context to this, so you can understand why m … [Read more...]

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Leaving the Fold: A documentary about leaving religion

Last week, the BBC World Service aired "Leaving the Fold", which tells the stories of an ex-Hindu (unidentified, but I'd love to meet him), and ex-Muslim (the excellent Aliyah Saleem) and an ex-Christian (me). This one-line Twitter review from Alom Shaha is one of the kindest things anyone has ever said about me:https://twitter.com/alomshaha/status/774610962833870848Documentary maker Ed Prosser was behind the whole thing, and he was fun to work with. I really like the way he's cut it … [Read more...]

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No secularist I know supports the burkini ban

I'm sure you've seen the horrendous images of French police, armed with guns, ordering a woman on a French beach to remove her burkini. Justifying the ban, the major of Cannes said the burkini was "improper beachwear" because it was "disrespectful of good morals and secularism".Wat.Already I've seen opponents of secularism on Facebook saying "See! This is what secularism leads to". It is difficult for me to take this particularly seriously, since my feed is otherwise full of … [Read more...]

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Christian teacher on ACE training: “I was being indoctrinated”

 Here, as far as I know, is the only first-person account of what it is like to 'qualify' as an Accelerated Christian Education supervisor anywhere in the academic literature. ACE supervisor training is much like ACE schooling: The staff complete workbooks at desks facing the wall, separated by vertical screens. They obtain permission to leave their seats by raising a flag, and they mark their own work from answer booklets (score keys). The process takes five days, and then you can run … [Read more...]

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Rebirth of Our Nation review: introduction

I have decided to review Donald R. Howard's 1979 classic Rebirth of Our Nation. You have almost certainly never heard of this book, but if you're interested in this blog, you'll want to know about it.Donald Howard was the founder of Accelerated Christian Education, and Rebirth of Our Nation is his manifesto, not just for education (although there's a lot about that), but also for the way the world should be. It's actually his second book, after the earlier To Save a Nation, but ROON contains … [Read more...]

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Christian website runs article “When God Sends Your Daughter a Black Husband”

Presumably the alternatives "When God Sends You a Racist Mother-in-Law" and "Help! My Mom Sounds Like a White Supremacist" were rejected in the editing room.The article begins: For years I prayed for a young man I had yet to meet: my daughter’s husband. I asked the Lord to make him godly, kind, a great dad, and a good provider. I was proud of a wish list void of unrealistic expectations. After all, I knew not to ask for a college football quarterback who loved puppies, majored in nu … [Read more...]

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How to indoctrinate your kids: A Christian curriculum guide

In yesterday's post, I wrote about a conversation with Cindy, a supervisor in an Accelerated Christian Education school who joined the ACE Exposed Facebook group. We saw how much of the ACE science curriculum in the early grades consists of memorising what God did on each of the six days of creation. Cindy had said that all the information in the early grades of the curriculum was accurate. I dispute this.But actually, I suspect that Cindy is more right than wrong. I think the majority of … [Read more...]

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