Jonny Scaramanga on the Thinking Atheist Podcast

Yet more listening for those of you that like that sort of thing (do you, by the way? I haven't done much audio stuff, so I don't know if I've cultivated an audience who enjoy podcasts and radio shows). I was on The Thinking Atheist in June, talking about some of the findings from my PhD, and about Accelerated Christian Education in general.Listen here.The whole episode has lots of interesting stuff, but for those with time constraints, my bit starts 17 minutes in. At around 08:30 … [Read more...]

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Accelerated Christian Education back on the Jeremy Vine Show

Another thing Leaving Fundamentalism readers may have missed during my Great Blogging Silence: in January Accelerated Christian Education was discussed again on the Jeremy Vine Show, the biggest news discussion radio show in the UK. I was on it again, and this time the pro-ACE faction was represented by one Andrea Williams (here in her capacity as director of the Christian Legal Centre, although Williams is equally known for doing the same role for Christian Concern).For the first time we d … [Read more...]

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BBC Radio documentary on fundamentalist schools now online

If you're not able or just don't want to read my thesis, perhaps a radio documentary is more your bag. On Tuesday, the BBC repeated Jolyon Jenkins' ACE documentary, Out of the Ordinary: A Righteous Education? This thirty minute programme features me and three other former ACE students, as well as interviews with former ACE supervisor and Leaving Fundamentalism guest poster, Monica Stringer, and ACE UK head honcho Arthur Roderick. It was originally broadcast during my Great Blogging Silence, so re … [Read more...]

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My First Time With Shakespeare

Guest post by Anaïs Chartschenko, who was home schooled using Accelerated Christian Education. There are days when the enormity of my own ignorance staggers me. I mispronounce a word which is caught by my conversation partner and the rest of the day idiot rings in my head. Sometimes I torture myself by reading author bios, skimming to the part where they list their degrees. Recently I was asked on twitter what I majored in college.Nothing. I know college is not the only place people gain … [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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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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Like it or not, we need Christian allies

Last year, a friend of mine received a cry for help email from a home schooled child (let's call them Frankie). It was the kind of thing you read over and over again at Homeschoolers Anonymous. Frankie had a physically abusive drunk for a father. They were frequently left alone to study their PACEs (Accelerated Christian Education workbooks), and they were bored out of their mind. They couldn't understand the maths PACEs and had no one to help them. Although an inspector from ACE had visited the … [Read more...]

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New Christian school whistleblowers speak out about creationism and sexism (UK)

Two former Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) students who have never before spoken publicly have made new allegations about sexist and creationist teaching in the schools.In an article titled "Christian fundamentalist schools teaching girls they must obey men", one of the new whistle-blowers, Cheryl Povey, says: I came across a lot of sexism. I remember as a girl finding it quite shocking. We were taught that if you’re a woman, you should be subservient to men; your husband, your pastor … [Read more...]

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When halloween is the enemy

Why do parents choose conservative Christian schools for their children?If you read their own literature on the subject, it turns out that Halloween is a big deal. Obviously parents don't take their kids out of state school just because the schools talk about trick-or-treating in October. But it is a serious concern to the kind of Christian parents who choose ACE or other kinds of evangelical private school.One of my research participants kindly lent me two books by Monica Stringer, … [Read more...]

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Republican gave his daughters to a rapist because they were “possessed by demons”

Have you been following the story of Rep. Justin Harris, the Arkansas Republican who adopted two girls before 're-homing' (ie abandoning) them with one of his friends just six months later? You haven't? You should. It's a doozie.By which I mean it's the most gut-turningly sickening thing I've heard this year.It turns out that 're-homing' children in this way is legal in Arkansas. Despite all the checks and vetting processes required to adopt children legally, the adopters can … [Read more...]

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