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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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...]

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Accelerated Christian Education’s survivors speak out

Once more, this week we're diving into Reddit's Ask Me Anything about ACE schools. Unlike most AMAs, where Redditors ask questions of the original poster, this thread was most notable for all the other people with experience of ACE who dived in to tell their stories.Previous sections:Part 1Part 2 Here are more assorted ACE comment from Reddit's AMA on the subject. Their presence here does not mean I agree with everything they say, but it's great to hear from other ACE … [Read more...]

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Ex-con opens new fundamentalist school in Dover

There's more bad news for ACE in the current issue of Private Eye. On page 36, there's an article about Pieter Van Rooyen, the convicted slave master who opened an ACE school in Dover in January this year. Disappointingly, the phrase "slave wages" doesn't appear in this story (as it does in most other coverage about Van Rooyen), but otherwise it's pretty great. I won't reproduce it all here for copyright reasons, but here's a taster:What Private Eye didn't report—and I can exclusively rev … [Read more...]

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Christian Education Europe must be loving all this ‘persecution’

It's fair to say the last ten days have not been the best for Christian Education Europe. The coverage continued over the weekend, with stories from The Times, Independent (syndicated in the Times of India), Huffington Post, and Yahoo News (although most of these seemed to be largely plagiarised from the Manchester Evening News). There was local coverage in both the Windsor Observer and Express. Following this, the shadow education minister, Tristram Hunt, branded the schools "backward" on Twitte … [Read more...]

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