June 22, 2012

Guest post by Cat Givens. When I was growing up in northeast Ohio, my family attended a Baptist Church. It was one of those places where you’d meet every Sunday morning and then again Sunday evening. Bible study on Wednesday night. Soul-winning every Tuesday eve. Thursdays were youth group nights, and on Friday or Saturday we may have some other activity and then back again on Sunday. We learned about heaven, and about hell. They preached a lot about hell…. Read more

June 20, 2012

I recently made the controversial claim that I could have been a suicide bomber. I claimed that my faith was so devout, and my ability for critical thought so crippled, that if someone had shown me an interpretation of Scripture that made it seem like God’s will, I would have killed for the faith. And I was depressed enough to kill myself, because fundamentalism doesn’t offer any real answers. Of course, Christians will deny a Biblical basis for such actions… Read more

June 19, 2012

I could have been one of the hijackers in 9/11. Luckily for me, there’s no culture of terrorism among young Christian fundamentalists (yet). But I believed it strongly enough that, if you’d shown me Bible verses that persuaded me it was God’s will, I would have blown up myself and other people for the faith. (more…) Read more

June 18, 2012

An overlooked danger of fundamentalism is how it can indirectly result in believing absurdities, quite apart from religion. Everybody knows fundamentalists believe unlikely things about God. Less known is their propensity for believing equally implausible things about the world more generally. Take the surprisingly widespread belief among evangelicals that they are the victims of a vast conspiracy by liberals, New Agers, Satanists, and Freemasons. Great numbers of evangelicals seriously believe in an ancient Illuminati plot to destroy Christianity. Their conversation… Read more

June 15, 2012

Today’s guest post is from another ACE survivor, Matthew Pocock. Matthew has a distinguished career as a synthetic biologist, and worked on the Human Genome Project. As you’ll see, though, he doesn’t think ACE deserves much of the credit. (more…) Read more

June 15, 2012

I am once more on the superb Pod Delusion podcast this week, and once more in esteemed company: Dan Dennett, Richard Dawkins, and former government chief science adviser Sir David King are all on the same show. Unlike my past appearances, this time I’m talking about something I’ve never blogged about: the phenomenon of “Jesus is my Boyfriend.” It seems that large numbers of evangelical women really do fantasise that Jesus is their lover, and… you’ll have to listen to… Read more

June 14, 2012

In March 1987, the Phi Delta Kappan journal ran “The World As Seen by Students in Accelerated Christian Education,” an article by two university professors who had reviewed the School of Tomorrow PACEs. It’s notable for two things. First, the professors completely destroy ACE as a curriculum. Second, and more interestingly, the article ran alongside a thorough response from ACE vice-president Ronald E. Johnson. Since I have so far never succeeded in getting any advocate of the system to engage deeply… Read more

June 13, 2012

Today is a good day. I’ve invaded freethoughtblogs.com. First up, the legendary Kylie Sturgess has featured me on her popular Token Skeptic podcast, and an accompanying article on her blog. Kylie and I had a great chat that really covered all aspects of my work on ACE. If you know someone who would support what I’m doing but who can’t be bothered to read, this is the place to send them. http://tokenskeptic.org/?powerpress_embed=1847-podcast&powerpress_player=default I am also features on PZ Myers’ uber-popular Pharyngula… Read more

June 13, 2012

Well, that was quick. For those not playing along, last Friday I posted an open letter to Christian Education Europe. Arthur Roderick replied almost by way of post. Here’s his letter (click to enlarge). (more…) Read more

June 11, 2012

The most obvious criticism of Accelerated Christian Education from an academic point of view is that it uses only one learning style: Reading comprehension. Professors Speck and Prideaux write that ACE “makes no attempt to cater properly for individual learning styles or needs.” This is no small failing. There are lots of theories of learning styles, so we’ll start with the simplest: VARK, Visual, Auditory (speaking and listening), Reading, and Kinaesthetic (touching and doing). Learning takes place in all four… Read more

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