May 22, 2012

For the last two weeks, I have appeared on the Pod Delusion podcast. It is excellent and you should check it out. This week, I am on a show that also features Hugh Grant and Harriet Harman MP (although in a different segment from mine). I’m discussing the Word of Faith. I don’t say much I haven’t already said here, but if you like listening rather than reading, check it out.The previous week, I talked about Accelerated Christian Education. Again, didn’t… Read more

May 21, 2012

Voltaire said those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. The philosopher might have added that they can also empty your wallet. “For every pound you put in this offering bucket, you will get a hundred back.” This is the doctrine of the hundredfold return. I hate telling people I used to believe that. The reason I hate telling them is the thought that went through your head when you read that first sentence: “No you… Read more

May 18, 2012

In 2010 I was asked to speak to BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Programme about Accelerated Christian Education. Here’s the segment that went out (it’s a little over five minutes long): [soundcloud url=”″ iframe=”true” /] In case you can’t listen, I’ve transcribed the words of the three people interviewed: Me, Professor Michael Reiss, and Christian Education Europe’s Arthur Roderick. (more…) Read more

May 16, 2012

In all the fuss about its racist and Creationist facets, an equally serious flaw of ACE usually get missed: The Orwellian political brainwashing that makes up ACE political material. With no alternative points of view even considered, I was still following ACE political ideologies long after I’d rejected their theology. In secondary education, telling children what to think in any matter of conscience is unethical. It doesn’t matter if the ideology promulgated is liberal democracy or Nazism. On matters where… Read more

May 14, 2012

By far the strongest claim ACE can make is that their students can work at their own speed. It was this aspect of the curriculum which appealed to me and my parents and ultimately led to my attending an ACE school for over three years. It sounds fantastic. If you’re bright, you never have to be frustrated by waiting for the rest of the class to catch up, and if you have special educational needs, you don’t have to struggle…. Read more

May 11, 2012

This is the Faith preacher Kenneth Copeland. Or, to put it another way, this is my childhood in 3 minutes.   I grew up in Bath, where Kenneth Copeland Ministries has its European office. I have Kenneth Copeland’s autograph in a Bible that was given to me on the day I was born. This is not Texas or Arkansas. This isn’t even London. This is middle class England. When I watch this stuff, I still feel the same sense of… Read more

May 9, 2012

If I told you that, for every pound (or dollar, US visitors) you gave me, you could expect a hundred back, you would bite my hand off. Think of what I’m saying. If you give me £100, I will give you £10,000. You’d be crazy not to take it. Well, as a reader of this blog, I would expect you to treat my claim with great scepticism. But this is the offer that Word of Faith preachers make to their… Read more

May 7, 2012

There are “facts” in the ACE PACEs that are absolutely untrue. Now, you might be kind and say, “Perhaps they are mistakes.” But these errors have remained in the PACEs through successive reprints, and they are things which were known to be untrue long before the PACEs went into print in the first place. Therefore, we can say that the writers didn’t care about factual accuracy. If you’re running an education system, that’s gross negligence and I feel no compunction… Read more

May 4, 2012

ACE PACEs promote segregation. In the educational cartoons that occur throughout each PACE, students of each race attend different, segregated schools. It’s laid out in Accelerated Christian Education’s Procedures Manual I – Learning Center Essentials, even in the latest (2010) edition, pages 20-23. The PACE characters attend three different church-schools. White kids go to Highland, the blacks to Harmony, and the Asians to Heartsville. Vomit. (You can also find the same claim made here and here.) I can go one better. Here are examples… Read more

May 2, 2012

I want to make something very clear: This blog does not exist to criticise Christianity at large. It is only fundamentalism and extremism I want to stop. The New Atheists, like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, frequently criticise moderate Christians for providing cover to extremists. I think moderate believers are more inclined to do this because the tone used by Dawkins et al makes them feel attacked. It is true, though, that moderates frequently perceive criticism of fundamentalism as criticism… Read more

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