How Accelerated Christian Education Is Racist

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 of outright racism that appeared in my ACE schoolbooks. If you don’t believe me, I’ll happily upload scans of the relevant pages. You ready? Let’s go.

Although apartheid appears to allow the unfair treatment of blacks, the system has worked well in South Africa… Although white businessmen and developers are guilty of some unfair treatment of blacks, they turned South Africa into a modern industrialized nation, which the poor, uneducated blacks couldn’t have accomplished in several more decades. If more blacks were suddenly given control of the nation, its economy and business, as Mandela wished, they could have destroyed what they have waited and worked so hard for.

Cited in “A Mixed Message in Black Schools”

Here they are in Social Studies PACE 1086 (1990, p. 29), writing before the fall of apartheid, again implying that if blacks got control of the South African economy they would destroy it:

The government must be responsible to the taxpayers who provide the money that the government spends. Since that is true only taxpayers should be given the privilege of voting…

The apartheid policy of South Africa is a modern example of this principle. Under the apartheid system, the population of five million Whites controls most of the nation’s wealth. If apartheid were done away with, the twenty million Blacks, who are not taxpayers, would be given the privilege of voting. Within a short period of time they would control the government and the means of taxation. ‘The power to tax is the power to destroy.’ Heavy taxation could become a burden to the property owners who actually finance the government and provide jobs. Economics is the major reason that apartheid exists. Some people want to abolish apartheid immediately. That action would certainly alter the situation in South Africa, but would not improve it.

So racism can be justified on economic grounds. Incredibly, asked to respond to the first of these quotes, ACE’s Ronald Johnson said he did not consider the passage to be racist. Awesome.

Incidentally, I phoned ACE’s head office. Although the out-of-date quote was still in use last time I was in an ACE school (five years after Mandela’s election), they told me the PACE has now been updated. The very helpful operator told me the PACE had “likely only very small changes,” and if I still had the earlier version I should “go ahead and use it.” If anyone can tell me what the updated version says, I’d love to know (Update: Now we know).

Actually, we have some idea, because here is a quote from another PACE, on apartheid, written after it fell :

For many years, the four racial groups were separated politically and socially by law. This policy of racial separation is called ‘apartheid’. South Africa’s apartheid policy encouraged whites, Blacks, Coloureds, and Asians to develop their own independent ways of life. Separate living area and schools made it possible for each group to maintain and pass on their culture and heritage to their children.

For many years, Blacks were not allowed to vote in national elections and had no voice in the national government. Reporters and broadcasters from all parts of the world stirred up feelings against the white South African government. These factors contributed to unrest within South Africa. In addition, there are at least ten separate, distinct tribal groups in the nation. Because these tribes are not a cohesive group but are often in conflict with each other, much of the violence in South Africa has been between different groups of Blacks. In spite of apartheid and the unrest in recent years, South Africa is the most developed country in Africa, and Blacks in South Africa earn more money and have higher standards of living than Blacks in other African countries.

(Accelerated Christian Education, World Geography 1099, pp. 27-28. 1994, revised 1996)

So apartheid was beneficial after all. And that’s not all. Native Africans have no concept of wisdom, says ACE founder Donald Howard, because they do not know God. Here he is writing in the ACE supervisor [teacher] training PACE A Philosophy for Educational Reform Part 2 (1995, revised 1998, pg. 8)

It’s interesting that in the African primitive languages there is no word for wisdom. We in the West find that surprising, but you see, the idea of wisdom came through the Biblical channels of the Judaeo-Christian religion and filtered into all of western culture and society.

Let’s finish off with a spot of light-hearted Asian stereotyping:

In addition, the history, culture, religions, and appearance of the people all helped make Oriental people and the ‘Far East’ seem inscrutable to the rest of Earth’s inhabitants.

[Accelerated Christian Education World Geography 1106, 1994, p. 7]

I’m off to take a bath.

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About Jonny Scaramanga

I grew up as a Christian fundamentalist in the UK. Now I am writing a book and blog about what that's like, and what fundamentalists believe.

Posted on May 4, 2012, in Accelerated Christian Education, Education, Faith Schools, Fundamentalism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 59 Comments.

  1. Wow. Just wow. I confess that I know nothing about Accelerated Christian Education, but this is scary even by the standards of fundie homeschooling.

  2. I wonder where I got the idea that the concept of wisdom came from the ancient Greeks, you know Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and all those other guys who sat around in Athens chewing the fat and coming up with ideas. That was round about 500 years before anything remotely resembling a “Judaeo-Christian” religion came into being. I am rapidly coming to realise, that for the fundamentalist, of any religion, truth is what you want it to be, and facts don’t matter. I fact they only serve to confuse the issue.

    • Thanks for commenting John. The idea that the only wisdom in existence comes from the Bible is central to ACE’s philosophy. I’m still looking for a quotation where they say that in a single sentence, but it’s the foundation of the curriculum.

  3. Disgusting, just absolutely disgusting…..the unabashed racism is shocking. They’re not even trying to cover it up.

  4. Wow, thank you for doing this. ACE is based in Tennessee, yes? I wonder if there are any percentages of the number of home-schoolers using this curriculum? This needs to be brought to the attention of people in the US as well.

    • Thanks for commenting Rick. Yes, it does need to be brought to the attention of the American public. ACE started in Lewisville, Texas, and it still has a base there as well as the one you mention in Tennessee.

      • This may seem counter-intuitive, but have you thought of reaching out to African-American or African-British members of the fundamentalist community? On this racism issue it could be an area where you agree, and may actually get the attention of ACE as it would pose a threat to their customer base.

      • That is a very good idea. Thanks!

  5. Christians tend to be racist because the acceptable behaviour is determined by those in power. For example, in a church were the authority figures are white and of British descent, politeness and British manners will be upheld as “godly.” So that a loud, hand-waiving, extroverted Latina like yours truly will be labelled an ungodly-heathen.

    That said, I was unaware that outright racist propaganda was being passed as Christian education out there. OMG! That sounds like the KKK.

    • Well, the racism is more subtle than I’ve made it appear by putting it all in one place. It’s not an overtly racist curriculum. As I recall, they had good things to say about Martin Luther King and William Wilberforce (because they’re Christians). I’m looking forward to advocates of the scheme getting very defensive about this. And when they do, I’ll post the rest of the racism I’ve found in the curriculum.

  6. Thanks for the Highlights you bring out here and for seeking to correct (I believe you would want the mistakes and wrong teaching altered in order for the good to prosper). As much as I would want to bash ACE for what you have presented, I will not. I am an African, living in Kenya and my children go to an ACE school. I should be offended but I choose to give the ACE headquarters the grace to change what they have written as it gets highlighted. I have personally contacted them on this issues.

    Why would I be so gracious? Less than a kilometre from where I live, there is a historical slave market where my fellow africans albeit older than me were captured, imprisoned, treated as animals and sold off to merchant ships that took them to Europe and the Americas to work as slaves with no rights at all. The people who bought them and sold them as commodities and those who worked them sometimes to death were christians and others were not, they were caucasian and some of those beliefs that made them treat africans as they did still do exist even today. How do I deal with it? I confront the belief when I see it and and seek to challenge those who advocate for such.

    It is not just an ACE problem, read online and see what people comment about President Obama, check out how black footballers in Britain and other European nations are treated even by their own club fans. It is sick and messed up, yes but it is not unique to ACE. Let us face it, challenge it but let us not behave as though it only exists in ACE curriculum.

    • Thanks for your reply. I admire your gracious attitude, and I hope ACE responds positively to what you have told them.

      However, I can’t agree that this is a situation where we should just let ACE off lightly, for these reasons:

      1) You said, “What about the racism directed at Obama, or black footballers in England?” This is valid, but that racism is coming from ignorant individuals, not from educational institutions. It is a school’s job to show children why racism is bad. If a secular university or school taught racism on that level, it could be closed down or lose funding. Students could sue them for miseducation. The individuals teaching the racist content would be fired. There is no justification for a school teaching racism.

      So saying “let’s not pretend it only exists in ACE” is misdirection. It must be confronted everywhere it exists, as you say. But this is the only education system I’m currently aware of that’s teaching racist ideas as though they are fact. It’s not just someone holding these ideas personally – it’s a system that teaches these ideas to impressionable children.

      2) These quotations show ignorance and a racist attitude on the part of the writers. I’m sure if enough of their customers complain, they will remove the quotations, but that does not necessarily mean they have changed their mind. As I pointed out above, ACE’s Ronald Johnson publicly stated he didn’t consider the material on apartheid to be racist.

      3) The quotations given are opinions being presented as fact. Education should never present matters of opinion or personal conscience as fact to students, even if those opinions are not controversial. Students must be taught how to reason and come to their own conclusions.

      Finally, I have a question for you: What are the good things you see in Accelerated Christian Education? What can there possibly be that’s so good that you are prepared to overlook racism?

      • Thank you for your response John, I agree with you on the need to confront and deal with the evils of racism everywhere. I am not letting Accelerated Christian Education off lightly and I have confronted them on this but I have a background that speaks to my judgment, I have read racist remarks from other educational institutions also. Some of them highly regarded in Europe and the US. Just check your history books and see how some of them talk about Rosa Parks or the Mau Mau freedom fighters in Kenya in the 1950s. They have been painted as dangerous killers who were out to course chaos whereas I am free today because of what they did; they are my heroes but devils in the eyes of the British educationist who still allow such books to be used in history lessons.

        Please note, Education is deeply implicated in the politics of culture. Curriculum is never simply a neutral assemblage of knowledge, somehow appearing in the texts and classrooms of a nation. It is always part of a selective tradition, someone’s selection, some group’s vision of legitimate knowledge. It is produced out of the cultural, political, and economic conflicts, tensions, and compromises that organize and disorganize a-people.

      • It’s impossible for me to comment on these other educational institutions without knowing which ones you’re talking about, but my response would be the same: If there is institutional racism, there needs to be a thorough review. Maybe those responsible simply need to have their consciousness raised to their insensitivity, or maybe they are genuinely racist and need to be sacked. Maybe the problems can be fixed, or maybe they can’t and the institution needs to close.

        In the case of ACE, racism is not the most of its problems. These quotes about black people are part of a wider insensitivity. The Department for Education in Alberta found that the curriculum contains insensitivity to blacks, Jews, and Natives in their 1985 review. In a 1993 review, the University of South Australia’s Speck and Prideaux also found the treatment of Aboriginals was unacceptable. I remember from my own time in the system that the discussion of Muslims and Catholics was absolutely horrendous. The writers of ACE appear ignorant about anything that is not their own white, American, protestant background.

        Your last paragraph is very interesting but I do not see its bearing on our discussion. I don’t know anyone who regards the passing on of racism as legitimate knowledge.

        Finally, I am very interested to know what you consider to be the good in ACE, so that you will use it in your schools. As an educator myself, I can’t see any justification for it.

      • Halo John,

        I belive in facts as the truth. So if I may ask:

        Have you ever attented an ACE school as a student?
        Have you ever attended an ACE school in South Africa so that you can speak from first hand experience?
        Have you interviewed ACE students from all over South Africa?
        Has any amount of previous or current ACE students complained that the referred quotes in those PACES made them feel discriminated against, less worth than what God created them to be or that it made them feel less loved by their supervisors and monitors?

      • Hi Yolande,

        Sorry for the slow reply. Most of the answers to your questions can be found on this blog, but I’ll play ball:
        1) Yes.
        2) No, but I’ve met several students from South African ACE schools.
        3) No.
        4) Most of the South African ACE students I met were white and racist themselves, so I’m not very interested in their opinions. Also, if the readers don’t notice any racism, that doesn’t mean racism isn’t there. It may mean that the readers are ignorant, or just unobservant.

  7. Reblogged this on Reynolds Performance and commented:
    Check out this blog by Jonny Scaramanga, who grew up a Christian Fundamentalist, it is an amazing perspective on the ACE educational curriculum, and I thought it would be worth the time to mention for others to check out.

  8. Oh yes, the cutsie little black kids seated in their OWN school or going to prayers at an exclusivelly black only church…. ACE seemed to attempt to underhandedly promote segregation as a workable form of social engineering. The white characters lived in some town called Highland City….but where did the African Americans live? Were they placed in another parallel dimension? I seldom saw either cultures represented in ACE as interacting with each other???!!!…..Sinister……..

  9. I once attended a ACE school in Manila. The PACEs use as mix of the older ones [with the White and Black characters], but there is a local version using Filipinos. I am Catholic and still am but now became more open.

    I never heard of Asian characters in PACEs. Basically, the guys are white, black, and one who is Pacific Islander. One of the white guys, Happy, seems to me a German-American, though.

    Overall, the Fundamental Protestants could be mean, but then, there are people in that crowd who are not that narrow-minded.

  10. Thanks for posting this. I went to a high school that used ACE for all but a handful of classes. I still remember stumbling across that gem in World Geography my junior year. I’ve long wanted to locate the original quote. I was starting to think that it couldn’t possibly be as bad as I remembered it being. This was after all 2002 in Portland, Oregon of all places. Surly, no one would let such blatant racism slide, I thought. Especially since most people I’ve shared the story with have trouble believing it could be real. Alas, my memory turned out to be right. I am grateful to find that someone is exposing this stuff. If it were up to me, I’d burn every last PACE, at least the heat would be moderately useful.

  11. HI
    I feel before you can make any of the comments you have< you need to look at the entire ACE curriculum as a whole. Also come and speak to South African ACE students before making comments on something you have not experienced yourself. As a supervisor in a South African ACE school I have children from all race groups and situations in our Learning Centre. Non of these are discriminate against due to race, social standing or culture! South Africa does not only have different races in it, but also many different cultures from all over the world just to include a few – Portuguese, Greek, German, Romanian, Polish, French, Spanish, Italian and so on! I love and care about every single one of my students – this is not about race or culture, but we are all God's children and we need to realize that and get on as Christian brothers and sisters ought as laid out in God's Word and stop bickering and splitting hairs about issues and get on with one another in grace, mercy and forgiveness. We need to realize too that no system or curriculum in this world will be perfect and we need to make allowances and display grace and mercy toward each other. It is all about God and the fact that Jesus came to save us from our sins and from death. Let us therefore ever fix our eyes upon Jesus the author of our faith!

    • Thanks for the comment.

      I certainly have looked at the ACE curriculum in its entirety, and I agree that racism is far from its biggest problem. That doesn’t change the fact that I, and thousands of others of my generation in ACE, were taught unacceptable things about race. No one ever corrected this information at my school, and no one has ever apologised.

  12. ACE is working illegally on México

  13. Well they aren’t accepted by the Mexican education system called SEP because there is religious stuff in the PACEs. And all the students that are working on ACE in Mexico like me have to take tests in a SEP office for the SEP to accept that they are studying.
    P.S sorry for my limited vocabulary but I don’t know many English words.
    P.S. 2 PLEASE keep me as anonymous source of information !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. So, have the blacks destroyed South Africa in the 18 years that they’ve had power? It certainly seems so! Our economy is down the tubes, our Rand is effectively worthless, no international investment thats worth mentioning, civil unrest, and so on and so on…. The government figures that are in “power” are milking the people for every cent they can in order to live a life of fatcat luxury… Starting to remind you of another country, or countries, in Africa? Many black South Africans will also tell you they lived better lives under the “Apartheid Regime”, certainly not saying that we should go back there, but then again, Einstein’s definition of insanity is; “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

    My children are on the ACE program and frankly, they dont even notice any “segregation” in their learning material. ACE is certainly a whole lot better than the public “government” run schools… I dont trust what the government wants to teach my children, and the quality of education in this country today is shocking to say the least! Reminds me of an ancient joke with a punchline that goes; “give him another chance!”

    Whats your REAL beef with ACE? Your blog smells of an agenda against ACE.

    My 2c, from someone LIVING in South Africa with children on the ACE program.

    • Jacques bru, you sound just as bad as the ACE racist promoters with your talk of “blacks”. Its not about “blacks”. Its about the mentality of the people running the country, not their race. But this is not a forum about South African politics, so leave them out of this
      P.S. I despise the works of the ANC

  15. The only truly “racist” thing i found was a picture of different races and it showed stereo typical features like the asian had buck teeth squinty eyes, black had fat lips, etc

  16. WOW! I’m a South African and I went to an A.C.E. School and finished in 2008. I don’t recall seeing such writings about apartheid. I know our PACEs were revised and for some subjects like History and Math, we had those taylor made for the South African environment. I don’t think the social studies PACEs were changed though and I don’t remember Apartheid talk. Perhaps it was edited out. But racial segregation, that was very evident. The different races never interacted with one another. Its truly sad to see such a promotion of racial segregation. I never knew it was to such an extent even though I went to an ACE school for last 9 years of my schooling life. This makes me ever so greatful for my school. We were told that some of the ACE doctrine was not inline with Biblical principle. I guess it was removed as much as possible for our sake by our school board, that is why I never knew of this. Its disgusting and heart breaking. I’m glad I was never exposed to such rubbish

  17. How does the fact that the Blacks attend Grace Baptist and all the Whites attend Highland Baptist make it racist? What is so racist about a black church? Are you therefor going to call all the black churches racist just because there are no white people in there, or vice- versa? On the contrary, the people from both churches hang out together on a regular basis in the PACEs. How about this? Victor, who comes on the scene in 9th grade English paces, is NOT white. He is a South Pacific islander who moves in with Racer and his parents as a foster child.

  18. Ugh, I live in South Africa, and to be honest those views about Apartheid are still spouted by right wing white South Africans all over the place. They would love ACE. And I see they do have a stronghold here too.

  19. hmmmm i’ve just been hired as an ACE teacher and im shocked :-o

  20. I am a white South African and I attended an ACE school for most of my life. The school was not racist at all. I have never read those quotes which have been posted up on this blog. Perhaps they are very, very old and have been changed. I don’t appreciate someone with hardly any research or experience in the ACE program in South Africa posting up comments like these. Do proper research before you post things like this up.

    • I am a PhD student studying Accelerated Christian Education. I was also educated in the ACE system myself, which is where I found most of these quotes. Do some research before you criticise my blog.

  21. indeed road side ACE phD

  22. Maybe you should get your facts right before you embarass yourself further. I am a teacher in an ACE school in Johannesburg South Africa and our school and classrooms are TOTALLY racially integrated with black, white, Indian and mixed race children. Our staff is also totally racially integrated and we work in an awesome team environment with staff and kids. Not to mention loads of other ACE schools who we partner with in just the Johannesburg / Pretoria area alone, that are completely racially integrated with not even a hint of segregation.

    Please don’t allow your personal anger and inner issues to cloud your vision or others’ vision. Please channel your loads of energy into something that is based on facts, and can make a beautiful difference in people’s lives – something that is uplifting and encouraging and that people can remember you by – as a person who has beauty and seeks to positively impact lives.

    • No question, you’re right about almost all of that. In fact, according to one report, ACE schools have never been segregated in South Africa, even under apartheid. And according to Alan Peshkin, in the USA ACE has long refused to sell its curriculum to schools that are not racially integrated.

      My claim is not that ACE is systematically, overtly racist. It is that the curriculum contains elements of racial discrimination, and I think it does. It’s not constant, but it’s just a bias of the authors towards their own white, protestant background.

  23. Hi.
    I would just like to say that I do not think that the excerpts from the PACE that you quoted are racist at all… I also think that your comments are totally biased and woefully uninformed. I am a South African. I am 36 years old and I am white. I was a boy in Apartheid and a teenager when the first democratic elections were held. From that time the South African economy has indeed been all but destroyed. Whites are discriminated against and black and colored people with absolutely no experience or relevant education are given jobs that they cannot possibly do. As a result, for the past ten years at least, we have had a serious decline in the effective deliverance of public services like water and electricity, sewerage and road maintenance and our educational system, health and civil sectors are a shambles because of unchecked corruption. None of these things were a problem under apartheid. Granted, Apartheid was racially motivated by the instigators and designers of the system, but the design was, nonetheless much more effective than the greed/revenge based application of government that we have now. Just to give you an example: About 40 years ago one Rand (South African currency) cost 2 British Pounds, and it was even stronger against the U.S. Dollar. Now WE pay around 12 to 15 Rand for 1 Pound. If that is not an economy destroyed then I don’t know what is…
    It is also my experience, which I have a lot of, seeing as I have lived here all of my life, that very, very few black African people have any integrity, true honesty or solid work ethic, and they are proud, arrogant, and ignorant. And they love being that way. Now, keep in mind that I say this while having many black and colored friends and acquaintances. I even teach black and colored children in the ACE school where I work. I see the effects of their culture in their lives. It is devastating.

    Paris Reidhead said this: And when I got to Africa, I discovered that they weren’t poor, ignorant, little heathen running around in the woods, waiting for, looking for someone to tell them how to go to Heaven. That they were monsters of iniquity. They were living in utter and total defiance, of far more knowledge of God than I ever dreamed they had. They deserved hell because they utterly refused to walk in the light of their conscience and the light of the law written upon their heart and the testimony of nature and the truth they knew.And when I found that out, I assure you, I was so angry with God that one occasion in prayer, I told him that it was a mighty, little thing He’d done, sending me out there to reach these people that were waiting to be told how to go to Heaven and when I got there I found out they knew about Heaven, didn’t wanna go there. And they (were) loved their sin and wanted to stay in it.

    What it boils down to is that sweeping statements like what you make in this post are unwarranted if you don’t have all the facts. And I challenge you to approve this comment for all of your readers to see…

    The question that I want to ask you is this: Do facts become irrelevant if YOU don’t agree with them?

    • If you’re going to post transparent drivel like that, I’ll gladly approve your comments. I’m confident my readers can tell a good argument from a bad one.

      • You have not approved his comment by saying it’s drivel. You say that the South Africans you talked to were white and racist. Did you talk to the white Afrikaans South Africans who grew up with no shoes, black bread, with little money? Do you actually think that all the blacks in South are poor and discriminated against and the whites are all racist and rich?You will find all kinds in South and times have changed. It’s extremely shocking to me that you are writing a PhD solely based on your opinion. You are an outsider looking in and seeing the problem and thinking ‘Gosh what a horrible system.’ What are you doing to help? How much South African history do you know? Why did the Afrikaans establish the apartheid system? They wanted to preserve their culture from the English rule,when the British tried to force their language and religion on the people they found there in South Africa,both white and black. It had major backlashes they couldn’t foresee. I’m not denying that indeed they were wrong in establishing it but there are two sides to every issue. It’s extremely hard for someone to be objective on this issue, yourself included. Especially when you come in with your presuppositions without listening to various groups of people. Have you been to South Africa? Theres is still very much racially charged tension& crime rate is high. As beautiful and developed as it is it’s not a pleasant country to be in. You brush aside any and all comments that don’t agree with you but let me tell you something- you don’t have all your facts nor do you seem interested in attaining them. How did ACE start in the first place? People wanted their children to have a good Christian education. I think they did a pretty good job. No curriculum is perfect and certainly their segregation and racism is their shortcoming. Have you gotten anywhere in confronting them? Please, please stop judging if you are not willing to hear both sides of the story just because you are absolutely convinced you are right. Yes they need to change. Why don’t you give them the same grace and time that God has given you to see the light.

      • “Please, please stop judging if you are not willing to hear both sides of the story just because you are absolutely convinced you are right.”

        This sounds like a superb description of ACE. Ask anyone who has tried to talk to ACE head office about issues with the curriculum how receptive ACE is to criticism.

        I don’t deny that the situation in South Africa is complex. That doesn’t change the fact that the descriptions of apartheid above are unacceptable (and ACE, to its credit and after immense criticism, has changed what it teaches about apartheid).

        I do, however, deny that ACE offers anything that can remotely be called a good education.

    • “I’m not racist but the black people ruined our country and are horrible sinners.”

      Brilliant.

    • This person thinks he is not racist? And teaches children of colour? Oh, dear, Oh DEAR!
      This is racist to the core. Sickening.

  24. Hannah Robertson

    I was told to read this article by a friend. We were both educated through ACE in Africa. I’ve had the privilege of interacting with South Africans of every colour and economic background and on that I base my opinions.
    What your article says is true about segregation in ACE. What you have writen in your comment replys reveals your ignorance of the history, culture, and politics of South Africa and of international affairs.
    What others have written about the state of affairs in South Africa is true. Just because you do not agree with them it doesnt mean they have any less right to hold it.
    You have also failed to acknowledge the many people who have pointed out that ACE schools in R.S.A. are integrated and even tell their students that not all the things that are in ACE are biblical. Are they therefore sticking their heads in the sand to even use the curriculum? No, they simply desire that their children receive a good Christian education and are willing to work with what is available and affordable.
    The secular world thinks that we can all just close our eyes, hold hands, and sing Kumbayah together. However, South Africa has taught me that this cannot happen without a heart changed by God and the work of the Holy Spirit. The fact is that Christians in RSA are the only ones getting anywhere when it comes to racial reconciliation. I was there 2 years ago for the All Africa Student Convention at the University of Free State in Bloemfontein. At an evening rally a man got up to speak and he said how the security guards at the venue were shocked how all races were together singing and worshiping God and having a good time. They couldn’t see how it was possible. We cannot, they were told, as human beings, drum up love for each other or legislate it. It is only with God that it is possible. With man it is immpossible.
    By the way, this integration is not unique to South Africa. I am a Canadian who attended an ACE school in Québec before being in Africa. The students where a complete mix of white, black, and asian and we all got along famously. So although the curriculum is not that integrated, schools are, and change starts with people, not policy or school material.
    So what is your motive in slamming ACE? Do you truly wish for people to change? Do you wish for them to reconcile? Though more change is needed, effort is being made. Instead of acknowledging that, you merely make a list of grievances. Take your queue from your reader fron Kenya. Talk to them and try to be constructive instead tearing down.
    Rightly you said something has to be done. Roll up your sleeves and take off your boxing gloves!

    • Hannah Robertson

      p.s. Hi again.
      I was just browsing through your site and articles. I thought maybe this one was a one off thing and I didn’t realize that this entire site is devoted to your venting.
      I am truly sorry for the racism that is in ACE and the bad experiences which you have had with Christians who are racist. It cannot be denied and it must be dealt with.
      However, I do not retract my previous statements that only through the work of God can a person’s heart be changed. Yes, there are problems with Christians. But there is no fault with Christ. “When we see Him, we shall be like Him.” That total transformation will be in Heaven, but for now it is a moment by moment ‘working out our salvation with fear and trembling.’
      Also think of John 6:67-69
      ‘Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” I know I don’t have all the answers but I will not ditch Christianity because of that. No other world philosophy can give me hope for the future or forgiveness for my sins or answer my fear of death. I know God, Who has the answers, and I have the hope that one day He will make all things new.
      I hope that ACE will realize their errors. But we can move past them. We could tell stories without end about discrimination. But discrimination is not something which is unique to it or even to Christians. Like I said, Christians are equipped to overcome their selfish and sinful selves through Christ. It doesn’t happen instantaneously and we need to have patience and forgiveness and grace through the process.
      If you do think that people do not need God to love each other, South Africa is the perfect place to disprove that. The Rainbow Nation? It was a nice idea but people don’t seem to be getting along with each other very well. Or in America, 150 years after the end of slavery and 47 years after the Civil Rights Act. Or in Rwanda. Or Syria. In World War 1, on Christmas day, German and Allied soldiers exchanged chocolate and cigarettes. The next day they got back to killing each other. After World War 2 the U.N. thought that was enough so they tried to get us to stop killing each other. Then we had the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Khmer Rouge, horrific civil wars in Angola, Congo, Namibia and Mozambique, the Gulf War, Central and South America going crazy with the drug trade and Iran apparantly pointing nuclear warheads in every which direction. That is the world’s success with getting us to be kinder to one another.
      I see others recomend books to you. On race, try ‘Darwin’s Plantation’ by Charles Ware and Ken Ham. On giving up various things to follow Christ, try ‘The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert’ by Rosaria Butterfield.

  1. Pingback: 5 Even Worse Lies from Accelerated Christian Education « Leaving Fundamentalism

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  3. Pingback: Dis-Education – Christian home schooling part 2 – Social Science « Radio Freethinker

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