Blog Archives

Christian Rock Thursdays: Home schooling saved my life (featuring Christian ska!)

Christian Rock Thursday are back! (Although they’ll probably continue to be intermittent for the rest of 2014)

This week’s installment is from B.O.B. (Bunch of Believers). There’s now a much more famous rapper called B.o.B., and every time I hear his name in a conversation about music, I momentarily wonder why there’s been a resurgence of interest in mediocre late-90s Christian ska.

With their South Park-inspired imagery, you might suspect B.O.B. were somehow cool. Don’t be fooled.

Ska punk hit the mainstream in the 1990s with the arrival of the Mighty Might Bosstones (1993) and No Doubt (1995), so naturally Christian ska became a cultural phenomenon around the end of the decade. As the unusually well-sourced Wikipedia entry on Christian ska observes, “Whereas in mainstream markets the popularity of ska had peaked about 1996, the Christian music marketplace is known for being significantly behind trends in the Christian market”. No shit. It offers no less than three citations for this not-particularly-controversial claim.

Not all Christian ska-core was terrible, I’m reliably informed by people who (unlike me) don’t hate ska. Apparently Five Iron Frenzy were actually quite good. However, there is nothing funny about being quite good, so we are going to look at B.O.B., who were complete shite.

Once again, we see that Christian Rock is acting as the propaganda mouthpiece of the Christian Right. Let’s play SPOT THE TROPE!

Read the rest of this entry

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Creating a fundamentalist bubble

In my first ever blog post, I wrote that the blog existed to expose the activities of Accelerated Christian Education. I now think that “expose” was the wrong verb. It implies that ACE is in some way underhanded about what it does. ACE is actually completely blatant about its educational philosophy, and their leaders’ own writing on the subject of education is far more damning than anything I could write on the subject.

What ACE and other fundamentalist curricula are, however, is mostly invisible to the general public. As Paul F. Parsons explains, there’s a reason for that.

Fundamentalist schools, in particular, operate in secrecy. This is done not only to discourage the prying of government agencies but to avoid the eyeing of a suspicious public.

So here’s what ACE says it exists for in its own words. After I spoke to Reading Skeptics in the Pub about ACE, one teacher came up to me, pointed to an ACE book and said “This has absolutely nothing to do with learning. You need to shine a big spotlight on this.”

Here’s the spotlight. In this excerpt, you’ll see the intense milieu control that ACE deliberately exerts over children. They don’t just intend to inculcate the fundamentalist worldview; they don’t want children to have any idea about any alternatives.

[There’s a chance that I’ll get asked to take this down because it is copyrighted material. The way I see it, it’s all available for free online from ACE, so I’m not costing them any money, and trust me, I have no desire to pass this off as my own work. The following text is an excerpt from The Great Commandment and the Great Commission: God’s mandate for Christian education, (C) 1999 (2013 revision) Accelerated Christian Education, available at http://aceministries.com/aboutus/pdf/Great_Commandment_Commission.pdf]

Christian education is not an alternative. It is not a luxury. It is not even just a good idea. It is the law of God. It is the law that He gave to our forefathers, and it is the same law that He now gives to us. It is the GREAT COMMANDMENT…

Cease to Hear the Instruction . . . !

Notice the phrase in Proverbs 22:6 that states

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

That is inclusive of everything God has considered important enough to put in His Word. It includes all the commandments, statutes, and judgments of the Lord in both the Old and New Testaments. Furthermore, according to Proverbs 19:27, it also excludes anything that is not consistent with God’s Word.

Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.

Not only is the child to be taught all the principles of Scripture, but he is to be shielded from anything contrary to the way in which he should go. Does that mean we are to be careful that we do not have him exposed to just a little bit of humanism, just a little bit of evolutionary theory, and just a little bit of all the other multitudes of unscriptural concepts? Not even so our children will understand “what the world is like”? Yes, that is exactly what it means! Notice what the verse does not say. It does not say, “You would be better off not to listen to it,” or “I would not recommend that you listen to it.” It says, very clearly, “Cease to hear it!  Read the rest of this entry

Denied the right to an education

Eagle-eyed readers of Leaving Fundamentalism will have noticed there hasn’t been a new post in a while. I’m moving, and I haven’t had time to write anything.

Instead, please read this Washington Post article, recommended to me by regular reader and commenter Deb. It’s about Josh Powell, who wanted to go to school, but whose parents wouldn’t let him. They felt it was God’s will for him to be homeschooled; Josh didn’t share their convictions. The state of Virginia didn’t listen to Josh’s protests.

The article helps to bring into focus many of the debates we’ve had on the blog about parents rights vs. children’s rights.

Josh Powell wanted to go to school so badly that he pleaded with local officials to let him enroll. He didn’t know exactly what students were learning at Buckingham County High School, in rural central Virginia, but he had the sense that he was missing something fundamental.

By the time he was 16, he had never written an essay. He didn’t know South Africa was a country. He couldn’t solve basic algebra problems.

Read it here.

Apologies to everyone who is waiting to have comments approved; I hope to resume normal business soon.