Friday, March 30, 2007

Faith fuels home education boom

I just read this post BBC NEWS - Faith fuels home education boom and figured this would be a good time to get my opinion out on the matter of Faith based Home Schooling.

First, let me explain my background in education. Kindergarten to 7th grade I was in public schools. When 8th grade rolled around my parents had become engulfed into the religious dogma of Pentecostal Christianity at an Assembly of Free Worship Church. For those unfamiliar, this type of church is simply one that does not want to participate with the Assemblies of God's. They hold the same core beliefs, it's mainly just a matter of politics, etc.. Anyway, since we attended this church and the church decided to open a private school it should come as no surprise that my parents quickly decided this would be a better environment in witch to raise their children. So, from 8th grade - 11th grade was spent attending said private school. Finally, to conclude my christian education my senior year was spent as a home schooled student of Victory Christian Academy. Both in the private school, and in my final year of school I was taught based on the ACE Curriculum. Personally, I liked the curriculum itself, and for self motivating students that can think for themselves I think it's a great curriculum. Of course there are things I think now that would make it more effective like removing all the scripture memorization and removing the bogus Science information about creationism. However, I can identify with this 13yrd student and the comments he made below.

Quoting the post on BBC Jake says the following:

"I like the flexibility. If an opportunity to play tennis or anything else pops up I can do it and just make up the schoolwork later. "
I said the exact same thing, the problem is it's pretty much bullshit that is drilled into the child's head by the parents in order to justify what they are doing. How can I say this, because I said the exact same things. I tried to justify my senior year of being home schooled because I was able to work during the day and still have my nights to hang out with friends or go to church of course. Another issue is what fun is it to be able to go play tennis, the movies, or anything else that "Pops" up if most kids your age are still in school? Let me tell you from personal experience, It's NOT! Sure it's enjoyable, but compared to being able to hang out with a variety of children your own age, with different beliefs and different ideas... It really isn't that much fun.

"And with the one-on-one instruction, it seems you can move ahead quicker and be at a higher level of learning."
Oh this is just dumb. One-on-One instruction? In ACE, because of the way it is done there literally is no need for an instructor. It is pretty much a self-based teaching process. This did allow for me personally to move ahead quicker, but I would not consider it a "Higher Level" of learning. I personally knew many students that left private schools and went back to public schools and found themselves grossly behind other kids their own age. I understand that there are other home school systems like Abeka that do require "Instructor" interaction and are not very similar to ACE, but there are many similarities between many of the Home School Curriculum's.

And yes, says Jack, he does socialise with other children.
"I have friends from church, from sports, and I do know other local home school kids."
Socialising with those from church, from the sports you participate in with those from church, and from other local home school kids that most likely attend the same church does not in my opinion qualify as socialising. In my opinion that is like considering your Tuesday night dinner with the in-laws is also a socializing event. To me true socialization occurs when you are in an unusual or new environment with people you either don't know, or don't know well and you can interact with them. Getting to know NEW people, discussing, and learning other points of views.... That's what socializing is to me.

"Our Christian faith is pretty strong and we thought this might be the best way to be able to pass on those values to our son."
At least with this statement they are being completely honest. This is this sole reason they open private schools, and decide to home school. They think the schools are too secular, and they are afraid their kids will learn something before becoming indoctrinated.

"Character is just as important as academics. And so what we're looking for are character training issues and we would rather do that ourselves."
Oddly enough I totally agree, however character can be taught even with a child attending a public school. All it takes is the parent spending that extra time with their kid often.

"I worry about the lack of accountability in homeschooling,"
I do too, back when I was attending... The "Instructors" at the private school were not required to take ANY training at all. All they had to do was simply volunteer for the position. Sometimes they were compensated, other times it was their "Gift" to god. Very scary!

"I worry about the lack of socialisation for youngsters outside of their families."
As I mentioned above, this is in my opinion most defiantly a problem. When you are always taught about the problems with the "Real" world, but you are always "Sheltered" from it... When you are finally forced to be part of that environment it's usually a culture shock. It was for me. It took me years to overcome the fallacies I was taught when i was younger.

"I worry about the access to other kinds of non-academic resources that youngsters have in public schools that you might not have in a homeschooling situation."
I do too! Public schools systems have the infrastructure in place and have more resources. There are simply more people that do attend public schools.

In conclusion let me state that there are situations when Home schooling is appropriate, but when you have the option of letting you child attend a public school please don't deprive you child simply based on your beliefs. Teach you child your values and beliefs at home. Your child will appreciate it when they are older. I sure wish I would have been allowed to graduate with the 100's of others that where in my class. I might seem a bit bitter towards my education in my younger years, and that would be because I AM! It took me till I was in my late 20's to learn about things that many knew back in high school it was very frustrating.

Baby Got Bible???

Holy Big Bible Rev. Mix-A-Lot, what the heck was that!

I was perusing through God Tube and just could not resist posting this. It's just so damn funny. I'm sure we all enjoyed the parodies by good ole Weird Al, but doing a "Christian" Parody on Baby Got Back.... That's pretty low, what's next a parody on "I wanna Sex You Up" better not give them anymore ideas. Seems they do pretty well all by themselves.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Free tech advice :)

I've noticed recently a few people have had some issues embedding video's with the new blogger. From what I've seen this started because the new blogger is more strict on tags being closed. You should still be able to copy the "embed" html code and paste it in the the 'Edit Html' section just make sure there is an </embed> tag, if there is not a </embed> tag then simply put one in before </object> and you should have no problems publishing. Not completely sure why some videos would have the tag closed and others do not, but this is what I've found to be the culprit each time it has happen to me.

** Updated so you could see the tags, took a few min to figure out i had to use the escape codes for it.. if you ever need to do this they have a great list here

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

His Holy Place

The other day I got an email from a relative inviting me to join this new MySpace knock off called . I could get into how it's interesting that they did'nt even revamp it at all the entire layout is practically identical to myspace... One would think they would at least put some type of original twist on it, but no they didn't (typical of christianity in my opinion). There is this nice little blurb off the main page:

" is an online Christian Community that is structured on the Core Essential Doctrines of Christianity. The Bible itself reveals those doctrines that are essential to the Christian faith. They are as follows: (1) the Deity of Christ (2) Salvation by Grace (3) Resurrection of Christ, and (4) the gospel. These are the doctrines the Bible says are necessary. Though there are many other important doctrines, these four are the only ones that are declared by Scripture to be essential. A non-regenerate person, or a false religion, will deny one or more of these essential doctrines. separates itself from other online religious community sites, by only allowing those religions that follow these Core Christian Essentials, to be promoted on the site. Anyone from any religion is welcome to join But if your religion and/or your beliefs fall outside the realm of the above-mentioned Core Essentials, and it is your intention to promote your religion and/or beliefs on HHS, you may be in violation of the site rules, which could result in the cancelation of your membership. The main goal for this site is to glorify God, through Christians being able to pray, encourage, fellowship, and grow with one another. If you wish to learn and understand what orthodox Christianity teaches, and are willing to follow the rules that are set in place for HHS members, including not promoting any other faith that does not adhere to the above-mentioned Doctrines, then you are welcome here."

There are so many things I could say right about now, but I won't. I obviously would not be able to adhere to the "Rules that are set in place for HHS members" and will therefore be unable to participate in it's services. What I do find quite funny are the 3 sections they have on the main page. There are "The Men Who Serve Him", "The Women Who Serve Him", and the "Seekers of the Truth"

Anyway, wasn't sure if anyone else had noticed , but figured I would share.

I was also told they do not allow cussing.... Damn, guess I won't be joining lol

Monday, March 19, 2007

Church Signs

At least where I live, I'm pretty sure these folks are getting the little comments for their signs from the same place. This particular one we saw twice in the same day. The first one i didn't have the camera with me, but the second one I snapped a shot of. As soon as we passed it my wife says to me, "Does that mean Darwin Informed us?" I love that girl! ;)

Photo Disclaimer:
This was a photo taken by me personally, feel free to repost or download the pic if you want. I only ask that you link back to this post. Thanks

Sunday, March 18, 2007

mr. Deity Episode 8

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Angry Atheism....

I just finished reading Friendly Atheist » Why I’m Not An Angry Atheist
and figured I would post my 50 cents :)

First let me say I completely agree with most of what was said in his post. Just the other day I was discussing this same issue with my wife. Mostly, about the same topics touched on in his post. What I explained to her, was I try to live my life by example. As a sort of witness to those around me of the christian faith that there can exists a person who can live a good, decent, and completely fulfilled life without the need of religion or god. I try to show (by example) that I take responsibility not only for my success in life, but also in my mistakes. In addition, I freely admit that I can't answer all of life's greatest questions, but that's not really the true issue is it? It's not the answer that really matters, isn't it the journey that is fulfilling? hehe. I also don't claim to know everything, quite the opposite, I admit my ignorance on many subjects. My take is, I might not know about it at this moment... but i can read up on it, or learn about it. Similar to how I do my job, I might not know how to do it, but I know how to get it done. :) One of my old instructors once said, "It's not the answer that you have to remember, It's how you got to the answer that is critical to learn."

Anyway, One point I'd like to make here (and this is only from my personal experience) is it has never been a problem for me to discuss matters of "faith" with those "intelligent" religious persons. The odd part is most of the time, those intelligent ones are the leaders of that particular faith. Pastors, Ministers, Priests, or practically any official leaders are not usually the ones that are difficult to talk to. It's the followers. Those that seem to be incapable of thinking for themselves. Those unable to accept the fact their faith is not believed in by all. These are the ones that seem to be more numerous and almost impossible to talk to. Unfortunately, my parents are such people. In discussions outside of faith they are both very intelligent, but once you cross that line that blurs into matters of morality/religion/faith an almost instant change occurs in both of them whereby they loose or forget all concept of being able to either listen or discuss matters rationally.

For the most part, I understand where this comes from. It seems they feel the foundation of their entire lives are shaken, threatened; The possibility they could be wrong surfaces and forces them to stand firm on what they believe to keep some grasp on their reality. The frustrating part, and probably one of the reasons I tend to focus on the ignorance, is because they put themselves in a situation that is bound to make them look stupid. One of the prime examples is in my previous post about Obama. Another happen tonight when I checked my email and found a message containing an email that was fraudulent. In the subject was "Powerful Letter", and it was another example of believers will accept practically anything when it lines up with their religion whether its true or not they really don't care. Here is a link to the Pam Foster letter, Just reading through it one statement after another seemed to strike a nerve with me. Maybe it was wrong of me, but I did not reply to the sender showing them this was a work of fiction because to them it doesn't matter. They have a goal, and they feel this lines up perfectly with that goal (true or not). The only thing I would accomplish by replying and referencing that it was fake, is they might get embarrassed and feel humiliated. That's certainly not my goal. In all honesty that just seems to easy.

Finally, one of the reasons I began my blog here was to give me a sort of anonymous outlet to release some of the frustrations I encounter on a regular basis. Every situation is different when discussing religion, and when possible I work very hard to communicate effectively and calmly. When the conversation begins the escalate I'll either drop it, or try to find some common ground. Rarely should it ever escalate to a "your wrong, I'm right" confrontation in my opinion. We all have different views and opinions, here I believe some sort of common ground can always be found. Probably just my optimistic outlook towards life though :)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Barak Obama - Ignorance Revealed...

I wanted to take a few minutes to clear up some bull shit that I've been hearing around town. I don't really care where you stand as far as your political candidates that you want to support. That's not really the point of this post. The point of this post is the clear up the mis-conception about this man. Barak Obama is NOT a Muslim, and it's kinda dumb to assume that just because of his name! This is complete and utter bullshit and if you hear anyone say this rest assured that they are not only ignorant, but they are being extremely stupid, and they are talking out of their Ass! First off, His name is Barak Obama Jr. This should tell you something right off the bat.... If he did convert to Islam and chose his name, why would he choose to use Jr????? Second, he in fact attends Trinity United Church of Christ. Hey, but don't take my word for it.. check out his bio on his web site here.
There is no ground for making such an assumption just because his last name. I read his book "Dreams of my Father", and I am currently reading "The Audacity of Hope" just to become more familiar with this man. I have not yet decided who I'm going to vote for, but it sure is annoying to hear people making judgments on the man based solely on his last name. That's just stupid in my opinion and very narrow minded.
Sure he attended a Muslim school, but did you know that was because he was living in Indonesia? Did you also know that his mother during this time would wake him up at 3am to teach him other material to prepare him for schools in the US? I know not really relevant, but it's just as relevant as claiming his Name makes him a Muslim... Also, he only spent a few years in Indonesia then went back to Hawaii to finish school. It was actually his grandfather on his fathers side that had converted to Islam. His book does not cover much about his father's faith, mainly because he barley knew his father except for letter correspondences and maybe 2 personal encounters.
Look I have no problem with people forming or even voicing their opinions about people, but to claim facts simply based on his name?? Guess that's how are society is changing, guilty until proven otherwise... Why not get the facts straight or simply go read his book? Or even do 30 seconds worth of research to find information on the guy. Done ranting now.

Banning talk on polar bears?

What the hell is this about? Does Bush's Administation somehow think if they don't allow the scientists to discuss it when traveling, then it won't be true? WTF?? OH That's right, they don't think global warming exists! This would almost lead you to wonder what other stuff they would love to put a "Gag" order on.

Bush administration bans talk on polar bears

Friday, March 09, 2007

Thoughts on Evolution

Whilst I was showering this morning, thoughts on evolution were bouncing around in my head. This led to some contemplation on the matter. Let me start off by saying this is not a post about creationism vrs evolution. This is simply me sorting out some of my thoughts regarding evolution and my particular evaluation of it.
Most times when I hear people discussing this subject invariably you here that there is a single point of origin. Whether it was a single celled organism, or that we evolved from "Eve" in Africa, or that we evolved from apes. Whatever the case, this seems a bit too simple in my opinion.
Evolution is the Theory of a "process". Much like mathematics. In math 4 has always existed, but the process in witch to arrive at 4 can take many different forms. What if the same were true of Evolution? Instead of thinking everything evolved from a single point, what if everything evolved from multiple single points around the world? Since the "process" of evolution was hard at work, what if it simply took different paths to arrive at similar solutions simultaneously. Wouldn't this be a more accurate way to explain the differences between species? I mean if when the process of evolution was started whether from the formation of the planet, or from a large meteor impact, once it began it would continue using the material at hand in order to continue life. Now the next question would be are homosapiens the end result, or just another step? hehe.. that's something I would love to see science predict... What we may look like in a thousand, or million years....
Maybe this is just my ignorance about evolution, but i would suggest that there was not a "single" beginning. Instead there were multiple beginnings everywhere. Each of those beginnings using a different "formula" or "process" with the materials at hand to arrive at a particular result. In my opinion this seems to answer the diversity of life better.

Loathsome Remarks By Ann Coulter

Even though this is not really that much of a surprise given the religious nature of the event, does this type of behaviour simply re-enforce some of the hatred that is evident from religion? From just my personal experience, I would be very hard pressed to find a single Christian devotee around here in my town that would not agree with this woman!! That itself is very sad..

"During her March 3 remarks at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Coulter issued an anti-gay slur and excused the murder of doctors who perform abortions."

SAY WHAT??? Ok, so the anti-gay slur might not be a huge surprise, but excusing the murder of doctors!! WTF? Oh, wait... that's right... Christianity has exceptions to killing.... So, it's ok to kill a doctor who most likely had a family or wife or child, but since he killed and unborn child who's mother did not want it or for whatever reason decided not to have the child that somehow makes it JUSTIFIABLE or even UNDERSTANDABLE?? What a freakin loony toon!

Coulter said, “Those few abortionists were shot, or, depending on your point of view, had a procedure with a rifle performed on them. I’m not justifying it, but I do understand how it happened....The number of deaths attributed to Roe v. Wade about 40 million aborted babies and seven abortion clinic workers; 40 million to seven is also a pretty good measure of how the political debate is going.”

"had a procedure with a rifle performed on them" ???? Does the attempt here to make it sound eloquent make it better? If so, then allow me to say that her head must have encountered a solid object with excessive force as a child, thus clouding all future decisions in her life. And to say that it was a Good Measure of the progress of the debate??? I certainly hope that she does not always revert to death as a good way to size up how well a debate is going. Could you imagine arguments at home?

"Answering an audience question during the Fort Lauderdale event, Coulter said, “I spoke at C-PAC yesterday, and I [took questions] about Obama and Hillary and Gore and global warming, and I said I was going to also have a few remarks about the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, but apparently you have to go to rehab if you use the word ‘faggot.’”"

Rehab is not going to help with this problem... Unless she has a procedure done involving high voltage electrodes....

Americans United Urges Florida TV Ministry To Disavow 'Loathsome' Remarks By Ann Coulter

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Tomb of Jesus Review

Thank goodness for dvr's. I just finished watching the recently released special claiming to have found the Tomb of Jesus's family, and the "Critical Look" hosted by Ted Koppel afterwards. And I must say, I'm surprised at some of the responses on both sides. I've read a few posts by those with and without faith that seem quite intent to shoot this documentary down based on it's "lack" of evidence or because there are too many "chains" or too many "If's". Among other issues the "Critical Look" show added were poor presentation, One sided views, and over Dramatization.

Come on people, I have yet to see a "Documentary" that was not "Dramatized" in some fashion. As for the issue with daisy chaining.... That's kinda the point isn't it? Besides all of that keep in mind it was a "Theory".. Poorly portrayed or not, there was some intriguing evidence there. Well worth looking into further in my opinion. Was it alot of hype, sure... but so was the "Documentary" that showed that Egyptians and not slaves built the Pyramids. What about the show that was on just before this one portraying the story of the Flood and Noah? I've watched alot of these types of shows on Discovery/History channels and the like, and most if not all have not done anything different than this one. Many times with much less information than what was presented here. Like the shows on the Lost City of Atlantis, etc... Some of those were down right Laughable...

I thought the show was pretty interesting myself. Yes, they seemed to pull quite a bit of their evidence from different sources and some of the items were a bit of a stretch, but in my opinion the core facts seemed to fit quite nicely, and seems to me would be worthy of some further investigation. I think most of the "Rebuttal's" from the "Critical Look" afterwards were just as weak if not weaker than those presented in the documentary itself.

In the end.. Hell, I don't care if it is or is not Jesus's Tomb. To be quite honest it doesn't matter to me one way or the other. Considering we have a man right now running around claiming to be "Jesus Christ Man" lol... It does bring up other questions like why wasn't this noticed back in the 80's? Can more dna be tested? Would it be possible to exhume the skeletal remains and do some forensics science? Maybe find the spear wound in his side, or if there are nail marks in the bones? Or thorn marks in his skull? I'd like to see scientist tackle these other questions... Who knows, maybe in another 10 or 20 years they will have another Documentary explaining all this with better evidence....

Friday, March 02, 2007

Celebrity Atheist List

Main Page - Celebrity Atheist List

Came across this today thought it was interesting.

that's a pretty big list hehe

I love the footer, too funny...

"hosting by Lucifer Media "