Fundamentalist Man Strains at the Gnats and Swallows a Camel

peanut gallery
Email From the Peanut Gallery

In 2015, my friend Ian wrote a series of posts detailing his experiences in an Accelerated Christian Education (A.C.E.) school. You can read the series here.

Tonight, I received several emails from a Fundamentalist Christian man named Jonathan “Jon” Slagill objecting to my use of the phrase “A.C.E. school.”

Jonathan: Hello, There are no “ACE” schools but one. It’s in Hendersonville, TN. There are thousands of home schools, church schools and such that use the curriculum. But the school you went to was NOT an “ACE school.”

Bruce: In Christian Fundamentalism, the phrase A.C.E. school almost always refers to an educational institution owned and operated by a church. I know of dozens of such schools.

You are straining at the gnat and swallowing the camel.

Be well.

Bruce Gerencser

P.S. The A.C.E. School series was not written by me .

Jonathan: No, I’m stating a fact. They do not recommend spanking at all. They used to, but that has changed as also has the public schools. I’m sorry you had a bad experience, but it’s not what you think it is. Please stop living in the past. It’s not healthy. Your friend, JON

Bruce: I know what I know. Believe what you will. And keep your fucking psychoanalysis to yourself. You know nothing about me. You didn’t even bother to read the series. I checked the server logs. You did a Google search, found the series, and emailed me one minute later. 

Jonathan: Yep. I know you are a very bitter person. You hate God. You hate the school you attended and blame ACE. I don’t read poison. That’s what it is. 

Bruce: Evidently, you can’t read. I DIDN’T write the A.C.E. series. I attended a public high school in the 70s. 

This man did a Google search, read the post title, and emailed me one minute later. He refuses to read the series because it is “poison.” Without reading anything I personally wrote, he determined I had a bad experience at an A.C.E. school and I hate this school, even though I never attended the school. I also am a very bitter person who hates God. Jonathan must be clairvoyant.

Fundamentalists never cease to amaze me.

Slagill, by the way, is the lead designer for, drum roll please, you guessed it, A.C.E. Slagill attended Pensacola Christian College for two years and graduated from Friends University — a Quaker institution. Recently, Slagill commented on a YouTube video titled, How I Became a Quaker. His comment will tell you everything you need to know about his brand of Christianity:

Fallowing [sic] the teachings of Jesus and having a born again experience is the only way to the Father. I graduated from Friends University but never got the Gospel. Fox was wrong. Fallow [sic] the teachings of JESUS. Only he has the power to save. Universalism is what this sounds like and it’s will lead to hell. WE are not gods.

Bruce Gerencser, 62, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 41 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

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  1. Hugh D. Young

    sigggghhhhh It is literally IMPOSSIBLE for these Fundieeez to engage anyone in a conversation, written or spoken, without at least making a passing reference to, if not outright threatening them with hell. My oh my…What would they do without their BELOVED hell???

  2. kittybrat

    These fundies are so fucking frustrating. Jonathan clearly knows everything, has it all figured out.

    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Besides the fact that he is complaining about something that doesn’t matter. It is a distinction without a difference. But, as you know, Fundamentalists major on the minors, focusing on trivial minutiae that doesn’t matter.

      1. Hugh D. Young

        BTW…..I’d be more than pleased to engage Zhaaahnny-boi in a convo if he wishes to speak with a man who is TRULY bitter! Perhaps you might pass this sentiment along…..Ya know, if ya get really bored, or something.- 🙂

  3. sjl1701

    And they attack and criticize without research or facts. Pretty much par for the course.

  4. Brian Vanderlip

    “Fallow [sic] the teachings of JESUS. Only he has the power to save. Universalism is what this sounds like and it’s will lead to hell. WE are not gods.”
    Well shucks, this blog is full of people who did follow the teachings of Jesus and by golly they ended up here! That fallow thing might just have some good to it!

  5. BJW

    As time passes, but even more recently, I’ve noticed that the internet is full of people who don’t seem to think abstractly. Nuance, metaphors, similes, all pass them blithely by. They post links to “support” what they say and guess what? Links turn out to refute them. Most of these types are far right conservatives, Trumpers, you know who I mean. Are they all autistic? (Note: I’m autistic and being autistic frequently means missing nuance in communication. Although I fear it’s a bigger problem, one of deliberate ignorance.)

    This fundie dude? Nitpicks over the unimportant, refuses to actually read enough to know anything, and proclaims his “informed” opinion over opinions. Seems to me all these types have graduated from the Dunning-Kruger School of (non) Thought.

  6. Ian

    I wrote that series as a way to express what had happened during my time in an ACE school.

    Yes, those were ACE schools. They were packaged and sold as ACE schools. Maybe now there is only one school called. “ACE school”, but there were hundreds, if not thousands in the 70’s and 80’s. There is no other way to spin it.

    Me. Slagill specifically brings up spankings. He is trying to distance himself from spankings, since they have fallen out of vogue. In the 70’s and 80’s, spankings were part of the ACE program. I don’t want this to turn into a discussion on spanking, so I’ll just stop right here. But, spankings did occur. I’m living proof.

    Despite Bruce deleting my name from everything and not claiming that those were guest posts 🤦🏻‍♂️, those were my experiences, and they have been viewed through the lens of almost 40 years, in some cases.

    I had good and bad times in ACE schools. Mr. Slagill just doesn’t want to hear the truth. He doesn’t want to admit that ACE isn’t the be all/end all of education. He’s ashamed that ACE supported exposed child abusers like Lester Roloff. ACE was nothing more than extension of the IFB movement.

    I didn’t write those posts with anger, bitterness or resentment. I just wanted to share my experiences. There are a lot of people who had no clue what that educational system was all about. Other people were able to read it and immediately identify with what that read.

    Thank you to all who actually read the posts. I’m working on the follow up to them, my homeschool experiences.

    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Actually, the start of every post says, “A guest post series by Ian.” 😀 No one should question that it was not my series, that is if they bothered to read it. Unfortunately, Slagill did not. This blog has always been a safe haven for people to tell their stories. You did a masterful job at sharing your experiences @ an A.C.E. school.

  7. ObstacleChick

    Dang it, here I was thinking I was a God. Jonathan just ruined my day.

    I don’t understand why anyone would comment on an article they didn’t even bother to read.


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