I double checked the calendar yesterday. April 1st it was not. Then I read the article again. Got it now, Americans, Deep South, ergo it must be true.
I suppose there may be merit in encouraging it. Tourism is worth pursuing. After all Disney Pixar’s Brave will bring thousands to our shores, drawn by CGI scenery and a ginger heroine with a bow & arrow and freckles. I might even watch it myself, but the last thing I want to do is travel the A82 on the side of Loch Ness behind fleets of tour buses. It’s bad enough now, just think what it might be like if have to develop new attractions if this latest version of our much-beloved monster catches on.
It seems that thousands of children in Louisiana are to be given state-funded vouchers towards a private education. Part of what they will learn is the truth about Nessie. Nothing wrong with that, you might think.
Except the truth they will be taught is that Nessie exists, and the reason for such rational thought is that wonderful Deep South passion for the Bible. Oh yes, the existence of Nessie is being used to throw scorn on the works of Darwin. It is the strategy of Accelerated Christian Education.
ACE are teaching children that Nessie, recorded on sonar, photographed and described by eye witnesses, is indeed the proof needed that ‘evolution couldn’t have happened’. Now there are many things I find hard to swallow, most of them set out in various testaments, but this one just about beats them all.
If Noah’s flood rally happened, and if it was 4,000 years ago, then a sea monster will have survived. And if it was millions of years ago then their logic deems that to be ridiculous. QED, Darwin was wrong.
The Eternity Christian Academy in Westlake, Louisiana follows the ACE curriculum, and have approval to receive the vouchers sending kids along for a ritual brainwashing. It’s the result of a bill pushed through by Governor Bobby Jindal. Yep, a man elected by the public. Wonder if this idea was in his manifesto. Let’s not go there for it may just have been the central tenet of his campaign, and the reason for his election.
The curriculum has even been compared to fundamental Islam. Only a Christian Fundamentalist government can stand up to Islamic counterparts in the war with secular society. Apparently dinsoaurs were fire-breathing dragons. And it’s not just Louisiana, but a dozen other states as well. Up to 200,000 children are succumbing to this, in the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, the country that couldn’t understand a madrassa even if it wanted to. Better just to invade and kill. Pity there’s no Commandments to follow.
Still they could all come along and see for themselves. We could steep them in the culture of the see-you-jimmy hat and the deep-fried Mars Bar. They could see where Princess Merida ruled the lochs. Bring your tourist dollars. Ceud mile failte, as they say. We could even show them the WMDs we keep safe for them.
Now I’m pretty sure that Darwin didn’t mention Nessie, but I’ll dig out his Origin of Species just to make certain. In fact something tells me that Nessie was Created only in 1933. She may not have evolved since then. It might be better to take the Yanks to Lake Baikal if they want to see species that exist nowhere else, species that may or may not have evolved. Creationists, I despair.
And I despair at a time when religion is the very subject on the bedside table. I read a review a few months ago of Alain de Botton’s Religion for Atheists. One to read, thought I, and so I am. It’s interesting stuff. I had a discussion the other day with a couple of friends, who happen to be Jewish, about Yom Kippur, and the merits of the rest of us having a Day of Attonement. de Botton suggests every quarter; I’m thinking perhaps ten yearly, though perhaps the Jews have it absolutely right. I can think of a couple of things some major Attonement might have gone a long way to soothing. Perhaps it’s never too late. But my friends were not in favour, and they might just be as cycnical of religious festivals as I am. Where’s a bit of chutzpah when you need it?