Land of the Lost, KY Style

So that Creation Museum we all try in vain to forget about was resurrected on the front page of today’s Courier-Journal – something about a record-breaking number of attendees, or how cavemen and dinosaurs were awesome BFFs, or something of that nature — and, wouldn’t you know it: A teleological debate hath come about in the comments section (which is far more enlightening than the article itself, BTW).

Instead of focusing on the hilarity of self-indignant Louisvillians righteously pounding away at their keyboards, however, let’s address a glaring problem re: the C-J’s addiction to objectivity and how it makes the world a more confusing, dangerous and dumb place.

Say I write a story about Darth Vader’s usurpation of the Galactic Empire and the wholesale destruction of the planet Alderaan — the latter of which is a war crime; the former resulting in the untold deaths of millions of Jedis, cloned soldiers and civilians (not to mention billions of surviving refugees) — and allot the victims/Rebels just half of the available word count. I’d be doing the readership (not to mention the galaxy-at-large) a huge disservice by depicting two sides when there’s really only one. Sure, few issues are that black and white, but if half of your sources are technocrats stationed on the fucking Death Star, then what, exactly, have you written? PR for the Sith, most likely.

In the case of this Creation Museum story — where innocent children are shuttled by brainwashed adults to a magical land of indoctrination in what amounts to a wholly indefensible process of intellectual-knee capping – the faithful are presented as having enough mental wherewithal to question science and fact without reproach, thereby implying that they’ve just as much a right to question the validity of a blue sky, gravity, or anything else that Leviticus cannot properly explain.

By remaining neutral in tone and providing equal space for people who don’t know what in fuck they are talking about beyond a gut feeling, a badly mangled grasp of the facts, or both, The C-J discredits the work of hundreds of years of painstaking scientific research, which has done far more to improve our tangible understanding of the world we live than has a book of ancient bedtime stories.

The net result? Museum founder Ken “Honeybaked” Ham continues to make money off of the Commonwealth and ruin the mental faculties of an entire generation of left-behind students with one fell swoop of an animatronic Stegosaurus tail. Assuming they even go to college (not one of those Jesus-centric ones, either), how will these mentally-stunted kids fare in the workplace of tomorrow?

Spirituality is a fundamental component of human existence, we realize; our success as a species is dependent to some degree on the communal experience that occurs in mosques, synagogues and churches the world around and the sense of altruism and cooperation they inspire. Yet they are also the places where jihads, crusades and Zionism fester — a double-edged sword, perhaps, whose irrational externalities have no place in any truly educational curriculum.

As the Good Book says, “When I was a child, I played with childish things. But when I became a man, I had to put away such childish things — like a belief in fairies and Spiderman and magical bearded sky-men.” If we (and The C-J itself) want to survive the 21st century, then we’re going to have to stop pretending that we’re forever mired in the dangerous ideas of a time long ago and far, far away — journalistically, religiously or otherwise.

One Comment

  1. Mike
    Posted June 18, 2009 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Terrific article, Johnathan, I couldn’t agree more. Spirituality I can make room for; everybody’s afraid of dying and I guess it helps people deal with that, but this kind of fundamentalist indoctrination – based on fairy stories – is an intellectual cancer on our society.