Taking third-graders to a museum to learn about dinosaurs seems like the most normal field trip ever.
The Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum is the second-largest dinosaur museum in Montana and the only to assert a literal, biblical view of world history in which humans and dinosaurs are said to have coexisted. Alongside full animal skeletons, its exhibit halls include a biblical history room, a reconstruction of Noah’s Ark and dioramas showing humans together with dinosaurs.
The trip has been held for each of the past several years, Lincoln Elementary Principal John Larsen said.
While calling the museum’s perspective “a different point of view than kids are exposed to in school,” Larsen said he personally was comfortable with the trip because he understood that students were given an edited, “secular” version of the museum tour that did not promote religious ideas.
How could a “secularized” trip at a Creationist museum possibly happen? Hey kids, see those humans and dinosaurs in the same exhibit? Ignore them! See that fossil that we say is 3,000 years old? Pretend like it’s not there! Isn’t this the best field trip EVER?!
The Knockoff-Creation Museum’s director even admitted that he wouldn’t follow that whole no-religion thing:
[Otis E. Kline Jr.] said he only dives into religious ideas if a student asks him a direct question. For instance, if a student asks about the age of a fossil, Kline may answer by discussing the concept of a worldwide flood.
“It’s perfectly legitimate for me to do so, because it’s not the teacher who asked me, it’s not the bus driver who asked me,” Kline said. “The student is not a representative from the school.”
In other words, if students ask him any questions, he’s going to find a way to talk about the Bible. That’s how secular field trips work, in his warped mind.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State thankfully stepped in and sent a letter to the District warning them against taking this religious trip. It worked. The trip was cancelled. But now, everyone’s whining about it:
Glendive students and parents were informed of the trip’s cancellation through a letter written by the third-grade teachers, Larsen said.
“Apparently, a few disgruntled individuals in our community have precedence over your permission for your child to attend,” the letter states. “Big-city issues have come to Glendive.”
Parent Kathy Cross, herself a substitute teacher, said she met with school and museum officials to better understand the situation so she could explain it to her distraught son.
“Trying to explain that to a 9-year-old is really hard,” she said.
Curse those big-city lawyers, what with their “education” and “science” and “indoor plumbing” and “looking out for the best interests of our children”…
As for explaining it to a 9-year-old, it’s not hard. Here’s how you do it: “Son, I want you to learn about dinosaurs, but that museum is fake. I’m going to take you to a real museum soon and you can even bring a friend with you!”
(You can do it with gay marriage, too: “Son, two adults who love each other should be able to get married.”)
Damn, I’m going to be a kick-ass parent.
No one is stopping these parents from visiting the museum on their own time or coordinating a group outing with their church. They’re just mad because the school isn’t doing the indoctrinating for them.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Malinda for the link)