John Scalzi suffers for your sins...

>> Monday, November 12, 2007

Writer John Scalzi finally (after months of promises) went to the Creation Museum in Kentucky. This was something he agreed to do if he could get a minimal donation from his readers to Americans United for Separation of Church and State; somewhat to Scalzi's chagrin, his readers donated in droves to get him to go-- he asked for $250 and got $5,118.36. (I regret to confess that I was not one of the readers who contributed to the trip.)

After seeing the photos, I'm thinking maybe the poor bastard should have held out for more money. It's... stunning.

Scalzi's photoessay on Flickr can be found here. His account on Whatever, his blog, can be found here. It's funny, and you should look at the photos and read the essay--just be forewarned that some of the photos in the photoessay will cause your brain to hurt. This is quite an accomplishment on the part of the Creation Museum in and of itself: as you may be aware, the brain has no pain receptors, which is why they can use local anesthesia when performing brain surgery. For a placard at the Creation Museum to cause your brain to hurt, then, must be a miracle, and possible evidence that God exists. (This last assertion is at least as logical as the plaque depicted in this picture, which is an example of brain-hurtery at its finest, or worst, or something.)

If you don't have the time for the photoessay, at least read his blog entry, please. The Creation Museum is exactly the kind of thing that any rational person trying to understand what's wrong with America right now should be familiar with--but if everybody forks over their own $19.95, well, that will just encourage them. Then they'll end up opening Creation Museum Land in Anaheim and Creation World Resort Paris in France... and nobody should hate the French that much. The French helped liberate us from the British. Also, the French have nuclear weapons and a healthy rocketry program, I'm just saying. World opinion would totally be on their side.

Scalzi ultimately concludes the Museum isn't a front in the culture war. I hope he's right. But I also can't help feeling that the so-called culture is an asymmetric war. We get the good writers, musicians and filmmakers; they get the Left Behind books, the movies based on the Left Behind books, and... are there any songs about the Left Behind books? But that doesn't keep hordes of otherwise reasonable people from believing "evolution is just a theory" or from signing petitions favoring Constitutional amendments defining marriage as "one man + one woman" or voting someone like Bush back into office a second time. An asymmetric war doesn't have fronts. If I'm right, I have to worry that Scalzi's hopeful observation is meaningless: does the Creation Museum really aspire to be a front, or does it aspire to be a training camp for the cultural jihadists of the Christian literalist right? They might not ever beat us on the battlefield (to steal a famous line from Col. Harry Summers), but that may be irrelevant.

Anyway, go read Scalzi's thoughts. He only suffered through the Creation Museum for your sins. Show a little gratitude, eh?


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