Two weeks ago on The Wild Hunt (ah, Jason… may I call you Jason? Your brilliance inspires all us Pagan bloggers so. Please accept the fawning adulation of a princess as recompense for semi-regularly riffing off you*)… where was I? Oh yes. Two weeks ago on The Wild Hunt, Jason talked about the Religious Right’s** latest tactic to have Creationism taught in schools. It’s called “teaching the controversy” and it means including Intelligent Design as an alternate theory of the universe’s creation.
After you’re all done laughing (or groaning or whatever it is you’re doing), please take pity on the teachers here. I taught high school in the state of Texas for eight years and I know the ridiculousness that school districts are dragged to for some special interest group’s weird cause. It’s my state that led the charge to rewrite history textbooks to teach Dave Barton’s snake oil history which claims America was founded as a New Zion – a Dominionist Christian nation. (For those unfamiliar with that controversy, Barton is not a little right of center; he’s peddling full on revisionist history.)
Jason had a brilliant suggestion over at The Hunt. (I swear he didn’t pay us to shill for him.***) Since Teaching the Controversy is all about being inclusive, which is all The Religious Right is really asking us to be (just ask them), we should make sure we’re REALLY inclusive and teach many of the “theories” of creation world mythology has to offer. Like how sea animals, in an attempt to save a drowning woman, pulled up sediment from the bottom of the ocean and built the North American continent on the back of a turtle (Iroquois – see right) or how an eagle threw an emu egg into the sky and the great god lit it on fire to become the sun (Aboriginal) or how the universe first formed when the plane of fire and the plane of ice collided, bringing forth life (Norse).
Well, it just so happens that one of my favorite things to do as a teacher was design lesson plans, and I miss it! I am making a serious offer here. If any of you is a teacher or knows a teacher who is forced to Teach the Controversy I offer to design a lesson plan to help you include the Norse creation theory in your “inclusive” classroom. (It starts all poetic with fire and ice, but then we get a sacred cow who licks the first god out of salty ice blocks and a giant that births twin ogres out of his armpit. Good stuff!) I can make it from ten to thirty minutes long and will include visual aids and a pre- and post-test; I just need the grade level so I can use age-appropriate language.Please give me at least a week to complete it in case I have a busy schedule at the time you need it. The lesson will be emailed to you (and posted on this site – I’m all over open source) in all seriousness with no snark and will describe the Norse version of creation as a serious theory of contention for how the world began.
Hey, if you’re teaching mythology as science, why not teach mine, too? The sad truth is, we have seen over and over that this “inclusiveness” the soon-to-be-renamed (see ** footnote) Religious Right keeps screaming about is no longer important to them when Pagan viewpoints are asked to be included as well. Not that any Pagan I’ve ever met takes our creation stories literally; by the same token I don’t personally know any Christians who believe the world was literally created in seven days, dinosaurs are a hoax, and the first woman was formed from the first man’s rib.
Here’s the thing. I’m religious. I believe in gods. I believe man was intentionally created and the universe is not just an absurd happenstance. I don’t, however, think my children learning evolution in science class conflicts with any of that. Science and religion shouldn’t conflict. Ever. When science shows something in conflict with my religious beliefs, my religious beliefs need to adapt. Science does not need to adapt to me. Religion, as I see it, is the skin of personal truth we stretch around the bones of scientific facts. All of us religious folk need to be okay with that, because those insisting that facts aren’t facts make the the rest of us look like idiots. Let’s stick together on this one, okay?
* TheScott is also smart. He also does CrossFit six times a week and can deadlift 405lbs. So let’s all keep my fawning adulation of another man to ourselves, shall we? 😉
** I propose a contest for a renaming of The Religious Right into Princess-speak. We have The Oracle = Google, The Grand Overseer = Facebook, The Realm = all of you lovely readers… what shall we call the Religious Right? Something with trolls maybe? Nazgûl?I leave it to you, Realm. What shall we dub the crazy zealots who insist on forcing their churches into our schools and courtrooms? Christians, we’re not talking about you – we’re talking about the whackadoos who continue to give you a bad name in the press, so feel free to join in the naming fun! I bet there are quite a few of you with some creative nicknames…
***On a completely unrelated note, Jason, thanks for that black market eye of newt. We used the Friday the 13th energy last week to empower a badass hex. I mean, a spell of love and happiness. […yes, this is a joke.]
+ Featured Image: Tortue sénégalaise au village des tortues près de Rufisque by fr.zil (This guy would totally carry the world for you.)