Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Louisiana to promote Scottish tourism?

Loch Ness Tourism may want to thank the US State of Louisiana's Governor and conservative legislature. Some Louisiana schoolkids may soon be nagging their parents to take them dinosaur spotting in Scotland. A recently passed bill allows parents to take their kids out of struggling public schools and get vouchers to pay for some lovely Christian schooling.  Scotsman.com reports:
THOUSANDS of American school pupils are to be taught that the Loch Ness monster is real – in an attempt by religious teachers to disprove Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Pupils attending privately-run Christian schools in the southern state of Louisiana will learn from textbooks next year, which claim Scotland’s most famous mythological beast is a living creature.

They describe a textbook which says:
“Are dinosaurs alive today? Scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence.

“Have you heard of the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland? ‘Nessie’ for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.”
One should note how little mention is made of the monster on the Loch Ness tourism websites (1, 2). There is some lovely scenery, though it might be best to go in summer. It gets a bit cold for my liking over there.

While Louisiana's religious right are really happy with the idea of teaching fundamentalist Christianity using the tax payer's dollar, Islamic education isn't as appreciated, as the Huffington Post reports:
Stakes escalated last week when, to the frustration of some lawmakers, the Islamic School of Greater New Orleans applied for federal funds under the voucher program. Republican state Rep. Kenneth Havard objected to the Islamic School's request for 38 government-paid student vouchers, saying he opposed any bill that "will fund Islamic teaching," the Associated Press reports.
Representative Havard only wants his particular brand of bat-shit insane beliefs taught, of course. Comedy Central notes:
And to think, Muslims almost ruined this great innovation in American education policy, just like they ruin everything! An Islamic school had briefly applied for the voucher program, drawing ire from Republican lawmakers, before withdrawing its application.

Just as well, since Arabic words like "algebra" would fit in poorly with the rest of the Jesus Science curriculum.
Well deserved Nessie-related mockery can be found at:

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