Dinosaurs and Family Values

BarneyScott Kaufman over at Raw Story has some interesting news, Irate Christian Parent: “I Am Getting Sick and Tired of Dinosaurs Being Forced on Our Children.” She is apparently part of an advocacy group called “Christians Against Dinosaurs” — known as CAD. This is more than the usual biblical literalism that is so common in this country. Most creationists are fine with dinosaurs. They just assume God wiped them out in the flood or whatever. But the CAD folks have a point. If you accept fossils, you really are opening a can of worms. This seems a much more defensible position than the saddled dinosaurs of the Creation Museum.

But the woman highlighted in Kaufman’s story sounds like a real loon. She claims that dinosaurs don’t have family values. To demonstrate this, she told the story of a kid at her children’s school who acted like a dinosaur and ended up biting three children on the face. Other than references to this claim, I can’t find any reporting on a child going on a rampage and biting three children on the face, so I figure it is folklore — or just a lie because this woman thinks the evil of dinosaurs is so great that lying is justified.

What I found most interesting was the kind of family values that this woman herself exhibits:

She also claimed to have disowned her sister, who “foolishly gave my two youngest some dinosaur toys for Christmas. After telling her to get out of my house, I burnt the dinosaurs. My children were delighted because they know that dinosaurs are evil. I am fortunate that my family has been very supportive, and has disowned my children’s former aunt.”

Let’s be clear here. Because of an ideological dispute, this woman banished her own sister from her family. I see this a lot in little pockets of Christianity. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are well known for not wanting their children to have any friends outside the faith and for a strong tendency to banish family members for what amounts to heresy. To me, this is about the most evil thing I can imagine. Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” I’m no Bible expert, but I’m certain there is no part of the Bible that says, “To the extent that a person does not worship me in exactly the way you think is right, you should scorn them and never speak to them.”

It sounds so cliched to say that love should trump all, but I really do believe it. If it doesn’t, then you will find yourself more and more isolated as you go through life. In the end, even your children won’t talk to you because you taught them so well. They may well share your belief that stuffed dinosaurs deserve to be cleansed by fire. But they will also share your belief that something as trivial as a disagreement over dinosaurs justifies turning their back on friends and family.

I love you, you love me
We’re a happy family
With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you.
Won’t you say you love me too?

—Barney 25:45

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