Our faith-based national parks

Evangelina and I took a trip out West. Her clandestine business on the coast was not urgent, so we drove my old black Saab.

After milkshakes at mid-20th century roadside diners shaped like things besides diners (a giant pickle in Illinois, a cement wigwam in Missouri), our first major stop was the Grand Canyon. Evangelina noticed a sign: “Guided Tours.”

We found ourselves amidst waddling tourists — including one very husky gent wearing a remarkable man-blouse — being talked at through a megaphone by a wild-eyed uniformed fellow.

“As you all know, God created this beautiful wonder! Yes, in 1859, angered by the publication of gay marriage supporter Charles Darwin’s blasphemous ‘evolution’ book, He carved this landscape from raw stone with His bare hands and gave it to man for him to have dominion over!”

The tour guide paused to wipe his feverish, fundamentalist brow as the group oohed and aahed. Evangelina and I looked at each other in confusion.

“Ahem,” I interjected, “my man, the Colorado River’s course over millennia has incised the landscape and formed the canyon, in the process exposing rock layers ranging from 200 million to 2 billion years old.”

“That’s not how it’s written in my Book!” he sneered. He appealed to the other tourists: “Listen to this crazy cat, folks!” They laughed in unison. He then turned to me. “How on God’s green earth could you claim these rocks are ‘millions’ and ‘billions’ of years old?”

“Something called geology. Perhaps you have heard of it?” I said, my tail twitching in annoyance.

“That ain’t in my Book!” he laughed loudly and grotesquely through his megaphone.

Evangelina and I turned to leave the group. “My man,” I said in parting, “the Grand Canyon is dwarfed in size by your ignorance, which is truly of biblical proportions!”

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