Just when I thought May was going to breeze by without anything Horrorscope-worthy (Cinco de Mayo is overdone, Memorial Day is at the end, etc.), Louisiana state Rep. Mike Johnson swooped in with a fresh batch of ridiculous.
You may recognize Johnson as the guy who introduced House Bill 707, which would make it legal for businesses to discriminate based on religious beliefs regarding marriage and illegal for the state to prosecute discrimination claims. Before you ask, yes, of course, Bobby Jindal seized the opportunity to drag another anvil onto the sinking ship of his presidential aspirations and is trumpeting HB707 as one of his priorities once he’s done wrecking the state’s finances like he caught them with a handful of his wife’s underwear.
The state has an obligation to all religions to become the de facto point of construction for the consecrated theological wonderlands of their dreams.
Now, Johnson is looking to help out Ken Ham (the founder of Answers in Genesis who debated Bill Nye on creationism by not answering questions and by rolling his eyes) after Kentucky pulled state funding for Ham’s Noah’s Ark theme park, citing it as less “tourist attraction” and more opportunity for hiring discrimination based on religion and an opportunity for Ham to spread his message that people used Triceratops as a draft animal 6,000 years ago.
The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause would make that project a touch illegal for government to support. Johnson apparently believes not only that the U.S. Constitution is a bit discriminatory but also that Louisiana has money to blow on building Ham’s nonfunctional, life-size ark for him.
I say: Why stop there? The state has an obligation to all religions to become the de facto point of construction for the consecrated theological wonderlands of their dreams. Knowing that not every religion’s loudest mouths have put the effort into designing a state-funded theme park for themselves, I offer the following modest proposals.
TAURUS (Apr. 21-May 21): Hinduism — Experience the excitement of Hinduism’s most eclectic sect, the Aghori. Visitors to Bhairavi’s Bonanza will strip naked, smear themselves in unclaimed ashes from a crematorium, and enjoy a variety of curries from bowls made out of human skulls. The kids’ll love it!
GEMINI (May 22-June 21): Islam — In today’s hectic world, who has time to make the Hajj anymore? Why not visit Mecca in Miniature and take a leisurely stroll around the Rubik’s cube-size Kaaba before one of our many caricature artists draws your picture with Muhammad?
Less a theme park than a massive apartment complex full of doors that are always open, Mormania is an opportunity for the downhearted elder to fill himself with positive energy before getting back out on that pilgrimage.
CANCER (June 22-July 22): Jainism — With perhaps the least environmental impact on the state, Jainists’ Never-Ending Buffet will be a 20-acre apple orchard where visitors can stroll peacefully as they sweep the ground in front of them for insects and pray that one of the thousands of trees will hurry up and drop something for lunch.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 21): Shinto — Kami Park will be built around a reproduction of Tokyo’s Akihabara district, where visitors can purchase the latest anime, manga, and slightly naughty action figures. Of course, there will be thousands of shrines to house the snack bars, kimono outlets, and spirits of your ancestors.
VIRGO (Aug. 22-Sept. 23): Mormonism — Less a theme park than a massive apartment complex full of doors that are always open, Mormania is an opportunity for the downhearted elder to fill himself with positive energy before getting back out on that pilgrimage. No caffeine or open affection, but the custom underwear shop is enough to make Victoria finally spill the beans with envy.
LIBRA (Sept. 24-Oct. 23): Rastafarianism — Dismissing the Nyahbinghi Order, Bobo Shanti, and the Twelve Tribes of Israel in favor of playing to the preferences of pop culture, Selassie Gardens will be a haven of legalized herbs, oils, and edibles where people can ride Ferris wheels, eat cheese fries, and watch Friday and Cool Runnings on a loop while wearing Bob Marley dreadlock hats and humming “Buffalo Soldier.”
Enlightenment guaranteed or your money back. Then again, if you were truly enlightened, the money shouldn’t matter anymore, should it?
SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22): Jehovah’s Witnesses — At 144,000 + 1, you can forget that blood transfusion and get in line for such spine-tingling attractions as The Watchtower of Terror, Santa’s Slay Ride, and the There’s Nothing Special About Birthdays log flume.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): Falun Gong — Less a theme park than a spa retreat, Falun Goin’ Wild is an opportunity to practice the world’s slowest martial art while enjoying the best in transplanted Chinese take-out. Meditate on truthfulness while hiding your General Tso’s burps in a pair of oh-so-comfy silk pajamas.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): Buddhism — Leave your material trappings at Nirvanaland’s gate and wander barefoot over the decorative bridges, past the giant reproduction reclining Gautama, to your own personal Bodhi tree. Enlightenment guaranteed or your money back. Then again, if you were truly enlightened, the money shouldn’t matter anymore, should it?
AQUARIUS (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): Amish — Amishville will cater to those seeking to experience Amish life with butter churning and buggy rides in between the every-hour-on-the-hour barn-raising. Adults will be allowed to spend the night in one of several romantic reproductions of an actual Amish country home, where they can role-play the bathing scene from Witness.
PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20): Catholicism — Get your very own key to the kingdom made in one of many, many, many gift shops at Pope Leo’s X-tra Special Funland. Mom and dad can finally enjoy some time alone while the kids take off on their own adventure under the ever watchful eyes of our very attentive real-life priests who’ve come to work for us for free after several “misunderstandings” back in their home parishes.
ARIES (Mar. 21-Apr. 20): Scientology — Find your inner thetan on Miscaventure Island, where you can sign a billion-year contract of fun. Families will be separated upon entering, but don’t worry! There will be plenty of unpaid manual labor for the kids to do while mom and dad get audited.