View Full Version : Creationist exhibit at Tulsa Zoo?



soonerguru
06-08-2005, 11:17 PM
The religious nuts have forced the City of Tulsa to add a Creationism exhibit at the zoo.

This is really weird.

Biblical Account of Creation Displayed

Wed Jun 8, 1:15 PM ET

TULSA, Okla. - The Tulsa Zoo will add a display featuring the biblical account of creation following complaints to a city board about other displays with religious significance, including a Hindu elephant statue.

The Tulsa Park and Recreation Board voted 3-1 on Tuesday in favor of a display depicting God's creation of the world in six days and his rest on the seventh, as told in Genesis, the first book of the Bible.

The vote came after more than two hours of public comment from a standing-room-only crowd.

Zoo employees, religious leaders and others spoke in opposition, saying religion shouldn't be part of the taxpayer-funded scientific institution.

But those who favored the creationist exhibit, including Mayor Bill LaFortune, argued that the zoo already displayed religious items, including the statue of the Hindu god, Ganesh, outside the elephant exhibit and a marble globe inscribed with an American Indian saying: "The earth is our mother. The sky is our father."

"I see this as a big victory," said Dan Hicks, the Tulsa resident who approached the zoo with the idea. "It's a matter of fairness. To not include the creationist view would be discrimination."

Hundreds of people signed a petition supporting the exhibit.

The new display will include a disclaimer that says it represents one view. City attorneys also advised it be placed alongside other cultures' views of creation.

Tulsa Zoo exhibit curator Kathleen Buck-Miser estimated it would take about six months to research and organize the exhibit. She expressed qualms about the zoo delving into theological debate.

"I'm afraid we are going in the wrong direction," she said.

Board member Dale McNamara, who voted against the proposal, agreed.

"I do not like the idea of scripture at the zoo," she said.

Zoo officials had argued that the zoo does not advocate religion and that displays like the elephant statue are meant to show the animal's image among cultures. The same exhibit includes the Republican Party's elephant symbol.

venture
06-09-2005, 01:34 AM
I just have to laugh sometimes at these people. Perhaps steps need to be made that every religious belief be represented at the zoo. What a joke. I always get reminded about that state senator (?) from Norman who is one of the largest religious nut jobs i've seen in public office in a long time. He was on spouting about the white crosses every where and how they should portray a religious object like that.

Eh to each their own. Everyone has an opinion and it should be respected...just don't try to shove it down someone else's throat.

brianinok
06-09-2005, 08:33 AM
In my opinion, they shouldn't have ANY religious symbols/gods/stories at the zoo. It's just not the place. But, if they desire to have that elephant exhibit, I think they made the correct choice in this matter.

Of course, I have a problem with the teaching of the evolutionist theory without creationism being taught as well. Just because I belief in equal representation of theories, I would probably be considered a religious wacko by some of you.

metro
06-09-2005, 09:30 AM
In my opinion, they shouldn't have ANY religious symbols/gods/stories at the zoo. It's just not the place. But, if they desire to have that elephant exhibit, I think they made the correct choice in this matter.

Of course, I have a problem with the teaching of the evolutionist theory without creationism being taught as well. Just because I belief in equal representation of theories, I would probably be considered a religious wacko by some of you.

i totally agree

adaniel
06-09-2005, 09:43 AM
Nobody is a religious wacko for believing in creationalism, but does a zoo really need to be thrusted into the culuture war? It's a zoo for crying out loud, where people go to see animals, not be lectured on what to believe. This whole thing has me scratching my head and wondering what's next from the conservative christian camp. On this track they'll be demanding warning lables on things that "cause sin." Can't people just be left alone in 2005?
And for the record if it came down to it all religious symbols should have been removed from the zoo so that people don't have to worry about getting sucked into politics while on a leisurely trip to see some animals.

venture
06-09-2005, 09:44 AM
I have to say I went back and reread things a bit and had this thought...

>> "I see this as a big victory," said Dan Hicks, the Tulsa resident who approached the zoo with the idea. "It's a matter of fairness. To not include the creationist view would be discrimination." <<

Creationism is a religious belief. A zoo is a scientific institution essentially. While I agree that no religious symbols should be present, the fact that they put this type of exhibit just goes over board. Unless they have specific scientific proof that we are only 6000 years old and like begin over a weeks period - it shouldn't be displayed. However, when they essentially have a sample of every step of evolution for the human being (and other species) that holds more weight to put on display.

Now I was raised catholic (being from back east) but have also allowed myself to keep an open, scientific mind. Some things just don't belong in an institution like a zoo...creationism is one of them.

floater
06-09-2005, 12:35 PM
You had to know the national media would pick up on it:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2005-06-09-tulsa-zoo-genesis_x.htm?csp=34

BDP
06-09-2005, 01:06 PM
Of course, I have a problem with the teaching of the evolutionist theory without creationism being taught as well. Just because I belief in equal representation of theories, I would probably be considered a religious wacko by some of you.

No, not a wacko, but if you think that creationism is a scientific alternative to evolution, then you may just be a bit misled. The problem is not teaching both, the problem is teaching both as science. Presenting both in the same context misleads the student into thinking that creationism is on the same ground scientifically as evolution and nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, they don't really even address the same issue per se.

One can choose not to believe in science or the workings of the scientific method, but that does not mean that other forms of thought and study, namely faith, should be taught as science.

In the end, the issue here really is whether public funds are being used to establish a religion. I do not know the details of this exhibit, but, in my mind, if it is presented as "what Judeo-Christian faith believes", then it has a chance of not offending the first amendment or subsequent jurisprudence.

But personally, I think it is a poor educational decision and has great potential to confuse students, which should receive equal consideration. I think a better decision would be to establish a cultural center on the grounds describing how man's realtionship with animals found in the zoo has influenced its cultural and spirtual development throughout history. Think how enlightening it would be for Tulsan visitors to be able to readily compare and contrast how different cultures think about our realationship with and the development of other species around the world. I think then it returns the zoo to its original intent, that of education, instead of it being used as a poltical tool for the advancement of cultural agendas.

soonerguru
06-09-2005, 01:19 PM
This, coming on the heels of the book-banning, will ensure that the rest of the civilized world will still shrug their shoulders and laugh heartily when they think of Oklahoma.

These nimbobs have no idea, nor do they care, how goofy they make Oklahoma look to the rest of the world.

Newsflash: people's perceptions of our state weigh mightily in our economic development efforts. The perception, true or not, that we are a bunch of bible-beating extremists only reinforces people's views that this state is a rural backwater.

Just tellin' like it is.

BDP
06-09-2005, 01:22 PM
The perception, true or not, that we are a bunch of bible-beating extremists only reinforces people's views that this state is a rural backwater.

Just tellin' like it is.

I think the biggest problem is the we are perceived to be only that. Whereas there are extremists everywhere, we seem to do things in such a way that make us seem like that is all we are about. We seem to lack a balance that others have to offset the fringes and it always seems to be about the goofiest stuff, i.e. (cringe) the Tin Drum.

Karried
06-09-2005, 01:37 PM
Are we the only state with these distinctions? No tattoos, no real beer, no offending books in libraries, and a Creationism Exhibit in the zoo.... and we get national coverage further perpetrating the image of a backwards thinking overly zealous religious state. Oh my goodness - no wonder the travel/visitor forums mock us - can't we have some good news lately - this is depressing.

floater
06-09-2005, 01:53 PM
Well, we aren't unique in terms of having characteristics that are always the butt of jokes -- Mormons in Utah, hillbillies in West Virginia, dixie folk in Alabama, Missisippi. But as BDP states, it's the fact that we keep perpetuating the image. Most know that Mormons banned polygamy long ago and that mountaineers are easy caricatures. We are talking about Oklahoma society TODAY.

But the nonlocal media also seems keen to jump on it, and sometimes not just because it's an easy joke. I remember a San Antonio newspaper article on the federal building bombing ending their report on a quote from an Oklahoma woman who said that the bombing was a result of God punishing the federal government for "trying to take away our guns". I don't think the mainstream media would have carried such a quote. People will always want to do the speaking for us because they either disagree with the politics or they don't want to see Oklahoma develop a broader national image.

metro
06-10-2005, 10:39 AM
well if you are stating is ok to have
Hindu god, Ganesh, outside the elephant exhibit and a marble globe inscribed with an American Indian saying: "The earth is our mother. The sky is our father then why cant any and all views be displayed if they are not going to do the simpler thing and remove all religious paraphanelia. I think your criticizing the "bible thumpers" too much without scrutinizing the real cause of this circumstance in the first place, the Hindu symbol.

swake
06-10-2005, 11:06 AM
Look, the Tulsa Zoo has Asian elephants, as part of the exhibit of these Asian elephants there are items from India that relate to elephants in the culture there, this statue a Hindu god is one of these and is presented in this context. To say it is some sort of a religious shrine in need other conflicting viewpoints is crazy. To be offended by the idolatry of this item is nearly racist. Itís the right wing bible thumpers that are being intolerant here.

This statue could be compared to having black bears or bald eagles in a zoo in India and having Native American items that use bears or eagles in order to show these animals impact on the indigenous local culture. Iím a member of the Tulsa Zoo Friends and have been to the zoo many, many times and it never occurred to me that either exhibit was religious in any way.

These evangelicals need to grow up and get a life and quit trying to shove their viewpoint on everyone else, Iím sick of them acting the victim and complaining about being persecuted as Christians, they run the entire government of this country and they in no way represent all Christians, how exactly is that persecuted? They want a religious state, using their form of religion, and this is just one way they are trying to achieve it.

okcpulse
06-10-2005, 12:45 PM
Are we the only state with these distinctions? No tattoos, no real beer, no offending books in libraries, and a Creationism Exhibit in the zoo.... and we get national coverage further perpetrating the image of a backwards thinking overly zealous religious state. Oh my goodness - no wonder the travel/visitor forums mock us - can't we have some good news lately - this is depressing.

Actually, Karried, you're right about having no tattoos, we are the ONLY state with that distinction. No real beer? Utah is in the same league, along with Colorado, Kansas and Minnesota. Those states also force grocery stores to sell only 3.2 beer. Although Colorado, Kansas and Minnesota sell cold beer in liquor stores.

BG918
06-13-2005, 12:54 AM
When do you think the Oklahoma state legislature will repeal many of those "blue laws" like no real beer in gas stations, legalizing tattoos, and re-instating happy hour (which will soon no longer be allowed in Oklahoma pubs)? When will the baptists lose their control of the state govt.?

osupa05
06-13-2005, 03:44 AM
Just so you know.. not all baptists are opposed to happy hour! Not sayin' it's not them in the gov., either... just sayin' we're not all against it...;~)

okcpulse
06-13-2005, 07:08 AM
It is very doubtful the state legislature will change the law restricting the sale of beer in gas stations and grocery stores to 3.2% alcohol by weight. Religious leaders do not influence the legislature on this matter. Low-point beer wholesale distributors have the most influence. They keep things the way they are because low-point beer distributors do not have to follow strict regulations that liquor stores and liquor wholesale distributors have to follow.

The happy hour ban only affects establishments whose sole purpose is selling beer and allows people under 21 through the door. Establishments that sell food and beer are exempt, as are restaurants, of course.

Rep. Thad Balkman has less brains than a chimp when it comes to tattooing. He claims legalizing tattooing will cause a slippery slope toward legal prostitution. It like to know what complete idiots voted this loser in. He has done this state nothing but a complete disservice by just being in the state capital. If I weren't moving to Texas this December I'd do what I could to get him out of office.

Tattooing is legal in 49 states. Has been for quite a few years. Prostitution is legal in only one state as far as I know, and that is Nevada. Thad Balkman is the skum you find inside your toilet bowl. One of the health board directors also said that proponents of tattooing are using "junk science" as reasons for legalizing tattooing.

These two flathead morons need to be removed from state positions they do not deserve and go back to bible-thumping on the streets. These people are about as useful as a Pinto in a NASCAR race.