Giant Inflatable Whale Banned From London Park For Being, Um, Too Religious
The managers of a London park adjacent to the river Thames have decided not to display a planned inflatable 50-foot sperm whale in the park. Why? Well, because London's Bible Society was planning to use it for religious purposes — specifically, to re-enact the biblical story of Jonah and the whale.
The chief executive of the Potters Field Park Management Trust announced that the park couldn't allow it. "I am afraid that under the terms of our lease we are not allowed to have any events of a religious nature."
The inflatable whale, which is owned by a circus troupe and not the Bible Society, has already been displayed in the park once before during a pirate-themed attraction. Once the Bible Society announced its intent to borrow the whale from the circus troupe and move it to the park to use it for a re-enactment of a Biblical story, however, the park's management stepped in and put a stop to it.
However, Bible Society chief executive James Catford claims that the event wouldn't really exude a religious nature. "The society wasn't trying to impose religious teachings or ideas. We're not here to tell children what to believe. We simply want to give them a really fun experience they will always remember," he told The Telegraph.
Catford also added that the Bible Society had commissioned a study indicating that 80 percent of parents believed children should be exposed to Bible stories. (Given that this is a little conflict-of-interest, to say the least, we'll remain skeptical.)
Now, the Bible Society will have to search for a different location for the whale in order to present the reenactment of the biblical story. Ruh-roh.