reclaiming dinosaurs for jesus: roadside kitsch becomes our science

The LA Times has a great piece today on the cement dinosaurs off of Interstate 10 near Palm Springs that were made famous a few decades ago, in the film “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.” (Pee Wee lived in the mouth of one.) The attraction, known as Cabazon Dinosaurs, has apparently “found religion” with its new owners, who have turned the old attraction into a Creationist’s paradise, where children (and adults with child-like abilities) can learn all about dinosaurs, unencumbered by the burdens of science. No, at Cabazon Dinosaurs, people can actually enter a fantasy world where they can imagine a reality in which dinosaurs existed just a few thousand years ago, right alongside the men and women of the Bible. Here’s a clip from the LA Times piece:

“We like to think of [dinosaurs] as creation lizards, or missionary lizards,” said Frank Sherwin, a museum researcher and author….

Kids flock to the huge statues. “And it’s not like they’re crying, ‘Oh, mommy, take me out, I’m scared.’ They’re drawn to it,” Chiles said. “There’s something in their DNA that knows man walked with these creatures on Earth.”

And, apparently, it’s not an isolated incident either. It seems as though several of these roadside dinosaur attractions which first sprung up in the 60’s are now changing hands, as evangelical Christians are seeing an opportunity to use them in their crusade against the evil, Christ-hating, latte-swilling scientists.

(There’s been no word yet as to whether or not these same evangelical investors are looking to take over the original Mystery Spot and re-branding it the Divine Miracle Spot.)

Fortunately, in all of my reading, it does not appear as though Prehistoric Forest in Irish Hills, Michigan has yet to be acquired. (note: The photo above is from Prehistoric Forest. It was copied from the site that was just linked to. As far as I know, it does not depict a biblical scene… yet.)

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  1. Brian
    Posted August 30, 2005 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    That photo took my breath away….

  2. Posted August 30, 2005 at 10:21 am | Permalink


  3. mark
    Posted August 30, 2005 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Anyone feel like trying to sketch out what the “missionary lizard” position might look like?

  4. Posted August 31, 2005 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    I think it would look something like my artists rendering (as seen in the above link).

  5. Tony Buttons
    Posted August 31, 2005 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Didn’t they use a dinosaur as a staircase when they nailed Jesus to the cross?

  6. Doug Skinner
    Posted August 31, 2005 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    WWJD: Where Was Jesus’ Dinosaur?

  7. Teddy Glass
    Posted August 31, 2005 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Finally, an explanation for the giant dinosaur tracks on the Shroud of Turin!

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