When it comes to craziness the world has gone to infinity many times. But last month it went beyond. Where to begin? How about China? There, it is now no longer permitted to use school texts that claim Hong Kong was ever a British colony. The Chinese Communist Party, it would appear, can literally rewrite history.
How about Saudi Arabia? There, it is now no longer permitted for a child to have rainbow-colored toys lest that child become homosexual. The House of Saud is not trying to rewrite history, it has forgotten it. For three years during World War II, North Africa was a battleground. Alan Turing (who was homosexual) was at least as instrumental as any other individual in ending that war. Without him World War II could have proceeded differently and the Nazis might well have reached the Arabian Peninsula.
There are countless more examples from last month, but this is not the kind of 'infinity and beyond' that Buzz Lightyear had in mind twenty-seven years ago. Back then a rainbow was a rainbow and Hong Kong was a British colony.
Also back then, the Judicial Branch of the United States federal government was just that. Now that it has effectively become the Christian Branch, we can look at some news from last month as well as this month's photo in a new light. It surprised nobody when, immediately following the transition from Judicial Branch to Christian Branch a week ago, bigots broke into celebratory Christian song: "Jesus loves the little children..."
Because the children in this photo are girls, should we assume that this love is conditional upon each of them being pro-life? Because their art teacher allows them to use rainbow-colored crayons, should we assume that he is actually the Devil and is sublimely attempting to convert them to homosexuality? These children are all indigenous Maya. Like the US does, many indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica had a religious branch in their governance. One of their gods was named Kukulkan. It is difficult for most of us to believe that Kukulkan is real. It is even harder to believe that any god would guarantee the right to life and then delegate decisions about polluting the world in which it lives to those least qualified. Yet the latter is exactly what the US Christian Branch did just yesterday.
When Sun Zezhou announced last month that China would become the first to return Martian rock samples to Earth, that news should have been significant. But we now know that we should dismiss any Tianwen-3 mission findings that might be announced beginning nine years from now: If the Chinese Communist Party can rewrite history, it can surely write science fiction to suit its political propaganda.
Still, it's probably better that China will win this particular space race. Were the US to win it and announce that there once was life on Mars, the bigots would go beyond infinity in their craziness — likely demanding that the Christian Branch outlaw such science. After all, there is no mention in the US Constitution of the right to examine Martian rock samples for signs of ancient life. (We need only look to Medieval European history to find precedents of exactly this. The 1997 film version of Contact, while science fiction, offers a credible perspective on exactly such craziness.)
When I took this month's photo these children's writing was only on paper, but for the US the writing is now on the wall. It took some of the most significant steps in its history last month toward societal division along ideological lines. It is now difficult to see it avoiding political division into multiple countries — just like it was originally multiple indigenous nations.
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