I'm thinking of writing a thesis, and wondering who I can ask for funding. Ooooh, I can hear you thinking, that sounds scholarly and well-organised...
You'd be right too, except that it might be a bit difficult getting it off the ground, especially when you hear the title... "The influence of The Flintstones on American religious culture". You may laugh, but it seems that watching the programme in early childhood has left an interesting dinosaur print (as it were) on the minds of impressionable American kiddies.
You may or may not have heard of the Creationist Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, where model dinosaurs are cosily situated in scenes including humans. Science would have us believe that 60million years separate the demise of the dinosaurs from the rise of Man, but what would science know compared to the Bible?! The Museum illustrates the refusal of Creationists to accept the geological age of the earth and I'm sure this is because they have been so deeply affected by the depiction of dinosaurs and humans together in The Flintstones.
Obviously it's far more fun to believe in the stone foot-powered cars and comfy caves with a dino dog especially as the Bible doesn't actually refer to dinosaurs by name or inference, so why not? As we know dinosaur skeletons exist, but that the earth was created "a few thousand years ago", it stands to reason that the dinosaurs had to be around when God was creating snakes and pigeons... and, I suppose, amoebae.
In case you're wondering how Noah got all those massive reptiles onto the Ark, he took babies, or eggs... (I knew you'd be worrying about the logistics) according to the people behind the Museum, Answers in Genesis. These are the people who are most likely to have been Flintstone fanatics. I'd bet my bottom euro that they can name all the characters, and most of the storylines off by heart. So entrenched are they in the Flintstone culture, that they wanted to prove to the world that it was real, and how better than by taking the Bible and working Flintstone culture into Genesis.
Having a little idea that God was supposed to have made the earth and everything in it, it seemed like a good opportunity to bung dinosaurs in with the rest and have them live alongside Adam and Eve, the snake, their children, their children's children, Noah, sheep, cockroaches, Uncle Tom Cobbley and all... Being mostly vegetarian, despite their huge jaws and needle sharp teeth, they would of course have been available to take in as pets, trained to fetch the 'paper' and act as guard dinos.
How anyone could accept this drivel, let alone finance a $25million museum defies belief, and I am concerned how many Americans have the gall to accuse others of religious fanaticism when their own home-grown variety is every bit as fanatical. What is certain is that they not going to sit at home with their mouths shut once they feel powerful enough to take on the Establishment, which is exactly what will happen when all those home-schooled brain-washed mites grow up and enter mainstream politics.