Creationist dinosaur program stirs controversy

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EFFINGHAM, Ill. (WAND) — For Jeanette Bushur’s kids, dinosaurs are dynamite. But this past Saturday, she says they got more than they bargained for at Central Grade School in Effingham.

“[They said] tyrannosaurus rexes ate vegetables,” Bushur said. “[They said] there were dinosaurs with Noah on the ark and that evolution was a myth.”

A dinosaur exhibit on creationism.

“We thought it would be something like a museum that you could walk through and see individual exhibits,” Bushur’s boyfriend Daniel Douglas said.

The Creation Truth Foundation put on the event at Central as well as another presentation at Christ’s Church in Effingham.

“I think it was something that was done with the best intentions and we definitely appreciate that,” Douglas said. “We were just not expecting it to be what it was.”

The foundation also put on another presentation Friday during school hours, but Bushur says that presentation stuck to which dinosaurs had the biggest teeth and the longest horns.

“My daughter just heard about dinosaurs and dinosaur facts on Friday — none of the religious aspect,” Bushur said. “But that’s what made me think the same sort of thing was going to happen Saturday.”

The flier she received for the event had no mention of any religious or church tie in.

While Douglas says he disagrees with the message, he says groups like this should be welcome in Effingham outside of school hours — provided they’re up front and honest about what they’re presenting.

“I’d encourage them to come back even,” Douglas said. “[They need to] just let everyone know what it is.”

WAND also reached out to Effingham superintendent Mark Doan as well as school board president and Christ’s Church pastor Jeff Michael. They said the Creation Truth Foundation went through all of the proper protocols to rent the school’s gym and the presentation was completely voluntary to attend.

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