(Tier 1) Adventures in ACE XXVII: Stormy With a 0% Chance of Science

We start a brand new ACE PACE today, kids! 1089 is all about meteorology. Since the ACE writers firmly believe God is completely in control of the weather, this should be pretty much like a non-stop train wreck. We are also going “To learn to do right and show a sense of what is proper before the Lord and others – to be honest.” Because apparently we 8th grade level learners haven’t been taught those things yet. I begin anew to suspect that the ACE writers think their audience consists entirely of children below the age of accountability, and that they probably repeat the same set of lessons through every single series of PACEs. I’ll have to get my hands on a complete set of K-12 PACEs and test that hypothesis someday. It’ll be more science than we ever actually get inside of these things, anyway.

Our verse to memorize for this PACE is II Corinthians 8:21. Of course it has nothing to do with the weather. Don’t be silly.

The full-page cartoon begins with a stereotypical old lady, complete with gray bun, cane, and shawl, looking out the windows and talking gleefully about how she just knew a storm was coming, and gosh, look at that red sky this morning! She then goes out on her porch so she can be all cranky at Ace and Miss Mary for wanting to hang a plant when it’s obviously going to storm. Miss Mary shuts that shit right down:

Image shows an older woman with very dark hair in a hair net. She is wearing glasses and a white button-up blouse. She's lecturing an unhappy-looking old woman with white hair in a bun, glasses, and a magenta dress under a black lace shawl. The dark-haired woman, Miss Mary, is saying, "Sometimes, Martha, we can forecast weather by signs in the sky. But God controls the weather, and He.... would have us discern spiritual signs."
Panel from page 2 of ACE Science PACE 1089.

Wot a condescending old biddy. It’s a wonder Miss Martha hasn’t slipped a bit of the old rat poison in her tea.

Ace chimes in with this labored segue:

Image shows Ace, a red-haired kid wearing a burnt-orange long-sleeved shirt, standing on a ladder. He's hanging a plant in a pot. Miss Mary is staring at him with an empty, gaping smile. The background is a sky blue house with darker blue-green pillars. Ace is saying, "I think I know what you mean, Miss Mary. Dad has told me that Christ's bodily resurrection is a sign of our redemption, but to the unbeliever, it is a sign of coming judgement."
Panel from page 2 of ACE Science PACE 1089.

Miss Martha isn’t having any of it, so Ace patronizes the crap out of her, the little shit:

The panel on the left shows Miss Martha, against a white background, facing the camera and giving some serious sideeye. She's saying, "Well, I still don't like stormy weather! My joints hurt! I'd rather have sunshine!" The panel on the right shows Ace folding up the ladder with a big beaming grin. He's saying, "If we don't have rain, as well as sunshine, the plants would not be able to grow. I'll pray that your joints won't hurt so much."
Panel from page 2 of ACE Science PACE 1089.

And, of course, Miss Martha was 100% correct about the storm, as they show her in the final panel gazing out at the rain. We don’t get to see her face, but I like to think she’s got her lips pursed with smug satisfaction.

I have a head canon for this cartoon. Miss Martha and Miss Mary are portrayed as two unrelated old married women living together and bickering. So, obviously, they’re closeted lesbians. Miss Martha is an atheist with a particular enthusiasm for weather folklore. She and Miss Mary had many long, happy years together before Ace came round and turned Mary into a dithering godbot. Miss Martha has been miserable ever since, but she loves Mary too much to leave. She’s trying to respect her wife’s new faith, but she’s also trying to hold her ground, which gets harder every time Ace drops by. Still. She tries not to let them get to her, even though that horrible fundie Christianity has turned all her warm sunshine into cold rain. And she’s terribly afraid Mary will fall for their rabid homophobia next…

Poor Miss Martha. I just want to give her a hug now. No wonder she’s so cranky.

So now we turn the page to our vocabulary words, and I about die laughing as the ACE writers confirm my head canon for me: one of our words is “closet.”

Other words that are apparently critical to meteorology and previously unknown to 8th grade level ACE students are “anew” and “onion.”

The PACE begins with Ace’s dad coming home after the rainstorm. Ace can’t wait to tell Dad how Miss Martha predicted the whole thing. Dad validates her by pointing out that even Jesus said a red sky in the morning means foul weather. He obviously never kicked around anywhere like Seattle, which can have a brilliant red sunrise followed by lovely weather. But I guess he was just speaking metaphorically:

“Jesus Christ was telling these men that if they truly had spiritual wisdom, they would understand spiritual signs, just as they did weather signs. They would also believe the many signs He had given that proved He is the Messiah and that judgement is coming upon unbelievers.”

Because this shit is essential to the study of meteorology, yo.

Dad leaps straight to defining meteorology and meteorologists after his mini-sermon. But that’s all the science we’re getting on this page. Ace wants to know why, if God controls the weather and he decides what sort of weather best suits his purposes, the damned stuff’s changing all the time. Dad demonstrates how fundies think:

“Ecclesiastes 1:6 states, ‘The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.’ Though the wind seems to change direction without purpose, God has established laws that determine both wind direction and weather. If we remember that God is the Creator of the laws of weather, then we can understand why our weather system is an orderly one.”

Dude…. Ecclesiastes 1 doesn’t really support what you just said. Like, at all.

“Weather gives us a testimony of the great goodness of God in His providing for the needs of mankind. ‘Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness’ (Acts 14:17). Therefore, even the brief rainstorm this morning was for our benefit.”

And droughts are for our benefit… and deadly hailstorms are for our benefit… and horrific hurricanes are for our benefit… cuz we’re just going to blindly believe what an old book says, but not to the extent we’ll obey its decision not to capitalize God’s pronouns, because we think it makes Him look Important.

Image is an iconic black and white photograph of a man wearing a hat, shoulders bowed, walking with two little boys in front of a broken-down wooden farm building that has been nearly buried by dust. Caption says over top: "Weather gives us a testimony of the great goodness of God in His providing for the needs of mankind." - ACE Science PACE 1089. At bottom: Farmer and sons walking in the face of a dust storm. Cimarron County, Oklahoma, April 1936. Arthur Rothstein.
Photo by Arthur Rothstein.

After imparting those important science facts, Dad has Ace wash up for lunch and then help him wax the car. You’ll be thrilled to know they moved the car into the driveway first so they could work in the shade. Apparently, God took the clouds away right when they needed them, for their benefit or something.

So there we are. Four pages in, and we’ve had one short paragraph defining meteorology. This is the extent of the science in this 31-page PACE so far.

I’m seeing red, people, and it ain’t the sky.

(Tier 1) Adventures in ACE XXVII: Stormy With a 0% Chance of Science

One thought on “(Tier 1) Adventures in ACE XXVII: Stormy With a 0% Chance of Science

  1. rq

    That is so much blather for 4 pages. Don’t hurt yourself going forward, it’s going to be terrible. I’m predicting this based on my folk knowledge of how bad books go, and using past experience as a guide.

Comments are closed.