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