SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- San Narciso County ushered in St. Patrick’s Day 2015 with yet another controversy, prompting Mayor Manny DiPresso to add this holiday to a growing list of celebrations that council members may soon abolish. In 2011, the festivities were overshadowed by an inflammatory speech given by a theology student, in which St. Patrick was accused of being a church assassin sent to destroy the polytheistic culture of Ireland. Tensions further escalated when the Catholic Church attempted to prohibit gays from marching in the parade. At that time, Father Preternature -- who presides over the county’s only Catholic congregation -- defended his decision, saying, “First off, [homosexuals] already have their own parade. Second, St. Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday, not an ideological movement.” Preternature enraged the mayor’s office for implying that gays had infiltrated the community. This Monday, Preternature again found himself cross with the law after parents summoned Child Protective Services to a children’s pageant he produced called “St. Patrick Beats the Naughty Snakes from Ireland’s Trousers.”
According to witnesses, the overly long and poorly orchestrated musical was meant to glamorize the persistent myth that St. Patrick banished snakes from the Emerald Isle. Some parents objected to the play because, they claimed, it discounted the actual accomplishments of St. Patrick in favor of perpetuating a historical inaccuracy; evidence suggests that snakes never inhabited post-glacial Ireland. Preternature responded by condemning those parents as heretics and threatened them with excommunication for insinuating that the world was old enough to have witnessed an Ice Age.
Still, even the priest’s most devout supporters said they felt uneasy and spiritually conflicted as “St. Patrick Beats the Naughty Snakes from Ireland’s Trousers” unfolded before them.
In the play, several children -- all boys -- were lined up on stage, dressed in green jumpers and leprechaun hats. Each wore a placard that depicted a section from a crudely drawn map of Ireland, likely done in crayon. These were attached to the front of the boys’ costumes, below the waist. Preternature later explained that this was to ensure visibility. On each piece of the map, a plastic snake was glued.
As the boys sang a collection of U2 songs that included “All I Want is You,” “Babyface,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” “Stories For Boys,” “Sweetest Thing” and “Sixty Seconds in Kingdom Come,” Preternature bounded onto the stage, attired as St. Patrick, and began vigorously beating the snakes on the boys’ placards. Stunned parents said this activity went on for nearly 30 minutes, continuing long after the children had run out of songs.
“All you could hear in the church was the sound of an old man heaving and panting over the tiny sobs of our kids,” one dad told reporters. “After it was over, and this is bizarre, the fire sprinkler system malfunctioned and started a terrible flood inside the building. I’d like to think it was Jesus crying for allowing this happen.”
Preternature arrived at police headquarters Monday evening around 7:00 p.m. to submit to formal questioning. He had an attorney with him. Authorities have yet to release a statement with more details on the case.
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