Giant Inflatable Whale Now Deemed Too Religious to Return to London Park

Dan Joseph
By Dan Joseph | March 28, 2014 | 11:24 AM EDT

If you want to put a 50-foot inflatable sperm whale in the park by London's Thames river--which I'm guessing you do--it's totally fine. As long as it's not the one from the Bible story of Jonah and the Whale.

Giant Inflatable Whale

That's what London park officials told the UK Bible Society, after they requested use of the park and the whale in order to teach children about Bible stories, claiming that the whale was too religious to be displayed in the park.

However, the life-size inflatable whale, which children can walk through, is not the problem in itself.

In the past, the same exact inflatable whale has sat on the exact same spot in the park as part of a pirate-themed circus show.  So, it's not the whale that's the issue, it's the biblical nature of the message that is attached to it.

The Bible Society insists that their goal in displaying the whale was not to impart a religious message, but, rather, to teach children about stories from the past that they may not have heard.

"We're not here to tell children what to believe," said James Catford, chief executive of the Bible Society.

"We simply want to give them a really fun experience they will always remember."