The longest high speed rail tunnel in the world, built under the Swiss Alps, was officially opened on June 1 with a very strange ceremony.
The 35 mile long Gotthard Tunnel links northern and southern Europe and to mark the occasion world leaders sat through a long show that would strike most Americans and Brits as just plain weird. To Christian eyes, it is clearly demonic.
Hundreds of actors and acrobats took part in the show, which featured partial nudity. Many wore horror masks and carried skulls of animals, strange looking angels descended on wires, one actor was like a goat man, and three actors hung from the ceiling as if dead.
The show also featured a man with large tree roots seeming to grow out of his head.
Apparently all the frightening figures were based on Swiss Christmas traditions! You couldn’t make it up, could you? I certainly couldn’t. Another good reason to put Christmas in the dustbin of history and start taking our faith in Jesus much more seriously!
Attending, or should I say enduring, the ceremony were German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern, as well as Swiss Federal President Johann Schneider-Ammann.
Mr Hollande compared Gotthard to the Channel Tunnel linking England and France, and said that “we are more united than ever.” Many in Britain would reply: "More's the pity!"
The BBC described the opening ceremony as “bizarre” and said some in the audience were baffled. Their report said that one part featured lots of people rolling around in white underwear.
In another part a scary topless woman with huge wings hovered above actors representing nine tunnel workers who died during construction.
It took about 17 years and £8 billion ($12 billion) to build the tunnel, which will take an enormous amount of freight off the roads.
How was the tunnel and the extravagant ceremony paid for? All paid for by the very generous taxpayers. We in Europe pay something called VAT, Value Added Tax, which is a sales tax on just about everything except food.
It stands now at 20%, and yes, that is not a mistake - 20% sales tax, just part of the price Britain pays to be part of the European Union.
When America joins the North American Union, now called the more innocuous sounding Peace and Prosperity Partnership, get ready for VAT on that side of the Atlantic, because the new huge layer of government will have to be liberally funded - by you.
Never mind, all is well in the Gotthard Tunnel. A statue of “St. Barbara, patron of miners” stands inside it. That's OK then; we didn't like that Second Commandment anyway (the one that tells us not to venerate any statues).
St. Barbara will ensure that those trains run on time! Pity she seems to have been busy each time one of those nine construction workers died (and I mean no disrespect towards those poor unfortunate men).
So there we are…a historic moment in European history. Aren’t you glad you missed the show? I am!