After my postings about Appalachia last week, I’m a little dismayed to be back there again. This time from the home of my family: Kentucky and Ohio.
Seems there is a $25 million Creation Museum being built in Northern Kentucky, which is founded upon the premise that God created the world in 6, 24-hour days – and that the world is only 6,000 years old.
The biggest supporter? Read on:
“When that museum is finished, it’s going to be Cincinnati’s No. 1 tourist attraction,” says the Rev. Jerry Falwell, nationally known Baptist evangelist and chancellor of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. “It’s going to be a mini-Disney World.”
The creator, so to speak, is Ken Ham, who has a nationally syndicated radio show – picked up by 700 stations.
To say I was initially flabbergasted would be an understatement, although frankly, the more I thought about it, the less surprised I was. I grew up in a God-fearing family. Not with the hellfire and brimstone sermons from the mount, but with a simplier New Testament love thy neighbor feel. Still, as I grew up and stopped singing in the Sunday school choir, attending Bible school, and skipping out on Vacation Bible school, the subject of science and religion made my parents openly wince (as, I’m sure, did my references to the Holy Church of Made Up Stories and Fairy Tales).
They aren’t, I don’t imagine, of the belief that God made the Grand Canyon during the Ark flood. My folks are good people who merely want to make sure their boy gets into Heaven. And, when it’s all said and done, I can’t begrudge them that. It ain’t a bad wish, and frankly, if I’m wrong, I’d like to have mom and dad pushing for me at the end. And, if they, in the back of their minds, think that maybe God did create the world in 6 days – well, that’s alright with me and them.
Frankly, they’ve had bigger fish to fry most of their lives and the history of the world isn’t high on the agenda.
I bring my folks for this reason. For the technologically inclined, it’s easy to brush off folks such as Ham as nut-jobs who are out of touch with reality. It’s easy for me to do that, too, and I spent the better part of my life around the kind of folks who would build a Creation Museum. But, the fact is, they have good intentions (at least my parents do) – and they’re just doing what their heart tells them.
Of course, anyone who’s ever been in love can tell you, sometimes you act a little goofy when you just follow your heart. So, I’m glad that there are some folks out there who are standing up to question the veracity of the claims that the world is 6,000 years old.
Science organizations have, rightfully so, raised questions about the validity of the museum. Based on the success of the Kansas evolution vs. creation school board hearings, it’s likely that those criticisms will fall upon deaf ears.
The National Center for Science Education has a comprehensive list of these battles around the country.