Friday, December 05, 2008

No Cincinnati Zoo/Creation Museum Deal

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, a reported deal between the Cincinnati Zoo and the Creation Museum has fallen through. The deal, which would have given people discounts on tickets if they went to Christmas Celebrations at both places, came under extraordinarily heavy fire:

The zoo pulled out of the deal Monday after receiving dozens of angry calls and e-mails about the partnership, which offered reduced prices to anyone who bought tickets to the zoo's Festival of Lights and the museum's Christmas celebration, Bethlehem's Blessing.

Most of the protests echoed the same theme: The Creation Museum promotes a religious point of view that conflicts with the zoo's scientific mission.

Some complained that the zoo, which receives public support through a tax levy, should not become involved with a private museum dedicated to the teachings of the Bible's Book of Genesis. Others said a scientific institution shouldn't link itself to a place that argues man once lived side by side with dinosaurs.

"They seem like diametrically opposed institutions," said Dr. James Leach, a Cincinnati radiologist who e-mailed zoo officials about his concerns. "The Cincinnati Zoo is one of this city's treasures. The Creation Museum is an international laughingstock."

The zoo claimed that this sort of promotion had no religious underpinnings but was just a promotional gimmick to raise money.

It is difficult to believe that there was no awareness on the part of zoo officials of the lightning rod that is the Creation Museum. They must have, on some level, known that such a deal would surely not go unnoticed. The article also quotes another amazing statement from the zoo, itself:

"It's not about us endorsing them or them endorsing us," Chad Yelton, a zoo spokesman, said. "That wasn't the intention of anything we were doing."

That is patently ridiculous. If I own a business and have a promotional tie-in with the American Nazi Party, who is not going to associate my business with that organization or think that I implicitly or explicitly endorse them? Ken Ham's response is also somewhat less than genuine:

Ham said he was "personally saddened" by the negative response.

"It's a pity that intolerant people have pushed for our expulsion simply because of our Christian faith," Ham said in a statement. "Some of their comments ... reveal great intolerance for anything having to do with Christianity."

This is also patently ridiculous and borders on dishonest. Ken Ham promotes a particular reading of the Old Testament and he knows it. This has very little to do with Christianity and everything to do with science education. I am a Christian and have absolutely no intention of supporting the Creation Museum. Bad business all around.

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