When I went, what leapt out at me was the intellectual dishonesty of the place; it mimics a museum, but it isn’t, and it pretends to understand evolution when it doesn’t. I walked through it with a little alarm bell in my head going “wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong” nonstop.
Ideas Man picks up on another aspect of the “museum”: it’s a temple to fear. Everywhere you go, it portrays violence and bloody conflict, not just as the legacy of our past, but something to prepare for right now. I pointed out the raving paranoia of Ken Ham earlier, and honestly, the museum is the product of a mind convinced that it is persecuted, that there shall be redemption in blood, and that mass murder really is justifiable if God says so.
The whole flood exhibit is particularly appalling. Look at the loving detail in this diorama; those are the sinners suffering and dying in God’s global punishment. There was a very cold video being shown there, portraying children playing innocently in a small village when the awful wave of the coming deluge rises on the horizon…and all are killed. It’s very weird that on the one hand, they portray secular life as depravity and drugs and sex and crime, but on the other, their god is an unholy monster who slaughters children — and that’s OK!
What the “museum” actually is is an effective exhibit of intellectual terrorism — you will accept its worldview, or you will die horribly. And if you already accept that view, you can smugly wallow in the certainty that all those elitist jerks who think they’re smarter than you will suffer.
Let’s ask ourselves, once again, what the museum actually does. If it in fact does something very well and if the thing that it does it does as a function of its central narrative, we ought to assume that that is its primary ideological function. It is from this perspective that we’ll understand the Museum as a work of art, an ideological work of art, art for the sake of ideology or, perhaps, better, ideology for the sake of ideology.
What exactly did the museum do?
It scared. It scared us because it’s scary. And it’s scary because it’s supposed to be scary.
So why is it supposed to be scary? How does its fear function?
Let’s see if we can hear anything from the horse’s mouth:
One of the things that Ken Hamm told us when he was was giving his presentation was along the following lines: “you know, a lot of people ask me why we have such a realistic scene of Adam sacrificing an animal right when you walk into the Corruption room, but actually that’s one of my favorite exhibits because it shows the importance of sacrifice. It shows that we need to sacrifice to live after the Fall.”
Did you notice the weird shift that happened there?
Sacrifice is an important theme in Christianity, right? Well, of course. After the Fall, we are all mortal and our morality means suffering. Our suffering means loss. Loss means economy and sacrifice. On the traditional account, Christ “pays the infinite debt for us.” In other words on the traditional account, self-sacrifice is the redemption of suffering.
That’s not exactly how it works in the Creation Museum’s logic: there, sacrifice is demanded because the world is a bloody place. We don’t see Adam suffering: we see Adam sacrificing. Christ’s death isn’t taken to redeem the suffering of Adam, it’s a grotesque mimicry of the sacrifice we saw him doing. Suffering is passive. Sacrifice is active.
It’s a violent world. The message of the “museum” is to revel in that violence, because it is God’s will. And you can help!