Poor pitiful embattled Answers in Genesis. They’re facing a myriad of problems, to the point where they’re even publicly whining about them.
A number of AiG’s leadership and board were meeting recently, working through how to deal with struggles relating to “deplatforming,” the “woke” culture, and mapping out a way forward to protect AiG and resolve some problems (we can make some of these battles public once we’ve worked around them). We have staff working hard on all this, which is also a detraction from accomplishing the many daily tasks that need to be done. I said to the group, “It’s like being in a war, and we’re planning where to send the troops, where to place the tanks, and where we need to move around the enemies’ lines.”
I’d really like to know how “deplatforming” and the “woke” culture are affecting AiG. They’re an isolated, backwards little cult that has built their own enclave in Kentucky; are they having internal battles, or is this just a complaint that everyone else in the world finds them to be stupid? They do list some of their concerns, but none of them seem to have anything to do with “wokeness”. The first of their concerns is that no one wants to work for them, and this grand ark park that was touted as an economic boon for the region is finding it difficult to employ people.
1. Labor shortage. Yes, there is a labor shortage across the nation. Soon we begin what we believe (judging from phone calls, group bookings, etc.) will be a very busy year for our attractions (probably the busiest to date), and we need to employ up to 600 seasonal staff for the spring, summer, and fall months. Usually this includes mostly college and high school students and some retirees and others looking for seasonal work. Last year we were short 300 seasonal staff from what was needed. We had many of our salaried staff from all departments working in culinary, guest services, and other areas to try to deal with this staff shortage.
So their work force is mainly low-paid unskilled labor, many of them working as unpaid interns (they don’t say what percentage of their workers are interns — that would be something interesting to know), and are disappointed that they can’t get enough menial labor. Why, they had to ask people who are important and paid a salary to baby-sit the goats in the petting zoo! What a tragedy.
Ken Ham has a solution, though. Turn the place into a work camp and bring in fervent volunteers from all around the country. They’re going to build dorms.
AiG supporters have donated money to enable us to begin building student housing onsite at the Ark Encounter as we have plenty of land available for this. The first building will house 100 student staff. Now that we have the infrastructure (sewage, water, electric, etc.) in place, it will be less expensive to build the next building to house another 100 staff. One building will be designated for males and one for females (there are only two genders of humans, as we know). We believe housing for 200 student staff will go a long way to solving our labor shortage, but at the same time enable us to provide a Christian facility for these students so we can also help mentor them in the Christian faith. The cost of this additional building to house 100 people is $4.5 million.
There’s a solution! Bring in a captive workforce! It sounds hellish and cultlike, actually. In order to work there, you have to sign a Statement of Faith, along with other requirements, just to be an unpaid intern.
- Must agree with and be able to sign our Statement of Faith.
- Maintains a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Regularly attends a local, Bible-believing church.
- Must be able to work some evenings and weekends.
Makes you wonder how they’re going to enforce all that, once they’ve got you locked into institutional housing. Kids, this “job” isn’t going to look good on your CV, and it’s going to be an unpleasant experience. But Ken Ham will benefit from your servitude!
Oh, and Ham has another complaint about the world outside his compound.
3. “Woke” culture. There’s an increasing anti-Christian environment permeating the culture. Increasingly, we’re finding employers will not employ those who come from conservative institutions that take biblical stands on marriage, abortion, and gender (many employers check social media posts to check out what people believe), and we’ve heard of many people being fired from their jobs because of their public stand on God’s Word as a Christian.
“Woke” is not anti-Christian culture. It only means that you are conscious of oppression. Now I know that awareness is the last thing an oppressive institution like far-right conservative Christianity wants, but there are a great many more liberal perspectives on Christianity that are just as valid. I’m not sure what “Biblical stands” he is talking about, though.
Marriage? Polygamy is OK, and marriage in general is transactional…so you can sell your daughters to a suitor?
Abortion? The Bible doesn’t say much about abortion.
Gender? Likewise. It takes certain cultural norms for granted, but doesn’t say anything specific. Oh, except for that verse that says “Love your neighbor, unless they use a pronoun you dislike.” (Sorry, I made that up, but evangelical Christianity makes shit up all the time, so it’s OK.)
Also, I don’t see how this is a problem for AiG. If there are other employers who fire people for holding batshit ideas about the culture, then AiG is just a delightful little refuge from sanity. So what if a cake decorator gets fired for refusing to sell a cake to a gay couple, they can just come to work for a Christian institution and get paid very little and get housed in a little apartment and…well, probably not much cake decorating going on, but they can baby-sit the goats!
AiG is never going to succumb to this heinous “woke” culture, so what do they care?
Crikey, I’m surprised he hasn’t offered to house 200 Ukrainian refugees, at least the ones that don’t fancy fruit picking in the UK.
I don’t believe that.
Fundie xians lie all the time about everything.
The majority of the US population at 63% are self identified xians.
What god’s word anyway? There is no agreement on what that even means and 42,000 xian sects that disagee with each other on one thing or another.
Ken Ham pretends his cult knows but the vast majority of xians disagree with him.
They need 600 seasonal staff? Building housing for 200 student staff?
The “real” ark got by with eight people, as I recall. Supposedly dealing with real animals. At sea.
Something isn’t adding up. One might say their story doesn’t hold water.
How many of the local churches are non-bible believing?
Which is completely different than requiring prospective employees to sign a paper stating they believe in Kenny’s specific version of Christianity and attend a church he approve of.
“Abortion? The Bible doesn’t say much about abortion.”
Very true the only part of the Bible that mentions abortion is in Numbers 5:11-31, The Test for an Unfaithful Wife. Basically if a woman is accused of being unfaithful to her husband, she is forced to drink an abortifacient. So essentially abortion is being sanctioned by “God.”
Somebody has to run the zip lines and manage the gift shop. I don’t think Noah’s ark had either of them.
I don’t think Ukraine has many of the “right” type of Christians.
I’ve never been a believer, but my parents used to send me to the Methodist church. Seems to me that so-called “woke” culture would have fit in pretty well.
This country has two big problems:
1. We don’t have enough people to fill jobs at all different levels of the economy.
2. People from all over the world desperately want to come here to work.
I just can’t figure out any way to fix these two problems. It’s an insoluble riddle, I suppose.
Actually, the scariest development I’ve seen lately is that the Lie Factory at Hillsdale College is starting to actually get some decent press of late. They even had a semi-positive mention in The Economist!
“we’re finding employers will not employ those who come from conservative institutions that take biblical stands on marriage, abortion, and gender (many employers check social media posts to check out what people believe)”
Should be loads of disillusioned conservative christians looking for a job then.
Hmmm… Last year they were 300 temps short. They want to build dorms for 200 (and sex segregating teens up to early 20s…like that’s going to work) and expect that to take care of their labor shortage. Looks like Ham can’t do math, either.
Is it wrong of me that I continually confuse Ken Ham and Kent Hovind? I suspect that there is more to my confusion than that they have similar first names and the same initials.
Maybe I’ll just remember that you can get ham from Kentucky. I don’t know what I want from Alabama though.
Hmm… I can think of somebody else facing this “challenge” right now. What a tone deaf analogy (and it looks like he wrote it recently).
There is an evil brilliance to his housing solution though. First you build housing for 100 unpaid interns, and then you press them into labor gangs to build housing for additional interns. I am not sure what kind of quality you get this way, but maybe it doesn’t matter so much. Not really an original idea on second thought. I read a novel about this method of residential construction back in high school.
mcfrank0 @ 14
I found a much better Kent !
Snidely W says
$4.5 million to house 100 people? 45K per person?
I’m no housing expert but isn’t that a little high with the economies of scale?
Seems like a lot.
Another angle to the scam, perhaps?
WMDKitty -- Survivor says
No. We have the people. The companies just aren’t willing to pay a real, living wage. And that leads into your #2, those same companies exploit (often undocumented) immigrants with long hours and little pay.
It’s not merely that abortion is “sanctioned,” it’s actively encouraged and, according to Jewish tradition, directly invokes the intervention of god to carry it out.
That she merely has a miscarriage is the “nice” interpretation. Maimonides writes that she dies: “Her belly swells first and then her thigh ruptures and she dies.” And he doesn’t stop there, the man she had sex with will also die, “When she dies, the adulterer because of whom she was compelled to drink will also die, wherever he is located. The same phenomena, the swelling of the belly and the rupture of the thigh, will also occur to him.”
And note, this isn’t because the waters are some sort of abortifacient. It is because god is personally intervening and causing it to happen. This is the invocation of a literal miracle. Nachmanides indicates that the sotah law, this trial of the bitter waters, the only one out of the 613 commandments in the law, requires god’s action in order to be carried out. That’s because of the later verse that if the woman is innocent, she’ll have a baby.
In the Talmud, it describes Chana, Samuel’s mother, telling god that if he doesn’t help her get pregnant (she had been barren), she would undergo the sotah and force god to help her. She was barren but also not sleeping around. Thus, since the result of undergoing the trial when you’re innocent is that you’ll have a baby, she threatened to do it in order to force god to make her get pregnant.
Walter Solomon says
That parking lot doesn’t seem to connect to any road. Do the cars just drop in from above? I guess that would be appropriate for a creationist institution given their dependence on what Daniel Dennet calls “skyhooks” for their philosophy to work.
Owosso Harpist says
Don’t forget about Dumb Idiot Ham having an attitude problem that so bad that a whole lot of Christians refuses to invite him over to their Christian seminars. He’s also racist, hypocrite, misogynist, stingy, acts like the man baby who once desecrated the White House for 4 years, and does dinosaurs completely wrong. All this and so much more explains why Dumb Idiot Ham has a horrible time hiring people for his crap-a-lot places.
The dorms depicted appear to have 50 rooms, thus two occupants for each room: two males(females) for each of the male(female) dorm rooms. I suspect that there is going to be a lot of sex happening.
Walter Solomon @20
You can check out, but never leave.
Well, I live about 25 miles south of the Ark Park…my theory is, a lot of their labor force died of covid, and the rest got much better paying jobs elsewhere. KY is chock full of fundies, and there isn’t any more supplementary unemployment (thank you, Repub legislature), but even ChikFilA is having a hard time with staffing. Just a puzzle, I know!
I wonder if as unpaid interns they will be expected to pay room and board to live in this housing?
“we’re finding employers will not employ those who come from conservative institutions that take biblical stands on marriage, abortion, and gender (many employers check social media posts to check out what people believe), and we’ve heard of many people being fired from their jobs because of their public stand on God’s Word as a Christian.”
He’s failing to mention those conservative institutions might be unaccredited or have a lousy academic reputation. Also other Christians get annoyed at people telling they aren’t Christians because they don’t agree with Ham’s definition of Christian.
Rich Woods says
Akira MacKenzie says
No need to wonder at all. They’ll enforce it through whomever is willing to fink on their fellows for what they hope is a divine pat on the head. That, and making shit up always works.
Owosso Harpist says
I would not at all be surprised if/when I find out that Dumb Idiot Ham kicks out someone from his putrid park/museum only because he/she corrects him over a Bible verse or passage Dumb Idiot Ham deliberately misquotes from time to time. Now that’s another reason why he’s not getting people hired in his so-called business. He kicks out anyone who dares to say a Bible passage or verse correctly with the right meaning that ruins Ham’s “reading” of “God’s Word.”
Oggie: Mathom says
I was recently in a shipping store and I noticed a sign which read: “Sorry for the delays. We are Short-Staffed. No one wants to work anymore.” Which annoyed me. People want to work. They want to earn a living wage and get some benefits (like a 401k, health insurance . . .). But I kept my mouth shut. Until, as I dropped off the prepaid return box, the boss (and I knew he was the boss as he was proudly identified, by photo up on the wall, as the owner of this establishment) said, “There is a $5.00 drop of fee for prepaid UPS.”
I looked at him and said, “Five bucks? Not from me. But I do have some advice. For free. You left off part of that (I pointed to the sign) sign. The last line should read, ‘No one wants to work anymore for what I am willing to pay.'”
He snarled at me and said that ten bucks an hour was high pay before the socialists took over. I told him he needed to actually look at a definition of socialism, I took my box, and left. And went to an actual UPS store where I dropped off the package with no additional fee.
Business owners have had about 54 years of saturated labour markets. This is longer than just about any of them have actually been owning, running, or managing businesses. They have no clue how to react when the workers can (usually (I know that there are areas in the US (and I am speaking specifically about the US because that is what I know) where there really is one employer so switching jobs would require moving)) move on down the road and shop for better wages, better hours, and better benefits. Do they blame themselves for the labour squeeze? No, of course not. It is those greedy socialists. Or something. But certainly not the dominant paradigm of economics for the last fifty years.
That said, there are some places (like AiG) where I am so glad to see that they are having trouble filling positions.
There is also a part of me that wonders: how long after those dorms are built do we find out that AiG is covering up assaults, drug use, etc, in those dorms? Because, remember, Christians are not perfect, they are forgiven.
@29, Nice story, good response on your part.
Apropos of nothing much, I recently dropped off a UPS package (here in S.France where I live), properly labelled and prepaid via the website at a local jewelry / watch shop which also offers sending / receiving services for UPS (what UPS here calls an “access point” if I recall properly). No additional fees. And no hassle. The shopkeeper took the package, scanned it, and that was that.
Oggie: Mathom says
I have occasionally hit a $1.00 drop off fee (a local gas station/mini mart used to be a receiving point for UPS, FedEx and USPS). The extra buck was a convenience fee. But $5.00?