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?