Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Book Review: Righting America at the Creation Museum

First off, I haven't read this book (yet).  While I do read a lot, I can't read everything I would like to, there is only so much time in the day.  In this case I ran across this review and thought it was very interesting.  "Book review: ‘Righting America at the Creation Museum’ "  I wasn't going to read it, thinking it was yet another puff piece about little kennie ham's monument to his own ego.  Plus it was written by two University of Dayton professors.  While I do live in the Dayton area, UD is one of the premiere Catholic Universities in the country.  Those of you who have been reading my blog are familiar with my issues over various organized religions.  Secondly it was in the "Mennonite World Review", self-described as "An independent ministry of Christian journalism serving Mennonites and the global Anabaptist Movement"  You can see my skepticism, but I also recognized it as a knee-jerk reaction and I try not give way to knee-jerk reactions.  Which means I have read a great many things that end up quickly dismissed.

So I started reading the review, still expecting to see a puff piece, wow . . . I was surprised.  This book . . . well let me quote the review:

"Susan L. Trollinger and Wil­liam Vance Trollinger Jr. [the authors] describe the Creation Museum as an arsenal for the Christian Right’s culture wars. It’s an apt analogy, but perhaps a better comparison would be a propaganda campaign."
That sort of opening certainly got my attention.  No puff piece would have used the term 'propaganda campaign'!  The review got better:
"They describe exhibits that don’t adhere to stated principles, opportunistic applications of Scripture and dubiously employed uses of theology, history and science — all in a facility that douses visitors with a flood of information in a fast-paced environment that obscures the shortcomings."
I likened the 'museum' as a carnival ride.  An Opportunistic applications of Scripture . . . I would have worded that slightly different, and have in the past.  The Creation 'Museum' and its sister exhibit, the 'replica' of Noah's Ark. are  based on kennie ham's personal interpretation of the first 11 chapters of the Christian Bible, or as I like to say: "The Bible according to kennie ham".  For example:
"The museum’s biblical foundation is problematic. It asserts not only that all Scripture must be read literally but also that it’s commonsensical and doesn’t need interpretation — which is itself an interpretation. Righting America points out that the museum doesn’t address the striking differences between the two creation stories in Genesis and the two sets of instructions to Noah, who first was told to take two of each kind of animal but later seven pairs of each clean animal and one pair of each that was unclean."
See what I mean, little kennie cherry picks the hell [pun intended] of the Bible and then assumes he's the only arbitrator truthfulness.

There are more critiques, some even more damning than what I have posted here.  I encourage you to go read it all for yourself.  If I quote any more, I would simple have to quote the entire article, but that's against the rules to reproduce it in its entirety.  So go and enjoy this reminder that little kennie doesn't represent all of Christianity, as much as he seems to think he does.  He only represents a small minority, a very small minority.  In my opinion most Christians probably think he's nuts.

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