A Strange Sort of “Lion’s Den:” AiG at NEA

If I ever get thrown into a lion’s den, I want it to be the sort leading creationists complained about recently.

America’s leading young-earth creationist calls the National Education Association the “Lion’s Den,” “one of the most humanistic, pro-abortion, pro-“gay” marriage, anti-creation organizations in the USA.”

If so, why are creationists associated with Answers In Genesis spending time, effort, and money to make an appearance at the NEA convention?

Image Source: Creation Science Educators' Caucus

Image Source: Creation Science Educators’ Caucus

In leader Ken Ham’s words, the teachers and administrators affiliated with the NEA are “in dire need of the creation-gospel message (though we praise God for the Christian teachers who are something like “missionaries” in the public school systems).”

In order to reach those wayward teachers, Answers In Genesis supported a booth at this year’s convention.  As ever, as intrepid creationist Jobe Martin reported, the main goal is to spread their version of evangelical Christianity.  The topic of creation, Martin said, “is a great platform from which to spring off into the gospel.”

How did the creation ministry fare at NEA?

Results were mixed.  As young-earth creationists might have predicted, the booth provoked a lot of animosity.  In Dr. Martin’s words,

This year a man walked all the way around the booth, saying in a loud voice with a determined look on his face: “Lies! Lies! Lies!” A woman (who called herself a Christian) came by yelling that she was going to have us “kicked out” of the NEA convention. Many teachers passed by us with a comment that they seemed to think is original with them, but we hear this smug remark every year:  “No thank you, I teach science.”

As regular ILYBYGTH readers know, I’m no creationist.  But I try hard to be open-minded and sympathetic to creationists’ claims.  In other essays, I’ve defended Ken Ham’s right to his ministry, and encouraged my fellow non-creationists to reach across the culture-war trenches.

In this case, however, Ken Ham and his colleagues sound like the boys who cried lion’s den.

Full disclosure: I am a proud NEA member myself.  But I don’t think I’m offering here a knee-jerk defense of my union.  Based solely on the reporting from the young-earth creationists themselves, they seem to have been welcomed to the NEA convention.  According to Dr. Martin, the NEA has even offered official status to a caucus of creation scientists.  What’s more, though the creation booth attracted hostile attention, according to Dr. Martin, it also welcomed several creationist teachers who thanked them for their presence and took home bagloads of free curricular materials.

Is that life in a lion’s den?  It sounds to me more like life in a vibrant pluralistic organization, one that welcomes all kinds of people into its ranks, even when the leaders of the organization disagree vehemently with some of those people.

 

 

Advertisements
Leave a comment

2 Comments

  1. Would that not depend on the extent of AIG’s metaphorical application of the term “lion’s den”?

    Reply
  2. “one of the most humanistic, pro-abortion, pro-“gay” marriage, anti-creation organizations in the USA.”

    I’m on a bit of a diversion, I’ll admit, but this is one thing that I’ve never been able to understand. Why is “humanism” such a menace (or depending on the speaker, such a moral triumph)? It seems like humanism is a filler text. It’s a polymorphous beast that changes into whatever its critic or supporter wants it to be. One moment it means “love thy neighbour, do good to those who persecute you”, another moment it means “man is the measure of all things.”

    Awesome, insightful article by the way.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s