Posted by: Ticktock | July 28, 2009

I Will Not Give the Creation Museum My Money!

PZ Myers and a small army of his followers will be descending upon my hometown of Cincinnati for an excursion to the notoriously ignorant Creation Museum. The point of the SSA sponsored visit is that it will be a “fact finding mission” for the purpose of spreading criticism (and likely first hand ridicule) across the blogosphere. Fair enough, but…

The Creation Museum willfully retards the intelligence of it’s visitors by spreading misinformation as fact. I would be happy to see them go bankrupt, pack up their anachronistic dinosaurs, and leave town forever. So, I have mixed feelings about this visit, where each member of the atheist mob will be paying $10 to the people that they oppose the most. That’s more than $2000 going to a museum that denigrates science, misinforms hundreds of students, and stains the reputation of the entire area. On the other hand, it would be fairly cool to be there to see the mockery that unfolds.

I completely understand that they’re getting a discounted rate, and that they will be ridiculing what they see (in a censored fashion), but that’s ten dollars per person that could have been donated to the Secular Student Alliance, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, or the Center For Inquiry. The creationists shouldn’t be given a dime by atheists, and yet, hundreds of them will be paying a tithe to make a pilgrimage to this bastion of offensive fundamentalist propaganda. To put it in perspective, PZ shut down the deal between the Cincinnati Zoo and the Creation Museum, yet he is now participating in, even encouraging, a deal with the Creation Museum. And yet, nobody has bothered to question this?

Not to be an omen of misfortune, I’m also extremely concerned that the atheists attending will be subjecting themselves to possible violence. I don’t mean to be an alarmist, but this museum is on the Kentucky side of the river where there all kinds of Fox News zombies who cock their pistols every time they hear the words “abortion“, “atheist“, and “Obama“. I’ve been concerned about PZ ever since he desecrated a communion cracker, but this entourage to the Creation Museum puts hundreds of atheists at risk of violence from any number of crazy right wing extremist living in the area. I’m not saying that violence is likely or inevitable, and I’m definitely not saying that anyone should adjust their behavior out of fear, but it’s a risk that we take being the most despised group in America. It’s not a joke around here.

It’s ironic because the folks at the Creation Museum are probably worried about the same thing. They think that a bunch of godless heathens will come in and destroy the museum, rape the innocent, and steal their souls. I’m exaggerating of course, but it’s evident from their recent demands that the employees of the Creation Museum are on the verge of pissing their pants with fear that the godless horde will rise up and drag them to hell. We can only hope that the atheists behave so pleasantly that some of the creationists reconsider their prior assumptions. The frequenters of Pharyngula are mean SOBs when they’re semi-anonymous, as many of us are, but I’m quite sure that the atheists of the SSA are just normal ethical citizens who care about the world, their family, and their friends.

Clearly, I’m in the minority on refusing to attend the Creation Museum, as it seems there are very few dissenting votes against the idea of forking over cash money to them. I’m interested what you think. Am I missing the point? Am I being too paranoid? Or do you possibly agree? Let me know.

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Responses

  1. Well, I’m headed down there, and I’m not particularly worried about violence. I AM worried about a bunch of hyper anti-religion jackasses making a scene and setting the secular cause back a few decades. As you saw today on Pharyngula, we’ve been warned.

    As for the $2,000 going to support creationist propaganda, I agree that its not an idea situation. But as of last month 750,000 people have visited the museum, at $22 a head. That is $16.5 million in the 2 years since its opening. That’s not too shabby, even if it took $27 million to build. Our discounted admission is a drop in their very deep buckets.

    Furthermore, I’m HOPING that the SSA did their part to get some positive media attention for the event. The trip from the North American Paleontological Convention last month got written up in the New York Times! Any attention we can bring to the ridiculousness of its existence is a good thing.

  2. I heard PZ and the gang were coming, and I considered joining them, but decided that, like you, I’ll be damned if I’ll give them a dime! My hope is that those who do attend dress in their Sunday-best, use the manners their mommmas taught them, and represent us in style. I’m a little concerned that’s not how it is going to go down.

  3. I’ll admit to being very sheltered. In Australia, the idea that someone would be threatened or threaten me because I’m an atheist is almost unimaginable.

    I see what you mean about giving them money, but I think it’s worth it. Refusing to see what they are saying invites all sorts of accusations of prejudice etc, but polite questioning is hard to rebut. I don’t see any of them changing their minds, but at least others can see that we’re reasonable and open. Or maybe I’m naive!

  4. Yeah, I would be scared to go too. Maybe those that are going could match (or double) the donation to the good guys.

  5. My immediate reaction is “no way!” I agree that it’s a waste of money. I also am concerned that the media value of the event won’t redound to our benefit. And I share your concern about violence. But mainly I find it distasteful that PZ et all are seeking out confrontation. Of course, I hope all turns out well.

  6. I understand you POV. I asked Joe Nickell about this once because the CFI library is stocked with woo books. He says he doens’t mind buying the books because the $15-$20 is well worth the milage he gets from ripping it apart. That’s why there is really no problem with creationist money. It’s money well spent – I believe you will see that from PZ and hoard. I also believe this is very necessary and draws the RIGHT kind of attention (assuming everyone behaves themselves).

  7. When I played football in High School, we spent hours every week watching film of other teams so we’d be prepared when it came time for the game. Similarly, you wouldn’t go into a debate without looking up some of the tactics your opponents have used in past debates. The problem is, we generally don’t have time to prepare when people ask questions in our everyday lives. Therefore, I think its IMPERATIVE to familiarize ourselves with the kinds of woo that these people are touting so when its brought up, we’re prepared and know exactly how to answer it. $10 is a small price to pay for taking a peek at the other side’s play book.

  8. Colin, my wife and I have lived in Cincinnati for two years now and paid full price to see the creation museum when we first arrived. We took lots of pictures and had a lot of fun laughing at the exhibits and more fun later posting the pictures with our sardonic comments. We of course had reservations about giving money to the other side, but as Dan! pointed out the atheists are not the ones keeping them in business. I don’t know if you looked into the tickets at all, but on the registration and payment form there is a little spot for one to leave an “optional guilt-relieving donation to the SSA.” In response to Vee I did match my donation to the creation museum with a donation to the SSA. I hope that most people who are going did the same if not better.
    You’ve already seen PZ’s admonition to the attendees of the museum; I am going to follow the rules and be a good example of atheism to the creationists and if anyone in my group starts getting out of line I trust that someone in our group (perhaps me personally) will calm them down.
    Aside from the information gathering aspect of it, I know PZ will have some tough questions to ask of the workers there and it will be good entertainment.

    • Thanks for the info, Xeno. That makes me feel a bit better knowing that there is an accessible option for attendees to donate to the SSA.

  9. I’m not areligious, but I am atheist, and I want very badly to go to the Creation Museum some day. I intend to take my children there when they’re old enough– if the place survives 20 years from now when I have teenagers, they need to be informed what the other side believes. I intend to turn it into a very vocal lesson. Stop by an exhibit about the age of the earth, turn to my children, and say, “Now, who can explain to me why and how this is incorrect? Make sure you point out all the mistakes in logic, math, and basic understanding of the scientific method.”

    Museums like that are a great way to teach children why creationism is wrong.

  10. I have learned from the book Sun Tzu wrote many years ago… “Know your enemy and know yourself” going to this travesty IS a good idea… because if we know the enemy… we can defeat them!

  11. Just wanted to offer an eye-witness account of the trip to the Creation ‘Museum.’ I went on the trip as an “incognito Christian” by signing up with SSA. Here is my own account of the event: http://lunchboxsw.wordpress.com/2009/08/11/scarlet-a-for-a-day/


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