Genesis to Book of Ham: America's Faith-Based Disneyland

In the beginning it was the Creative Genius known to us as Walt Disney.

On his first “day” of creativity, Walt drew a little likeable mouse, Mickey; starting with him a world of animated make-believe. And for the next five Walt-days, he went on to create many stars which illuminated the screen inviting us to smile and, even more importantly, to dream: Snow White, Pinocchio, Donald Duck… and countless other characters who took life form to the delight of young and old.

Finally on the seventh Walt-day, known to the more senior amongst us as the Glorious Decade of the 50’s, Walt extended an invitation not just to Americans but the entire world to share in all his creative genius; to take a repose from the harsh reality of life and a fearful Cold War, at a temporal paradise appropriately named the magic kingdom: Disneyland. And that grand opening day, July 17, 1955 became the end of Disney’s genesis… and the very start of ours in that Garden of Eden located in California’s oranges-adorned Anaheim. [Unfortunately, the few oranges now left in Anaheim are those pictured on the city seal.]

Just over a half-century later, on May 28, 2007 – Memorial Day, perhaps to add a touch of patriotism to the event – a new grand opening took place at the other end of North America, a suburb or two away from Cincinnati, in the small Kentuckian community of Petersburg. This time what’s being celebrated is the biblical history of humankind from Genesis to the Book of Ham (not Ham-Al Kem, or Ham Radio… but Rev. Ken Ham) by way of a state-of-the-art animatronics, $27 million theme park named, or rather baptized by some zealous Christian believers, as the Creation Museum. A place where K. Ham, Australia’s evangelical re-gift to America, can symbolically nail at the museum’s front door, Genesis 1 to 11, much the way Martin Luther did in 1517 his “95 Theses” at the door of Schlosskirche (castle church).

The “new reformation” has just begun with this Book of Ham, the pope being replaced this time by that product of man’s enlightenment that we know as science. And in this museum, science is being redefined under the pretense that our minds are too dull with the color of reason and need to be rejuvenated with a coat, perhaps two, of bright faith. Coats that are expected to cover up all that “nonsense” about evolution, including such writings as Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species.”

So here we are in this incredible America of ours, in this first decade of the 21st century, 38 years after Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, walking with the heels of our shoes pointing forward in blatant defiance of science; science as a body of knowledge attained and accumulated by systematic study, and organized by strict general principles.

In this 60,000-square-foot mausoleum of truth intended to show the history of man in a compressed period of 6,000 years, the comic-book material of humans sharing time with dinosaurs is both risible and deceptive. Pre-Noah’s ark and post-Noah’s ark major deception performed via a transfusion of all-purpose pseudo-science by academic-credentialed transfusion-givers.

For a person who a very long time ago visited the cave of Altamira in Northern Spain; one who stood in awe and reverence at this pre-historic Sistine Chapel with 15,000-year-old paintings by humans without biblical credentials; and one who broke spiritual bread with these first Cantabrians, one can only feel sadness in such display of arrogant ignorance. By taking the writings in the Bible in literal manner, creationists fail to give an indication of faith, but instead a demonstration of lack of perspective and knowledge.

Religion and science do not have to be mutually exclusive, but reason and unreason, a priori, are. If science shies away from religion by the way it defines itself, why can’t religion leave science well enough alone and not enter science’s domain with its very own set of rules?

Half of Americans believe in creationism and not evolution, and two-thirds contend that creationism should be taught side by side with evolution in a science class. At least, that’s what pollsters are telling us. And after realizing the quality of some of the people we help elect, and the herd-mentality in so much of our population, perhaps those poll results do indeed tell the story, presenting us to the world in a very unflattering, but nonetheless accurate light.

Hopefully many around the world still remember us as the nation that produced Disney, who brought joy to untold millions throughout the world. Disneyland, the place and the concept, has been something pride-worthy for America to share with the world. I have a strong feeling, however, that this Creation Museum is something strictly for home consumption, seasoned to our taste, but very definitely not fit for export. Not this theme park… for a museum it certainly is not!