From one of our clandestine operatives comes the following scan of a solicitation document from Answers in Genesis, as the deeply confused “ministry” continues to seek millions to construct its horrifically misguided Noah’s ark replica in rural northern Kentucky.
As you can see, like any slick, massive, well-funded, fine-tuned integration awareness/fundraising campaign worth its salt, the flyer offers a wide variety of avenues for funneling money out of your pockets and into the coffers of AiG.
An entry-level donation will net you a copy of “A Pocket Guide to Noah’s Ark: A Biblical and Scientific Look at the Genesis Account,” but you can tell by the solitary dot in this sad, lonely column that it is no place for the True Christian™. The leaflet looks like a real masterpiece, though, and it can be yours for only $35!
Of course, AiG and their fundraising team are hoping you look a bit to the right of that column, where — based on the level of your donation — you’ll be assigned a peg, plank or beam in the actual construction of the ark.
That’s right. Peg, plank or beam. Honestly, if they were deliberately trying to set us up for a series of jokes centered around male insecurity, they could not have done a better job. (I wonder how much you have to give to be awarded a shaft or a rod?)
Anyway, whatever … piece of — ahem — wood you settle on, you’ll be entitled to a number of privileges, including the ability to locate the bit you contributed using conveniently placed digital kiosks available on site. You know, just like the real ark.
I’m joking. I think we all know that this project is not, nor has it ever been about demonstrating the plausibility of the literal interpretation of the Noah’s ark story (which is something they originally claimed, evidently before they realized how much workers comp insurance costs for 600-year-old laborers).
Honestly, I don’t think it’s even really about promoting or defending their literalist worldview in general, since they surely know how hilariously bad their track record is at convincing anyone who knows what they’re talking about that their scientific perspective makes sense.
Having a deeply intellectual and ground-breaking epiphany is not a common experience for your typical theme park attendee, and I can’t imagine anyone over the age of 10 (and that may be stretching it) being swayed by the puerile just-so stories and cartoonish displays that Ken Ham and his brain trust have come up with over the years.
Above all, this project is not about sharing the gospel, because Ham and AiG, for one thing, don’t know what the gospel is. And for another, if they really did care about spreading the good news, this would be the most wasteful, ridiculous and ineffective possible way to do it.
So what is all this really about? I can only speculate, of course, but money is a big part of it. That much is obvious.
For the second, you have to look at who groups like AiG, and thus, their absurd outreaches like the ark park, cater to. And since it’s not working scientists, and it’s not skeptics and it’s certainly not non-believers, who does that leave? Conservative evangelical Christians. In other words, the folks who already agree with them to begin with.
And if the way to do that is consolidating their base and subtly ostracizing (or should I say “stiffing”?) the rest of us, so be it.