The Cincinnati Zoo cancelled a planned joint Christmas event with the Creation Museum (CM) just across the border in northern KY. The promo gave a discounted ticket for the Zoo’s Festival of Lights and the CM’s nativity exhibit. The zoo was swamped by angry calls and emails of protest. Peter Bronson (of the Cincinnati Enquirer) wrote this in an editorial, “The live nativity at the CM will have an actual, living, cud-chewing camel. Frightening. There will also be goats and sheep. Terrifying. Cuddly lambs might seem harmless to the average visitor, but some people are scared witless by the possibility that some innocent, devout [atheist] could accidentally wander onto the grounds of the CM and get exposed to radioactive Christianity or other ideas which should be outlawed…It’s not the camels and sheep that scare them, it’s the notion that someone might believe in something they don’t.” One example of the outraged emails the zoo received reads, “Asking me to tolerate this kind of worldview [creationism] is akin to asking me to tolerate illiteracy. Both are problems of education and intelligence.” Museum co-founder Ken Ham fires back: “They’re the ones who are being intolerant. We are not afraid of creationists going to the zoo and seeing their messages about evolution. But they sure are worried about people hearing about creationism. More and more the secularists and atheists don’t want people to even hear the other side.” Bronson then asks, “It makes me wonder: If the science [supporting evolution] is so unshakeable, what are they afraid of? Why wouldn’t they welcome a debate? Why wouldn’t they encourage open-minded exploration? Isn’t that what scientific inquiry is all about? But it seems like Americans have perfected the art of being mortally offended by ridiculous trivialities. I suppose next they will try to ban Santa Claus because all that stuff about reindeer pulling his sleigh across the sky has not been peer-reviewed in a scientific journal.” Incidentally, the zoo website also contains a promotion for an Easter celebration complete with egg hunt, kid’s activities, and visit from…the Easter Bunny. So far there have been no protests from atheists about this mythical being who has no scientific evidence to support its existence.
Peter Bronson editorial has been removed from Cincinnati Enquirer website archives. Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the full text.