Assistant Manager at Cincinnati Museum Center Derides Creation Museum

Editor’s note: Two days after this blog was posted, leaders representing both the Cincinnati Museum Center and the Creation Museum spoke (June 9). The Creation Museum was assured that the assistant manager in question at the Cincinnati Museum Center is a front-line staff person and is not in a CMC leadership role, and his opinions were his alone and not CMC’s.

Recently the Cincinnati Enquirer published an article about the Creation Museum and the new features including a world-class insect exhibit, a spectacular Dragon Legends exhibit and the new zip line course, which is by far the best in mid-America. You can view the article on the Cincinnati.com website.

In the comments section for this article, Kurt Percy, who states he is an assistant manager at the Cincinnati Museum Center (which is not necessarily a position that has any input or influence on museum content), posted the following:

This is not a museum, and this is further proof of that. Please stop referring to it as such. They are not an accredited museum by any association of museums. It is a theme park that misleads the public and it is a pockmark on our region. The fact that someone profits by misrepresenting their faith as science to children and families is shameful. When we wonder why America is falling behind in science education, it is because places like this are allowed to exist. I’m glad to see that their attendance is declining despite generous handouts from the state of Kentucky at the expense of their university funding.

It’s interesting that an assistant manager at the Cincinnati Museum Center took the time to attack the Creation Museum. Now, we realize he’s not one of the top people at the museum center and has nothing to do with content, but Percy’s comments reflect on the entire museum center. While we at Answers in Genesis do not agree with the teaching of evolution and millions of years at the Cincinnati Museum Center (e.g., in the Museum of Natural History and Science), nevertheless we don’t discourage people from visiting there and we don’t publicly attack them in such a manner as Percy has done to the Creation Museum. In fact, on the Creation Museum website, in our listing of attractions in the area, we include the Cincinnati Museum Center and state this with various links to each facility:

Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal is home to the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children’s Museum, the Museum of Natural History & Science, the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX Theater, and the Cincinnati Historical Society Library. The Museum Center is a nationally recognized educational and research resource and one of the top cultural attractions in the Midwest. The Cincinnati Museum Center serves more than 1.47 million visitors annually.” (http://creationmuseum.org/plan-your-visit/lodging-attractions/)

I must admit, knowing how the management (certainly one of the assistant managers) of this center is so antagonistic to the Creation Museum (using false accusations) and how this assistant manager has now publicly stated this, I will meet with our senior staff to consider no longer recommending this attraction to Creation Museum visitors and deleting it from our website list of attractions.

Perhaps Percy needs to look up the definition of museum. The Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary states that a museum is “an institution devoted to the procurement, care, study, and display of objects of lasting interest or value; also: a place where objects are exhibited.”

It would seem Percy isn’t aware of this definition and thus makes such ridiculous statements as, “This is not a museum. . . . Please stop referring to it as such.” But the American Alliance of Museums offers the following description:

Museums are wonderfully diverse. They are operated by nonprofits and for-profits, colleges, universities and every level of government. Some are managed by large staffs; others are run solely by volunteers. They include all types:

  • Aquarium
  • Anthropology
  • Arboretum/Botanic Garden
  • Art
  • Children’s
  • Culturally Specific
  • Hall of Fame
  • Historic House
  • Historic Site
  • History
  • Historical Society
  • Military/Battlefield
  • Nature Center
  • Natural History
  • Planetarium
  • Presidential Library
  • Science/Technology
  • Specialized
  • Transportation
  • Visitor Center
  • Zoo

(http://www.aam-us.org/about-museums)

What’s more, the Cincinnati Museum Center is actually a member of the AAM:

AMERICAN ALLIANCE OF MUSEUMS ACCREDITATION

In 2012, Cincinnati Museum Center achieved accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition for a museum. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies and to the museum-going public. Of the nation’s estimated 17,500 museums, 778 (only 4.5%) are currently accredited. Cincinnati Museum Center is one of 26 museums accredited in Ohio and joins the Cincinnati Art Museum, Taft Museum of Art and Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden as accredited institutions in Cincinnati. Cincinnati Museum Center is one of only 16 institutions nationally honored with both the IMLS award as well as AAM Accreditation. (http://www.cincymuseum.org/about-cincinnati-museum-center)

The International Council of Museums gives this definition of museums:

 A museum is a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment. (http://icom.museum/the-vision/museum-definition/)

The Creation Museum certainly fits under these definitions.

Really, it would seem from his comments that Percy is showing his intolerance of the message of the Creation Museum. Instead of promoting freedom of speech and religion, Percy does not want a place like the Creation Museum to exist because he disagrees with the message. Sadly, this is typical of the intolerance against biblical Christianity seen in our increasingly secularized culture today.

When you read the other comments on the article, one can see the anger and hatred against what the Creation Museum stands for. But from our experience, such intolerance is only held by a small minority in the community.

Percy also states, “When we wonder why America is falling behind in science education, it is because places like this are allowed to exist.”

I had to laugh when I read this ridiculous, unfounded outburst. Think about it—the majority of kids in the culture (including 90 percent of kids from church homes) attend the public education system. This system threw out the Bible, prayer, and the teaching of creation years ago. Evolution and millions of years is taught as fact in the public schools. Public school textbooks arbitrarily define science to not allow the supernatural from having anything to do with the universe but insist the universe came about only by natural processes: naturalism is atheism.

The point is, if America is falling behind in science education, how could it be the result of a place like the Creation Museum, the only major such museum of its kind in the world (though there are a few small creationist museums)? The majority of kids are educated by the public education system, and there are numerous secular museums across the country that teach evolution and millions of years as fact. Most science programs and documentaries on secular television (e.g., Discovery Channel, History Channel, PBS, etc.) present evolution as fact over and over again. And Percy thinks biblical Christians are responsible for the nation falling behind in science education? His statement is laughable.

But then Percy states, “I’m glad to see that their attendance is declining despite generous handouts from the state of Kentucky at the expense of their university funding.” First of all, attendance in past years has been above projections, this calendar year is already up on last year, and group bookings for the summer are way ahead of last year.

Secondly, the statement about “generous handouts from the state of Kentucky at the expense of their university funding” is just a plain lie. The Creation Museum receives no funds from the state—it is entirely privately funded. Maybe he is referring to the possible state tourism tax incentives if the Ark Encounter project is opened. But even if he is referring to this, then he is still promulgating false information. The Ark Encounter will be built totally by private funds—no state funds will be used. If the Ark Encounter opens within a particular time frame and does reach its projections of attendance, then a rebate of sales tax paid by visitors to the park may be refunded. Actually, the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter bring money into the state that will be used by the state for its various funding projects.

But here is an assistant manager at the Cincinnati Museum Center making false accusations about funding concerning the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter—both of which are totally privately funded—and yet the Cincinnati Museum Center has received taxpayer money (the museum center received $5.5 million in taxpayer money in 2011). A news article on Cincinnati.com in 2011 stated:

County property owners already pay a Museum Center levy that costs the owner of a $100,000 home $4.60 a year to help it cover operating costs. That levy lasts through 2014, so if voters approve a repair levy —which they estimate would cost that same homeowner another $10 a year—property owners would be paying two museum levies for the next three years. (http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110625/NEWS01/106260324/Museum-Center-pressing-levy)

As the article featured the new zip line course at the Creation Museum (over 20 zip lines and 10 sky bridges), Percy appears to be mocking this when he stated in his comment, “This is not a museum, and this is further proof of that.” This comes from an assistant manager of a museum center that at Christmas time has special events run in conjunction with Holiday Junction (train display) each year like a North Pole Pajama Party, breakfast with Santa, and Holidate. And Percy derides us for having a zip line course that, as staff are trained, will also serve as an ecology course. Percy’s anti-Creation Museum bias is showing.

I would’ve expected far more professionalism and careful research from an assistant manager at such a Cincinnati icon as the Cincinnati Museum Center, rather than this intolerant, mocking comment and false accusations. I believe the Creation Museum should receive a public apology from Percy and/or the Cincinnati Museum Center for his outlandish and false statements and public attack on this God-honoring, professionally run facility.

Make sure you plan your visit to the Creation Museum—find out more at: www.creationmuseum.org. Come see our new, world-class Insectorium and spectacular Dragon Legends exhibit.

We are also thrilled to open the best zip line course in mid-America this month. What a great addition to such a family-friendly, God-honoring place! I think Kurt Percy doesn’t like the fact that this will help bring more families (lots more children, too) to the Creation Museum. He doesn’t want them hearing the message of truth from God’s Word. He would rather they be indoctrinated to believe they are animals who evolved from pond scum. At the Creation Museum, they will learn they are made in the image of God, that we’re fallen because of our sin in Adam, and that through Christ’s life, death, and Resurrection, God has provided a free gift of salvation for those who will receive it.

Come and visit this wonderful, God-honoring place.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
Ken