Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Trouble in Paradise

At Ken Ham's newly opened Creation Museum, the lion may well lay down with the lamb. And the animatronic dinosaurs who populate the leafy glades of the museum's Garden of Eden are all committed vegans. The good Christians who built the place, on the other hand, are sharp-eyed predators and carnivores all.

Inside the Answers In Genesis Creation Museum's dioramas, evolution may be the enemy, but up in the executive suite an instinct for the jugular -- and the bottom line -- is alive and well. Nature's red tooth and claw have been replaced by sharp elbows. Business practices that would make a robber baron blush, it would seem, are now the norm.

Christian Faith and Reason, which calls itself an online magazine for Christian apologists and skeptical seekers of reason, tells the story, and, it isn't a pretty one. Ham, who was lauded at the museum's opening for his "Christian integrity" by AiG Chief Communications Officer Mark Looy, it seems, unscrupulously terminated the American distribution relationship it had with Creation Ministries International to distribute that organization’s Creation Magazine.

Ham and AiG saw there was money to be made. They took Creation Magazine's American subscribers list and made it their own. According to the report, Ham and AiG have been asked by the Australian group that publishes Creation Magazine to "resolve the dispute in a manner consistent with Christian principles."

“We have had a formal enquiry into the matter by a committee of eminent Christians (including several with senior legal experience) in this country," says Carl Wieland, Managing Director of the Australian based Creation Ministries International. "The results may be made public in short order if there is not a settlement soon, which we hope there is at last, despite AiG's rejection of binding Christian arbitration.”

When a Christian Faith and Reason reporter asked Ken Ham about the dispute in a phone interview last Friday, they report he unceremoniously hung up the phone.

There may be good reasons why Ham and other AiG executives don't want to talk about how they pulled the rug out from under their outback young earth creationist brothers, millions of them.

Between 2003 and 2004, according to Jim Lippard, annual revenue at AiG climbed from $9,016,228 to $10,423,222, while compensation for officers and directors tripled during the same period from a modest $313,960 to a princely $926,837.

Ham's 2004 paycheck of $125,000, while living in a state where the median income is $37,270, indicates AiG's CEO is one of those who, having set out to do good, did very, very well indeed.


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