Ken Ham Using Creation Museum for Kentucky Politics

IRS brochure

Update, January 28, 2023, 3:30 p.m., MST. A version of this post appeared in the Lexington (Kentucky) Herald-Leader under the head Creation Museum to host anti-abortion event with extremist pastor, Ky legislators | Opinion. Mark Looy replied under the head Abortion clarification. You may see the text of his letter in Comment 6101095162. Mr. Phelps replies there that Mr. Looy’s reply “seems to concede what I said, but tries to obfuscate. He admits that the legislation would cause women that have abortions be charged with murder and that Pastor Jeff Durbin advocates the death penalty.”

Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis (AiG), along with the extremist Jeff Durbin of Arizona’s Apologia Church, are hosting a political event for pastors at the Creation Museum to support pending Kentucky anti-abortion legislation. To my knowledge this legislation has not yet been introduced as of January 18. The rally is also advertised on January 18, AiG’s weekly “Answers News”, near the end of the show (about 34 minutes in).

Back in March 2007, when the Creation Museum was about to open, AiG’s Mark Looy and Ken Ham penned a post to their website titled “Goose-stepping to Zion.” This essay claims AiG is “apolitical” and states:

Although Hedges insinuates that the creation movement (especially AiG, for he spends most of his chapter on us) is a major part of America’s religious right and its fascist tendencies, AiG is apolitical. It avoids the political arena. It’s not our job to change the culture—it’s our job to disseminate information, proclaim the gospel, and stand on the authority of God’s Word … and THEN see hearts changed for the Lord.

Now, if these changed lives impact the culture, and if God blesses that, then we’re happy to see it. But we’re not going to be an activist ministry in the sense of legislating, litigating or lobbying key leaders to mandate change in society.

Obviously, policy on politicking has changed for AiG since 2007. Last October AiG had an “Answers for Pastors” meeting at the Ark Encounter featuring White Christian Nationalist Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. I reported on this on the Panda’s Thumb here.

I think this upcoming political rally for pastors supporting specific legislation is particularly disturbing, and not because it is about abortion. This event indicates Ham/AiG are becoming more overtly involved in Kentucky politics. Will Kentuckians see AiG become more involved in a multitude of political issues? Will AiG begin to endorse political candidates? AiG’s 501(c)(3) religious non-profit status may preclude such activities, but the IRS has generally been lax in its enforcement.

It will be interesting to see which state legislators, candidates for governor, and other politicians attend the Creation Museum rally. The separation of church and state in Kentucky looks weak at this writing. Meanwhile, AiG’s influence in Kentucky, political and otherwise, continues to grow.