Righting America

A forum for scholarly conversation about Christianity, culture, and politics in the US
Incest Used to be Ok. Gay Marriage Never Was. | Righting America

William Trollinger

For Righting America we were determined to read the Creation Museum as a text, taking the time to understand the messages that the museum is conveying. Toward that end, I visited the Creation Museum eight times, and Sue seven.

Some aspects of the museum did not become clear to us until after multiple visits. For example, while I teach on the Reformation here at the University of Dayton, it took me four or five visits to notice that what the museum’s Martin Luther was posting on the imitation Wittenberg church door was not the 95 Theses. Instead, it was a call to culture war in behalf of a literal reading of the Word from a character in a late nineteenth-century novel.  (Sometime after 2016 the museum replaced this fake history, not with material from the 95 Theses, but with a quote from Luther when he spoke before the Diet of Worms in 1521.)

But other aspects of the museum were clear from the beginning. For example, on our very first visit to the museum in 2008 we were stunned by what remains for me the strangest (and creepiest) spot in the museum. It is near the end of the “Bible Walkthrough Experience,” after Adam and Eve have been ejected from the Garden of Eden for having eaten the forbidden fruit. There is a diorama of an extremely buff Adam tilling the soil; Cain and Abel are assisting, and a beautiful and pregnant Eve is observing. Adjacent is another diorama that portrays the immediate aftermath of Cain’s murder of Abel, with Abel face down on the ground and Cain looking upward, presumably to God.

On the wall opposite these dioramas is a placard with the title, “Where Did Cain Get His Wife?” While that was not the first thing that popped into my mind when viewing these two dioramas, the museum understands this to be a pressing question. And the placard provides the answer: given that all human beings descend from Adam and Eve, and given that Genesis 5 reports that Adam and Eve had daughters as well as sons, then Cain married his sister. The placard goes on at great length to explain why this fact should not trouble us. Quoting from our summary of the placard in Righting America:

For starters, “all humans are related” and thus “whenever someone gets married, they marry their relative.” Moreover, the historical account in the Bible makes clear that it was not until many generations after Abraham, who himself “was married to his half sister,” that God finally “instructed the Israelites not to marry close relatives.” Biologically, God’s delay in banning incest makes great sense, given that “at the time of Adam and Eve’s children, there would have been very few mutations in the human genome.” While “sexual activity outside the bounds of marriage, whether between close relatives or not, has been wrong from the beginning,” marriage “between close relatives was not a problem in early biblical history,” as long as “it was one man for one woman (the biblical doctrine of marriage).” The placard concludes by noting that “since God is the One who defined marriage in the first place,” then “God’s Word is the only standard for defining proper marriage”; those “who do not accept the Bible as their absolute authority have no basis for condemning someone like Cain marrying his sister” (176-177).

There is so much to unpack and critique in this very odd placard. But what really stands out here is the argument that while for the first third of human history (according to the young Earth creationist calendar) God was fine with incest – and it seems from the placard He only became less than fine with incest because of issues with genetic mutations – gay marriage was and is absolutely wrong.  

So, it is not surprising that over the past 29 months Ken Ham has written at least 60 posts and articles on the LGBTQ menace threatening Western civilization, there has been virtually nothing from the CEO of Answers in Genesis (AiG) on sexual harassment and sexual abuse.

Heterosexual sin is just not that noteworthy.