Are untruths acceptable in the service of some larger Truth?
The answer at the Creation Museum and at Answers in Genesis (AiG) seems to be a resounding “yes.”
How else to explain the museum’s iconic tableau of Martin Luther posting the Ninety-Five Theses to the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg, when it turns out that – contrary to what the museum would have you believe – the museum’s Luther is actually posting a call to culture war issued by a fictional character named Fritz from a nineteenth-century novel? (Righting, 139)
How else to explain the museum’s map that identifies Geochelone tortoises living in the present-day Amazon basin and that displays the path that some of these tortoises (on a log) took to get from there to the Seychelles Islands, when there are no Geochelone tortoises living in the Amazon basin and when two tortoises could not possibly have managed the approximately 14, 600 mile voyage (on a log) across the Pacific Ocean and Indian Sea? (Righting, 99-101)
How else to explain AiG’s claim that biblical literalists led the fight against slavery in antebellum America, when the truth is that white Christians “not only used a literal reading of the Bible as the basis for their innumerable proslavery sermons, but they also aggressively attacked their opponents for undercutting the authority of God’s Word by making unbiblical arguments against slavery”? (Righting, 184-186)
How else to explain the fact that Ken Ham suggests that “opposing gay marriage was Jesus’s top priority while he was on Earth,” when the reality is that Jesus said nothing about homosexuality? (Righting, 166)
How else to explain Ken Ham’s peculiar scientific method? Instead of observing some phenomenon, articulating a hypothesis, testing that hypothesis, and then confirming OR denying it as mainstream scientists do, Ham’s (and AiG’s) method is to start with a Truth derived from a literal reading of the Bible (such as the Earth is about 6,000 years old or Noah’s Flood was global), develop a model to support that Truth, and look for evidence to support the model. If evidence used to support the model turns out to be false, don’t deny or even question the Truth. That is not allowed. The Truth revealed by a literal reading of the Bible is the Truth no matter what the facts are.
But wait a minute. Is Ken Ham’s (or AiG’s) literal reading of the Bible really THE Truth? Especially if the facts are untrue?