by Patrick Thomas
Last weekend, an estimated 4.7 million people convened around the globe for the Women’s March, a grassroots movement aimed at protesting the inauguration of Donald Trump and the numerous anti-woman policies and actions that comprised his US presidential campaign. The marches in Washington D.C. and 575 other cities highlighted how Trump’s campaign remarks and promises for policy making violate any number of already protected civil rights – including women’s rights, immigrant and workers’ rights, the rights of LGBTQ individuals, and environmental and healthcare protections.
Protesters march outside the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Video credit – Patrick Thomas
On the day of this monumental march, Answers in Genesis published an advertisement for an upcoming conference series at Bob Jones University. On Twitter, Ken Ham spent the day vacillating between attacks on secularism in public schools (blaming violence and low test scores on the lack of biblical education) and laments about the 44th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.
As one of the largest nonviolent gatherings in US history, it is surprising that such a significant moment would receive zero attention from Ken Ham and AiG. To date, the organization offers neither critique nor support of the event. A quick keyword search on AiG’s site turns up no results related to last week’s monumental event – nothing to even acknowledge the event took place.
Then again, should we be surprised?
In Righting America, the Trollingers describe the noticeable lack of women on display at the Creation Museum, noting that “women are largely absent or relegated to secondary roles…The ubiquitous voiceovers are male. Most of the talking heads on the various video screens are male…The Biblical Authority room is filled with male authority figures from the Bible” while the women who are portrayed in various dioramas are inanimate and mute, shown performing domestic duties and (silently) listening to the male figures (p. 171).
Of course, Eve plays a significant part in the Museum’s Garden of Eden, but even Eve’s role is purposefully limited, in part due to AiG’s odd interpretation of Genesis 3:16. As the Trollingers explain, rather than acknowledging sexual equality of Adam and Eve, AiG has long argued that Eve’s subordination to Adam is divined by God in the original created order, a subordination that parallels the hierarchy of the Trinity. Despite a literal reading of Genesis 3:16, which would indicate that Eve’s subordination to Adam is a consequence of sin, AiG asserts that “What God’s Curse has wrought is not submission, but, instead, the inability of wives to rest easy with their God-ordained submission” (Righting, p. 174).
Even ignoring AiG’s claim that Eve’s subordination is divinely ordered, the message to evangelical women remains: their lives are determined by the choices of others.
Perhaps this helps to explain AiG’s radio silence about the Women’s March. After all, what would an organization that maintains such a hopeless message to women have to offer a global movement of millions of people who celebrate the lives, contributions and rights of women?
It is sad, indeed, to think about the opportunities missed by AiG to show the true spirit of Christianity and love by celebrating women’s rights at the march. Those that attended, like myself, experienced the hope and joy that can only be attained through the personal, human connections of communities gathering under the common cause of protecting equality and justice. The images of the march, which show thousands standing in solidarity for the rights of all, stand in such stark contrast to the Museum’s images of thousands drowning in the global flood. Such differences are good reminders that when it comes to the mission of AiG, judging women’s lives will always take priority over protecting them.