SANTEE, Calif. – About a dozen atheists holding disparaging signs towards creationism and Christianity demonstrated during the opening of the Human Anatomy Exhibit by the Creation and Earth History Museum in San Diego County Saturday.
The full day of events planned at the museum by its owners, the Life and Light Foundation, included celebrating National Museum Day. About 1,500 people attended the celebration, many of them parents wanting to show their children the new exhibit and addition of the museum's Dinosaur Garden.
In the early afternoon, atheists from various parts of Southern California assembled in front of the museum located about a 20-minute drive from San Diego. Signs included one asking, “Why Hasn’t Evolution Eliminated Creationists?” Another sign held by an atheist stated, “Thou Shall Not Lie – Creationism is NOT Science.”
Orange County atheist group leader Bruce Gleason, who organized the field trip for his “Backyard Skeptics” to the museum event, told The Christian Post that teaching creationism harms the country.
“We think that creationism is actually dumbing down our kids and the United States,” Gleason said. “It’s dumbing down most every home school child in the South that is taught that God created the world instead of inspiring them to think more creatively.”
As sign holders began walking back and forth on the sidewalk in picket-like fashion in front of the museum, several Christians began engaging the atheists in one-on-one debates.
Russell Marechale, a resident in neighboring Lakeside, brought some middle-school-age children from his church to attend the event. Later, he said he felt compelled to engage a few of the atheists in conversation.
“I just felt like I had to respond to the one sign about humanism and morality,” Marchale said. “I asked them, ‘where does morality comes from?’ I just wanted to help them realize that deciding what’s right and what’s good doesn’t come from us, it comes from above.”
In the middle of a busy day, museum manager Jayson Payne appeared to take the atheists’ demonstration in stride. He said he welcomes everyone from the community, no matter what their beliefs.
When asked by CP about the atheists assembled in front of the museum, Payne said, “We just want to love them. In Acts 9, there’s the story of Saul. God changed his life, took the scales off his eyes. We just need to love on them so they can see the love of Christ. We hope they come to the reality of a Creator and hope their hearts will be softened by this event and future events.”