- (Photo: CreationMuseum.org)
Creation Museum President and CEO Ken Ham said the museum's recent move to allow children 12 years old and under to come and visit for free in 2014 is a response to evolutionists "indoctrinating kids in the pagan religion of evolution."
"We want to do what we can to get as many kids to the Creation Museum to learn the truth concerning God's Word in Genesis and the gospel," Ham explained in a Facebook post on Thursday.
"Evolutionists go ballistic when they learn about kids coming to the Creation Museum – so let's spread the word as much as we can – bring as many kids as possible to the Creation Museum in 2014," he urged supporters.
The Creation Museum in Kentucky recently announced the news on the Answers in Genesis official website, clarifying that kids must be accompanied by at least one paying adult.
The organization admitted that this was a big step, as it does not receive federal or state tax money, and so it depends a lot on visitors to help keep it running year round. It calculated that in the past year, income from children's tickets for ages 6-12 was $225,000 – meaning the change will significantly impact the bottom line for the museum.
"But I believe it's imperative that we help parents and other adults to bring as many children as possible to the Bible-proclaiming and evangelistic Creation Museum," Ham wrote on the website, addressing guests and supporters.
"You are aware that the Bible-upholding information that AiG makes available through the museum and our other outreaches is by and large censored from the culture. The secularists don't want children to hear the life-changing information we present. They know it will cause many of them to look seriously at God's Word and listen to the saving message of the gospel."
He added that the "god of this world is doing all he can to capture your children," and this effort is aimed at trying to rescue them.
According to the Museum's statistics, 40,000 children visited the institution in the last year, but the goal was to increase that figure by 50 percent for 2014 and make that 60,000 children.
The Creation Museum president has often defended his organization from criticism that it embraces a worldview that is incompatible with modern science.
"One of the scariest places I have ever been was the Creation Science Museum in Kentucky," wrote Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, in the Washington Post.
"It is a scary theology because it is used to deny the real science of evolution and undercut the genuine urgency to stop polluting human activities that are causing violent and abrupt climate change."
And in September, a recent visitor to The Creation Museum compared the experience to visiting "a concentration camp" for the way children are supposedly lied to.
"I'm finding it hard to even explain how bad I felt," the reviewer wrote. "The only time I've ever felt this bad because of somewhere I visited was a concentration camp. I'm not comparing the crime, only how it affected me. The juxtaposition of lies, smiling children and a gift shop freaked me out."
Ham later asked supporters to pray for people with such responses, so that "their hardened hearts – be illuminated with the truth."
Evolution and creationism remain debated topics in America, with a 2012 Gallup poll finding that 46 percent of respondents believe God created humans in their present form, 32 percent believe humans evolved with God guiding the process, and another 15 percent said humans evolved without any divine guidance.