Answers in Genesis is trying to generate post-pandemic excitement for Ark Encounter by hosting a summer-long gospel concert — billed as the “world’s largest Christian music festival” — for “40 Days and 40 Nights.” (Ha.)
None of the singers are people you’d pay money to hear, but it’s not meant for any of us. This is purely an attempt to get fundamentalist Christians to visit the park. There’s nothing wrong with that on the surface.
Here’s where it gets amusing. One of the three known sponsors for the event was Holt International, a Christian group that works to put children without parents in new homes. They do foster care, adoption, etc.
Last week, AiG’s chief Creationist Ken Ham wrote a scathing blog post in which he said the two groups would be going their separate ways. Holt would no longer be a sponsor of the concert series!
Because Holt International is a well-known and highly respected Christian organization that provides sponsorships for many Christian events, we had made an arrangement for Holt to be a major sponsor of our upcoming 40 Days and 40 Nights Christian music festival at the Ark Encounter. But one of our staff, who has researched adoption and child sponsorship groups, did a deep dive into Holt’s website and found some alarming matters.
Oh no! Alarming matters! Are they mistreating the kids in their care? Facilitating abuse? What did they do?!
Answer: In some states, they work with same-sex couples and… that’s it.
That’s really it. That’s why Ham is furious.
We accept married and single applicants of all religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations or gender identities. A part of our assessment, during the orientation and homestudy process, is to ensure that a couple’s relationship can handle the stress of parenting a child from foster care.
Makes sense. The only thing that should matter is the applicants’ ability to care for the child. If the goal is to put kids in loving homes, no agency should exclude options due to sexual orientation or gender identity. Holt is merely saying it plays by the law in order to have a hand in facilitating these adoptions.
That’s what Ken Ham has a problem with. He published an email exchange between him and Holt officials in which he whined about their “compromised” mission. It’s clear from the emails that they’re not having any of it. And no wonder because here’s what Ham sounds like:
… those [state] requirements do contradict God’s clear teaching on the matter of gender/marriage, etc. Presumably that’s why you don’t add such statements (as per our documentation from your website) for other places. Wouldn’t the correct situation biblically be to state you can’t compromise your position, and therefore can’t add those statements? If those states then tell you that you can’t do business in their state if that is the case, then shouldn’t you seek legal remedy through one of the many Christian law firms specializing in First Amendment issues? If such legal remedy fails, then surely as Christians we must obey God rather than man. Once the door is opened, as you have done by having those statements for Washington and Oregon, what happens when other states say you have to agree to such statements? And once that door is opened and you have placed those statements on your documents, then legally our understanding is it would be harder for you to claim your conviction regarding gender/marriage in other circumstances. For Answers in Genesis as an organization, we are very detailed in our Statement of Faith, and it’s important for us and for any future battles we may be involved in to show we stand by our convictions and are not prepared to give in on such issues.
That’s a very long way of saying that Ham thinks this adoption agency has been corrupted because they dare to work with LGBTQ people rather than risk not working in those states at all.
Sadly, we had no option but to cancel Holt’s sponsorship of one of our upcoming programs because they have allowed a little leaven of LGBTQ support into the organization. It’s only a little leaven isn’t it? But once that door is open, the cancer will spread.
Oh no! Not the cancer of love and tolerance and working in a child’s best interest! Those go against everything conservative Christians stand for!
Holt should consider itself lucky to be dumped rather than stuck in a relationship with a bigoted, ignorant organization. Ham took what could’ve been a useful business partnership and broke it off because he learned the other organization was more decent than his own. It tells you a lot about the broken ethics of everyone who works for his group.
(Thanks to Dan for the link)