What would you have said to creation museum guy?

A few hours ago, I was standing at the checkout at Kroger. I was wearing a t-shirt from the Cincinnati Museum Center that bears a picture of the skull of a saber-toothed cat. (It glows in the dark! Wee!)

So, the clerk is scanning the foodstuffs, then says, “So you’ve been to the museum in Cincinnati?” I say yeah and that the t-shirt is a few years old.

Clerk: “Well, you should go, in the summer of 2007, you should go and just a half hour from Cincinnati, in Florence, Kentucky, it’s a creation museum.”

I just sort of blinked at the guy. He told me about how some executive at Universal quit his job to do special effects for the creation museum and talked about how he’d quit any job to work there because it sounded like such a great place to work and I really had to go had to go had to go.

I kept a pleasant expression on my face and only joined back in the conversation once he switched over to talking about dark chocolate M&Ms (a segue I didn’t follow, but I’m not complaining).

Anyway, I felt good about my participation in the exchange. I didn’t say anything rude, I didn’t argue, I didn’t contradict, I didn’t make him feel like a martyr.

On the other hand, I didn’t correct him. I didn’t suggest he not assume I’m interested in creationism. I didn’t point out that there are non-Christians even in the backwoods of Ohio. I didn’t do anything for the “cause” of religious tolerance.

Or did I?

Would you have said something?

I would have told him that the next time I needed a good laugh, I would head over there.

Well, it’s true that I did laugh when I told my husband about it. I’ve led a sheltered life, I guess, because that sort of thing has never happened to me. At least that I recall now. I’m probably forgetting something obvious.

As a serious answer, I think you did the right thing. Turn it around, if you had made some comment about evolution, would you have appreciated it if the clerk started giving you a lecture on creationism?
If someone insists on pushing their silly nonsense on me, I will either try to extract myself from their presence, or if I can’t do that, I may try to correct them, but the latter is usually fruitless and frustrating.
There are times when it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie.

One of my collegues at the museum in which I work got ahold of one of their brochures. It was issued a couple of years ago while they were still in the building stages, so it was mostly drawings of what the museum and exhibits would look like, along with a healthy dose of creation “science” in the margins.

Nothing I was unfamiliar with, having gone to a Christian school (young-earthers, dinos and man co-existed, etc.) and it was good for a few laughs, but it also made me sad to see so much money poured into this bunk. From the pictures, its a very elaborate and visually cool temple of ignorance.

I’m with A.R. Crane. Best possible reaction: You were in a time-sensitive transaction, too. Trying to fight ignorance there would have been bad.

I might have simply said “Well, I don’t believe in creationism, so it probably wouldn’t be for me.” If he had started lecturing me on creationism, I would have then said “Hey, you probably shouldn’t be lecturing customers on this stuff. I’m not going say anything, but the next person might not be so understanding.”

Wait a minute. There are dark chocolate M&Ms?

I probably would have done same as you, said nothing and just smiled and nodded. If I’d been in a more prickly mood, I might have cut him off by saying, “I’m just trying to buy my groceries, thanks.”

My reaction as well, although I might be a little more forceful on the whole “you probably shouldn’t be lecturing people.” Not that I’d turn him in, but I’d leave the store with him knowing I could.

Let me third A.R.'s sentiment. There is a time and a place for religious/creationist/evolutionary debates. The checkout line at Kroger’s ain’t it.

That–plus the fact that it’s hard to logically argue someone out of an opinion that they didn’t come to logically in the first place–usually makes me smile, nod, and nip the debate in the bud with a simple thanks and goodbye, no matter where I am.

Well, the dude says so, but I’m not convinced that his sources of information are accurate! :smiley:

They do sound good, though.

I think that’s exactly the wrong attitude, personally. I like having clerks who feel free to jabber about whatever pops into their heads. A quick comment about not believeing in creationism, which means that you’re not one of a small minority of Christians, would be sufficient. The guy was honestly talking about a museum he thought was cool, AFAICT. It’s not the same as prosletyzing.

Well, no doubt he thinks they were created by an intelligent designer, and not evolved from regular M&Ms.

Dark chocolate M&M’s were released with the latest Star Wars movie(as a tie-in). Now with Pirate of the Carribean 2 being released there are “Jack’s Gems” (normal milk chocolate), “Pirates’ Pearls” (white chocolate), and some kind of gold nuggets (peanut). Yes, I know way to much about m&ms.

As to the other thing, I probably would have said something like “Oh, I’ll keep it in mind for the future”. My personal beliefs in creationism lean me further that way than many in this thread, but I’ve never quite figured out how lecturing and fighting for creationism to be taught in schools does anything but annoy those who don’t believe in Young Earth Creationism. (I also do not believe that I was harmed by my learning about the earth being millions of years old, evolution and all that stuff. I may not believe it whole heartedly, but I do understand that that is the more common belief system for people in the U.S. today).

It is also worth pointing out that I am probably less confrontational than many of the people in this thread. This doesn’t make their responses inappropriate, just makes them unlikely to be responses which I would make.

P.S. I would probably not have contributed to this thread without the mention of m&ms.

A very tolerant answer from a tolerant person.

Thank you,
Carry on.

I’d see his Creation Museum, and raise him the Mutter Museum. Hey Kroger guy, have you ever been to the Mutter Museum? More medical oddities than you can shake a stick at! You gotta see it.

If he counters with something better that Mutter, well, I’d have to dig deeper into my trove of weird museum recommendations. The Voodoo Museum is a possibility – maybe the guy is into museums of religions in general.

In reality, I probably would have done the same thing, the check out line isn’t really where I’d choose to get into any debates. This thread did give me pause, though, and reflect back on all the times I’ve enthusiastically recommended some random museum to people who probably got the impression I was a kook.

I’ve seen the Mütter museum, and it is awesome! They have some weird stuff- and at one point during my visit the docent brought out a jar with a bit of his own hip bone in it! Interesting stuff for sure, and well worth the travel/admission fee.

I’d’a fixed Kroger Dude with a cool steady smirk and said, “Yeah, I heard it’s *un-*buh-lievable.”

Ordinarily, I’d just smile and nod. If I were feeling snarky, however, I might say, “I’m sorry. It goes against my Christian beliefs.”

jsgoddess, in a way, by not saying anything, I’d say you did do something for religious tolerance. You spared him a reason to feel oppressed because of his devout and (in his opinion) correct Christian beliefs.