- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 28, 2007

Creation museum exceeds expectations

PETERSBURG, Ky. — Less than two months after opening, a northern Kentucky museum dedicated to promoting creationism has drawn 100,000 visitors, causing some growing pains, museum officials said.

The milestone visit — the honor went to a Buffalo, N.Y., family — means the $27 million museum is on pace to easily shatter the first-year attendance projection of 250,000 visits, officials said.

The 60,000-square foot museum’s first weeks have been highlighted by packed parking lots, long lines to get in and — from critics — skepticism about the museum’s claims about science, religion and the origins of the Earth.

Evolution is derided at the museum, which is packed with high-tech exhibits designed by an acclaimed theme-park artist, animatronic dinosaurs and a huge wooden ark.

Congregation wins secession case

HUNTINGTON, Ind. — A judge has upheld a vote by a northeastern Indiana congregation to leave the United Church of Christ over the denomination’s recognition of homosexual “marriage.”

Special Judge David L. Hanselman Sr. dissolved a temporary restraining order that had prevented St. Peter’s First United Church of Christ in Huntington from leaving the United Church of Christ and denied the denomination’s claim on the assets of the church.

The restraining order had been in place since October 2005. Church members Paul Krieg and William Kruzan had won it after a 115-92 vote the previous month by members of the congregation to leave the denomination. The congregation had about 500 members at the time.

In his ruling yesterday, Judge Hanselman determined that the congregational vote was proper and binding and there had been no “division” of the church as defined by its bylaws that would trigger a transfer of its assets to the Indiana-Kentucky Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Anglican group threatens boycott

NEW YORK — A committee representing many conservative Anglican bishops overseas says its members won’t attend a critical once-a-decade Anglican meeting next year unless the U.S. Episcopal Church is disciplined for ordaining an openly homosexual bishop.

The steering committee for the Global South Primates said that the Episcopal Church, which is the Anglican body in the U.S., created a rift by failing to repent for the 2003 consecration of New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson, a homosexual who lives with his partner.

The meeting, called the Lambeth Conference, gathers bishops from around the world to discuss the future of the 77 million-member Anglican Communion.

Mormon student sues state over mission

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Mormon student at West Virginia University is suing a state scholarship board for denying him a leave of absence to serve on a two-year church mission.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court by the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia, political science major David Haws said the state’s Promise scholarship board violated his First Amendment right to freely exercise his religion. Most Mormon men are expected to serve two-year missions between the ages of 19 and 25.

“This is not common,” said Kim Farah, a Salt Lake City-based spokeswoman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Deferring scholarships until missionaries complete their missions is a common practice that many universities follow.”

A Promise official said he could not comment because his office has not seen the lawsuit.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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