Ken Ham Offers $1 Admission for School Kids

They must be getting desperate for attendance at Ark Encounter, the latest creationist extravaganza brought forth by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo). You have no doubt noticed that although they often mention large crowds, whatever that might mean, no ticket sales figures have yet been released. To us, the silence is a strong indicator that those figures are a colossal embarrassment.

At ol’ Hambo’s personal blog, he shows us his latest tactic to increase traffic: Public Schools Invited to Tour the Ark. Every sane reader immediately recognizes the problem with Hambo’s invitation. It’s no different than if a preacher invited the government-run, taxpayer-supported schools to bring their students to his church during the school day. Government institutions can’t do that in the US. But Hambo thinks he’s above the Constitution. He begins with this, and the bold font is in his post:

In an era when any hint of Christian expression in the public arena is aggressively challenged by secularists who instead want to impose their anti-God religion on the culture, we need to remind all Americans of their First Amendment right of freedom of expression. One major example of how this constitutional guarantee is being trampled upon occurs in almost all government-run schools where a phrase — not found in the Constitution — is applied: the so-called separation of church and state.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! It’s true, that precise phrase isn’t in the Constitution. We’ve pointed out a few times before that “checks and balances” doesn’t appear in the text of the Constitution either, nor does “limited government,” or “federal republic,” or “popular sovereignty,” or many other phrases that are nevertheless routinely used to accurately describe the Constitution. So it is with “separation of church and state.”

When Hambo raised that same issue earlier, we wrote Ken Ham Unhinged: Creationism & Theocracy Too, in which we quoted letters from James Madison, the man who drafted the First Amendment, stating that the absolute separation of between ecclesiastical and civil authorities was the Amendment’s purpose. But Madison’s opinion is nothing compared to Hambo’s.

Okay, we’re off to a good start. Hambo knows as much about the US Constitution as he does about the geological and biological history of the Earth, and in this case his ark symbolizes his knowledge. Here are some additional excerpts from Hambo’s post, and from now on, the bold font was added by us for emphasis:

In our increasingly secularized world, public school teachers not only come under fire if they even suggest they may be creationists, but their job security can also be threatened even if they just point out the flaws with the evolutionary belief system. [Hee hee!] Moreover, given the irony that teachers are supposed to enjoy academic freedom, it’s the brave principal or school superintendent, facing possible threats of lawsuits from “civil liberties” groups, who will give a teacher the go-ahead nowadays to bring students to the Creation Museum and/or our new Ark Encounter in Northern Kentucky.

Academic freedom, flaws in the theory of evolution — Hambo is sounding more like a Discoveroid every day. Let’s read on:

As such, field trips to the Creation Museum by public school groups have been rare. If secular groups happen to find out about even one school visit, they will go to the media with their bullying threats to intimidate school officials to stop such visits.

Bullying threats. That’s another common phrase of the Discoveroids. Hambo continues:

With this article, we want to remind educators in government-run schools of their constitutionally guaranteed rights as they fulfill their goal of presenting broad educational experiences for their students and, along the way, helping to develop the critical thinking skills of their pupils.

Anyone employed by a government-financed school system who takes advice from Hambo (instead of the school district’s lawyers) deserves whatever career catastrophes may result. Here’s more:

To help widen students’ education [Hee hee!], AiG is offering a special program to encourage public school classes to visit the Ark in Williamstown and be exposed to an exceptional and totally unique educational experience. If coming as a public school class, students pay only $1 each and their supervising public school teachers come free. The offer is good through the end of this year.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! In our humble opinion, the “educational experience” of such a visit isn’t worth two cents. Moving along:

[O]n the basis of the US Constitution, public schools are certainly free to take students on field trips (with appropriate parental permissions) to places like our museum and Ark, as long as the trip is for historical, recreational, or educational purposes. FFRF [Freedom From Religion Foundation] has no legal basis at all to intimidate government-run schools, as they are now attempting. In fact, such secular groups are violating students’ rights by their bullying — and they are also in violation of the First Amendment.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Reminding schools about their constitutional responsibilities is a violation of the First Amendment! Another excerpt:

The Ark and Creation Museum offer an excellent opportunity to give students the exposure to a different point of view that is largely censored from most public schools. No court ruling to our knowledge has determined that such educational outings to Christian venues are unlawful.

Hambo carefully limits his opinion to the subject of court rulings on “educational outings to Christian venues.” Even he must be aware of the problems inherent in dumping that kind of material on kids in the classroom. If not, perhaps he should learn something about the bizarre career of John Freshwater. As for off-campus activities during school hours, Alabama tried to make that stuff legal, but even in that state the proposed law didn’t get passed — see Alabama’s 2012 Creationism Bill: It’s Dead. One more excerpt:

Americans, whether Christians or not, should not allow groups like the FFRF to bully schools into accepting their twisted view of what is constitutional and what is not.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Be assured, dear reader, that ol’ Hambo would never give anyone a “twisted view” of anything. If you doubt that, just visit his Creation Museum.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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18 responses to “Ken Ham Offers $1 Admission for School Kids

  1. I interpret Ham’s rant as a reason to support the FFRF; the organization is obviously doing the right thing if he singles it out for specific criticism. As a long term supporter of that organization I’m pleased to see the results of their legal challenges elicit a response like this!

  2. “…government-run schools…”
    A recent buzzword phrase of the DI and AIG, as opposed to free thinking parochial or home schooling venues. The government schools are dictatorial and mind controlling to them. “The 2016 GOP proposes a constitutional amendment to this end that would protect the ability of parents to direct their children’s education and care without “interference by states, the federal government, or international bodies such as the United Nations,” i.e., no more evolution, climate change, 2+2=4, etc.

  3. I don’t take the $1/kid offer as a sign of desperation, like get butts in the ark at any price. It is more of an attempt for free publicity. If public schools do take their kids at the el cheapo price the resulting lawsuits (and Hambo rants from the lawsuits) will be great public relations.
    I’ll be curious to see if any public school administrators take the bait. They should know of course that any savings would pale in comparison to the legal fees that are sure to result.

  4. michaelfugate

    It might be fun to develop a curriculum that included the Ark, but I wonder if Ham wouldn’t bar it from being used at his park.

  5. “If coming as a public school class, students pay only $1 each and their supervising public school teachers come free.”

    Sounds to me like he’s discriminating against home-schooled children and those at private schools. If Ken we’re truly worried about education, and not just about the bottom line, he’d let any kid in for $1 whether or not they came as part of a public school class.

    But this does make me wonder how Ken would react to a teacher who took him up on his offer and then systematically demonstrated this load of [edited out] for what it really is.

  6. “Hambo is sounding more like a Discoveroid every day.”
    As IDiocy is nothng but creacrap minus references to Scripture this is easy to test. So I clicked the link to Ol’ Hambo’s article: yup, no such references.
    So of course he sounds like an IDiot.

  7. I don’t know what he knows about the constitution or about geology or biology. (Someone knows enough about naval construction as not to attempt to build a Ark!) What is apparent is his low estimation of his audience’s knowledge – of the constitution, science – and the Bible!

  8. Charles Deetz ;)

    Rant + impossible-to-redeem offer = publicity

    (Although my mind keeps reading and wondering what educational value it has, the ark is Hambo’s disney-fied concept of what happened, hardly fact, science, or educational.)

  9. docbill1351

    When I was in elementary school I was in a program called “Rapid Learners.” (OK, shut up, you guys! Just stifle and read on.) We did a module on Architecture and another on World Religion. A big part of the program was field trips. We combined those two modules into one trip visiting a bunch of churches in the area. My family was Episcopal and I remember being worried about whether it was “right” for me to go into another church. I might get cooties or risk my immortal soul! There was no talk of church and state, we didn’t talk with any church officials. We just wandered around looking at stuff then did a report (always the worst part of a field trip).

    But, that was back in the day when men were men and sheep were worried.

  10. Understatement of the year, “totally unique educational experience.”

  11. At our museum we provide discounts for groups of all sorts. A group is simply a single party with 15 or more students, seniors, or whomever. For groups of younger folks, one chaperone for every 5 students gets in free. We regularly have home school groups, public schools, private schools, scout groups, science summer camps, and a variety of other organizations visit this way. In fact, group attendees are about a third of our total attendance.

    The fact that Ham offers public school groups a ridiculous $1 per student admission, but has no other group rates for any other types of schools or organizations, speaks volumes. (A) He is greedy, and believes he can charge the ridiculous rates that he does and get Christian groups anyway, and (B) he is trying to make an “offer you can’t refuse” to public schools hoping to entice just one group to take the plunge. He wants to be seen as the Holy Christian warrior taking the battle to the secular forces of evil.

  12. docbill1351:
    “When I was in elementary school I was in a program called “Rapid Learners.” (OK, shut up, you guys! Just stifle and read on.)”

    I wouldn’t think your “shut up” disclaimer is necessary here, docbill. You could safely a bet a few quatloos that most of the commenters on SC’s blog were either in similar programs themselves, or would have qualified if their schools were to have offered such classes.

  13. The very first phrase of the First Amendment:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”

    The various states have similar wording in their constitutions as well. Therefore, public schools can’t use public money (or mandatory school time) to have their students indoctrinated in any particular religion or religious belief — which is the whole point of Ham’s monstrous waste of perfectly good timber.

    As you were in Australia, Mr. Ham, you are free to espouse your views and tout your religious beliefs here in the United States. However, don’t expect the public school system to do it for you. That’s unconstitutional.

  14. Ken Ham is really deceptive about the attendence of both atheists and believers on opening day at his park:
    http://www.wearesmrt.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=16628

  15. Hambo continues:

    With this article, we want to remind educators in government-run schools of their constitutionally guaranteed rights as they fulfill their goal of presenting broad educational experiences for their students and, along the way, helping to develop the critical thinking skills of their pupils.

    “Government-run” is code for “run by he federal government.” It’s been so since the first modern “Christian academies” were established fifty-plus years ago to use the First Amendment as a shield against the unbiblical concept of racial desegregation.

    There’s just one little problem: public schools aren’t run from Washington, and never have been. If the Hamster’s got a beef with government intrusion into education, he should take it to local school boards and state governments, since that’s where the real action is in this area.

  16. michaelfugate

    Ham may not like government-run schools, but he loves government-run tax credits and government-run highways.

  17. RetiredSciGuy

    Ham should be happy that there is public education. In his part of Kentucky, there wouldn’t be an educated work force to man his museum or “sail” his ark if it weren’t for free education. Not many people there can afford private schools, and those who can aren’t going to settle for minimum wage jobs touting Genesis. And for home-schooling to work, the parents need to be literate themselves.

  18. There are, and should be, limits to academic freedom. Basically, it is freedom of enquiry rather than freedom about what to teach. It is doubtful how far the concept even applies to schoolteachers, whose task it is to teach the established curriculum. And even at university level, I do not think I would have or should have kept my job as a tenured professor of chemistry, if I had told my students that atoms were illusory.