We were alerted to this by our clandestine operative in Kentucky — code named “Blue Grass.” The headline at Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia — is certain to infuriate you: University Denies Free Speech to Ken Ham and Boots Him from Speaking.
It was written by Patrick Kanewske — we think he’s the director of operations at Ark Encounter — and Mark Looy, who is co-founder of AIG and their chief communications officer. With those two authors, you know this is important. We’ll give you some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis. It begins ominously:
Increasingly in the United States, religious freedom is being denied to Americans in their work place, at businesses, during public gatherings, and in holiday displays. A recent hotbed of anti-Christian activity is in tax-funded universities, where freedom of speech, including the free exercise of religion as specifically guaranteed under the First Amendment to the US Constitution, is being trampled upon by intolerant groups.
[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] What happened? We’re told:
The University of Central Oklahoma (UCO), a school located in a region informally known as The Bible Belt, has booted Ken Ham, the president of Answers in Genesis, from speaking on the Edmond campus next month. UCO has reneged on a contract it signed that allowed Ken to give a talk on March 5. Ken’s presentation in the school’s Constitution Hall, titled “Genesis and the State of the Culture,” was objectionable to a campus LGBT group, which put heavy pressure on the UCO Student Association (UCOSA) to cancel Ken’s speaking engagement. In his proposed talk at UCO, Ken would have discussed the two different worldviews and their starting points when interpreting scientific evidence, as he did in his classic evolution/creation debate with Bill Nye “the Science Guy” four years ago.
We’re shocked — shocked! Then they say:
Paul Blair, pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Edmond, Oklahoma, and who worked through a campus group to arrange to have Ken appear in Constitution Hall (and was successful initially), has agreed to let Ken speak instead at his church near the UCO campus on March 5. Here is a copy of the press release distributed by Pastor Blair to the media this morning:
They quote extensively from the rev’s press release. Here’s a bit of it:
Nationally renowned Christian speaker and author, Ken Ham, has been uninvited from a scheduled forum at the University of Central Oklahoma. Ham had planned to speak about the science behind Darwinian ideas, but objections from a campus LGBT group prompted UCO to cancel.
“It’s another case where the First Amendment seems to exist everywhere except on college campuses,” declared Pastor Blair. “According to its Campus Expression Policy, UCO is committed to ‘fostering a learning environment where free inquiry and expression are encouraged’. But apparently that only applies to speech that echoes specific beliefs. The irony is, the groups promoting ‘tolerance’ are the most intolerant forces on campus.”
Ghastly indeed! AIG continues:
Pastor Blair presented AiG with a chronology of the events that led up to Ham’s cancellation:
[From the rev’s chronology, with bracketed material in the original:] Recently, a tenured professor, who serves as sponsor of the campus LGBT clubs, rallied support and put intense pressure on the students in the UCOSA to rescind the invitation, which they reluctantly did. This is another case of bullying by those that decry intolerance.
This tenured professor, who organized the resistance against Ken, also sponsors a Safe Sex Carnival. Their Facebook page showed, among other things, learning games where UCO students could throw [word deleted] at cardboard cutouts of [words deleted].
Let’s read on:
Throughout its history, Answers in Genesis has come under attack for its Christian beliefs. Even before we opened the Creation Museum in 2007, AiG received tremendous opposition when an atheist organization with the ironic name of Free Inquiry Group tried to stop our privately funded museum from being built on private property. A few years ago, AiG had to take the former Kentucky governor and his administration to federal court to preserve our constitutionally guaranteed religious rights, and thankfully we won.
That last item was a reference to AIG’s sales-tax kickback — see Ken Ham’s Ark Will Get State Tax Funds. One last excerpt:
The belief of a “separation of church and state” (a phrase found nowhere in the US Constitution) has been used as a justification to eliminate Christianity from the public arena and be replaced by the anti-God religion of secular humanism.
Groan — we’ve debunked that silliness a few times before — see Ken Ham Unhinged: Creationism & Theocracy Too.
Anyway, that’s the news from Hambo’s world. But no worries! He’s still going to be delivering his remarks at the rev’s church, so all is well.
Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.