More on Public School Trips to Hambo’s Ark

We recently wrote Hambo’s War on the Constitution, about public school field trips to the creationist tourist attractions of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else.

Ol’ Hambo was outraged that the trips were criticized. He ranted that there’s no such thing as separation of church and state, and school trips to the Ark Encounter or Creation Museum were fine educational opportunities, and a rare chance to contradict the Darwinist nonsense kids were being fed five days a week in public schools.

Well, ol’ Hambo is going to be enraged again by an op-ed (with a comments section) that appears in the Lexington Herald-Leader of Lexington, Kentucky. Their headline is Ark Park visit doesn’t qualify as college prep. It was written by Dan Phelps, president of the Kentucky Paleontological Society and vice president of Kentuckians for Science Education. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

In June 2018, 35 public middle and high school students from Bell, Harlan and Letcher counties were taken by Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College on a “college preparation” field trip that included the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter. … Information I received via an open-records request indicates the community college spent more than $1,300 for tickets to the Ark and Creation Museum plus additional travel expenses.

Your tax money is being well spent. Phelps explains:

Both the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter are run by the young-earth creationist organization, Answers in Genesis. It is a fundamentalist Christian apologetic ministry with the stated aim of instructing Ark and museum visitors that the Bible is literally true, and converting them to their version of Christianity.

That’s not news to us, but try to imagine the effect that may have on Kentucky residents. Phelps tells them:

By taking students to these venues, the community college’s program, which is a public, state-supported institution, unconstitutionally used tax monies to promote a specific religious message. Moreover, the Kentucky Constitution forbids the use of taxpayer dollars to support a ministry.

Phelps doesn’t provide a link, but we will: Constitution Of The Commonwealth Of Kentucky (pdf file). Section 5 of the Bill of Rights, on page 7, says:

Section 5. Right of religious freedom. No preference shall ever be given by law to any religious sect, society or denomination; nor to any particular creed, mode of worship or system of ecclesiastical polity; nor shall any person be compelled to attend any place of worship, to contribute to the erection or maintenance of any such place, or to the salary or support of any minister of religion; nor shall any man be compelled to send his child to any school to which he may be conscientiously opposed; and the civil rights, privileges or capacities of no person shall be taken away, or in anywise diminished or enlarged, on account of his belief or disbelief of any religious tenet, dogma or teaching. No human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience.

And Section 189 on page 35 says:

Section 189. School money not to be used for church, sectarian, or denominational school. No portion of any fund or tax now existing, or that may hereafter be raised or levied for educational purposes, shall be appropriated to, or used by, or in aid of, any church, sectarian or denominational school.

That seems clear. But Hambo says there’s no such thing as separation of church and state. Well, let’s continue with the Lexington Herald-Leader:

The brand of creationism promoted by these attractions, among other things, claims the Earth and universe are only 6,000 to 10,000 years old, that humans coexisted with non-avian dinosaurs (some of which were fire-breathing dragons according to AiG), and that the bulk of the geological and fossil record are explained by the Biblical Flood of 2348 BC.

None of these ideas are consistent with modern science, history or reality. Most Christians and other religious people realize these ideas are not science. Young-earth creationism has no scientific credibility whatsoever. Students entering college would be handicapped by these pseudoscientific ideas if they wished to pursue a career in science.

We won’t quote the whole thing, because you’ll want to click over there to read it for yourself. It ends with this:

I hope Southeast [the public school that paid for the trip] will not violate the constitutional separation of church and state by taking area students to these sectarian and anti-science attractions in the future.

This is certain to arouse a righteous response from ol’ Hambo, and as soon as it appears, we’ll let you know. Stay tuned to this blog!

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

14 responses to “More on Public School Trips to Hambo’s Ark

  1. “But Hambo says there’s no such thing as separation of church and state. ”

    Hambo isn’t even a US Citizen, he needs to STFU about telling us how our government works.

  2. “Young-earth creationism has no scientific credibility whatsoever”

    +1 for Prof. Phelps. Put that caution in very large letters on a pannel near the park the entrance. Alternately, it could be; “Leave all hope of scientific knowledge ye who enter here” (my apologies to Dante).

  3. Did these students in any way receive some academic credit or acknowledgement of their trip experience towards their educational credentials?

  4. “Young-earth creationism has no scientific credibility whatsoever”
    Why the qualifications of “young-earth” and “scientific”?

  5. Anonymous:
    The question is whether they received *science* credits: social studies or religious studies credits could be OK.

  6. I must note that the Lexington Herald always seems to be surprisingly critical of the Hamster’s enterprises. You’d expect a Kentucky newspaper to drool all over that good ole religion.

  7. “school trips to the Ark Encounter or Creation Museum were fine educational opportunities”
    In the only way Ol’Hambo’s claim makes any sense they are also highly inefficient. Explaining why it’s crap can be done in 15 minutes and then I’m quite charitable.

    “try to imagine the effect that may have on Kentucky residents”
    I did, but it was already hopeless before I even started.

    “Students entering college would be handicapped by these pseudoscientific ideas if they wished to pursue a career in science.”
    Ah, sweet memories …. I once pointed out to a creationist that oil corporations don’t hire creacrap geologists. The answer: “discrimination because of religion!”. My answer: “no, discrimination because of being incapable of spotting oil fields”.

  8. Karl Goldsmith (@KarlGoldsmith)

    We have a response to the Nobel. “As Dr. Purdom (molecular Geneticist with @AiG ) explains, the research that received the Nobel Prize had zero to do with evolution. The researchers didn’t copy “nature’s inventions” as they say but copied God’s inventions! These researchers are so blind!”

  9. Necessity is the mother of invention. What necessity does God respond to?

  10. “But Hambo says there’s no such thing as separation of church and state. ”
    And we all know how much credibility a young earth creationism australian native has when it comes to matters related to the US Constitution!! Thanks for the update Hammy !!

  11. @TomS explores the character of God: “What necessity does God respond to?”
    The necessity of getting rid of his loneliness.

  12. Whether the students received credit is irrelevant. They were sent to the Park at the State’s expense, violating its consititution as well as that of the US, as part of their education. I wonder what would happen to a student who reported on the Creation Museum in the terms that it deserves.

  13. I commented on the newspaper’s site: Congratulations, Professor Phelps. Whoever organised this trip, within a publicly funded school system, using taxpayers’ money, is a lawbreaker. The voters of Southeast, all of whom, I am sure, hold the Constitutions of their State and the US in high regard, should take note.

    All commenters but one support Phelps

  14. Paul Braterman | 6-October-2018 at 6:09 am |
    Whether the students received credit is irrelevant. They were sent to the Park at the State’s expense, violating its constitution as well as, that of the US, as part of their education. I wonder what would happen to a student who reported on the Creation Museum in the terms that it deserves.

    Probably ‘disciplinary action”; possibly expulsion, followed (one would hope) by a lengthy lawsuit which would end in the school’s embarrassment and hefty damages to the student’s family.