You may remember our recent post, More on Public School Trips to Hambo’s Ark, in which we discussed an op-ed in the Lexington Herald-Leader of Lexington, Kentucky written by Dan Phelps, president of the Kentucky Paleontological Society and vice president of Kentuckians for Science Education.
Now we have a response from Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else — in the form of a letter to that newspaper. It’s titled Ark Park educational, cultural experience. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
While some may find cause to attack the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum for our Christian stance, others wrongly try to stop school groups doing what is totally constitutional — taking trips to our two popular themed attractions.
Yeah, “totally constitutional.” In our earlier post we quoted the relevant portions of the Kentucky Constitution, which disagree with ol’ Hambo, but he doesn’t care about that. He has a better authority. He says:
Here’s what respected religious freedom attorneys wrote about the legality of a field trip to our attractions:
Ooooooooooooh! Hambo has a letter from his lawyers. He quotes their opinion:
If public schools were bringing students to the Ark and museum and declaring, “THIS interpretation is the only real truth that you should personally accept,” then that would be a violation of the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! What if there were a field trip to a church to attend its services, and the school people didn’t offer any comment? Would that be Constitutional? The lawyer’s opinion continues:
If classes are coming to the museum or Ark in an objective fashion, however, to show students world-class exhibits and one group’s interpretation of the origin of man and Earth history, then the field trip is just fine as an exceptional and voluntary educational and cultural experience.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! A trip to Hambo’s creationist operation is an “exceptional” and “educational and cultural experience.” The lawyer’s opinion goes on:
Public school officials should neither personally endorse nor diminish the museum’s view but should present it objectively. Ultimately, it’s possible to attend the Creation Museum or Ark to teach rather than preach and to educate rather than indoctrinate.
That’s all there is from the lawyers. Hambo ends his letter with this:
We encourage all kinds of groups to come and visit the Ark and museum, as they have been doing since we opened.
So there you are. This thing’s gotta end up in court. How will that happen? We don’t know. Maybe some taxpayer group will file a lawsuit protesting the misuse of public funds, if such suits are possible in Kentucky. The issue is important, and it won’t be resolved until a judge orders the school officials to stop supporting Hambo’s enterprises.
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