Hambo’s Glorious Court Victory

This one really bothers us. It’s from Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. He’s the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia, famed not only for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG), but also for the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum.

Ol’ Hambo seems to be celebrating some stupendous legal victory. We’ll let you decide if we misunderstand him. He just posted this at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), his creationist ministry: Third Anniversary of AiG’s Significant Religious Freedom Victory. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Today marks the third anniversary of our federal court victory over the previous governor of Kentucky and the state itself. The state tried to block the Ark Encounter from receiving a tourism tax rebate (a return of sales tax generated within the actual park itself — money that would not have been available without the attraction’s existence), simply because of the religious/biblical nature of the Ark Encounter’s Christian, biblically historic themed attraction. We’re very thankful that we won the case — it was a decisive victory and a great win for religious freedom in America.

Do you remember hearing about a Supreme Court victory for Hambo? Or Federal appellate court victory? There wasn’t any. There wasn’t even a final decision in a trial court.

To refresh your memory, the state of Kentucky had decided that due to the religious nature of Hambo’s ark, it didn’t qualify for the state’s sales tax rebate program. Hambo sued the state over the issue, and the case was just getting started. It wasn’t even close to the trial stage. Hambo asked for a preliminary injunction preventing the state from denying him the tax rebates during the trial, and on that motion the judge ruled in Hambo’s favor (Opinion & Order). We wrote about it in Ken Ham’s Ark Wins First Round in Court.

Then an odd thing happened. Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin got involved and decided not only that the state wouldn’t contest the injunction, but it would stop denying AIG the benefit of the tax rebate scheme. So Hambo won, but it was a political, not a judicial victory. Nevertheless, Hambo describes the litigation as if it were a landmark decision in his favor.

The rest of Hambo’s post is praise for his lawyers and bluster about the latest controversy regarding public school trips to the ark. For example, he says:

Hateful atheist groups such as the American Atheists and Freedom from Religion Foundation have been trying to bully schools into believing that field trips to religious attractions would be unconstitutional — when they’re not! As long as teachers don’t tell students they must believe what they see and hear, or tell them that it is truth, there’s nothing unconstitutional about taking a group of public-school students to see a different historical or religious perspective.

He’s bluffing, and we hope no one is misled. Well, the organizations that oppose public school field trips to Hambo’s ark are probably run by lawyers, so they know what’s going on. But school principals need to be aware of actual court decisions like the one described here: AHA Applauds Court Ruling Against Religious Field Trips.

It’s all huffing and puffing at this point, but somewhere in Kentucky there’s a drooling school official who’s eager to pile the kiddies into a school bus and send them to the ark. Then the fun will begin.

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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10 responses to “Hambo’s Glorious Court Victory

  1. “As long as teachers don’t tell students they must believe what they see and hear, or tell them that it is truth …”. The good uncles at the museum will see to that.

  2. “So Hambo won, but it was a political, not a judicial victory.”
    Oh come on, dear SC, this is utterly simple – we are dealing with Ol’Hambo, “the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else” plus of course law and all other legal matters. Moreover, as you are always keen to point out, he’s a theocrat. For theocrats “political” and “judicial” are synonyms. Laws, administrative rulings, political decisions, for Ol’Hambo , the world’s etc. etc., as long as they favour him, they all come from the god called YHWH.

    “there’s nothing unconstitutional about taking a group of public-school students to see a different historical or religious perspective.”
    In Ol’Hambo’s theocracy all teachers magically will be so sensible not to take them to see an evolutionary perspective. ‘cuz Truth and Lake of Fire and stuff.

  3. For the sake of our own enjoyment, we may indulge in the purely selfish hope that some deluded district, school principal, or individual creationist teacher takes Ham at his word and promotes such a visit. The chances are good that even in Kentucky or southern Ohio one or two students out of a class of thirty will have parents who object to their children being subjected to whackadoo Christian fundamentalist indoctrination in the public schools. The rest will be entertainment on a lavish scale – for us.

    Alas, we are practically the only persons who can benefit. The plaintiffs will have to tolerate a level of ostracism in their communities, and actual abuse from lunatics. The school district, board or individual teachers will be out a heap of money when (not if, when) they lose or settle, and the taxpayers – completely innocent as they may be – will have to stump up, or watch their school taxes being drained away from their children’s education to pay for a folly. This is a lose-lose-lose scenario.

    The worst of it is that it’s only indirectly a loss for the evil little urger who promoted it. Handled correctly, even the worst is no loss at all, for Ham. He won’t be in the frame. He can’t be sued for this. He will be demonstrated in public to be a liar, but that has happened so often that he’s used to it. He will come the Christian martyr again, and there’s no such thing as bad publicity. It’s like debating with him. He can’t lose.

    I confess, there are times when I despair. The only consolation I find is in my hope that no one, not even school boards infiltrated by religious zealots, not even individual creationist activists, will be fool enough to accept Ham’s assurances. When even the fanatics understand that the best thing to do is to ignore him, another tiny step on the road will have been taken. The enlightenment was made – is made – of many such.

  4. SCENE: TWO PUBLIC-SCHOOL TEACHERS CHATTING IN THE STAFF ROOM:

    Miss. O’Mara: I took my class to the David Irving Holocaust Museum last week.
    Mr. Tozer: Oh, yeah? How’d that go?
    O’Mara: No gas chambers, for a start. You enter into, like, a large, plush hotel lobby with wide, comfortable armchairs, where apparently the Nazis offered the Jews an all-you-can-eat buffet, and a range of affordable drinks. Supposed to be all authentic.
    Tozer (puzzled): Hmm. I don’t remember reading that in Elie Wiesel and Primo Levi.
    O’Mara: That’s just their biased perspective, Irving reckons. He says he’s just offering a more accurate one to the official narrative.
    Tozer: Well, as long as we teachers don’t tell the kids they have to necessarily believe everything they hear and see at these museums, I guess there’s no real harm in it.

  5. “For the sake of our own enjoyment”
    Don’t worry DaveL, the less people visit Ol’Hambo’s nonsensical displays the more I enjoy it.

  6. A glance at our statistics page gave your Curmudgeon a bit of a surprise. This is post number 7,500 for our humble blog. Is that possible? Well, about two posts a day for almost 11 years … yeah, it’s possible.

  7. Off topic, sorry, but “sciencealert.com” has an item on “devolution” that is very interesting and explanatory.

  8. @DavidK
    That directs one to the website
    metafact.io
    which I had not heard of. Metafact surveys “expects” on questions, and reports on the answers. I just metafact on “devolution”, and it reports “not enough experts”.
    On evolution, global warming and vaccination it reports solidly 100% on the side of science. So maybe this site is reliable.