After the Freedom From Religion Foundation warned Kentucky school administrators last week that field trips to Ark Encounter would be illegal since it was a devoid-of-fact Christian ministry, Creationist Ken Ham had something of a Twitter meltdown this morning.
He called FFRF’s warning a form of “bullying,” adding that schools had a First Amendment right to visit his theme park. (He’s wrong on both counts.)
Let’s point out some facts here:
No one’s stopping students from attending Ark Encounter. They can go on their own, they can go with their families, and they can go with their churches.
FFRF isn’t violating the First Amendment by reminding schools how the law works. If anything, they’re reminding administrators of what the law says so that the schools avoid a costly lawsuit. Ham clearly doesn’t know what the First Amendment says.
There’s no educational purpose to visit Ark Encounter on a public school field trip. None. It’s bad science, bad history, and bad architecture.
FFRF isn’t stopping Ham (or anyone else) from practicing their Christianity. The fact that the Ark exists — not to mention a church in practically every town in the country — is proof that no one is stopping Christians for worshiping however they want. This issue has always been about the interaction between Ham’s ministry and the government.
After all these years, we can add Law to the ever-growing list of topics Ham knows nothing about. FFRF did these schools a favor by warning them against a possible misstep. They didn’t have to. Hell, by not saying anything, it could have been more likely a school would’ve planned a trip to Ham’s Park, leading to a court victory for FFRF. That’s not what FFRF wants, though.
But Ham has never been able to make his case for anything using facts. Making things up is what he does for a living and this tweetstorm is no different.