The Ark Encounter Under Attack – Ken Ham’s Priceless Response: Have you visited the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum? If not, this is a trip you want to take to see the Bible come to life! Join us now to hear how certain groups are attacking these attractions!

Air Date: 02/19/2019

Guest: Ken Ham

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith And The Culture

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we talk about the day’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and other areas of the culture. We always doing that from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

David Barton’s with us today. He’s America’s premier historian and our founder here at WallBuilders. Tim Barton’s here, national speaker and pastor, and president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas legislator.

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David, Tim, later in the program Ken Ham will be with us. For anybody that’s not familiar with with Ken Ham, he’s done so much to educate not just Americans, but people around the world, on the biblical story of creation, on the conflict between the people today that have tried to make evolution the only thing taught in schools, to actually saying, “Wait a minute, that’s not the only theory. Let’s give people the evidence that there actually is on Creation.”

You’ve Got To Check This Out!

Rick:

And he built these amazing facilities of the Creation Museum which is incredible and then recently, in the last few years, the Ark Encounter. And they just keep adding amazing opportunities to actually go see these things in person rather than just reading about it. If you haven’t been there, folks, you’ve got to go check out the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum. And you guys have been there, right?

Tim:

Well, we’ve been in the Creation Museum and then my dad might have been to the Ark Encounter. I have not yet. It is definitely on my “To Do” list. Actually, when I saw Ken Ham is who we were talking to today I thought who I could maybe invite to go on a road trip with me. Because I really do want to go see the Ark, to be able to see the life size– as much as we love the Bible, and every year I try to read the Bible cover to cover.

Actually, I have multiple different apps on my phone that, actually, many of them read the Bible to me. I have one that reads it to me, but this time it’s in chronological order, so it’s a different way than I normally– I listen normally to the one near Bible, but this time it’s chronological order. So, as I’m going through every year learning more about the Bible, to be able to go to a place and see when I’ve heard of what Noah did, and the years he put into it, and the different dimensions that God gave him to go and see what that actually looks like and walk through it in person, would be phenomenal.

So it definitely is on my list. I’m making a list of people I can call and say, “Hey, do you want a road trip some weekend? Let’s go up and check this thing out.” I’ve not been to the Ark Encounter, but the Creation Museum I can personally attest is incredible. Highly recommend it. And I’m sure the Ark Encounter is going be even better than I can imagine in my mind once I go. I’ve not been yet. Dad, I don’t know if you’ve had a chance yet?

Was It Really That Big?

David:

I actually drove by recently and was awed again at the Ark Encounter because I was going down the highway and it’s a whole lot bigger than you think it is. And it’s kind of like dominates landscape–

Tim:

So, you can see it from the highway.

David:

Oh, you can see it from * and you go, “Oh my gosh. Was it really that big?” And, of course, Ken built this on the dimensions in the Bible based on the instructions God gave to Noah. And you’re going man, that’s massive. The fact they did this several thousand years ago – no wonder it took them a hundred and twenty years to build this.

Rick:

Well, and it’s not just the outside. When you walk inside it’s a museum. You walk through and they show you how those things worked. Things that we– maybe you’ve never thought about or maybe you’ve had a lot of questions when you read the account and you’re going, “Okay, well, how did they have enough food? How did they get rid of waste? How did they– all those things.” He’s built all of that out on the inside of the ark as well.

So it’s like stepping back into the Bible and experiencing what it would have been like on the Ark. It’s absolutely incredible. And even the technology that they use inside the films that they show to answer a lot of those questions, some of the stuff’s narrated and hosted by Ray Comfort and other folks. It is really, really, good.

David:

Both facilities that he has there, as great as they are, there was a lot of opposition, particularly, to the Ark Encounter a few years ago. Because as they were preparing to build this – and it’s a big attraction, it’s a big park – as they’re preparing to build it, the state actually offers them some tax incentives, some tax relief, because it’s a big tourist attraction. And the secular and atheist groups went through the roof and said, “You can’t do that. That’s a religious group. You can’t give them tax incentives. You can’t–” And  they went to the battle back then. They actually won the battle.

Award For Business

David:

And it’s funny – they recently, I guess it was last year, got some big award from the state for all the business they have brought into the state, what they’ve done to increase tourism there in Northern Kentucky and Southern Ohio – big stuff that they’ve done.

Tim:

Yeah. What is there in Kentucky that’s a tourist draw? I would like to know. As a Christian, we can say, well, sure–

David:

Wait a minute. Wait a minute.

Tim:

Ark Encounter.

David:

You’ve got the Kentucky Derby.

Tim:

Kentucky Derby. Okay.

David:

That’s a draw.

Tim:

You’ve got the University of Kentucky basketball.

David:

Yeah. There you go.

Tim:

And I’m out.

David:

Yeah.

Tim:

That’s all I can think of. And I’m sure, listeners in Kentucky, I apologize for not knowing more about the attractions of your state. I’m sure it’s wonderful and you have this bluegrass. It’s awesome, good job you guys. I don’t know what else is there. That’s all I got.

It’s No Surprise

Tim:

So, the idea that you can’t give them a recognition or it’s bad, or you can’t give them a tax incentive even though they’re bringing all this additional revenue to the state, it is kind of ludicrous. Which it, as you pointed out, that did not hold up.

But there are yet again are attacks against the Ark Encounter, against the Creation Museum, and it’s no surprise when you have atheistic groups – whether it be the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, or the Freedom From Religion Foundation, or you can go down the list of these groups– that there would be groups that would oppose any anything religious in nature, that would present the idea that there could be an actual Creator, right. As novel as that concept is, there is a theory that says there was a God who created things. But they think that’s too offensive to allow children to see.

So, they actually sent out letters to all the public schools within a certain mile radius of the zipcode warning them not only about the dangers of this theory, but about the unconstitutional nature of taking and allowing their school kids to go see this.

David:

And, by the way, we do use the term unconstitutional there with air quotes. There’s nothing unconstitutional about it. But it’s what they claim is unconstitutional.

Tim:

That’s their accusation, right, it’s kind of like saying that a fourth grade student cannot pray over their lunch because that violates the separation of church and state. That is utterly ridiculous, but that is a claim being made. Now, they don’t largely win any of these claims ever. But that’s the accusation.

So, we thought, hey, let’s get Ken to kind of talk through what’s going on, what they’re dealing with, and even maybe a little bit about what the Ark Encounter is all about and what people can see when they go.

Tim:

Yeah. Because Ken always does a great job when these attacks come against Creation Museum, the Ark, the Answers in Genesis. His responses are often priceless. In this case, they are– his response is literally priceless. Stay with us, folks. We’ll be right back with Ken Ham here on WallBuilders Live.

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The Freedom From Religion Foundation Again

Rick:

Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us on WallBuilders Live. A good friend, Ken Ham, is back with us from Answers in Genesis, the Creation Museum, and the Ark Encounter. Ken, always good to have you, brother.

Ken Ham:

Hey, it’s great to be with you again.

Rick:

Love the work that you do, have thoroughly enjoyed taking my family there, the Barton’s as well, we just really think the impact you’re having on the worldview of so many is so important and really bring in the scriptures to life in so many awesome ways. Apparently, some opposition from some atheist groups that are actually telling schools not to go visit the Ark Encounter.

Ken Ham:

That’s right. They’re a little different than you. They don’t have the same sort of support that you do of the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum which are the two leading Christian themed attractions in the world.

I’m sure many people have heard of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. They’re well known–

Rick:

Yeah.

Ken Ham:

–for bullying, fear mongering, using care tactics, strong arming, and threatening and so on, municipalities, officials, counties, towns, to get rid of any semblance of any Christian thinking at all, get rid of nativity scenes, Ten Commandments.

So, they threaten with lawsuits. They are really a group of atheists, basically. If you go to their website you’ll find they have billboards that mock Christianity, that blaspheme. They spend a lot of their time attacking Christians and they really promote atheism. So, it’s not surprising that a group like this would aggressively try to stop people hearing any Christian message.  

The Same Story

Ken Ham:

So, what happened was actually they did this in 2016, the year that the Ark Encounter opened, and they did it again this year in January 2019. They sent letters to a thousand public schools in five states warning them not to bring their students to the Ark Encounter or the Creation Museum because they claimed that that was against the First Amendment, it was against the Constitution, and of course they imply threatened legal action if public schools dared bring the students on a field trip to the Ark Encounter or the Creation Museum.

And it’s interesting – we’ve never gone after, in a sense, the public school market because we know that that’s difficult anyway because of the threats by atheist groups – not just the Freedom From Religion Foundation, but the American Atheists, The Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, and the ACLU. They all put pressure on public schools not to let their students have any influence of any Christian thought. That sort of thing is happening more and more as you know. In fact, not just with public schools, but it’s happening across the nation in many different ways. And the–

Rick:

So, that wasn’t that wasn’t really your aim in the first place. You weren’t really targeting schools at all.

Ken Ham:

No. And there are Christian school groups that bring their students to the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum. I talked to our customer service. We think there possibly has been one Christian or one public school group that has brought students on a field trip that we know of at some stage, and maybe at a technical college, a community college of some sort. But basically, that has not been the market that– these people are so scared that these students would actually hear some different thinking that they threaten them this way.

Handling It The Constitutional Way

Ken Ham:

The way I responded was to offer any public school that brings students on a field trip to the Creation Museum now to do it in accord with the Constitution and that is this – that they are to do it as an educational trip, a field trip, to learn other perspectives about science, and history, outside the context of the classroom. They can do that. And under the First Amendment they can certainly do that provided the teacher is not promoting, or the school is not promoting, what they would call “religion”. Although, they teach religion in their science classes anyway – it’s called evolution.

Rick:

Oh, sure they do. Yeah, that’s right.

Ken Ham:

It’s called naturalism. But, provided they don’t promote it and say, “You have to believe this.”, if they just say to them, “You’re going to go on a field trip and it’s an educational field trip to get a different perspective, and to see what they believe, and so on, to see how they present their message.” So, I’m going, well, it’s within their rights to do it. In fact, to not do that and to say, “You can’t do that” is actually against the constitutional rights of the students themselves. Depriving them of opportunity to experience, or engage, and challenge with other perspectives. Because–

Rick:

Yeah.  

Ken Ham:

–it’s been ruled over, and over, and over again in the courts that you are not to promote religion in the public schools – they’re not too inhibited either.

Rick:

That’s right.

Ken Ham:

So, the tension–

How Can They Be Anything But Brainwashed?

Rick:

And it’s just bad education, right?  

Ken Ham:

Yes.

Rick:

If you’re only telling one side of this hotly debated topic out there, but if you’re not telling the other theories, and ideas, and evidence, then how is a student supposed to be anything other than brainwashed if they’re only given this one viewpoint of evolution?

Ken Ham:

Exactly. And, when you think about it, at the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter we actually have some exhibits that present the evolution side–

Rick:

Yeah.

Ken Ham:

–so students get to hear that. And then, actually, we have a lot of Christian school groups that will come through and we encourage them then to go to the Natural History Museum in the area, or some of them that come down from Illinois, go to the Natural History Museum in Chicago. And then to challenge their thinking compare what they say to what we’re saying and teachers use that to teach them how to think correctly from the right foundation.

But we’re not scared of students going to the Creation Museum and the Ark and then going to an evolutionist museum. But I tell you what, these secularists sure are scared of these students even getting a whiff of what we teach at the Ark and the Creation Museum. If they were so sure about their beliefs and evolution was obviously fact, and  atheists were so sure that there’s no God, that the students could never be swayed from that thinking, why would they be worried about them hearing a different perspective?

Rick:

That’s right.

Paper Tigers

Ken Ham:

So, what we’ve done is we’ve offered students on public school field trips, official school trips for public school, there’s an outreach to the public schools. We’ve offered them free tickets for the students and teachers if they come on an officially organized school trip as a field trip.

And also, we have a Christian attorney from the Center for Religious expression named Kalam who is willing to pro bono defend them should the Freedom From Religion Foundation actually sue them. They’ll certainly threaten them, but it would be interesting. It’d be great to see a court case over this issue go all the way to the Supreme Court because we really do need a ruling to stop this nonsense from these atheist groups.

Rick:

That’s right. Stop the threats. Just get a ruling on it so that they can’t have this paper tiger of these letters that they send out. So, your response, this is great. So you’re saying, hey, to these public school teachers and students that have been threatened by the Freedom From Religion Foundation to not allow those kids to be exposed to these ideas and in this experience of going through the Ark, come for free. If they come on an official trip, they actually get to come for free. So, the fees are waived, they can go experience the entire Ark Encounter.

Ken Ham:

They can. And we offer that not just to the thousand schools that the Freedom From Religion Foundation threatened, but to any public schools in America we’ve offered that too. We actually sent letters to the superintendents of all those school districts with this offer. And we sent a letter from our constitutional legal expert, the attorney that is a constitutional legal expert that is for a number of cases. In fact, he fought a case for us when the state of Kentucky wasn’t going to allow us to receive a tax incentive available to any other themed attraction–

Rick:

Oh, I remember this.

The Only Ones Out

Ken Ham:

–or any other tourist attraction. They weren’t going to allow it to us because we’re Christian. So, we went to federal court over it and the judge had a very conclusive 71 page ruling in our favor based on the First Amendment.

Rick:

Yeah.

Ken Ham:

Because you can’t treat Christians as second class citizens. It’s interesting – I’ve done some interviews on this and someone asked me the question, “So, would you agree for a public school to visit, say, a mosque to learn what muslims believe?” And I’d say that’s within their First Amendment rights to do that.

So, if a public school wants to have a field trip to a mosque to learn about what Muslims believe, have a field trip to the Ark Encounter to see what we believe. And, of course, what the Freedom From Religion Foundation people say, “Oh, if you take them to the Ark Encounter, that’s an endorsement of everything they teach.” Just because you visit somebody doesn’t mean it’s an endorsement of what they teach.

Rick:

That’s right.

Ken Ham:

What if I take them to the bourbon distillery Museum, which is well known in Kentucky, is that an endorsement that every one of you should be drinking alcohol or something? It’s so ridiculous. And the same problem has occurred in a similar way with the American Atheists writing letters to parks and recreation groups who organized bus tours for seniors a lot of times. They actually have bus tours that will come and visit the Ark, the Creation Museum, sometimes the casino, the Newport Aquarium, the zoo.

Be Courageous and Stand

Ken Ham:

Well, the American Atheists have been writing to the Parks and Recreation Department saying, “You can’t include the Ark or the Creation Museum. That’s against the Constitution.” And it definitely is not. These are trips paid for by these people who go on these bus tours and they have the freedom to choose that particular tour or not. It’s ridiculous that this is the way the secularists are forcing their atheism on the culture right across the nation. And I just encourage people – we need to be courageous and stand up to them.

Rick:

No doubt about it. These these “tolerant free thinkers” are not so tolerant and not so free thinking and this is the only way to to fight back. That’s one thing I’ve always loved about you, Ken, you have no problem being in the fight and you don’t cower down. You stand bold and firm and we’re thankful for it. And very thankful for the Ark Encounter, and Creation Museum, and what you guys are doing, so keep up the great work.

We will spread the news and encourage teachers out there, public school teachers, to take this trip, take your kids. This is a wonderful experience. And I love the fact you’ve got the attorney to help the schools that would be challenged by Freedom From Religion So, Ken, keep up the great work, brother. Thank you for your time and we’ll certainly have links so folks can find out more.

Ken Ham:

Hey, thank you. Great to talk to you.

Rick:

Stay with us, folks. We’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.

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Rick:

We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. Very special thanks to Ken Ham for coming on the program and for just being used of God to create these incredible places to go and see the Bible come to life.

Back with David and Tim Barton. And, guys, literally a priceless response. I love the fact that he’s made this free for these schools to come and do his tours. That’s going to be great to see how many of them actually take him up on it. I just want to encourage our listeners to take him up on the opportunity to come at any price to be able to enjoy this. I’m telling you – it is one of the coolest things you will ever do with your family. Make sure you make that trip out there and visit the Creation Museum and the Ark.

David:

Well, it’s hilarious to me that they went back through all the records and only found one public school group that had been there. So, now you’ve notified 5,000 other public schools. I think you’ve raised the awareness and I think you’ve–

“What You Meant For Evil, God Meant For Good”

Tim:

Yeah, that was my first thought is how many of these schools didn’t know about the Ark Encounter until you pointed it out. And really, my thought was that one of the things that Romans 8:28 tells us is that in all things God works together for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to service. And it reminded me actually of the end of Genesis, Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers. But while he was in slavery he worked with Potiphar, and then with Pharaoh, and God elevates him, and God gives him understanding for the famine that’s coming, and he’s able to save Egypt, and his family lives because of him.

And what he tells his brothers at the end is that, “What you meant for evil, God meant for good.” And definitely, that was that my thought is this might be that situation where what they are meaning for evil God is going to use for good.

Because who knows that maybe some of these schools, there are some people who go, “Hey, maybe I don’t agree with this, but it might be good for my kids to see what the other side believes or to give this historical perspective on a story from the Bible, right, whatever it is.” Who knows but that God’s going to bring some class, and God’s going to work in some kid’s life, and who knows what they might do and become because of this.

So, definitely could be some levels of irony here against the Freedom From Religion Foundation. And, of course, Ken has a great response saying, “Hey, I’m going to– if you come on a school trip, I will cover this for you guys. You just come and check it out.” Really great perspective.

David:

He said, too, that just because you visit somewhere doesn’t make it an endorsement. And that’s exactly right. He points out that he’s not bothered by kids getting both sides. He thinks it’s good for our kids to get both sides.

Tim:

And, in fact, yeah, they recommend, “Hey, go check out these other natural history museums, see how they explain it, see how we explain it, see what makes more sense.” This is where I think we have seen so often the left does not want to have a debate. They want to shut the other side down. And I think part of the reason is because they’re not prepared for this debate. When you don’t have the facts and the evidence it’s hard to describe creation without a creator.

Both Sides

Tim:

And this is what the Creation Museum does so well and they have the scientific evidence to back it up. So, they’re not afraid of you looking at both sides because one makes way more sense than the other. But this is why the left so often wants to shut down debate because they don’t want to let you hear both sides because you might go with the wrong direction in their mind. Ken says, “No, you should study both sides and see which one makes more sense.”

Rick:

Well, and anybody out there listening right now can do exactly that by visiting the Ark and the Creation Museum. I encourage them to do that.

And also you can do that by listening to WallBuilders Live. That’s part of what we do here on the program is bring you that history. We’re always hearing the other side with regard to our history and our Constitution. Major media, academia, controls the narrative on so many of those topics. So, it’s so important to listen to WallBuilders Live so we can bring you the truth from the Founding Era. Giving you that biblical, constitutional, and historical, perspective and then sharing it with your friends and family.

The Ark Encounter Under Attack – Ken Ham’s Priceless Response

Rick:

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