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The battle between Creationist Ken Ham and the Freedom From Religion Foundation over whether public school students can attend Ark Encounter for “educational” field trips has taken a strange new turn.


Ham is now going out of his way to make it cheaper for students to attend — as if cost, not the law, is the barrier preventing them from coming with their public school classmates.

To help encourage public schools to stand up against this bullying and uphold their constitutional rights, I would like to make the following valuable offer:

If public school students are booked as a group through their school to come to the Ark Encounter (or Creation Museum) for educational, recreational, or historical purposes during 2016, we will allow them to do so at a cost of $1 per child with accompanying teachers free. Just call our customer service line at 855-284-3275 to book the school group. It must be a legitimate public school group booked through their elementary, middle, or high school.

First of all, a $1 entry fee is still $1 too much. Given all the brain cells you’re going to lose, Answers in Genesis should really be giving you money.

More importantly, however, the schools would stand to lose a lot more money when they’re hit with lawsuits for promoting religion.

It’s obviously legal to visit churches, mosques, and synagogues as part of, say, a World Religion class in order to learn about various faiths. Ark Encounter isn’t educational in that way. You’re not going to learn about the whole of Christianity by going there. The purpose of that attraction, along with the Creation Museum, is to proselytize and brainwash visitors into believing the Book of Genesis ought to be taken literally despite all the evidence in the world pointing in the opposite direction.

There’s no educational benefit to visiting the Ark. It’s just that simple.

I’ve heard some atheists suggest that it’d be worthwhile to go to show just how foolish it is — but that makes as much sense as teaching Creationism in science class. Introducing one religion’s mythology into the curriculum is a dangerous, slippery slope to go down.

Kids can still visit Ark Encounter on their own, or with their parents, or with their churches — but let’s be very clear on this: They won’t be learning anything worthwhile when they’re there.

There are so many more useful ways to spend a buck. No school should be wasting time or money on Ham. Even if it weren’t illegal, it’d be educational malpractice.

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.