This Wednesday, I am boarding a plane and headed to Kentucky (thanks to so many amazing supporters) to meet up with the Tri-State Freethinkers, American Atheist president, David Silverman, Aron Ra, David Smalley, and many other wonderful atheist and secular activists to hold a protest on the opening day of Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter.
I have been asked now countless times why I am traveling across the country to protest the park and why I cannot just leave it alone and let people visit in peace. I decided that this warranted a response, though those who oppose my visit (like Ken Ham) won’t care for my honest explanation and only see it as an attack on Christians.
Let me start by telling you what I am not doing.
I am not going to protest the actual opening of, or construction of, the Ark Encounter. As silly as I think the whole park is, Ham has every right to waste money as he sees fit.
However, that right to waste money, especially on a self-proclaimed religious ministry, does not mean you have a right to waste taxpayer money.
This is reason number one I am going. To show my opposition to the nearly $100 million taxpayers are on the hook for. Between bonds, grants, tax rebates, and legal fees, the state is currently funding nearly $100 million of this project.
A clear violation of the establishment clause. Ham may have a right to build this thing, but not a right to state-funded benefits in doing so.
That is not the main reason I am traveling nearly 3,000 miles, however.
We know beyond a doubt that the great flood of the bible never took place. We have geological and archeological proof of this. Yet Ham and the parents bringing their children to the park will not tell the children this is a fictional park. They are happy to tell them this is scientifically and historically accurate.
This puts these children at an educational disadvantage. It squashes their logical and critical thinking skills and tells them to believe that a book that contains talking animals, rape, incest, slavery, and genocide is a good book and full of information to help them get through life.
I won’t stand for it. If the media is going to be there to cover the park’s opening, they need to have an oppositional voice to hear that provides facts and evidence to the park’s claim of scientific and historical accuracy.
I, along with the many others attending, are going to be that voice.
So there you have it. That is why I am attending the protest. Atheists, I assume most of you will understand this, regardless of you agreeing that you would do the same. Creationists, I am sure you will have a field day in the comments telling me I am a monster.