We would LOVE to invite your public school class to a personalized tour here at the Great Passion Play!
First of all: Your guide (James Stroud) MA in ancient history and BA in philosophy (all from secular universities) will take you through our 3 museums and answer any questions you or your class may have. (Approx. 2 hours in total)
Second: We will send you on our Holy Land Tour where you can see a replica 1st century Palestinian village, life-size tabernacle and much more.
Lastly: Please keep in mind that this is an open invitation to students and faculty and James will provide a copy of his published masters thesis, books/DVDs (for those interested) on the historicity and philosophy of history and any/all costs will be covered by James.
**Also I can assure you that there is nothing controversial about a public school visiting a religious motivated worldview. (Contact me if you have any questions surrounding this but I can assure you this is for educational/critical thinking purposes not an attempt to convert anyone per se (see some of the below stories in the news for some examples).
As mentioned, my background and degrees are from secular universities and you can find my published thesis here: https://www.amazon.com/Philosophy-History-Naturalism-Religion-ebook-dp-B072N4JGV8/dp/B072N4JGV8/ref=mt_kindle?_encoding=UTF8&me=&qid=
I have debated many atheistic professors around the country and I can assure you this type of academic freedom and critical thinking is desperately needed as IQ levels continue to drop and my writings and research has held up very well. Even the Great Courses teaching company which is very secular has began putting together some great courses on the great religions because our students are becoming extremely ignorant on what religion is and what the history behind them entail due to public schools being so scared of teaching anything "religious" in fear of crossing any "church/state" lines but I can assure you this is completely out of context.
Please see below for two of the typical questions I am asked at first, and I just encourage you to reach out to me for more information as I will cover any/all costs and give you a great tour and simply encourage critical thinking throughout! Feel free to reach out to me via email or phone for more information and I will be happy to give you (instructor/faculty) your own tour beforehand if you want to get a feel for it before deciding to invite your class/students (perhaps your students could be given the option on a volunteer basis even?) Please consider it!
James Stroud - James.Stroud@wal-mart.com (479-616-4520)
See a short documentary hosted by Ben Stein I had the opportunity to play a small part in on this topic:
Is there a problem with subjecting a public-school class to a type of religion or intelligent design?
The Short Answer: No, definitely not. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…" The current authoritative case over the teaching of origins in public school science classes is Edwards v. Aguillard (1987) where the United States Supreme Court majority stated that a legislature can pass an acceptable bill regarding the teaching of science if purpose is to increase the "comprehensiveness" and "effectiveness" of science education and teaches "scientific" theories of origins. Thus, if intelligent design is a bona fide scientific theory (which it is) and if a legislature chose to advocate the teaching of intelligent design theory for the purpose of enhancing the effectiveness of science education (which it could) then intelligent design theory could be taught.
Why should our students/faculty accept your invitation? Could we get in trouble?
Short Answer: For critical thinking, academic freedom and to see a potentially different viewpoint (we would encourage the same thing if it was a Buddhist oriented trip for your school); also I am very passionate about reversing the IQ drop-rate of the last generation thru introduction of more than one competing worldview which is proven to inspire "critical-thinking" in the student's mind. and NO you nor your school can get in any trouble (see similar example below).
Legality of School Field Trips to the Ark Defended
Ark Encounter’s Founder Responds to Atheists on Religious Freedom Day
on January 16, 2019
Editor’s note: This article was adapted from a news release that was recently distributed to the media.
To rebut threatening letters sent to Kentucky’s public schools by an atheist group attempting to stop field trips to the Ark Encounter, Ken Ham, CEO/Founder of the Ark, has mailed letters to the superintendents of the same schools to assure them of the legality of sending classes on an official school trip to the popular attraction in Northern Kentucky. In his letter today, Religious Freedom Day in America, Ham also reiterated his promise that, to encourage public schools to visit the world-class attraction, students and their teacher would receive free admission in 2019. Ham’s letter was mailed to over 170 public school superintendents in Kentucky.
IN HIS LETTER, HAM ALSO REITERATED HIS PROMISE THAT, TO ENCOURAGE PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO VISIT THE WORLD-CLASS ATTRACTION, STUDENTS AND THEIR TEACHER WOULD RECEIVE FREE ADMISSION IN 2019.
Earlier this month, the anti-Christian Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a warning letter to 1,000 public schools in Kentucky and other states, claiming that “public schools and public school staff may not constitutionally organize trips to the Ark Encounter or [its sister attraction] the Creation Museum.”
Ham, however, noted that religious liberty experts confirm that “if public school classes tour the Ark or museum in an objective fashion to supplement a school’s teaching of world religions, literature, interpretation of history, etc., then the field trip, with free admission, is an educational experience.” At the same time, Ham acknowledged that “if students were brought to the Ark or museum and told by their teacher that the religious content should be accepted as truth, then the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, as currently being interpreted by the courts, would be violated.”
A highly respected religious freedom attorney, Mr. Nate Kellum, confirmed Ham’s conclusion. Kellum is sending a letter along with Ham’s to the superintendents of Kentucky’s public schools. In that letter, he observed that FFRF’s warning letter to schools “notably fails to cite a single case indicating that a field trip to a religious facility is unconstitutional.”
A HIGHLY RESPECTED RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ATTORNEY, MR. NATE KELLUM, CONFIRMED HAM’S CONCLUSION.
Ken Ham made this comparison on Religious Freedom Day: “Similarly, we would have no objection if a school took an official field trip to a mosque so that students could learn what Muslims believe, as well as their Islamic history. After all, the Islamic faith and Muslim nations are much in the news. As long as the teacher does not affirm Islamic beliefs, then the school is not advancing religion or indoctrinating students. The school is simply adding to a student’s education. Likewise, the accounts of the Ark and flood are major events in history according to Christians and Jews.”
Kellum leads the Center for Religious Expression (CRE), a non-profit public interest law firm that focuses on First Amendment rights. It regularly works with public officials to ensure those rights are properly understood and respected. See www.crelaw.org. Also, here is the legal memo drafted by Mr. Kellum that accompanied Ken Ham’s letter to the state’s school superintendents, “Freedom from Religion Foundation—Against the Constitution!”
In his letter to the superintendents, Ham repeated his no-charge pledge to public schools in encouraging them to visit the life-size Noah’s Ark in 2019: “I want to offer admission free of charge to all public schools in 2019 who received the FFRF letter—and to any other public school in America—that want to bring their students to the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum as an official school trip.”
Ham concluded: “If the FFRF dares threaten or bully a public school, we have access to expert constitutional law attorneys like Mr. Kellum who will provide their services to the school, pro bono, even if that means handling a case that could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Answers in Genesis, celebrating 25 years of outreach this year, is an apologetics (i.e., Bible-defending) ministry based in northern Kentucky, near Cincinnati. AiG’s Ark Encounter is a one-of-a-kind historically themed attraction with a massive Noah’s Ark as the centerpiece and draws over one million guests a year. The Creation Museum, located west of the Cincinnati Airport, has welcomed over 4 million visitors since opening in 2007.