Ken Ham, the man behind the Creation Museum and the future Ark Encounter amusement park, has been disinvited from a homeschool convention in Cincinnati next week because he made "ungodly, and mean-spirited" comments about another speaker, according to the convention's organizers.
Ham also will be excluded from future conventions, according to a statement by Brennan Dean of Great Homeschool Conventions (statement here).
"The board believes that Ken's public criticism of the convention itself and other speakers at our convention require him to surrender the spiritual privilege of addressing our homeschool audience," Dean said in the statement. UPDATE: The decision has generated hundreds of comments
Ham is a founder of Answers in Genesis, which built the Creation Museum in Petersburg, an interactive series of exhibits on "young earth" beliefs, including ones that show humans interacting with dinosaurs. Ham is also spearheading attempts to build an amusement park with a life-size replica of Noah's Ark, which will include dinosaurs on board. The project has won preliminary approval for up to $37 million in state tax incentives.
At issue are criticisms by Ham of Peter Enns of the Biologos Foundation, who has said the fall of Adam and Eve can be construed as a symbolic story of Israel's beginnings, rather than a literal description of human beginnings. (UPDATE 5:10 p.m. March 25: Ham posted audio of what he said about Enns' beliefs.)
"In fact," Ham wrote in a recent blog post, "what he teaches about Genesis is not just compromising Genesis with evolution, it is outright liberal theology that totally undermines the authority of the Word of God."
Ham was not immediately available for comment on Wednesday. His publicist, Melany Ethridge of A. Larry Ross Communications in Dallas, referred the Herald-Leader to Ham's Facebook page.
"Someone needs to stand against the compromise that is pouring into the church from many directions," Ham wrote on the page. "... Because we publicly exposed one of their speakers and his curriculum because his beliefs clearly undermine the authority of Scripture, we apparently come under the heading of 'anti-Christian' in our actions."
UPDATE 5:10 p.m. March 25: More from Ham on the controversy here, and about the curriculum in question here and here. Susan Wise Bauer of Peace Hill Press, publisher of the curriculum criticized by Ham, addresses the matter here and here.