Reactions to Ark Encounter opening
The president and founder of Kentucky’s Creation Museum in Petersburg and the Ark Encounter in Williamstown has been dropped as a speaker at the University of Central Oklahoma after a LGBT group objected.
Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, had been scheduled to speak March 5 at the public university in Edmond, Okla.
Stockton Duvall, student body president at the university, took responsibility for the decision to rescind Ham’s invitation after learning of the opposition to his visit. Duvall told The Oklahoman newspaper that a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning group opposed Ham’s visit because of his view that marriage is between one man and one woman.
“I am not the first person to be personally attacked by a very vocal group on campus that has little tolerance for opposing viewpoints,” Duvall said in a written statement, referring to some Ham opponents.
Ham was to give a lecture titled “Genesis and the State of the Culture” followed by a question-and-answer session. Ham told the Oklahoman he was “shocked” the invitation was rescinded in Oklahoma, “which is considered to be in the Bible Belt area. I think it’s going to be eye-opening to a lot of people.”
In his own blog, Ham pointed out that opponents were able to shut down his campus visit, “yet the school has sponsored and given university funding toward a Drag Queen show.” Furthermore, he said, a professor who opposed his visit ‘also sponsors a safe sex carnival,’ which includes explicit, so-called learning games (that as a Christian I would describe as sexually perverse). Apparently, these events are acceptable on campus, but having a Christian come and speak is not.”
Instead, Ham is now scheduled to speak March 5 at Fairview Baptist Church near the university as a guest of pastor Paul Blair. The Edmond church operates a campus ministry.
“Since the doors of our public university are closed, we will open our doors for interested students and members of our community to hear what Ken has to share,” Blair said in a statement.