Young Earth Creationist Ken Ham, whose life-sized Noah's Ark theme park opened to the public earlier in July, says atheists "go ballistic" when children visit the Ark Encounter and declare that they disagree with naturalism.
"When I post videos such as this one that show what children have learned about the truth of God's Word, atheists go ballistic and say we are brainwashing kids — but they want to brainwash them in the hopeless, anti-God religion of naturalism," Ham said Wednesday in a Facebook post, linking to a short video of a 9-year-old boy talking about his visit to the Ark.
Ever since the Ark opened, Ham has been debating critics such as Bill Nye "the Science Guy," and has been fighting atheist groups like The Freedom From Religion Foundation that have warned school districts against bringing children to the theme park in Kentucky.
Ham has accused Nye several times of trying to brainwash children.
"He wants to brainwash kids, to indoctrinate them, in his naturalistic (atheistic) religion of meaninglessness and hopelessness," the Answers in Genesis and Creation Museum president said about Nye, after the latter claimed that every single one of the science exhibits on the Ark's third deck was "absolutely wrong."
Nye has in turn accused Ham of trying to brainwash children, recalling one encounter at the Ark he had with a young girl who asked him to change his way of thinking, in which Nye said she was repeating the words of her Creationist-supporting parents.
The FFRF has meanwhile sent letters to hundreds of public schools in Kentucky, warning that sending students to the Ark would be akin to religious proselytizing.
"That would be completely inappropriate," FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor said about field trips to the Ark. "This is an attempt to proselytize children. The public school is to educate, not indoctrinate."
Ham has vowed to stand up to the "FFRF bullies," however, and accused the atheist group of trying to thwart the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of religion.
"On the basis of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, public schools are absolutely free to take students on field trips (with appropriate parental permissions) to facilities like the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum, provided they are for historical, recreational, or educational purposes," Ham wrote on the AiG blog.
Ham, who previously told The Christian Post in an interview that the Ark is a response to a world that is becoming "increasingly secularized and biased," has said that the theme park will be offering school children a special discount.
The AiG president revealed that if public school students are booked as a group through their school to visit the Ark Encounter or the Creation Museum for educational, recreational, or historical purposes, then each child will only have to pay $1, with accompanying teachers coming in free.