Kentucky — January 10, 2019. Today, the Center for Religious Expression (CRE) sent a letter to Kentucky public schools responding to a threatening letter from an atheist group pre-emptively demanding that the schools refrain from scheduling field trips to the Ark Encounter park and Creation Museum.
The Freedom FROM Religion Foundation (FFRF), a notorious atheist group, recently sent letters to Kentucky schools, arguing that organizing field trips to these attractions would violate the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution simply because they are owned by a religious organization.
As CRE’s letter points out, the Constitution gives schools broad discretion to determine how best to teach students, and exposing students to a variety of perspectives and cultures outside the confines of a classroom is a well-accepted method for doing so. That some such attractions are owned by entities with religious perspectives does not require them to be shunned. To the contrary, the First Amendment prohibits public entities from selectively disfavoring religious entities just because they are religious.
“Public schools should not deprive their students of excellent opportunities to learn about other perspectives of science and history to mollify an atheist group’s hostile views toward anything remotely religious,” said CRE Chief Counsel Nate Kellum. “Our students deserve a rich education, including exposure to a diversity of views. Our students should be free to learn from them.”
Center for Religious Expression is a servant-oriented, non-profit 501(c)(3) Christian legal organization dedicated to the glory of God and the religious freedom of His people. For more information, visit http://www.crelaw.org.