Ken Ham, president of the fundamentalist ministry Answers in Genesis, has sold Kentucky lawmakers on the idea that a religious theme park featuring a 510-foot replica of Noah’s Ark deserves taxpayer dollars because it will create jobs. Unfortunately some politicians have been more than willing to jump into bed with Ham, but given his upcoming appearance at a conference organized by a group with neo-Confederate ties, it seems these lawmakers don’t know who they’re dealing with.
On Oct. 18, Ham will headline an event hosted by the Institute on the Constitution (IOTC) at Severn Christian Church in Severn, Md. The IOTC certainly sounds harmless enough – after all, Americans United believes everyone should study the document that guarantees freedom of conscience for all. But in this case, a seemingly innocuous name provides cover for an organization that believes America should be an officially “Christian nation” and supports white supremacists.
As detailed in a blog post by Warren Throckmorton, a professor at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, the Institute on the Constitution was founded by Michael Peroutka, a former board member and current member of the League of the South. The League is a radical outfit that seeks to preserve the “Anglo-Celtic culture” of the South. The League, which can’t seem to accept that the Civil War ended in 1865, is actually working toward secession (because that worked out so well last time). It has even been labeled a racist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Throckmorton noted that Peroutka has previously promised IOTC resources to assist the League.
In addition to Ham and Peroutka, Throckmoton said the upcoming conference will feature the Rev. David Whitney, pastor of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Pasadena, Md., and “senior instructor” with the IOTC. He has professed a belief that only “Disciples of Jesus Christ” should be granted U.S. citizenship.
“Basically most American’s [sic] believe that if you can put a mirror to the nose of an individual over the age of 18 and they can fog the glass, then they should be allowed to vote,” he said in February.
He continued: “But why do we believe that? Loving thy neighbor means protecting their God given rights as Exodus 12:49 commands. That means preserving the structure of civil government from all who would pervert the civil government into an agency of legalized plunder, whereby the God given rights of no one would be safe and secure. This means, as we have seen in the commands of Scripture, that we restrict citizenship to those who, because they are committed to the Covenant of Disciples of Jesus Christ, are willing to submit themselves to serve in the roles of responsibility in choosing leaders who will preserve God ordained order.”
As far as the IOTC is concerned, if you’re not a white Christian of European descent, you don’t belong in the United States. Such sentiment clearly makes the group unworthy of using the term “Constitution” in its name.
Unfortunately, this upcoming conference is not Ham’s first partnership with Peroutka. Back in May, Ham accepted Peroutka’s donation of an Allosaurous skeleton for his Creation Museum, which teaches that the earth is just 6,000 years old and that humans and dinosaurs once lived together. In reality the skeleton is millions of years old, but Ham uses it to “prove” that dinosaurs lived as recently as 4,300 years ago.
We don’t know how Ham feels about white supremacists, but he clearly has no problem partnering with one. If the company you keep says a lot about you, what does Ham’s relationship with Peroutka say about him?
When you add everything up, it’s obvious Kentucky had no business doing business with the likes of Ken Ham.