Atheist group prevents public school students from visiting Creation Museum

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) demanded that public school students should not visit the Creation Museum as it would be a violation of the United States Constitution.

(Reuters/John Sommers)Visitors look over an exhibit of Noah's Ark at the new Creation Museum during a special viewing of the museum in Petersburg, Kentucky.

The FFRF emailed letters to multiple public schools in the Midwest including Jackson Independent School District in Jackson, Kentucky and Brookville High School in Dayton, Ohio, as well as in the East Coast with Big Beaver Falls School District in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, explaining the unconstitutionality of trips to a religious museum.

"Public schools may not advance or promote religion. Bringing students on a field trip to a religious venue is a blatant promotion of religion ... It is unconstitutional for a public school to take students on a field trip to a religious venue such as the Creation Museum, a Christian museum which promotes the religious doctrine of creationism and lists its mission as 'to point today's culture back to the authority of Scripture and proclaim the gospel message," the letters from FFRF state, as quoted by Christian Today.

The atheist group also pointed out that the content being taught at the Creation Museum would already be illegal if taught directly in public schools. The U.S. Supreme Court and several federal courts have already decided that the teaching of "scientific creationism" is strictly prohibited.

In a statement that FFRF released, the group indicated that educational trips to see the Creation Museum would propagate the creationist viewpoint which "doesn't make sense."

"This is an outrageous misuse of our public schools, which exist to educate, not to miseducate and indoctrinate," Annie Laurie Gaylor said in the statement, a quoted by Charisma News. Gaylor is the co-president of FFRF.

The Creation Museum is located in Petersburg Kentucky and is being operated by Answers in Genesis, a non-profit fundamentalist Christian apologetics ministry advocating Young Earth Creationism, which is a literal interpretation of the Bible's narrative for the creation of the universe.