Someone from the Ark Encounter in Kentucky sent me the following email.
“I watched your YouTube video in which you indicate that you will be coming to the Ark Encounter later this week to engage in “confrontation” and that it would be something you would “enjoy.” The video clip is here:
Please be on notice that being disruptive is against our attraction’s rules and that we “reserve the right to deny admission” at our discretion. Accordingly, you will not be allowed on the Ark Encounter grounds.”
That message was marked “confidential”, as if I would keep quiet about being banned from the ark park. This is a Badge of honor, Baby. I enjoy these conversations because I’m helping people. But they assumed that I would be “disruptive” because they’re afraid of confrontation. It’s a conflict of ideas; not violence. There’s nothing to fear from me unless you’re afraid of learning forbidden knowledge.
So I responded to that email with this one:
“I guess you didn’t see the blog post explaining why I won’t be coming.”
The summary there is that Answers In Genesis is sponsoring an event called “Answering Atheists”, wherein they will not even hear our questions, and have provided no opportunity for interaction. Whereas there is plenty of chances for wanna-believers to freely engage in, and even record, passionate discussions at the American Atheist convention; not disrupting any presentations of course; certainly not to threaten or badger anyone. Keep it civil, perhaps over drinks in the lounge, or agreeing to meet in any of the rooms. If it seems you can be reasoned with, I’ll be happy to try. But there will be no place to hear the conflict of ideas at the ark park.
Mind you, the last time I visited that boat-shaped facade, I was walking alongside Ken Ham and Bill Nye, who was there to confront Ham’s pseudoscience; same as I was. You can spot me in the background of that video a couple times. While I was there, I got into a few discussions with several believers, confronting their bad ideas, but I was not “confrontational” nor “disruptive” at any point. Most of those challenges were by invitation, by believers who recognized me or were assigned to me. The park provided a personal guide to lead me through their exhibits. I got plenty of video of that immediately before the Ark Encounter prohibited anyone from taking video anymore.
By calling this event “Answering Atheists”, they’re implying that they’re inviting dialogue. So of course I thought there’d be a time and place available for that. I accepted the invitation and was blocked because that’s not at all what they want. They want to preserve the echo chamber that their delusion depends upon. They’re not “answering atheists” because they’re neither talking to atheists nor listening to our questions.
We are not that way. Religion may need censorship and restrictions, but truth doesn’t. So if you’re a sincere believer, and you’d like to cordially engage with infidels, you’re welcome to. We’re generally enthusiastic about intellectual discussions. We won’t even block you for being disruptive or confrontational so long as you comport accordingly.