August 1998 Newsletter

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Thousands reached at N.E.A. convention!


Thousands reached at N.E.A. convention!

Each year the National Education Association (N.E.A.), one of the most liberal and anti-Christian organizations in America, plays host to thousands of public school educators at its annual convention. This year, the N.E.A. met in New Orleans July 1-3 where Answers in Genesis was an exhibitor at what could only be described as a hostile environment (some Christian members of N.E.A., however, dropped by to express their appreciation in seeing Answers in Genesis there—one grateful woman declared, “We’re praying for you guys”!

In addition to some spirited discussion with many educators, AiG staff—and some volunteers—distributed about 20,000 witnessing tracts and hundreds of free books.

Through the generosity of Answers in Genesis supporters nationwide who have a burden to reach educators with the Gospel, the cost of all these materials —and the expense of renting the exhibit booth—were already paid for by the time the convention started.

Witnessing to public schools!

As I’ve traveled across America, I’ve been astonished to find that most teachers, parents, education officials, school board members, and the public falsely believe that Christianity has been all but outlawed in public schools.

Sadly, many have been intimidated by humanist organizations such as the A.C.L.U. and N.E.A. into believing that subjects such as Creation or the Bible are forbidden in the public school classroom. I’ve even heard of school librarians declaring that the Bible was not allowed in the school library!

However, it’s about time Christians and the overall public were informed as to the TRUTH about Christianity in the public schools. There are many avenues allowed by the U.S. Supreme Court rulings whereby public school students can be reached with the Creation/Gospel message.

People need to be INFORMED. Included with this newsletter is a summary of just a few of the freedoms that Americans have to reach public schools with the truth of God’s Word. Please copy this insert (use it as a church bulletin insert). Challenge Christians to be on the offensive instead of retreating and allowing generations to be educated in an anti-God philosophy.

Sincerely

(Ken Ham)

Important booklet for public schools coming!

The National Academy of Sciences recently sent a 140-page book to public schools throughout America, encouraging teachers to teach evolution as fact more than ever before. This document will probably be incorporated into the curricula of many schools. Educators across the country will be influenced by this document that also belittles Bible-believing Christians.

One of our Answers in Genesis scientists is writing a detailed critique of this anti-Christian publication. As chapters are written, they will be available to be downloaded from our website. The completed book, which will also be a devastating critique of modern evolutionary theory (it will be a great teaching tool for teachers and students) will be released this fall. Watch for an announcement in one of our upcoming newsletters.

We want to see this critique get into the hands of teachers, students, school boards and other education officials across the nation. This is where you—our supporters—can help. When the critique is available this fall, please consider purchasing it in bulk (we will make it available “at cost” as a missionary outreach) and getting them to your local public school officials and teachers.

Let’s reach the students and teachers in our schools with the truth, and deprogram them from evolutionary brainwashing!

Special project: “Answers” radio!

AiG supporters often write or call to ask how they can help us in specific “creation evangelism” projects. Sometimes they will remark that they would particularly like to support one of the AiG outreaches, such as radio. Here’s one project that you may want to consider.

Although our Answers…with Ken Ham radio program is heard on more than 300 stations worldwide, we believe that there are many more that would carry this fast-paced, faith-building broadcast if local churches and individuals were to underwrite the cost of airing it on their local commercial stations. (Keep in mind, too, that most Christian stations broadcast programs at no charge—although AiG will pay for the cost of producing and distributing the program on CD—so consider contacting your local non-commercial Christian station as well.) There are hundreds of commercial Christian stations operating on the basis of paid air time that are not a part of the AiG network, because we do not have the additional resources to pay for available openings on them.

If you would like to consider sponsoring our 90-second program on your local commercial Christian station, please call the station’s sales manager requesting the cost for airing this 90-second feature for six months or more, five days a week. Rates will vary between stations in small towns and large cities, and the time of day will also have a bearing on the cost. You need to ask that question when inquiring about costs. Generally, the “drive time” in the morning and late afternoon is considered “prime time”.

If this is a radio project you would like to pursue, we would be happy to send you a free sample of our Answers…with Ken Ham broadcast (45 programs on a CD), which you can listen to and then pass on to your local Christian station with your words of endorsement. After you have spoken to the station and have discovered the rates (if any), please contact Mark Looy of AiG at 859-727-2222, extension 402.

Inside this newsletter you will find a log of the U.S. radio stations and their translators that broadcast Answers… with Ken Ham. Tune in daily for faith-strengthening programs heard in your area.

The rest of the radio log will be featured in next month’s newsletter.

Museum update

AiG museum hot topic nationwide!

Even before AiG presented its rezoning request last month in a public hearing in front of the Boone County Planning Commission, just the filing of the application in the county offices a few days earlier turned out to be a well-publicized event in AiG’s Tri-state region—and even nationally, including a brief article in USA Today.

Front-page articles appeared in many newspapers in this metropolitan area of 1.9 million people (Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky). Because AiG’s rezoning application on a different piece of property a year-and-a-half ago was met with intense opposition by humanist critics (and eventual rejection by the fiscal court after achieving approval by the planning commission), it’s not surprising that interest would again be high on the 47-acre piece of property right off I-275, just seven miles west of the Cincinnati/N. Kentucky Airport.

Because this new property is superior to the first one (it has a high profile because it faces busy I-275), opposition is expected again. Thus far, most of the articles in the secular newspapers have been balanced with editorials that have been supportive of the right for us to build (although the papers may not necessarily agree with our views of the Bible).

Pray that the museum will receive the proper rezoning to a designation called “industrial”, which is what AiG needs for a facility that will house its headquarters, warehouse, and a museum. Please pray that the fund-raising campaign scheduled to begin once rezoning is granted (perhaps next month) will be effective.

Stewardship and Trust Services

…Render to whom?

Do you have appreciated stocks or mutual funds? No doubt many readers of this newsletter do.

Are you aware that since October of 1987, the Dow Jones Industrial average has appreciated 300%? If you sell any of those assets, you will owe federal income tax, and if applicable, to state and local governments also. On average, you will lose a third of your profit! This realization causes many people to hold on to their stocks much longer than is prudent.

Did you know that King Solomon tells us to diversify our investments? You should read Ecclesiastes 11:6. However, many investors with large “appreciation profits” continue to hold and not re-allocate and preserve. Having to pay taxes is a powerful incentive not to sell and to do more prudent things.

For those of you in this dilemma, consider this: Don’t sell. Instead, donate shares of your appreciated stocks or mutual funds to AiG. AiG can then sell them and keep the entire proceeds for the work of “creation evangelism”. And, of course, you receive a tax deduction for your donation at Fair Market Value (FMV). You can even do this through a gift annuity and retain all the income.

Call Paul Laude, CFP, at extension 302 with any questions.

Public schools: Christians have rights!

by Ken Ham, President, Answers in Genesis

In 1995 President Bill Clinton sent a memorandum to Attorney General Janet Reno and Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley. The President stated:

I have been advised by the Department of Justice and the Department of Education that the First Amendment permits—and protects—a greater degree of religious expression in public schools than many Americans may now understand.

Over the years as I’ve traveled all across America, I’ve found that many people believe that the Bible, prayer, Christian clubs, discussions on Creation—both Biblical and scientific—or almost anything to do with Christianity are not allowed in any way in public schools. This is FALSE.

It’s about time that Americans knew the facts! Christians actually have much more freedom than they’ve been led to believe. There are great opportunities to present the Creation/Gospel message in public schools. Christians need to aggressively use their rights and freedoms and stop being intimidated by people who don’t really understand the law.

Sadly, because of intimidation by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other humanist organizations with an agenda to rid society of anything Christian, teachers and school districts have tried to purge the public school classroom of anything they deem religious.


IMPORTANT NOTE: This article is not intended to be, and does not constitute, the giving of legal advice. In this short article we can only summarize the rights of students and teachers in public schools. It’s important that one understand exactly how things can be effectively accomplished under the law and by understanding decisions by the U. S. Supreme Court. It is important to remember that this area of the law is constantly changing. For this reason we urge readers that before implementing anything mentioned in this article that you obtain copies of two booklets available from the Christian Law Association (CLA), and that you contact competent legal counsel for advice.

These booklets were written by Christian lawyers who have carefully studied the U. S. Supreme Court (and other court) decisions. If you follow their guidelines, you will be amazed at how much freedom there is to present the Christian message to public school students. Information will be given at the end of this article as to how to obtain these booklets. We thank the Christian Law Association for the special offer they’ve made to get these booklets into the hands of our supporters.

Teachers and school officials

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution declares that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” by government.

For the public schools of America, the word establishment has been now deemed to mean this: Teachers and school officials, who are representatives of the government, may not do anything to favor religion. This means that teachers may not conduct religious devotions, prayer or Bible reading at the start of the school day. School officials may not sponsor prayers at graduation services, or post the Ten Commandments or religious symbols.

However, public school teachers may use the Bible in instructional ways—as literature, history, in comparative religions classes, and ethics. It is only formal, structured prayer and formal, structured devotional use of the Bible in public schools that are forbidden under the First Amendment’s “establishment of religion” clause.

Students

American citizens need to remember that the First Amendment also guarantees that individuals have the right to the “free exercise” of their religion (or non-religion) and free speech rights. Therefore, public school children have rights in public schools, and schools must accommodate the religious expression of public school children.

Keep in mind that because most public school teachers and school district officials are typically not lawyers, many are not familiar with what the U. S. Supreme Court permits in public schools. This lack of knowledge will require an education process. The lawyers from the Christian Law Association (CLA) are willing to help at any time concerning these matters. (See below)

Specific freedoms

Many will be surprised at the freedoms in public schools. The following are just some of these many freedoms that are outlined in detail in the CLA booklets. Again, it is imperative that one read the details in these booklets before trying to implement any of the following:

May a student give out Gospel tracts or religious literature to his classmates? YES! However, this can only happen in the same manner as it would be for students permitted to distribute non-religious material.

May a student witness to his classmates about Jesus or pray with other students on the school campus? YES! (before or after school, at lunch or during other times when students are permitted to interact with other students).

May a student read the Bible during the school day? YES! (Any time that students are allowed to read non-instructional books, Bible reading must be permitted.)

May students organize Bible clubs in public school? YES! (Public secondary schools must allow Bible clubs the same privileges as any other school club.)

May students write book reports, English papers or do oral assignments based on religious subjects? YES! (Such home and classroom work must be judged by teachers using ordinary academic standards, and religious topics may not be discriminated against or singled out for special restrictions.)

NOTE: It would not be unconstitutional for a teacher to allow students to share their personal religious viewpoints in the classroom at appropriate times or in appropriate assignments. The teacher may (constitutionally) permit religious students to share their views if the views of all other students are also allowed.

Freedoms to present Creation!

Can the Biblical and scientific aspects of the creation message be presented in the classroom? A teacher in a public school could permit student-led discussions in the classroom on such issues as the origins of man and the universe, including creation science. The teacher may also permit the students to research and write papers on these issues. However, the teacher must be careful to remain neutral throughout the discussion.

Christian students could request their teachers to allow student-led discussions. They could then share the material from AiG’s books, and its Creation magazine, etc., as part of this discussion. Students can share their faith in Jesus Christ explicitly.

Depending on the individual school board policy, teachers may present views of origins other than evolution to their students, provided they don’t favor any one view and all views are presented in a “non-religious” way.

Students could also form a creation science club at the school. This student club will be subject to the same restrictions as all other clubs at the school, but the school may not discriminate against this club on the basis of ideology.

Public school students also have the right to witness to fellow students and even hand our Creation/Gospel tracts as long as such expressive activity does not interfere with the educational mission of the school or the rights of other students.

Other freedoms

Did you know that a sidewalk which abuts a public school—and is open to public traffic—is a public forum? Witnessing and Bible/tract (e.g., creation tracts) distribution may not be prevented in such areas (subject to limited controls in the interest of public safety and order).

Did you know that “release time” (i.e., when students are excused to go off campus for other learning experiences) is one of the most under-used, constitutionally permitted tools for churches and religious parents to influence public schools for good?

Did you know that public schools may teach about religion, including material about the Bible and other religious matters, including the history of religion, comparative religion, Biblical literature, and the role of religion in American history and in the history of other countries?

Did you know that school libraries can’t discriminate against Creation/Christian books on the basis of ideology?

WAKE UP AMERICA! There is actually MUCH that can be done to present the Gospel to today’s generations. Use your FREEDOMS to reach these generations who are being indoctrinated in the hopelessness and meaninglessness of evolutionary humanism!

Sincerely,

Ken Ham

The Christian Law Association (CLA) has two booklets that EVERY Christian needs to read. By the way, AiG receives NOTHING from the sale of these books. We just want the American public to know they exist and to obtain them to spread the Gospel. CLA is offering a special reduced price for both booklets, which involved many hours of research and writing on the part of CLA.

Titles:

  • Do Christian Students have any Rights in Public Schools?

  • Witnessing: The New Frontiers

Order directly from:
Christian Law Association,
P.O. Box 4010 Seminole, FL 33775-4010,
or phone: (727) 399-8300; Fax (727) 398-3907.

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