The atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation has accused the recently-opened Museum of the Bible of "indoctrinating" visitors and vowed to give the museum the "same treatment" it has given the Ark Encounter exhibit in Williamstown, Kentucky.
In a lengthy op-ed published on Patheos.com, Andrew L. Seidel, Director of Strategic Response for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, said that while the FFRF hasn't yet visited the Washington, D.C.-based museum, it plans to give it "the same treatment we meted out to Ken Ham's ark park."
"Our group has been monitoring the museum's progress for more than three years, including filing Freedom of Information Act requests to ensure that the enterprise received no taxpayer funds. So we know a lot about the venture and its genesis," Seidel wrote.
He pointed out that back in 2014, the FFRF prevented Hobby Lobby owner Steve Green - who is also behind the Museum of the Bible - from implementing a Bible course in Mustang, Okla., public schools.
"The materials show a clear Christian bias, treat the bible as historically accurate and true in all respects, and make theological claims, to name but a few problems," he said. "The class was about preaching the bible, not teaching it objectively. The Greens wanted to indoctrinate, not educate."
Seidel said he expects to see "more of the same in the Museum of the Bible."
"Indoctrination, not education. Preaching, not teaching. Just like the bible class, it will try to prove the truth of the bible," he said. "And while the structure may be impressive and there may be some wonderful artifacts (hopefully not purloined), the underlying arguments will likely fall as flat as the class."
Seidel added that while the Greens' "luster of scholarship and legitimacy may be more advanced at the museum," he suspects that a "look below the surface will reveal a disturbing bias and dearth of scholarship."
He concluded: "But what else would we expect from a family that, every July 4, deliberately edits the words of the founding generation in order to make them seem more Christian and then publishes those misleading quotes in newspapers?"
On Facebook, Ken Ham said it's no surprise that the FFRF - an organization opposed to the free exercise of Christianity - would take issue with the Museum of the Bible.
"So the Freedom From Religion atheists say they're going to give the 'same treatment' to the Museum of the Bible as they do for the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum - that means tell lies, attack, denigrate, misquote, show intolerance, threaten, and much more," he said.
Earlier, Ham told The Gospel Herald that atheists' continued attacks on both the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter are part of a larger spiritual battle.
"The fact that we're getting such opposition from avowed atheists tells you that we're doing something right, because if we weren't doing something that was effective, they wouldn't oppose us," he said. "The sort of opposition they give, it's a feather in our cap to say we're doing something, we're being effective."
"In the long run, it's given us a lot of publicity," the popular speaker and author said, citing Genesis 50:20, which reads, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."