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Ark Encounter sues over ‘discrimination’

Ark Encounter sues over ‘discrimination’

Creationist loons who came up with the idea of  an Ark Encounter theme park in northern Kentucky this week filed a federal lawsuit against state officials for refusing to include their project in the state’s tax rebate incentive programme.

Katherine Paige, of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, pointed out on the day the lawsuit was filed that:

Despite the fact that Ark Encounter initially assured the state that it would abide by state and federal employment anti-discrimination laws, a job listing by Answers in Genesis for an Ark Encounter computer technician included some serious religious prerequisites.

Applicants were required, among other things, to provide a statement of faith and answer a question regarding their estimation of the age of Earth. (Presumably, any response in excess of 6,000 years, ie, correct responses, would disqualify an applicant from employment.)

It quickly became clear that Answers in Genesis and Ark Encounter intended to offer jobs exclusively to Christians, and not just any Christians, but “Young Earth” creationists. So Kentucky pulled the plug, and rightly so.

She said that Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis President and CEO, has repeatedly accused “secular media” and “secular bloggers” of spreading misinformation about the state sales tax incentive programme for which Ark Encounter applied.

In a news release last month, Ham specifically blamed FFRF for helping “pressure” Kentucky officials into denying Ark Encounter’s application, claiming that FFRF had been “spreading misinformation and outright untruths” about the project.

According to this report, the lawsuit cites violations to federal and state laws as well as unlawful discrimination against Ark Encounter by Governor Steve Beshear and Robert Stewart, Kentucky’s Secretary of the Tourism, Arts, and Heritage.

Said Ham:

Our organisation spent many months attempting to reason with state officials so that this lawsuit would not be necessary.

However, the state was so insistent on treating our religious entity as a second-class citizen that we were simply left with no alternative but to proceed to court. This is the latest example of increasing government hostility towards religion in America, and it’s certainly among the most blatant.

In a video that it produced concerning the lawsuit, AiG stated when the Ark project started in 2014, state officials granted preliminary approval for the company to receive a rebate from new state sales taxes but rescinded the agreement after “anti-Christian groups” lobbied against AiG’s policy of only hiring Christians, as well as the messages that will be presented in the Bible-themed park.

thank-god-you-cant-sink-this-ship

Explaining its decision to launch a billboard campaign, AiG said:

This Noah’s Ark theme park will present the historicity of the biblical account of the massive ship of Noah’s time, which is rejected today by Bible scoffers in various anti-Christian groups.

Many of these secular groups, as they relegate Noah’s Ark to a myth, are passing around their own Ark myths. These agitators outside the state are trying to affect the project by spreading misinformation and putting pressure on the state of Kentucky to undermine the project.

To counter this intense misinformation campaign by secularists and many in the media, a billboard campaign (and other initiatives) has been launched to get people to discover the truth about the Ark project

Tourism Secretary Stewart earlier confirmed that the project’s religious content lay behind the decision not to subsidise it to the tune of around $18-million. He said:

Certainly, Ark Encounter has every right to change the nature of the project from a tourism attraction to a ministry. However, state tourism tax incentives cannot be used to fund religious indoctrination or otherwise be used to advance religion.

Governor Beshears for his part took issue with the park’s decision to limit their hiring to members of the Christian faith, following AiG’s admission to tourism officials that they would be including religion in the criteria in their hiring process.

It has become apparent that they do intend to use religious beliefs as a litmus test for hiring decisions.

Paige concluded:

Ken, you can hire all the Young Earthers you want, but don’t expect Kentucky taxpayers to foot the bill. If you want public money, play by the rules.

12 responses to “Ark Encounter sues over ‘discrimination’”

  1. Broga says:

    “Thank God, you can’t sink this ship.” True. Because “this ship” was never built and never went to sea. The effrontery of these creationists is boundless.

  2. Trevor Blake says:

    This is the most exhaustive collection of evidence against the epic of Gilgamesh – sorry, I mean the story of Noah’s Ark…

    http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-flood.html

  3. Daz says:

    AiG: ‘Thank God you can’t sink this ship!’
    Daz: ‘Hmm… B10.’
    AiG: ‘You sunk my battleship! Ark!’

  4. Rob Andrews says:

    So the lawsuit is because they won’t hire people who believe exactly like they do. Had that not happened then they would have been included in the state tourism budget.

    Such lovely and primitive emotions
    Inspire profits with many notions
    It’s someehat funny…
    They’re all in it for money
    With francised sales of majic potion

    http://www.jesusandmo.net

  5. barriejohn says:

    So they’re claiming that they are being discriminated against because they’re not free to discriminate against non-Christian job applicants? My brain’s beginning to hurt.

    Trevor Blake: That’s an excellent site. Plymouth Brethren speakers often claimed that there was no rain prior to Noah’s Flood, and that the earth was watered by the mist that is mentioned in the creation story (though some translators favour “streams” or “springs”). This fact added to the “miraculous” nature of the Flood, and the demonstration of faith on the part of Noah, but doesn’t seem to accord with what the author was implying at all!

    “Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the LORD God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground.” (Gen. 2:5&6)

  6. AgentCormac says:

    ‘Our organisation spent many months attempting to reason with state officials so that this lawsuit would not be necessary.’

    Reason is the very last thing that Ken Ham understands.

  7. Vanity Unfair says:

    I know this might sound a bit picky.
    In the spirit of reason and historicity will Mr. Ham please supply some archaeological evidence for the existence of boom cranes between 2459BC and 3350BC (various Biblical dates for Noah’s flood). That cannot have been the only one, especially at the size shown, and finding one of many cranes must be easier than finding the only ark, no matter how big it was.
    Incidentally, are Mr. Shem and Mr. Japheth also on the board?

  8. Robster says:

    The image of Ham’s unfinished ark thingy tells the whole story. The thing will never float, it needs a complete hull and rudder etc. One thing I’ve wondered, is how did it gain movement? There’s no sails or motor, just a big blob of scientifically unsound wood. Make a good bonfire.

  9. Rob Andrews says:

    Here’s a joke I picked up from the web somewhere. But I can’t remember where.
    Q: What does a good Muslim do when the dishwasher stops working?
    A: He slaps her around a little. : – ))

    “Philosophy has questions that can’t be answered; Religion has answers that can’t be quesioned”.

  10. Rob Andrews says:

    The above comment was supposed to be posted on another article::
    “Female Behavior. An Islamic master class”.

  11. Maggie says:

    Noah´s Ark Hotel & Resort in Hong Kong (where I live) is less discriminating, language (trilingual) being a key requisite. I can only imagine the reason is a shortage of ‘young earthers’.

  12. Rob Andrews says:

    @ Robster:
    @ Vanity Unfair:

    The answer that I get from–at least==Fundamentalist Xtians is: God made the cranes and the rudders. god made the thing seaworthy. They also say the details are unimportant. The whole thing had two purposes:
    1) test of Noah’s faith
    2) wiping out the “bad people”.

    I’ve never spoken to better educated Xtians about this[ but there’s no answer I can imagine that they could give