Wednesday, February 04, 2015

GODLESS WEDNESDAY: Religious Theme Park Suing Kentucky For State Funds

Ark Encounter is a "Biblical" theme park being built by Answers in Genesis, the people who brought you the Creation Museum which features humans and dinosaurs frolicking together. AIG has decided to sue the state of Kentucky in federal court for denying previously announced tax rebates to the Ark Encounter theme park because AIG refuses to follow state and federal laws against discriminating on the basis of religious belief. In order to be able to work at Ark Encounter you must attest to the "biblical truth" that the great flood happened and that humanity continued only because there were humans in an Ark. Godless or believers in other religion need not apply for employment there. Needless to say, Kentucky realized it could not use state funds to support such a project. But AIG is suing anyway:
Answers in Genesis (AiG), developer of the Ark Encounter theme park in Northern Kentucky, confirmed today it is filing a federal lawsuit against state officials for denying the park participation in the state’s tax rebate incentive program. Although the program is available to all qualifying tourist attractions seeking to build in the state, AiG’s application was rejected solely because of the religious identity and message of AiG. The lawsuit explains how this action by Kentucky officials, including Gov. Steve Beshear, violates federal and state law and amounts to unlawful viewpoint discrimination.
After Kentucky granted preliminary approval in 2014 for AiG to receive a rebate of some of the new state sales taxes the Ark will generate after it opens in 2016, secularist organizations exerted tremendous pressure on state officials to rescind the approval. Anti-Christian groups objected to AiG’s statutory right to limit its hiring to people of the Christian faith, and to the content of the messages that will be presented at the Bible-themed park. Bowing to this pressure, state officials (including Gov. Beshear) announced a reversal on December 10, 2014. Included as defendants in the lawsuit are Gov. Beshear and Robert Stewart, Kentucky’s Secretary of the Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet.
Hat/tip to Joe Jervis

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