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This Week in Religion: Kentucky Govt Finally Cuts Off Subsidies to Noah's Ark Museum

December 12, 2014 in Blogs

By Dan Arel, AlterNet

The biggest fundamentalist freakouts of the week.

This has not been the best of weeks for Ken Ham, the president of Answers in Genesis, a Creationist apologist ministry which operates the Creation Museum. It seems Ham’s recent undertaking, building a Noah’s Ark theme park, is not quite going his way.

After being granted an $18 million tax incentive by the state of Kentucky’s tourism board, and just days after unveiling a billboard with the slogan “Thank God you cannot sink this ship,” the state has rescinded the tax incentive. Kentucky has found that the project violates state and federal employment laws.

“State tourism tax incentives cannot be used to fund religious indoctrination or otherwise be used to advance religion,” Tourism Secretary Bob Stewart wrote in the letter to the park. “The use of state incentives in this way violates the separation of church and state provisions of the Constitution and is therefore impermissible.”

Even Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, who has fully supported the project, could not defend the organization.

“While the leaders of the Ark Encounter had previously agreed not to discriminate in hiring based on religion, they now refuse to make that commitment and it has become apparent that they do intend to use religious beliefs as a litmus test for hiring decisions,” Beshear said.

Several Lake Worth City, Florida commissioners walked out of a government meeting, upset that the opening invocation was being delivered by an atheist. Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo and three other commissioners exited the meeting room when Miami atheist Preston Smith approached the stand to give an invocation.

In a statement, the mayor said that free speech works both ways and that she does not have to listen to anything she does not agree with. Other commissioners did not agree with the walkout. Commissioner Christopher McVoy told WPTV that it was, “very un-American, and a slap in the face to the principles people fought very hard to make sure we had those rights.”

Speaking of free speech, Glenn Beck is quite upset over this week's episode of “Family Guy,” which is titled “The 2000-Year-Old-Virgin.” The …read more


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