• Source: Ark Encounter
  • Creationist's Noah's Ark Theme Park Gets $18 Million Tax Break, Won't Hire Gays, Atheists

    A Noah's Ark theme park created by famous evolution-denier Ken Ham has just received an $18 million tax break from the citizens of Kentucky, many of whom will be prohibited from being employed there.

    Creationist Ken Ham has very strict standards when it comes to hiring people -- not so strict standards when it comes to accepting donations. 

    His Ark Encounter theme park late last month was unanimously approved for an $18 million tax break -- paid for by the citizens of Kentucky, thanks to the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority  -- and after many years of trying to get his second creationist-motivated museum moving, he says they have secured financing and broken ground. What Ham doesn't say much about is a reported donation worth $1 million from the leader of a certified white supremacist hate group.

    "The project is slated to include a facsimile of Noah’s Ark and the Tower of Babel, and will proselytize Christian evangelicalism to patrons, an Answers in Genesis spokesman said," reports an NPR affiliate.

    But Daniel Phelps, the president of the Kentucky Paleontological Society and vice president of Kentuckians for Science Education, isn't pleased. In an op-ed at the Lexington Herald-Leader, "Non-Christians need not apply," Phelps explains his concerns.

    "Ark Encounter is run by Answers in Genesis and is clear about its religious basis," Phelps writes. "According to that organization, the Earth is only approximately 6,000 years old, Noah's flood was in 2350 B.C., and there were dinosaurs on the ark (some of which were fire-breathing dragons)."

    That organization, by the way, calls itself a "ministry."

    "On the day the tax incentives were recommended, the Answers in Genesis website had a help-wanted advertisement," Phelps notes.

    The job description included this statement: "Our work at Ark Encounter is not just a job, it is also a ministry. Our employees work together as a team to serve each other to produce the best solutions for our design requirements. Our purpose through the Ark Encounter is to serve and glorify the Lord with our God-given talents with the goal of edifying believers and evangelizing the lost."

    All job postings at Answers in Genesis include this statement: "All job applicants for the non-profit ministry of AiG/Creation Museum need to supply a written statement of their testimony, a statement of what they believe regarding creation, and a statement that they have read and can support the AiG Statement of Faith."

    The AiG Statement of Faith claims "it is imperative that all persons employed by the ministry in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, should abide by and agree to our Statement of Faith, to include the statement on marriage and sexuality, and conduct themselves accordingly."

    It also requires all employees to believe and support "the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ as Sovereign, Creator, Redeemer, and Judge," and the "66 books of the Bible are the written Word of God. The Bible is divinely inspired and inerrant throughout. Its assertions are factually true in all the original autographs. It is the supreme authority in everything it teaches. Its authority is not limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes but includes its assertions in such fields as history and science."


    "The only legitimate marriage sanctioned by God is the joining of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other, and has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. Any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography, or any attempt to change one’s gender, or disagreement with one’s biological gender, is sinful and offensive to God."

    In other words, LGBT people and most Christians need not apply.

    In fairness, the job posting Phelps mentioned in his op-ed lat month no longer appears on the AiG website, and this note has been added:

    The Ark Encounter LLC is the for-profit group that will be responsible for hiring staff for the Ark project. Available positions will be made public at a future time and will be posted on the Ark Encounter website.

    Given Ham's strict devotion to an extremist form of religion where everyone must believe as he does -- something it's safe to say even most Christians do not -- how can any other entity of his creation toss those tenets aside and abide by the laws of man?


    Image via Ark Encounter
    Hat tip: Joe Jervis

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    • commented 2014-08-20 13:10:38 -0400
      Jeff, you are right, but there is something much deeper here. Ken Hamm is trying everything in his power to ‘Invent’ a Science that is not true and so far he is succeeding. That is gaining him higher ground and we can thank Mr. Nye for that blunder. The more he is allowed to push his agenda the worse off the world will be. He is gaining numbers and that is beyond dangerous.

      Now, if he succeeds in this, discrimination will be abolished. Not only is he trying to defeat Science, but he is also trying to over write the Constitution and if he wins that, then every business can use his model. Just like he and his ideal model, he is taking Kentucky and possibly the world backwards. Think of it. If he wins in discrimination, all businesses will follow suit. If the minority and women think their march is hard, then wait till they understand the full implications of the dangers of this. This is very very very bad and it can’t happen.

      The gay parades need to happen there immediately, the black marches need to march there immediately and all other minorities need to follow suit. If David Silverman or any other leader of the atheist community or gay community, etc. wants to form a march, I will join in. If there is a petition, I want to know where so I can sign it.

      Once again, this is a terrible domino effect waiting to happen and the fact that he has over 10 million dollars to fund this needs to be exposed as to whom are the contributors. Minority or majority, this is a disaster for all of us..

    • commented 2014-08-20 12:56:24 -0400
      Normally I’d be up in arms about these ridiculous (and illegal) job requirements, but I legitimately can’t imagine an atheist or gay person who would want to work here in any capacity. I mean… the job market is not great, but I feel like working here would be worse for one’s sanity and happiness than being unemployed.

    • commented 2014-08-19 21:04:19 -0400
      Stay classy Kentucky.

    • commented 2014-08-19 18:27:03 -0400
      Picture it, folks: Tower of Babel in all its partially constructed glory, complete with hundreds of manikins of white folks all around, dumbfounded looks on their faces. Little piles of construction materials and tools scattered at their feet, slowly coming to the realization their dream project is over. Because no one knew what patois was back then. I feel like a donation is in order.

    • commented 2014-08-19 16:52:33 -0400
      The story of the Tower of Babel claims to explain the development of different languages. How does it explain that different languages existed before its attempted construction? How does it explain that languages today are in flux and constantly changing and that new languages are still emerging?

    • commented 2014-08-19 15:51:24 -0400
      let’s see. the ark is made of wood. wood burns. end of story.

    • commented 2014-08-19 14:18:22 -0400
      I may be wrong but i thought it was straight-up illegal to deny someone a job like this soley because of their religious/sexual lifestyle

    • commented 2014-08-19 13:29:28 -0400
      Im just curious how they plan on screening people for atheism and homosexuality considering the questions “What is your religion?” and “What is your sexual orientation?” are unconstitutional.

    • commented 2014-08-19 11:32:29 -0400
      I dont see this place staying ooen long. Soon to be a place rusting away and mother nature taking her stand in this bigoted person..

    • commented 2014-08-19 11:01:56 -0400
      This is outrageous. No way should tax payers be footing $18M for a fairy tale, especially if whack job extraordinaire, Ken Ham, is denying people jobs based on his bronze age prejudices.

    • commented 2014-08-19 10:59:01 -0400
      He just alienated most all of his clientele.

    • commented 2014-08-19 09:26:07 -0400
      I understand that jobs are in “short supply” but only an idiot would willing work there. Furthermore, I question any community that would give tax breaks to an establishment promoting this vapid belief. Screw science…

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