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Creationist Ken Ham Blames Atheists Going ‘Ballistic’ for Failure of Taxpayer Funded Noah’s Ark Museum and Ministry

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‘Atheists Go Ballistic,’ Says Ham, ‘They Can’t Stand the Light of Truth!’

Ken Ham is a young earth creationist and Christian fundamentalist who has successfully convinced the State of Kentucky and its taxpayers not once but twice to give millions for his religious ministry locations by calling them tourist attractions. His latest, a supposed replica of Noah’s ark, called Ark Encounter, came under tremendous local and national scrutiny when it was discovered taxpayers wold be supporting the ministry that mandates employees, even potential employees, to sign a pledge that they agree with the teachings of his ministry.

Ham even acknowledges the Ark’s purpose is religious. He told local Kentucky news station WKYT in February (video above) his Ark Encounter is “really unique because it’s done as a graphic novel approach to presenting the message of Christianity.” And the Ark’s website states: “the Ark Encounter is designed to be an outreach ministry.” All while being funded in part by Kentucky citizens’ tax dollars.

But Ham has insisted the Ark Encounter would be a wholly separate operation from his Creation Museum, and its parent corporation, a ministry called Answers in Genesis. (Clearly it is not. A link to “Support the Ark“ on the Ark’s website goes directly to a donation page on the Answers in Genesis ministry’s website.) Ham also sued for the right to discriminate based on religion.

Now that construction is completed and the Ark Encounter has had time to prove itself worthy to its investors and to the state, which slashed the taxes the Ark would have to pay in exchange for promises of bringing in a huge number of tourists, and thus tax dollars, Ham is blaming his detractors, not his project.

Raw Story notes Ham’s Ark Encounter cost $92 million, and he is blaming “the media for not uncritically repeating his alternative facts.”

“Recently, a number of articles in the mainstream media, on blogs, and on well-known secularist group websites have attempted to spread propaganda to brainwash the public into thinking our Ark Encounter attraction is a dismal failure,” Ham writes on the Answers in Genesis blog. “Sadly, they are influencing business investors and others in such a negative way that they may prevent Grant County, Kentucky, from achieving the economic recovery that its officials and residents have been seeking.”

That’s a very creative way to say, “We’re not making the money we promised we would.”

Ham, of course, suggests they are:

On the AiG blog, Ham continues, saying, “it seems very few reporters in the secular media actually want to report facts regarding what they cover as news.” What is the “secular media”? Newspapers like one of the state’s largest, the Lexington Herald-Leader.

On Twitter, Ham says atheists are going “ballistic”:

“Despite Ham’s claims,” Raw Story notes, “local leaders are adamant that the taxpayer subsidies are not trickling down to the taxpayers.”

“I think the Ark’s done well [laughter] and I’m glad for them on that,” Grant County Judge Executive Steve Wood told WKYT. “But it’s not done us good at all.”

So, what about the pledge all potential employees must sign? Based on NCRM’s earlier reporting, it includes this statement:

“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.”

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Trump White House to Tell Americans to Wear Cloth Masks in Public to Protect Against Coronavirus Transmission

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The Trump White House is expected to urge Americans to wear cloth face masks when in public to help slow the transmission of coronavirus, in a reversal of current guidelines. The CDC says there is increasing evidence asymptomatic coronavirus carriers may be spreading the virus more than first believed, The Washington Post reports.

But studies going back weeks or longer made clear people who show few or no symptoms are “shedding” more of the virus – spreading it – at a rate higher than some who are fully symptomatic.

“In light of these new data, along with evidence of widespread transmission in communities across the country, CDC recommends the community use of cloth masks as an additional public health measure people can take to prevent the spread of virus to those around them,” the guidance says, according to a copy obtained by The Washington Post.

Social distancing and the stay at home policy are still recommended as the top methods to slow the spread of the virus. The cloth masks would protect others from the virus, not the wearer.

On Wednesday Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp came under fire for falsely claiming asymptomatic spreading had just been discovered “the last 24 hours.”

Image via Shutterstock

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HERO WHO DID HIS JOB

Navy to Relieve ‘Hero’ Captain Who Urged Help for 100 Sailors With Coronavirus: Report

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The U.S. Navy will relive from duty a nuclear powered aircraft carrier Captain after he sent a letter to his superiors urging help after more than 100 sailors tested positive for coronavirus.

The official reason will be loss of trust and confidence.

“Capt. Brett Crozier, who commands the Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier with a crew of nearly 5,000, will be relieved of his command, but keep his rank and remain in the Navy,” NBC News reports.

We are not at war,” Capt. Crozier wrote in a letter that was subsequently leaked to the media. “Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our sailors.”

On Wednesday the Navy let it be known Capt. Crozier would not be disciplined or discharged.

“The fact that he wrote the letter to his chain of command to express his concerns would absolutely not result in any time of retaliation,” Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly said.

That appears to have changed.

Four Star US Army General Bary McCaffrey (Ret). a former Joint Commander of SOUTHCOM, weighed in yesterday:

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FDA Changes Gay Blood Ban From 12 to 3 Months of No Sex Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

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The Food and Drug Administration has changed its ban on LGBTQ people donating blood, now requiring men who have had sex with men to abstain from sex for three months instead of 12 months before donating blood or plasma.

Plasma donations from those who have coronavirus antibodies are especially vital right now, as this popular HuffPost story shows, given the current pandemic. There are also shortages of blood across the nation.

The FDA’s “loosened” guidelines, which are now in effect due to “the public health emergency related to COVID-19,” are not necessarily permanent. They cover a lengthy list of people who should not donate blood. In addition to men who have had sex with a man or men within the past three months, it recommends a ban of those who fall in to the following categories:

Women with “a history in the past 3 months of sex with a man who has had sex with another man in the past 3 months,” donors with a “history in the past 3 months of syphilis or gonorrhea, or treatment for syphilis or gonorrhea,” donors with a “history in the past 3 months of a tattoo, ear or body piercing,” donors with a “history in the past three months of exchanging sex for money or drugs,” and donors with a “history in the past three months of non-prescription injection drug use.”

The ban on gay men is unscientific and discriminatory, given the ability to test for HIV infection, and given that men who have sex with women can still acquire HIV.

For example, a man who is married to a woman but has random or anonymous sexual encounters regularly with other women is fully eligible to donate blood. A man who is married to a man in a monogamous relationship still cannot.

Calling the new guidelines “imperfect,” GLAAD, which has been working on eliminating the gay blood ban since 2015 issued a statement from its President and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis saying, “LGBTQ Americans can hold their heads up today and know that our voices will always triumph over discrimination.”

“This is a victory for all of us who raised our collective voices against the discriminatory ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood. The FDA’s decision to lower the deferral period on men who have sex with men from 12 months to 3 months is a step towards being more in line with science, but remains imperfect. We will keep fighting until the deferral period is lifted and gay and bi men, and all LGBTQ people, are treated equal to others.“

Anthony Michael Kreis, a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at Chicago-Kent College of Law tells NCRM, “I’m glad that the FDA has liberalized their policy, but it does not really address the concerns about the stigma of blood donations and sexual orientation. Is there a good public health justification for excluding HIV-negative men in monogamous same-sex relationships? Is there a science-based rationale for excluding gay and bisexual men who are HIV-negative and using PrEP? These are important questions that need to be answered in the coming weeks because each raise significant questions about what’s driving this policy— the fit seems to be overbroad and, as a consequence, needlessly stigma-perpetuating.”

 

Image by Peltier Chevrolet via Flickr and a CC license

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