Either Ken Ham doesn’t understand why people have a problem with his Ark Encounter theme park… or he does, but he’s lying to his Christian audience, anyway. I wouldn’t put that past him.
Here’s the issue: Answers in Genesis, Ham’s ministry, is a religious non-profit. That’s why the Creation Museum can require you to sign a “statement of faith” if you want to work there.
Ark Encounter, the Noah’s Ark theme park that’s eligible for millions of dollars in tax rebates, is a for-profit business. They cannot discriminate in hiring.
But as I’ve mentioned on this site a few times already, a job listing at AiG’s website made clear that being a Christian was a prerequisite, even though the position was for Ark Encounter:
That’s the one thing Ham can’t do if he wants perks from the state. In fact, if state officials believe AiG is discriminating in hiring, they could rescind the opportunity for Ham to earn up to $18,000,000 in tax rebates. (The Freedom From Religion Foundation has already urged the IRS to investigate the park’s hiring policies.)
In a fundraising letter just sent out this week, Ham doesn’t acknowledge any wrongdoing. Instead, he says this is all just Christian persecution:
Right now, because of pressure from atheists and some very liberal newspapers in Kentucky on state government officials, our freedom of speech and freedom of religion with this outreach are now under attack.
One letter from the State of Kentucky to AiG makes it clear that the state seeks to discriminate against us because of our Christian message. The letter from a state official, with statements that criticize us for having an evangelistic purpose and possibly hiring Ark staff who agree with our Christian faith, is remarkable.
Here is one of the many incredible statements in that letter (which was also obtained and published by the liberal media): ‘The Commonwealth (of Kentucky) must have the express written assurance from Ark Encounter, LLC that it will not discriminate in any way on the basis of religion in hiring.’
But as is clear settled law, churches and other religious organizations are allowed to hire employees who agree with their religious viewpoint!
Who would have ever thought that such governmental interference would come to America!
No one’s attacking Ham for being Christian. We’re going after him because he’s breaking the law by running a business that denies job opportunities to people because of their religious beliefs. He can do that in his church, he can do that at the Creation Museum, but he can’t do that if he wants to create a for-profit theme park. It’s that simple.
Oh, by the way, Ham still needs a ton of money. Roughly $14,000,000. He says the park is scheduled to open in 2016, but who knows how long that’ll be postponed if he can’t raise the money and if he loses the tax breaks he believes should be coming his way.
(Thanks to Jim for the link. Portions of this article were published earlier)