This is big. TV station WDRB, the Fox-affiliated television station in Louisville, the biggest city in Kentucky, just put out this editorial: Ark Encounter deserves no government subsidy. There’s a comments feature at the end.
You know what they’re talking about. It’s the Ark Encounter project promoted by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia, famed for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG) and for the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum.
Here are some excerpts from the editorial by Bill Lamb, the TV station’s president and general manager, with bold font added by us:
When plans were first announced in 2010 to build a creationism theme park in Northern Kentucky, I supported Governor Steve Beshear’s plan to seek state tourism development incentives for the project. I pointed out that the park, as described, was intended to be run as a business – not a non-profit organization like a church. And I said that as long as it meets the legal standards required of any other for-profit business, the incentives would be OK.
You can see where this is going. Here’s more:
But in the intervening years, it’s become painfully clear that the people behind the so-called “Ark Encounter” have every intention of discriminating against non-Christians in their hiring practices, and that changes the whole deal. Governor Beshear now correctly says that disqualifies them from the millions in state aid they were hoping to get, and once again, I agree with the governor.
Can you imagine ol’ Hambo’s reaction? He knows how to do market research. He must be shocked that this is happening in Kentucky — the state he chose for his operations because his research showed him that its population is particularly receptive to his activities. But now, not only the state government, but also the Fox TV station in Louisville are turning against him.
He’s gotta be sputtering mad, foaming at the mouth, red in the face, and howling with rage. There’s only one conclusion Hambo can reach — the devil is doing this! Let’s read some more from the editorial:
The park developers acknowledge that anyone who works for them will have to be a Christian, but claim that’s not any different from other religious organizations. But the problem is, this isn’t just another religious organization, but a full-fledged for-profit business.
Right. If the Ark project had been organized like AIG, as a non-profit ministry, it could discriminate all day long, as AIG does with its Statement of Faith, but then it couldn’t qualify for sales tax rebates. That’s why Hambo set the Ark project up as a typical for-profit corporation, so he could apply for the tax goodies. But he also wants the freedom to run it as if it were a ministry. It’s gotta be one or the other, and no amount of mumbo-jumbo apologetics can get around that simple fact. The editorial continues:
And if they insist on defying government rules in hiring, they should not only forget about government subsidies, but should also prepare to be prosecuted for violations of Kentucky’s Civil Rights Act.
So there you are. Ol’ Hambo must be in a particularly foul mood today. We’re looking forward to what he has to say about this. It should be fun.
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