Kentucky TV Station Turns Against Hambo’s Ark

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.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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16 responses to “Kentucky TV Station Turns Against Hambo’s Ark

  1. It’s far, far worse than the devil. It’s them eeevil heathen atheistic secularists meddling with our collection plate, I tell ya!!! At least the burny red hoofy fella knows Ol’ Grandy exists.

    One is left wondering whether this is the real Curse of Ham.

  2. Hambo really is the gift that keeps on giving. Excuse me while I run out and get some popcorn to anticipate the predictable whining and gnashing of teeth . . .

  3. This should be enough to allow Christians to revel in their persecution complex for quite some time.

  4. Even more interesting than Ken’s predictable outrage with laws and regulations blocking the will of God (Himself), would be how he manages damage control with his flock.

    How will he phrase his sermons so as to maintain the oppressed christian gambit while preventing members of his revenue base from realizing that the laws of Kentucky may make more sense than ol Hambo’s ravings do.

    What if they decide they are citizens and patriots first and that there are other congregations that aren’t doing the crazy things ol Hambo does.

    How will he handle this potential bottleneck that he has created for himself?

    What form will his next attempts at deception take?

  5. The type of people who think they can get around the law….criminals.

  6. As if we didn’t already know the danger of religious fanaticism, we now have the latest outrage at the offices of Charlie Hebdo.

    I see nothing to choose between religions with regard to the potential for evil each of them contains. Extreme psychopaths can be found in any religion–amongst Christians, Muslims, Jews, &c &c–which suggests there is something in the nature of religious thought that renders folks vulnerable to flat-out craziness.

  7. My inept typing strikes again, apologies: [Description of blunder deleted]

    All Praise Be to the Invisible Correcting Hand, the only TRVE Supreme Being…

    [*Voice from above*] I like your attitude.

  8. Megalonyx opines—

    “Extreme psychopaths can be found in any religion … which suggests there is something in the nature of religious thought that renders folks vulnerable to flat-out craziness.”

    Yes, it’s the effortlessness of evidence-free belief where every contention is superior as long as it’s your own. I can’t off the top of my head remember the source, but it was astutely observed that man is never more cruel to his own kind than when he loses a taste for reason and evidence.

  9. Charles Deetz ;)


    Kenny has fantasies, I am sure, of using the Hobby Lobby defense and going to the Supreme Court.

  10. SC asserts, That’s why Hambo set the Ark project up as a typical for-profit corporation, so he could apply for the tax goodies.
    But is that why? As a ministry he could still take a salary and be tax free and of course be able to discriminate any way he wanted. I don’t see much advantage to getting a tax rebate over being tax free. (I haven’t run the numbers on it so maybe it was a better way to go)
    Hambo’s story has changed from saying he wouldn’t discriminate to the current notion he should be able to discriminate.
    I actually think Hambo has a good chance to succeed in his lawsuit. But if it fails I wonder if he could convert the “Ark Encounter” back to a ministry. I doubt it because all the money raised so far has been predicated on it being a for profit. He could also agree not to discriminate (and then discriminate in a way that is hard to prove) which I’ve always thought was his best option.

  11. AIG has been abusing for years the provision in the Civil Rights Act that allows religious organizations to use religious qualifications in hiring. It was meant to prevent situations where a diocese might be required to employ a non-Catholic as a priest. It was not intended to require that the church janitor must also be Catholic.

    What started this current situation was a help wanted ad that AIG placed for a CAD technician to work for Ark Encounter. For their application to be considered, candidates would have to submit a (1) Salvation testimony, (2) Statement supporting creationism, (3) proof of membership in a fundamentalist church and (4) intention to sign the AIG statement of faith. What does these things have to do with performing the duties of a CAD technician?

    I am sure that Notre Dame University does not require that every single one of its employees be Catholic.

  12. Michael Fugate

    I am sure that Notre Dame University does not require that every single one of its employees be Catholic.

    Alvin Plantinga works there.

  13. “Alvin Plantinga works there.” As does John Paul Lederach, a Mennonite. Even a place like Pepperdine does not require denominational affiliation with the Churches of Christ – just signing a statement supporting the mission suffices, and seems to work for a few Jews, Muslims and atheists who work there.

  14. “I am sure that Notre Dame University does not require that every single one of its employees be Catholic.”

    In the late 80’s at ND, there was a fine athlete named Raghib Ismail who was raised a Muslim. Though if the Ark Park played major college football, I’m sure they’d wouldn’t worry about religion, either.

    Minor quibble: University of Notre Dame, not NDU. 🙂

  15. On his Ark Encounter website, Ken Ham said that it is “virtually impossible for anyone to grasp the enormity of this project unless you can be there and walk around it all.” As a diction fusspot, I would normally object to enormity being used to denote mere size. In the circumstances, however, I am quite happy about the original definition: outrageous, wicked, monstrous, appalling.

  16. Ol’ Hambone wants to have it both ways: he wants Ark Encounter to be a business for the tax incentives and a religious ministry for the right to discriminate against hellbait like you and me.

    Kind of shows you what sort of government we’d end up with if people like him gained the political power they dream sweaty dreams of.