The last time we wrote about this subject was Ken Ham’s Tax Litigation Coming Soon. Now there’s an announcement at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia, famed for the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum.
The announcement is AiG to File Discrimination Suit against Kentucky, written by Mark Looy, AIG’s co-founder and vice president. He says it’s adapted from a press release they sent out today. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Answers in Genesis (AiG), developer of the Ark Encounter theme park in northern Kentucky, confirmed today it is filing a federal lawsuit against state officials for denying the park participation in the state’s tax rebate incentive program. Although the program is available to all qualifying tourist attractions seeking to build in the state, AiG’s application was rejected solely because of the religious identity and message of AiG. The lawsuit explains how this action by Kentucky officials, including Gov. Steve Beshear, violates federal and state law and amounts to unlawful viewpoint discrimination.
He’s talking about AIG’s Ark Encounter project, but you already know that. Then he quotes Hambo, the world’s greatest authority on science and everything that’s holy:
“Our organization spent many months attempting to reason with state officials so that this lawsuit would not be necessary,” said AiG president Ken Ham. “However, the state was so insistent on treating our religious entity as a second-class citizen that we were simply left with no alternative but to proceed to court. This is the latest example of increasing government hostility towards religion in America, and it’s certainly among the most blatant.”
There are other alternatives, by the way. AIG could hire anyone they want, just like AIG itself does, and forgo the sales tax rebates. Or they probably could have the tax rebates if they were willing to hire anyone, regardless of religion, as long as the employees were able to do the job and were also willing to comply with the organization’s style of operating. But apparently, AIG wants to hire only true believers. Let’s read on:
AiG has produced a video that provides relevant background concerning its suit. It features Ham, who became nationally known for his debate against Bill Nye “The Science Guy” one year ago this week, and constitutional law attorney Mike Johnson. Johnson is the chief counsel of Freedom Guard. Serving as co-counsel in the case is Nate Kellum, chief counsel of the Center for Religious Expression. Both public interest law firms are providing their legal services at no charge to AiG in order to defend AiG’s religious freedoms.
In addition to that, we learned from one of our clandestine operatives that he has recently become a member of the Louisiana state House of Representatives — see Johnson takes House seat without opposition! That website lists some of the organizations he’s represented, including some we’ve encountered before, such as the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, Living Waters Publications/Way of the Master, Coral Ridge Ministries, Answers in Genesis, and the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools. It also has this quote from Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal:
I have known Mike Johnson as a trusted friend for more than a decade, and I am glad he has now chosen to offer his time and talent to the Legislature.
It looks like ol’ Hambo has found the right man for the job. Looy’s post also has a video AIG prepared to explain the suit, which we haven’t seen yet, about which Looy says:
In the video, Johnson explains the well-established legal principles supporting AiG’s case, and why these principles are so important to defend. AiG notes that all freedom-loving Americans should be concerned with these government abuses, regardless of their individual perspectives on the book of Genesis. When such an unconstitutional state action goes unchallenged, it sets a dangerous precedent for all other religious and minority groups.
So that’s the news. The lawsuit is coming. For obvious reasons, we don’t want any comments about Johnson that could be interpreted as defamatory. The last thing your Curmudgeon needs is to get sued because of something like that. So be nice, or there will be some severe editing, which we’d rather not have to do.
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