This is the latest event in the suit filed against Kentucky by Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo). We first discussed the case here: AIG’s Complaint Against Kentucky. The last time we posted about it was Ken Ham’s Litigation: Kentucky Moves To Dismiss.
Today’s news comes from ol’ Hambo himself. He just posted Americans United At It Again! He says, with bold font added by us:
Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) is going after AiG’s life-size Noah’s Ark again. This time they have lodged a motion in federal court to intervene in regard to our lawsuit with the State of Kentucky over a denial of the Ark project participating in a tourism tax incentive program. Its intervenors “are four Kentucky taxpayers who oppose the use of their tax dollars to promote religion” and each person “pays taxes, including sales and income taxes, to the Commonwealth.”
Hambo isn’t very clear about what’s going on. Americans United for Separation of Church and State is seeking to intervene in the suit and, like the state of Kentucky, they want to file a motion to dismiss AIG’s suit. Wikipedia says:
Americans United describes itself as officially non-sectarian and non-partisan. Its national headquarters are in Washington, D.C.. It has both religious and non-religious members, members from various political parties, and members of the clergy. Its current executive director, Barry W. Lynn, is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, as well as an attorney involved with civil liberties issues.
In other words, it’s going to be difficult for ol’ Hambo to portray them as an atheist group. Okay, back to Hambo:
According to the Intervenors’ Motion to Dismiss, two of the four intervenors are stated to be “ordained Christian ministers.” For instance, one of them is Christopher M. Caldwell who states, “I am a minister ordained in the Baptist Faith and I serve as pastor at Broadway Baptist Church.”
Pastor Caldwell went on to declare the following: “The tax rebates sought for Ark Encounter would effectively compel me, as a Kentucky taxpayer, to subsidize a religious ministry against my will.” This same statement is made by three others, including Paul Simmons on faculty at the University of Louisville, a “minister ordained in the Baptist faith.” He states he has “served as pastor and interim pastor at a number of churches in Kentucky.”
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Even Baptist preachers oppose tax goodies for AIG. Hambo goes on:
Americans United for Separation for Church and State knows that no one will be compelled “to subsidize a religious ministry against … [their] will.” And no one is compelling people to visit the Ark Encounter. Moreover, contrary to popular — but wrong — opinion, the tax incentive is not some kind of government grant to help Answers in Genesis construct the Ark Encounter. AU is guilty of helping to perpetuate this myth that money is coming out of the state treasury to build the Ark.
That’s not the issue, Hambo. The issue is whether the state should be paying any of its tax revenues to an evangelical organization — regardless of the bookkeeping label AIG assigns to the tax bonanza it seeks. Hambo continues:
In its motion to dismiss our lawsuit, AU makes it seem as if the proposed tax incentives would be akin to a government grant, but that is a complete misrepresentation of the actual tax incentive, which would be a rebate of a percentage of sales tax from ticket sales collected from those who voluntarily visit the Ark Encounter.
Yes, but even so, that’s not the issue. It’s still tax money from the state. Here’s more:
Now, AU really knows all this, so why would it have these Kentucky citizens join them to declare something in a legal filing that is totally untrue? Well, from what I’ve seen over the years, I suggest AU engages in such tactics for fundraising purposes.
Oh, how evil! A holy man like Hambo would never do anything like that! Moving along, he says:
Interestingly, AU itself is a 501(c)(3) organization that receives a number of tax benefits from the government because of its nonprofit status!
That’s also true of AIG. But unlike AIG, AU isn’t seeking tax money from the state. Another excerpt:
Our attorneys will obviously file an opposition to the intervention, but this motion by Ark opponents illustrates their desperate efforts to undermine our project. They have a fear of the strategic ministries of AiG and perhaps even a grudging respect of what AiG has accomplished over the years (as God has blessed us).
Hambo says his adversaries are desperate. They fear him. On with his article:
In a press release AU states, “in a motion to intervene and a proposed motion to dismiss the lawsuit, filed last night in a federal district court, Americans United says it wants to prevent taxpayer dollars from being used to unconstitutionally finance a religious ministry.”
Here’s a link to AU’s Press Release. It gives us links to their motion to intervene and their proposed motion to dismiss Hambo’s lawsuit. We haven’t read them, but we doubt that they speak of AU’s fear and desperation. Rather, the pres release says this:
“A fundamentalist Christian theme park run by a creationist ministry doesn’t deserve any form of public assistance,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Kentucky never should have gotten involved with the Ark Park, but we’re going to help get it out of this mess and protect taxpayer money from misuse.”
Here’s one last excerpt from Hambo:
The repeated attacks against the Ark Encounter from different secular groups, much of the media, and the state of Kentucky highlight that this matter is not simply an earthly battle. Just like when the Creation Museum was being proposed and construction began, AiG has been facing a battle “not … against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” [Scripture reference].
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! If that’s true, then Hambo’s lawsuit is a sure bet. But the courtroom is here on Earth. So we’ll be watching to see how it works out.
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