In this column, Whitlock accusing both AU and Ken Ham (who's name he misspells throughout) of putting up straw men in their arguments about the hiring practices of those who will work at the Ark Encounter. He is correct in that Ark Encounter has not written their hiring practices and yet, somehow, there is a good bit of internet blather about how discriminatory those practices are. But he then points out:
But it is here that Hamm misses the point, and in doing so, sets up a Straw Man himself, for Americans United’s letter to the Governor was not to object to either Answers in Genesis’ or Ark Encounter’s statements of faith. It is the concern that a religious organization will receive tax incentives while maintaining religious discriminatory hiring policies. (Ark Encounter would be eligible for sales tax rebates of up to $18.25 million over 10 years.)Ham argues that AU is being disingenuous because there is no way that AU would never hire an evangelical Christian for their organization and that Barry Lynn knows this. Here is why that analogy doesn't hold. He is correct that AU would never hire someone who is an evangelical Christian and believes that there is no constitutional separation of church and state. But they would hire someone who is an evangelical Christian and yet believes that there is a constitutional separation. The argument doesn't (at least at this level) hinge on beliefs. It hinges on an understanding of constitutional law. The problem is that Ham thinks the two are the same thing and for some reason, so did I.
Let’s be clear here: This is not an “atheist vs. believer,” or a “secularist vs. religious” issue, though Hamm may want you to believe otherwise.
Americans United is not the only organization that objects to tax incentives for organizations that promote religion.