Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Answers in Genesis Equivocating Again?

Dan Arel, of Patheos, has written a column where he points out that what Mark Looey, of Answers in Genesis is saying about the tax incentives and their hiring practices does not coordinate with the facts.  Looey claims that the tax incentives were lost because of the perceived religious nature of the project (which is not in dispute), rather than the stated reason Kentucky that AiG violated state hiring practices.  He is quoted in the story (unlinked) as saying: 
“One lingering myth has concerned the future hiring practices for the park next year. Despite the rumors, here are two important facts to remember: 1) the Ark Encounter has not yet determined its final hiring policies and 2) when the policies are completed, we have committed to closely follow all applicable federal and state employment laws that govern religious organizations like ours,” write Looy.
The problem, of course, as Arel points out, is that the Ark Encounter has posted job applications that require the applicant's statement of faith to conform to that of Answers in Genesis'. AiG is very clear about what their statement of faith is.  When Arel contacted Ken Ham about the conflict, Ham replied that the job announcement in question was not an Ark Encounter job, but one for Answers in Genesis.  This, despite the fact that the job title reads "CAD Technical Designer: Ark Encounter."

Recall that Ken Ham debated Barry Lynn on CNN one time, in which he remarked that the Ark Encounter was not being run by AiG.  Here is the Exchange:
ANDERSON COOPER: Mr. Ham, are you trying to convert people here?

HAM: You know, first of all, it's not Answers in Genesis that owns the Ark Encounter. The Ark Encounter is a profit organization. Answers in Genesis is just a member. You need to understand that.

And, secondly, the -- the government of Kentucky is not subsidizing the Ark Encounter. They have an economic incentive program available for anyone. In fact, they can't have viewpoint discrimination, as Barry Lynn would like to have.

And because of the economic incentive program, we, like anyone else, if we fulfill the criteria of that -- and there are five criteria -- it doesn't involve the state endorsing any particular religion or anything like that.

In fact, the Ark Encounter is not a religion. It is a theme park. It is centered around biblical history. And -- and the state is not going to have viewpoint discrimination just because it's a theme park centered around biblical history.
If it is just a theme park, why is there a requirement for a statement of faith in the first place?  This position by AiG becomes less true as time goes on. 

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