Creationist group sues Kentucky over $18 million in tax rebates for Noah’s Ark theme park
The creationist ministry Answers in Genesis announced Tuesday that it would file a lawsuit against the state of Kentucky over tax rebate benefits for its Noah’s Ark-based theme park.
In a YouTube video, Answers in Genesis president Ken Ham accused Kentucky of religious discrimination.
Lawyer Mike Johnson, who also appeared in the video, agreed. “Religious groups, ideas, and organizations can’t be treated with hostility by the government, and in effect that’s what we have here,” he said.
In December, Kentucky withdrew tax rebates for the Ark Encounter park in Williamston, Kentucky, that were potentially worth more than $18 million.
Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Bob Stewart said the project had transformed from a tourist attraction to an “extension of AIG’s ministry.” Answers in Genesis had refused to pledge not to discriminate against non-Christians in hiring.
Stewart explained in his letter that it was “a violation of the Constitution for the Commonwealth’s incentives to be used to advance religion.”
Answers in Genesis accused state officials of bowing to pressure from “secularist organizations,” and Ham said his ministry had no choice but to file a lawsuit.
“Our organization spent many months attempting to reason with state officials so that this lawsuit would not be necessary,” Ham said. “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.”
Watch video below: