After approving millions of dollars in tax breaks for Answers in Genesis’ planned Noah’s Ark theme park, not once but twice, the state of Kentucky has now decided that they are ineligible for those tax breaks because they plan to discriminate in hiring and because the park will proselytize:
A proposed Noah’s ark theme park in Northern Kentucky has been turned down for around $18 million in state tax incentives amid concerns that it will promote religion and violate the separation of church and state.
But the group behind the project — Answers in Genesis — says it is considering legal action in federal court.
The state Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet said in a letter Wednesday that the Ark Encounter theme park has changed it’s position on hiring policies since it originally filed for incentives in 2010 and now intends to discriminate in hiring based on religion.
It also said the park has evolved from a tourist attraction into an extension of the ministry activities undertaken by Answers in Genesis, which promotes a literal interpretation of the Bible’s old testament and argues that the Earth is only 6,000 years old.
“State tourism tax incentives cannot be used to fund religious indoctrination or otherwise be used to advance religion,” Tourism Secretary Bob Stewart wrote in the letter. “The use of state incentives in this way violates the separation of church and state provisions of the Constitution and is therefore impermissible.”
I’m amused by that statement. If tax incentives can’t be used to fund religious indoctrination, why the hell were they approved in the first place? It’s a Noah’s Ark theme park, for crying out loud. It can’t be anything but religious indoctrination. That was true both times you approved the tax breaks too. And I’m just gonna put this here: