I am highly amused by the response of Answers in Genesis to the withdrawal of tax incentives for their for-profit Noah’s Ark theme park. Let’s set the wayback machine for a few weeks and see what they were saying about it when the issue first came up:
In an Aug. 27 letter, Tourism Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Bob Stewart pointed out a problematic job posting, which advertised for a computer-assisted design technician to work on the ark. The application was posted on the website of Answers in Genesis, the parent company of Ark Encounter, which also operates the Creation Museum in Petersburg…
Stewart wrote that such a job posting would be against state and federal hiring laws.
“Therefore we are not prepared to move forward with consideration of the application for final approval without the assurance of Ark Encounter LLC that it will not discriminate in any way on the basis of religion in hiring for the project and will revise its postings accordingly,” Stewart wrote.
In an Aug. 28 response, Ark Encounter attorney James Parsons said the posting was for Answers in Genesis, not Ark Encounter, and that the park officials would honor the requirements for state tax incentives.
So let’s recap: They put up a classified ad for someone to work on the ark park, but they had to sign a statement of faith, which is illegal for a for-profit company and prevents them from getting the $18 million in tax breaks. When informed of this, they said that the classified ad wasn’t for the for-profit park but was for their non-profit creationist group and they would comply with the laws. And now their position has changed a bit:
The organization is required to “waive its right to include a religious preference in hiring” and “affirm that it will tolerate no ‘proselytizing’ at the theme park.”
Not possible, AiG responded, on billboard messages and elsewhere.
AiG said Kentucky officials bowed to pressure from secularist groups when it denied the Ark Encounter theme park an opportunity to participate in a popular tax rebate incentive program offered by the state’s tourism office.”
The restrictions demanded by the state are “unlawful,” AiG asserted.
“It is well-established under both federal law (Title VII) and state law (KRS 344.090) that religious organization and entities like AIG are specifically permitted to utilize a religious preference in their hiring,” the organization said.
“Moreover, the government cannot show hostility toward religion or discriminate against persons or organizations who express religious viewpoints.”
To sum up their new position: “Help, help, we’re being repressed! They’re persecuting us for doing what we lied and said we wouldn’t do!” But they’re lying for Jesus, so it’s all okay.