Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter Theme Park Will Only Hire Young Earth Creationists

With the Noah’s Ark Theme Park scheduled to open in a couple of months, it’s time for Ken Ham and his staff at Answers in Genesis to begin hiring staff to handle accounting, concessions, guest services, etc.

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As you might recall, a judge ruled earlier this year that Answers in Genesis would be allowed to discriminate in hiring even if they ultimately received tax incentives worth up to $18 million. The “No Jews” sign wouldn’t prevent them from having access to the cash.

Now, a local critic of the ministry is wondering how far they’ll take that discrimination. Will Catholics be hired? What about Protestants who don’t accept Young Earth Creationism?

Dan Phelps, president of the Kentucky Paleontological Society and a longtime critic of the Creation Museum, wondered if non-evangelical Christians, like Catholics, would be allowed to work at the ark.

“Catholics tend not to be fundamentalist Christians, they don’t tend to take things literally,” Phelps said.

Ham said the statement signed by future ark employees won’t distinguish between Christian denominations.

“There are Christians in all sorts of different denominations. So as long as they sign that, it doesn’t specify in there whether you’re Protestant or Catholic or Baptist or Presbyterian or whatever,” Ham said.

Okay… so Ham is telling the Associated Press that he just wants to make sure he’s hiring Christians. It doesn’t matter what kind.

If that’s true, someone should really tell his staff.

Because the jobs are posted on Answers in Genesis’ website, and they make it very clear that you have to believe in a 6,000-year-old Earth in order to be hired.

Want to be a receptionist? How about a dinosaur cartoon actor? Or an unpaid intern?

All of those position say you have to submit your “Creation belief statement” in order to be hired. You also have to offer “Confirmation of your agreement with the AiG Statement of Faith.”

That Statement of Faith includes accepting the following:

  • The various original life forms (kinds), including mankind, were made by direct creative acts of God.
  • The great Flood of Genesis was an actual historic event, worldwide (global) in its extent and effect.
  • The special creation of Adam (the first man) and Eve (the first woman), and their subsequent fall into sin, is the basis for the necessity of salvation for mankind.
  • Scripture teaches a recent origin for man and the whole creation, spanning approximately 4,000 years from creation to Christ.
  • The days in Genesis do not correspond to geologic ages, but are six [6] consecutive twenty-four [24] hour days of creation.
  • The only legitimate marriage sanctioned by God is the joining of one naturally born man and one naturally born woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other, and has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. Any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography, or any attempt to change one’s gender, or disagreement with one’s biological gender, is sinful and offensive to God.

That last one’s just for good measure, I guess.

So, just to be clear, Ham said he didn’t care if you were “Protestant or Catholic or Baptist or Presbyterian”… but a minimum requirement to getting hired is that you must agree 100% with Ken Ham’s literal interpretation of the Bible, ignoring the wisdom of just about every credible scientist working in the field (and most Christian churches to boot).

We already knew he wasn’t going to hire Jews, Muslims, atheists, Hindus, etc. It turns out we can add a hell of a lot of Christians to that list, too.

You may recall that AiG’s General Manager Mike Zovath was asked in 2011 if Grant County residents would get first dibs on the new jobs. He said he wanted to do that, but couldn’t make promises because of state and federal laws, adding “If you’re qualified, apply for a job.” He didn’t mention all the religious restrictions on them.

There was also Williamstown Mayor Rick Skinner, who wanted Ark Encounter built in his community. He wrote on Facebook last year that employees would not be required to sign a statement of faith.

He soon deleted that post.

Looks like he had no idea who he was dealing with.

***Update***: Ken Ham has responded to this issue on Twitter:

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He still doesn’t get it. The issue isn’t that his ministry is hiring Christians, but that his for-profit, taxpayer-rewarded theme park is. Even after they said they wouldn’t discriminate in hiring. Furthermore, Ham’s misleading people when he says he’s hiring “Christians.” He’s really only hiring “Christians who accept Young Earth Creationism.” There’s a difference.

By the way, atheist non-profit groups have hired Christians before. The issue isn’t necessarily what specific beliefs employees hold, but whether they agree with and can further the mission of the organization.

You may recall that the Secular Coalition for America lobbying group didn’t just hire a Christian; they appointed one to be their leader.

(Image via Shutterstock)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.