After years of complaints by Americans United about Kentucky’s ongoing taxpayer assistance for Ark Encounter, a Christian fundamentalist theme park being built by the creationist ministry Answers in Genesis (AiG), state officials finally got the message. Read more
Officials in Kentucky have decided not to grant $18 million in tax incentives to a fundamentalist theme park called “Ark Encounter” that promotes creationist ideas and biblical literalism.
That’s good news.
The bad news is that this project was ever considered a suitable candidate for public support. For years, the so-called “Ark Park,” a project of the fundamentalist ministry Answers in Genesis (AiG), appeared to be sailing smoothly toward a taxpayer-funded windfall. That should not have happened. Read more
Eleven legislative rooms in the Kentucky Statehouse will display signs reading “In God We Trust” thanks to a private donor.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that the signs are a temporary measure, and they will eventually be replaced by permanent displays that will show an updated version of the state seal in addition to the national motto. The Kentucky legislature passed a measure calling for the signs in 2006.
Kentucky Senate President, Robert Stivers (R-Manchester) gave an explicitly sectarian rationale for the measure. Read more
As this issue of Church & State went to press, officials in Kentucky announced that they will not offer tax incentives to a controversial theme park proposed by the creationist ministry Answers in Genesis. The officials said giving tax aid to the evangelistic park would violate the separation of church and state.
Look for more details in the February issue of Church & State. Read more
A proposed theme park based on the story of Noah’s Ark will not receive tax incentives from the state of Kentucky, officials announced today.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State hailed the move.
“This project was never a good candidate for public funding,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Its purpose is to promote fundamentalist Christianity, and it should be funded with private contributions from believers.”
I’ve lived in the Washington, D.C., suburbs since 1986, so when it comes to museums, I am spoiled. Just a short subway ride away is the National Mall, lined with the Smithsonian museums. They are an incredible national treasure.
When I’m traveling, I try to take some time to visit local museums as well. When my children were younger, we never missed a science museum. Several cities have them now. Not only are science museums a great educational resource, they can also be a significant income generator for communities. Read more
A Religious Right group in Kentucky is calling on parents to demand the right to deliver “inspirational messages” during public school assemblies, and they’re providing some interesting “facts” to make their case.
The Kentucky chapter of the American Family Association (AFA) just released a petition that declares, in no uncertain terms, that prayer in schools will take us back to Jesus and best of all, boost student test scores, lower the crime rate and even decrease the rate of HIV infection. Read more
Kentucky legislators have passed a law they say protects “religious freedom” and have forwarded it to Gov. Steve Beshear.
This morning, Americans United joined other groups in the state asking Beshear to veto the bill.
It’s not that AU doesn’t support religious freedom. Indeed, we consider the separation of church and state a necessary precondition for true religious liberty to flourish. The problem is, this bill isn’t really about religious freedom; it’s designed to do other things entirely. Read more
The other day I wrote about the ongoing disgrace of the Louisiana school voucher program, which – among other bad outcomes – will soon be pouring millions in taxpayer funds into the coffers of fundamentalist Christian schools, some of which teach that dinosaurs might still be alive and the Great Depression wasn’t so bad after all. Read more