After years of complaints by Americans United about Kentucky’s ongoing taxpayer assistance for a Christian fundamentalist theme park, it seems state officials may finally be having second thoughts about their involvement with the project.
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.
A Kentucky taxpayer-funded, religiously-affiliated network of homes for at-risk children that Americans United has fought in court for more than a decade has made a pretty stunning announcement: It might start hiring gays and lesbians.
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.
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.
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.
Government officials can and do sponsor and promote various public events. Job fairs, educational seminars and town hall meetings are just a few examples. When these events occur, government officials often go out of their way to make sure people know about them and urge them to attend.
Can they do the same with a prayer breakfast?
As time passes, the “Ark Park” in Kentucky is beginning to look more and more like a sinking ship.
Americans United has been highly critical of the proposed theme park, which would include a full-scale replica of Noah’s Ark and models of dinosaurs, which Answers in Genesis (AiG), the group heading the project, insists were carried on the biblical boat.
Americans United has monitored hospital mergers for a number of years now, pointing out that when Catholic hospitals join with non-Catholic institutions, Catholic doctrine is imposed, and certain services are lost.