Tax Backed Ark Park Asks Applicants to Confirm Creationism and Homophobia to Apply
Stormy Seas?: Discriminatory Hiring Practices at Ky. ‘Ark Park’ Put Its Tax Incentives in Doubt
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.
Since 2010, AU has chronicled the ever-expanding list of tax and other incentives offered by Kentucky lawmakers to Ark Encounter, a proposed theme park featuring a 510-foot replica of Noah’s Ark. The fact that the Ark Park’s parent company, a ministry called Answers in Genesis (AiG), has admitted that the purpose of the venture is “evangelistic” had no effect on politicians’ seemingly endless willingness to prop up the planned park through its years of financial struggles. Until now.
We learned yesterday that $18 million in tax incentives that had been preliminarily promised to the Ark Park by the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Board are at risk thanks to AiG’s discriminatory hiring practices.
In August, AU informed the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority and Gov. Steve Beshear (D) that AiG had posted online an opening for a computer-assisted design technician to work at Ark Encounter. That job post has since been removed, but in the August description, AiG said applicants must submit a “[c]reation belief statement,” as well as “[c]onfirmation of [their] agreement with the AiG Statement of Faith.”
That “statement of faith” required potential AiG employees to affirm their belief that homosexuality is a sin on par with bestiality and incest, that the earth is only 6,000 years old and that the Bible is literally true. Anyone who doesn’t agree with those statements won’t be considered for the job.