While Ken Ham’s Noah’s Ark theme park is breaking apart on the reefs of Kentucky government regulations, a new plot is afloat to move the whole shebang to Louisiana.
How wonderfully providential for Ham that his lawyer, who is suing Kentucky for millions over the failed venture, is also a brand new member of the Louisiana state legislature!
If signed into law, HB 771, a bill authored and proposed by Louisiana’s newest and most controversial state legislator, could provide tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer incentives to subsidize the construction of large-scale theme parks by tax-exempt churches and religious organizations. It’s an outrageous proposal, and what’s even more outrageous, the legislator behind the effort is suing the State of Kentucky for millions of dollars after it pulled the plug on new earth creationist Ken Ham’s ostentatious and delusional Noah’s Ark theme park.
Newly-minted Louisiana State Rep. Mike Johnson has deservedly earned an enormous amount of state and national attention after he introduced House Bill 707, the so-called “Marriage and Conscience Act,” which would allow private businesses the right to expressly discriminate against a broad set of customers based on their belief about same-sex marriage and would prohibit the government from effectively enforcing any potential anti-discrimination claims (in the event that the Supreme Court decides to expand marriage equality nationally when it rules this summer).
But that’s not all, folks! There’s much more to Rep. Johnson’s storied resume:
Mike Johnson may be new to the Louisiana state legislature, but he is not new to the cause. He’s spent the bulk of his career as a lawyer working on cases involving the radical religious right. For a brief stint, he was the dean of Louisiana College’s failed law school; its president, Joe Aguillard, was, at the time, famous for his grandiosity and his bizarrely paranoid, almost totalitarian, leadership style. Aguillard fired an art professor after a student painted a nude portrait of an elderly woman; he seductively, creepily ate a live worm in front of the entire student body in order to demonstrate how he had conquered sin; he suspiciously agreed to providing one of his former assistants with a sizable severance package, after the assistant, a man in his mid-20s, was caught doing drugs and engaging in sexual acts with 18-year-old male students at a local motel, and he once called reporters at the local newspaper, The Town Talk, “tools of Satan” after the paper published a series of unflattering stories about the state of the college’s finances.
Have a listen as Johnson talks about the wonderfulness of tax incentives such as this:
As a Kentuckian, I am delighted to see no more of my state tax dollars going to fund Ken Ham’s bottomless pit of craziness, and I wish the people of Louisiana well on this future endeavor.
At the very least, an Ark should come in handy the next time a hurricane hits there.
Really, please read more: Louisiana Bill Could Provide Millions in Public Incentives for Religious Theme Parks