Eblen's argument against Ark incentives condones discrimination
So let me summarize columnist Tom Eblen's Jan. 12 opposition to the possibility of the Ark Encounter receiving a state tax incentive, which is available equally to all who qualify: because the builders are a Christian group, they should not have the same rights as non-Christians.
In other words, Christians should be discriminated against because they are Christians.
At least the columnist acknowledges that the law may be on the Ark's side to receive the incentive. It begs the question then: What is the columnist's real beef? It seems his bias against biblical Christianity is showing.
Eblen conveniently omitted the fact that there is no risk to the state for the Ark to receive a refund of state sales tax collected at the opened Ark.
The refund only occurs if the Ark sees high attendance, as millions of tourism dollars flow into the state's coffers. It's a net gain to Kentucky. That's why the state offers the incentive to build here.
As someone who lives right up Interstate 75 from the Ark property, I look forward to visiting this impressive structure when it opens. I'm already a big fan of its sister attraction, the Creation Museum.
Eblen right about ark park
I can only respond to Tom Eblen's column criticizing state and local governments providing funds to the religious-based ark park in one way: Amen, brother, amen.
No to local-option tax
Memo to Republican House Leader Jeff Hoover and any of his cohorts intending to promote the local-option tax proposal in this year's legislative session in Frankfort: The voters of Kentucky never sent them to Frankfort to work with the Democrats and Chamber of Commerce to devise ways to further plunder the taxpayers.
Furthermore, most of these hypocritical leaders believe so strongly in "local rule" that they cannot wait to enact a statewide smoking ban, over the objections of county and city governments.
I am sure the good citizens of our commonwealth will be praying that our winter is so cold and prolonged these next few months that Hoover has to keep his hands in his own pockets the entire legislative session.
McConnell's claim suspect
The New York Times Jan, 9 edition quoted Sen. Mitch McConnell as saying: "We're finally starting to see some economic data that can provide a glimmer of hope."
He also said, "The uptick appears to coincide with the biggest political change of the Obama administration's long tenure in Washington: the expectation of a new Republican Congress."
If this is true, then why did we see a negative 37 percent growth of the S&P 500 stock index during the eight years of President George W. Bush's tenure (six of those years with a Republican majority in the House and Senate)?
During President Barack Obama's six years in office the S&P 500 has gone up 245 percent.
Employment data yield similar numbers. During Bush's eight years the, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 1,216,000 jobs created.
Through Dec. 30, 2014, Obama's six years in office, the bureau reports 6,568,000 jobs created — over 5.4 times more jobs.
Who knows, maybe the economy would have done better these past four years if the Republican House had not tried repeatedly to throw the country into default.
Joe and Kathy Crouch
Time for rational people to push back against all religions
The concern about a backlash against Muslims after the most recent acts of terrorism by Muslims is misplaced. It is well past time for a backlash.
The self-proclaimed moderate Muslims have done little to address the problem other than self-serving words that terrorism is not Islam. But it is Islam. The violent interpretation is as legitimate as any other interpretation of Islam. This is true of all religions. It is time for all rational people to push back against all religions.
All of these man-made mythologies promote ignorance, intolerance, paternalism and inequality. Islam is just the poster child. Religion serves no purpose but its own. For all the pious self-righteous statements about peace and understanding, religions as a whole have failed miserably to advance those concepts. Religion provides a context and justification for every heinous, barbaric, criminal and intolerant act committed by its believers against others.
Religion serves no purpose that could not be served by a rational and humane belief system. Just ask Charlie.
Let's all model respectful disagreement and tolerance
The public support for free speech and outrage over the Paris attacks on journalists is encouraging. Certainly, it is easy to condemn such a blatant violation of human rights. More difficult is acknowledging the extent to which Americans have begun to feel entitled to not being offended by all manner of public and private displays of opinion.
We have many constitutional rights, among which are the protection of life, liberty and happiness (the fruits of our labor). Nowhere are we guaranteed government protection from being offended. From the posting of the Ten Commandments, to burning of the flag, to the right to protest government, I celebrate the freedoms that we have. But I also lament the loss of tolerance for those who disagree with us.
After decades of sensitivity training, maybe it is time for insensitivity. Perhaps if more of us could demonstrate how to respectfuly disagree, we could help others pull back from the precipice of violent response.
Thanks, Pett, please continue to exercise the right to offend
The tragic killings in Paris this month prompted me to write a letter of appreciation for Joel Pett's political cartoons. He captures the comedy, the tragedy and the irony of our society. There are times when his cartoons offend readers, but he also has the right to express his opinions. This right is part of what has been good in our country, and we must protect it. Thank you, Pett.
Mary K. Miller