Editorials

Few questions for Answers in Genesis

One of the Answers in Genesis signs going up in several cities.
One of the Answers in Genesis signs going up in several cities.

This is the thing one wonders about Answers in Genesis and its strident efforts to bully Kentucky into giving public subsidies to its for-profit Noah's Ark theme park:

Why does God need so much taxpayer help?

Really, has God been so lame spreading the good news that AIG must "counter the myths floating around about the Bible-upholding Ark Encounter," on a digital video board in New York's Times Square?

Does God need to be defended with the demagogic language AIG and its founder Ken Ham use in the holy war against "intolerant liberal friends," "secularists," "Bible-scoffers," and, the most telling, "agitators outside the state?"

Apparently, in AIG's world, if this could just be settled at home among Kentuckians there'd be no problem giving a whopping tax break to a business that asks job applicants to profess that homosexuality is a sin and the Earth is 6,000 years old.

Thankfully, here in Kentucky both Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Bob Stewart and Gov. Steve Beshear didn't see it that way. Public support isn't appropriate for a business that uses "religious beliefs as a litmus test for hiring decisions," Beshear said. Stewart explained in a letter Wednesday rejecting the incentive application that the project has become "an extension of AIG's ministry," and so is not eligible for state tax incentives.

They understand what AIG, apparently deaf to or uncomprehending of secularist talk about public finance, doesn't accept: a tax break is public funding.

Since the Ark park would rely on such secularists services as highways, sewer systems, and police and fire protection to attract and accommodate its visitors, the $18.25 million in taxes it wouldn't pay to support those services would fall on other taxpayers.

Ark Encounter, if ever built, will still feed at the public trough.

The city of Williamstown has agreed to a 30-year, 75 percent break in property taxes and a $62 million bond issue. The Grant County Industrial Development Authority gave it $200,000 plus 100 acres of reduced-price land. The state has promised an $11 million upgrade to a highway interchange.

Perhaps Answers in Genesis should give up thanking God that intolerant liberals "can't sink this ship," and ask the deity instead whether it can be built without more government handouts.

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