The Rev. Chris Caldwell has no problem with the fundamentalist Christian ministry Answers in Genesis (AiG) spreading its message – but he sees no reason why he should have to pay for it.
That’s why Caldwell, pastor of Broadway Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., joined with Americans United March 30 in an attempt to legally intervene in a lawsuit dealing with possible taxpayer funding of AiG.
The Fayette Circuit Court ruled this week that a Lexington, Ky.-based T-shirt printing company did not break the law when it refused to make shirts for the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (GLSO).
GLSO had intended to use the shirts in the city’s 2012 Pride Festival, and filed a complaint against the company with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Human Rights Commission. The Commission ruled in GLSO’s favor, but Monday’s decision overturns that ruling.
After years of complaints by Americans United about Kentucky’s ongoing taxpayer assistance for Ark Encounter, a Christian fundamentalist theme park being built by the creationist ministry Answers in Genesis (AiG), state officials finally got the message.
Officials in Kentucky have decided not to grant $18 million in tax incentives to a fundamentalist theme park called “Ark Encounter” that promotes creationist ideas and biblical literalism.
That’s good news.
The bad news is that this project was ever considered a suitable candidate for public support. For years, the so-called “Ark Park,” a project of the fundamentalist ministry Answers in Genesis (AiG), appeared to be sailing smoothly toward a taxpayer-funded windfall. That should not have happened.
Eleven legislative rooms in the Kentucky Statehouse will display signs reading “In God We Trust” thanks to a private donor.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that the signs are a temporary measure, and they will eventually be replaced by permanent displays that will show an updated version of the state seal in addition to the national motto. The Kentucky legislature passed a measure calling for the signs in 2006.
Kentucky Senate President, Robert Stivers (R-Manchester) gave an explicitly sectarian rationale for the measure.
As this issue of Church & State went to press, officials in Kentucky announced that they will not offer tax incentives to a controversial theme park proposed by the creationist ministry Answers in Genesis. The officials said giving tax aid to the evangelistic park would violate the separation of church and state.
Look for more details in the February issue of Church & State.
A proposed theme park based on the story of Noah’s Ark will not receive tax incentives from the state of Kentucky, officials announced today.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State hailed the move.
“This project was never a good candidate for public funding,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Its purpose is to promote fundamentalist Christianity, and it should be funded with private contributions from believers.”
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.