Yep, definitely not a ministry

Remember when Anderson Cooper interviewed Ken Ham, who repeatedly insisted that Ark Encounter was not a ministry, but a for profit organization that will bring jobs to the state of Kentucky?

Well, in a move that’s not surprising to anyone who knows anything about Ken Ham and the Creation Museum, if you actually want one of those jobs, you’re going to have to write a statement saying you support Answers in Genesis’s statement of faith. No, it’s not just being Christian. And no, it’s not just believing the Earth is only 6,000 years old and that evolution is false. In addition to those highly important job related traits, you also have to accept moral judgments, such as homosexuality and pre-marital sex being a perversion, and actively attend church.

Not sure how they’re going to enforce those last ones. Maybe part of the contract requires your bedroom be outfitted with one of those security cameras Ken Ham loves so much.

So…tell me again how it’s totally okay for Kentucky to help fund a project that discriminates against gays and non-Young Earth Creationists?

(Via Pharyngula)


  1. says

    i happen to live in kentucky right now, and i cannot begin to artfully express my rage about this project. i keep suggesting this story to my station, in the hope that we will do more than just web coverage of this debacle.the CM is not just a blight on my adopted state, but on metro area of Cincinnati. Trust me when i say that there is a dedicated cadre of progressives and atheists in Cincinnati who try our best to stop this dangerous cult as best we can.

  2. says

    Too bad they never got through the provisions that if you accept state/federal dollars you also have to accept basic civil rights laws not to discriminate against age/gender/RELIGION/etc. Maybe it’s just me, but if you take in tax dollars, you have to follow the separation of church and state in your hiring practices.

  3. says

    My head is spinning here. Isn’t there a law somewhere about not discriminating based on religious preference for hiring job applicants? Especially for jobs connected to federal money? Bueller? Bueller?

  4. loreleion says

    I’m fairly sure you can only discriminate on those grounds if you’re considered a church or religious org, which will absolutely rule them out of government funding.

  5. says

    There used to be, but the Bush administration abolished it (as part of the “faith-based initiative”), and President Obama hasn’t made any effort to reinstate it, despite his campaign promises that he would. So yes, your tax dollars and mine can go to underwrite jobs we’re incapable of applying for. Isn’t it great to be living in a secular country?

  6. says

    Aren’t there federal laws against discrimination of candidates in regards to sexual orientation? Wouldn’t having to sign that statement violate said laws?Or is this place splitting hairs by saying it is a for profit religious organization and doesn’t have to abide by those laws?What kind of money do we have in the betting pool on how long it takes before Ham is caught in some scandal with some young acolyte or farm animal?

  7. says

    Just wow; it sucks: if I want to stay in academia (physics) the odds are that I’ll have to go the US for a postdoc (there’s no money in the UK) the downside? shit like this. Here’s a suggestion: the UK & Europe in general are less insane than a lot of the U.S. (or insane in less dangerous ways) can we move your universities over here? That way those left in America can continue to be insane fanatics who think anyone with an IQ in double digits is a dangerous liberal and Europe can become a centre of uber-researchy enlightened coolness. If Europes not to your taste pretty much anywhere in Euroasia/Africa would be cool (with exceptions for the areas of lunacy that is the middle-east)seriously come join us… we have beer, all sorts of cool food and even reasonable weather some of the year

  8. says

    Actually, I don’t think that there are any federal discrimination laws that apply to sexual orientation. There may be in some states, but to my knowledge there aren’t any on the federal level. :/

  9. BathTub says

    This was bought up and addressed right after it was announced. Pretty sure the statement won’t be required for the Ark Encounter. Now I need to go dig up where it was I read this.

  10. LS says

    I feel the only real response I could make to this which would have any meaning would be a drawing of Ken Ham with his jaw dislocated to accommodate the most insane, shit-eating grin imaginable.

  11. WingedBeast says

    The real question is if anybody is surprised?Seriously, we expected this to be a ministirial tool for/by/of true believers of Young Earth Creationism. The only question is if they’re going sacrifice the statements of faith for the public money or vice versa.

  12. ethanol says

    The US is extremely heterogeneous, and it would be inadvisable to make decisions about a postdoc on the basis of stories like this, unless you are planning on a postdoc in Kentucky. Many parts of the country are considerably more sane, and universities in general tend to be liberal oasis even in more conservative regions. And if you come to the northwest, we’ve definitely got beer.

  13. says

    Don’t worry, I have been to the US and I know it’s a very varied place. That being said I’ve yet to hear of a good US ale or ‘real’ beer (as in not just lager).

  14. L.Long says

    You all are forgetting some very basic facts…**The Xtians control almost all state gov’mints and most of the feds.**The separation of religion and state ONLY applies to non-Xtian religions such as muslin, moremans, catlicks, bootism, etc.** THIS IS A XTIAN COUNTRY!!! how many times do they have to say that!**Businesses are controlled by religions because they care about profits and there are more of them then us evil g0dless blasphemers.This will only be settles AFTER it is put in place then brought to court and IF they should succeed at making a significant amount of money (the REAL Xtian g0d) for the state, you wont stand a chance.

  15. says

    Anyone live in Kentucky and want to apply for a job there as a covert opperative? Sabotage the project from the inside! I would, but I’m in Canada, your more logical neighbour.

  16. Gus Snarp says

    Regardless of what the Bush Administration did, I would imagine you could make a pretty strong case if the job in question was purely technical. Of course, I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me if you are applying to be an accountant at a church they should not be able to discriminate against you on the basis of your faith or lack thereof. Certainly if you are a applying to be a backstage technician at a for profit theme park receiving state tax incentives and claiming to not be a ministry you should not be discriminated against. I would probably apply for just such a position just to be able to sue if there were a lawyer for American United or some such who wanted to handle the case and thought it was winnable. Well, except I can’t jeopardize my current job to do it.

  17. Gus Snarp says

    These guys really are the minority. And in academia, they’re practically non-existent (although we did have one in my department for a while who taught a whole class on debating evolution versus intelligent design. He was tops in his field though).

  18. Gus Snarp says

    The link provided has Ark Encounter Jobs listed, just above the part about the statement of faith. Now when you click on the Ark Encounter Jobs link it just says nothing is available now and they’ll have contact information for Ark Encounter LLC when the jobs open up. But we’ll see. I would be surprised if they don’t manage some kind of litmus test, even if they hide it.

  19. Don says

    I take comfort in thinking that someday, we’ll have a steeply progressive income tax and a serious inheritance tax, and get the money back from these thieving bastards.

  20. Gus Snarp says

    You’re going to the wrong places. Mass produced American beer sucks ass through a straw, but there are an almost infinite number of microbreweries across the country producing and extraordinary variety of fantastic beers of every type. If you are anywhere near a major city there will probably be a number of decent local microbreweries producing what you are looking for. Unless you’re talking about a true, non-pressurized, Scottish ale. I’ve never seen anything like that here, it may exist, but I’ve never seen it.In fact, with the exception of Guinness, you’re usually better off getting a microbrew than buying an imported beer. Most imports just aren’t nearly the same here as they are abroad. You don’t like lager, but take a German pilsner for example, in Germany you get a beer with a thick head and a strong flavor. Buy the exact same beer on tap in the U.S. and you get a weak, limp substitute. Still better than Budweiser though.Oh crap, did I get started on beer again?

  21. Ntsc says

    This may be a duplicate post, if so sorry.When I was hiring for the Census, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was not allowed, along with a lot of other non-discrimination clauses. We could discriminate against non veterans, as a vet was offered the job before a non-vet with the same score. A disabled vet who passed the test was offered the job before anyone else.

  22. Gus Snarp says

    That’s a federal government job, the rules are a lot stricter there and the same rules don’t begin to apply to the private sector. I’m pretty sure Lindsay is right, there is no federal law preventing employment discrimination based on sexual orientation in the private sector.

  23. ethanol says

    A block from my house there is a bar/store that sells ~ 700 different kinds of beer. About half of them are imports, and the other half are from around here. And lagers are most certainly in the minority.

  24. says

    Actually, faith-based organizations were given what amounts to an exemption to the Title VII provisions that forbid discrimination on religious grounds. (This is, of course, unconstitutional, but I don’t think the man was aware that we have a Constitution.) Lamentably, Obama signed an executive order that, among other things, continues their ability to evade Title VII.…Of particular relevance are (g) and (h) of Section 2.The FFRF is currently challenging the constitutionality of these orders in several courts. They need our support!

  25. says

    OOPS! Forgot to state the obvious in the above comment. The man I was referring to that created this exemption and is oblivious that we have a Constitution is George W. Bush.

  26. Gus Snarp says

    I don’t see anything about hiring or discrimination on religious grounds in there. Particularly in Section 2 (g) and (h). There is something about NOT discriminating among program beneficiaries based on religious beliefs, but nothing about allowing religious organizations to discriminate, or about hiring at all. Mind you, I don’t agree with the whole Faith Based Initiatives thing, and once again, I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t see anything there that has anything to do with the issue at hand.

  27. says

    If creationism is true and therefore (one would suppose) independently and objectively verifiable, there should be at least some people who accept it based on the evidence who are not necessarily Christians. But as far as I know there aren’t, hence the need for people to sign documents like this. Isn’t that a clue that they kinda know on *some* level that what they’re pushing is bullshit?Edit: Well, I guess there are Muslims and Jews who believe in it….I guess nevermind.

  28. says

    I’ll keep an eye out for them. In other news: I’ll never complain about the UK’s NHS again:…very OT (as if the beer wasn’t already) but that article is 101 reasons for free health care and sensible approach to abortion and 100 other things; careful of the site it’s a little NSFW and the content should not be read near meal-time.

  29. Gus Snarp says

    Oh, I don’t want to put anything out there that could potentially identify him. Suffice it to say that it’s not biology, but that he ought to know better.

  30. says

    Here in the UK, you can’t discriminate in employment on a whole host of things, private sector or not. There is an exception for religious roles in religious organisations, where they can discriminate regarding “religious believe or lack of same” (yes, that’s one of the protected characteristics), and some others where it is part of their religious tradition. If they didn’t have that exception, people would at least claim it compelled the Catholic church to consider female priests, or similar.Not entirely relevant, but I like comparisons. Giving friendly UK perspectives on Blag Hag since… something.

  31. says

    I really what the park to be built, then fail, and then be abandoned. As a empty, run-down theme park would be awesome setting for a cheap zombie movie. Of course, the zombies would have to believe in Young Earth Creationism. And for a twist, instead of eating brains, these zombies could be extremely allergic to brains.

  32. Mike1325 says

    The governor of KY should pour more money into education so in the future governors won’t be as dumb as him.

  33. says

    After the debacle last year here in Virginia with Ken Cuccinelli telling the state universities that they couldn’t promise not to discriminate against students based on their sexual orientation because the state promised no such thing, I’m going to go with the assumption that it’s not a federal policy any more than it’s a Virginia policy.

  34. LS says

    Most logical neighbors I’ve had don’t advocate that I get a job for the single-minded purpose of sabotage.

  35. says

    yea I think that’s about the only possible response. I’m amazed that a) more people don’t know about it and b) that somehow the city, county and state seem to be avoiding any sort of flak over it…

  36. AnnaG says

    Either the organization is a church and free to discriminate but not entitled to gov’t funds or it is a business, which may be able to take gov’t funds but is not entitled to discriminate against religion. It can’t be both.

  37. Sarah says

    I hope the Jesus Riding a Dinosaur Museum goes by the way of Touchdown Jesus. Up in flames. Although, the creationists will just say that it is a message from god to make the Creation Museum even bigger and more intellectually obscene.

  38. Tara says

    Unfortunately, the anti-discrimination laws in this great commonwealth mean it’s still ok to hate gays. Not as sure on the other requirements.

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