Having it both ways


When they were asking for $18 million in tax incentives, Ken Ham’s Big Wooden Box was simply a “tourist attraction”. Now though, when they’re asking for a tax exemption, they’re a “religious organization”. They even got a court ruling saying it was only fair for the state to support it, just as they would any theme park.

…because the tourism incentive “is neutral, has a secular purpose, and does not grant preferential treatment to anyone based on religion, allowing (Answers in Genesis) to participate along with the secular applicants cannot be viewed as acting with the predominant purpose of advancing religion.”

Remember those words: it cannot be viewed as acting with the predominant purpose of advancing religion. See what Answers in Genesis says today.

According to the letter sent by John E. Pence, secretary general for Answers in Genesis, the Ark Encounter was organized exclusively for religious purposes, and is solely owned and operated by Crosswater Canyon, a Kentucky non-profit corporation which is recognized as a tax-exempt religious organization and public charity under Section 501©(3) religious organizations and public charity.

Both Ark Encounter and Crosswater Canyon are clearly religious organizations, the letter reads. The Ark Encounter project was designed to factually present the biblical and historical truths of the Bible, including the biblical accounts of Noah and the Ark, the message of salvation through Jesus Christ, and other biblical truths revealed in Scripture, through the Ark’s exhibits and guest experiences. Crosswater Canyon was organized exclusively to support the religious mission and purposes of Answers in Genesis, and to own and manage the Ark Encounter for Answers in Genesis.

So the tax incentives are being used to promote a sectarian religious enterprise, according to AiG’s own consigliere? It always has been and is in all of its attributes a church? OK. Wish I had a time machine so I could hand that letter over to the judge who ruled that propping up AiG’s finances wouldn’t advance religion.

Comments

  1. wcorvi says

    That should be EASY to get overturned in court. And a perjury suit along with it.

  2. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    here, Hamster, here’s your cake, eat it and have it, too. *smirk*
    Hamster, by the grace of God will grant you the miracle of getting it both ways, up yours and up everyone. :-(

  3. mykroft says

    Actually, I think there is a simple way for Ham to get out of this, and turn it into a positive PR event as well. Not going to say how, though, because Ham and/or his minions read this blog and might do it.
    PZ, I’ll send my idea to you in an e-mail, in case you’re interested in the feasibility.

  4. thirdmill says

    As a public service, I am posting the words to “Arky, Arky”:

    The Lord said to Noah, “There’s going to be a flood-y, flood-y,”
    The Lord said to Noah, “There’s going to be a flood-y, flood-y,
    Get those children out of the muddy, muddy,
    Children of the Lord,”

    CHORUS:
    So rise and shine and give God the glory, glory
    Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory,
    Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory,
    Children of the Lord.

    So Noah, he built him, he built him an ark-y ark-y,
    Noah, he built him, he built him an ark-y arky,
    Made it out of gopher bark-y bark-y,
    Children of the Lord.
    (Chorus)

    The animals, the animals, they came in by two-sies, two-sies,
    Animals, the animals, they came in by two-sies, two-sies,
    Elephants and kangaroo-sies, roo-sies,
    Children of the Lord.
    (Chorus)

    It rained and it poured for forty day-sies day-sies,
    Rained and it poured for forty day-sies day-sies
    Nearly drove those animals crazy, crazy
    Children of the Lord
    (Chorus)

    Well, finally, yes finally, the rain it did stop-y, stop-y,
    Finally, yes finally, the rain it did stop-y, stop-y,
    Landed on the mountain top-y, top-y
    Children of the Lord.
    (Chorus)

    The animals, the animals, they came off in three-sie, three-sies
    Animals, the animals, they came off in three-sies, three-sies,
    Must have been the birds and bee-sies, bee-sies
    Children of the Lord.
    (Chorus)

    And this is the end of, the end of our story, story
    This is the end of , the end of our story, story
    Everything is hunky-dory dory
    Children of the Lord.

  5. chigau (違う) says

    thirdmill #6
    Some of those lyrics are … slightly different from what I remember.

  6. says

    One of their minions is called secretary general? Good grief. Do they have any positions named Colonel, Grand Wizard, or The Leader?

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