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.