For those outside the loop, Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis (AiG) ministry has been building a full-sized replica Noah’s Ark in the heart of Kentucky. The Ark Encounter, as it is called, will hold an interactive museum full of biblical displays and animatronic animals (so-called ancestral kinds or baramins)including, of course, dinosaurs and behemoth.
AiG expect, optimistically, two million visitors in the first year alone. This Newsweek article discusses some of the problems Ham and his team have encountered along the way.
One of the larger problems was the organisation’s reluctance to stop engaging in discriminatory hiring practices, which led to the State of Kentucky withholding around $18 million in tax rebates. Specifically, Ham had demanded a creationist statement of faith from potential employees. Requiring such a statement of faith from new employees is not illegal in the United States. However, if the state of Kentucky were to fund Ham’s organisation while they persisted with this hiring practice, it would be a blatant violation of the first Amendment of the US constitution—the one about separation of church and state.
As the Newsweek article states: “When it came to the $18.25 million it was seeking in tax rebates, perhaps God came up a bit short of AiG’s expectations.”
The Ark Encounter team at AiG were less than impressed by the newsweek article. Their reply can be found here.