When Australian evangelist and creationist Ken Ham decided he wanted to open Ark Encounter, a theme park centered on a rendition of Noah’s Ark in northern Kentucky, he was quick to point out that the facility would be a for-profit enterprise.
The U.S. Supreme Court went out of session this morning and did so with a bang. The high court took three actions that affect church-state separation.
Here’s a rundown on what happened:
Trinity Lutheran v. Comer: Americans United has been warning for more than a year that it could erode the church-state wall. The ruling is harmful – but not as bad as it might have been.
Violent crime in Louisville, Ky., is on the rise. Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s solution? Pray.
According to the Courier-Journal report, Bevin (R) urged faith leaders and residents to “take a 10-block span, walk corner to corner, and pray with the community two to three times a week during the next year.”
Kentucky legislators in the Senate and House passed resolutions that would urge including the phrase “In the Year of Our Lord” to date the chambers’ resolutions and floor citations.
On March 30, the General Assembly passed House Resolution 218 and Senate Resolution 294 in the final days of the legislative session.
State Sen. Albert Robinson (R), who sponsored the Senate measure, told the Lexington Herald-Leader that “it’s important for us to go back to the basics of our U.S. and state constitutions that used that phrase.
The Washington Post recently ran a long story about Ark Encounter, the Williamstown, Ky., creationist attraction founded by Ken Ham, who leads the fundamentalist Religious Right organization Answers in Genesis. Although some readers found the story to be oddly sympathetic to Ham, some interesting tidbits are found in it.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) in March signed into law a so-called religious freedom bill purportedly intended to broaden student expression of religion in schools.
But LGBTQ advocates were quick to point out one provision of Senate Bill 17 could lead to student groups discriminating against LGBTQ students and others.
The bill states that no “religious or political organization (can be) hindered or discriminated against in the ordering of its internal affairs (or) selection of leaders and members.”
When I was in seminary in Wilmore, Ky., I served as a part-time missions pastor at a United Methodist church in town. The church was going through some transitions and was trying to figure out a vision for the coming months and years. The church had long been focused on caring for its own members through discipleship and preaching, but the members wanted to be more connected with the community, particularly with those who had yet to venture inside our doors.
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld marriage equality almost two years ago, and some supporters of the Religious Right are still smarting about that.
Australian creationist Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter, a taxpayer-subsidized re-creation of Noah’s Ark in Williamstown, Ky., is not providing the economic boost local officials had hoped for.
“It’s been a great thing but it’s not brought us any money,” Grant County Judge-Executive Steve Wood told Lexington’s WKYT-TV recently. “I was one of those believers that once the Ark was here everything was going to come in. But it’s not done it. It’s not done it. I think the Ark’s done well and I’m glad for them on that. But it’s not done us good at all.”
When Australian creationist Ken Ham pitched the idea of building a giant Noah’s Ark in a rural area of Kentucky, folks in the community of Williamstown got excited. Many of them were certain that the ark would become a major tourist attraction and bring visitors – and their cash – to this struggling area.