As 2015 winds down, you’ll encounter a lot of lists – best movies of the year, what’s hot and what’s not and so on. Well, here’s our version of that: a list of what we at “The Wall of Separation” consider to be the Top Ten church-state stories of 2015:
A federal judge has denied a request by Americans United to intervene in a lawsuit in which a fundamentalist Christian theme park is challenging the denial of a tax rebate in Kentucky.
Although Kentucky officials rightly rejected up to $18 million in tax rebates for an overtly religious theme park last year, it seems some state lawmakers are still hell bent on doing everything in their power to offer public assistance to that attraction.
The head of a creationist ministry who is seeking millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies for a theme park in Kentucky recently lashed out at Americans United because it is trying to prevent his project from receiving public assistance.
The Ark Park could come to Louisiana if one state representative if one lawmaker with close ties to Answers in Genesis (AiG) head Ken Ham gets his way.
State Rep. Michael Johnson (R-Bossier Parish) recently proposed a bill that could, critics say, pave the way for religious theme parks to receive tax subsidies.
The Rev. Chris Caldwell has no problem with the fundamentalist Christian ministry Answers in Genesis (AiG) spreading its message – but he sees no reason why he should have to pay for it.
That’s why Caldwell, pastor of Broadway Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., joined with Americans United March 30 in an attempt to legally intervene in a lawsuit dealing with possible taxpayer funding of AiG.
The creationist ministry Answers in Genesis (AiG) filed a lawsuit last month against Kentucky officials, asserting that the state’s refusal to extend tax aid to the sectarian project amounts to discrimination.
The lawsuit, Ark Encounter v. Stewart, comes in the wake of a decision by officials with the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet in December not to extend $18 million in tax incentives to Ark Encounter, an AiG theme park planned for northern Kentucky that will feature a giant rendition of Noah’s Ark.
After years of complaints by Americans United about Kentucky’s ongoing taxpayer assistance for Ark Encounter, a Christian fundamentalist theme park being built by the creationist ministry Answers in Genesis (AiG), state officials finally got the message.
Officials in Kentucky have decided not to grant $18 million in tax incentives to a fundamentalist theme park called “Ark Encounter” that promotes creationist ideas and biblical literalism.
That’s good news.
The bad news is that this project was ever considered a suitable candidate for public support. For years, the so-called “Ark Park,” a project of the fundamentalist ministry Answers in Genesis (AiG), appeared to be sailing smoothly toward a taxpayer-funded windfall. That should not have happened.