Ken Ham has been on quite a tear against Americans United lately. The Australian creationist is all worked up because AU continues to point out the inconvenient fact that he built his Ark Encounter park, a re-creation of Noah’s Ark in northern Kentucky, in part on the backs of the state’s taxpayers.
It will be the “Year of the Bible” for the second year in a row in Kentucky.
Republican Gov. Matt Bevin in December signed a proclamation recognizing 2017 as the “Year of the Bible.”
“Whereas, 2017 marks the 2nd year Kentucky has led the nation in celebrating the Bible’s significant impact on Kentucky and American institutions and culture by leaders in each county taking shifts to read through the entire Bible in Kentucky’s Bible Reading Marathon beginning January 1, 2017,” the proclamation begins.
Australian creationist Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter – a theme park built around a replica of Noah’s Ark in northern Kentucky – is up and running. Recently, a reporter with Louisville magazine made a pilgrimage there for a story.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) had a major ethics lapse recently when he advised clergy to break the law.
In an address to a group of pastors at the governor’s mansion, Bevin told them that even though the federal tax code prohibits houses of worship (and other 501(c)(3) organizations) from endorsing or opposing candidates for office, the Internal Revenue Service is just a “paper tiger” so there’s nothing to worry about.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) has asked a federal court to nullify a settlement guaranteeing that children in publicly funded religious care facilities will not be subject to proselytization.
According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, Bevin’s general counsel claimed that the settlement previously reached in Pedreira v. Sunrise Children’s Services was not “fair, adequate nor reasonable to the commonwealth or its private child care provider partners.”
Ken Ham’s $102 million Ark Encounter theme park in Williamstown, Ky., opens today. The official launch of this boat on dry land has led to a spate of media attention for the Australian creationist and would-be Noah.
Ham’s “ark park” was the subject of a lengthy New York Times story recently, during which Ham admitted, yet again, that the entire project has one goal: converting people to his brand of fundamentalist Christianity.
Kim Davis’ legal woes aren’t quite over yet. The office of the State Attorney General announced yesterday that the embattled Rowan County clerk may have violated the Kentucky Open Records Act when she refused to comply with a records request from a Washington, D.C.-based government watchdog.
The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a long-running lawsuit over the public funding of a sectarian children’s home in Kentucky.
In May, the high court sent Pedreira v. Sunrise Children’s Services back to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; the appeals court subsequently sent it back to a federal trial court for further proceedings.
A Kentucky legislator who has continually sought to undermine the separation of church and state lost his primary in May.
State Rep. Tom Riner (D-Jefferson County) was defeated by political newcomer Attica Scott, who faces no Republican opponent in November.
Riner, a Baptist pastor, frequently mingled religion and politics during his 34 years in the state legislature. In 2006, he added language to a state security bill that read, “The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God.”
The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority approved $18 million in tax incentives for Answers In Genesis’ Ark Encounter theme park in April.
Former Gov. Steve Beshear (D) had opposed granting incentives to the park, but Answers in Genesis filed a lawsuit claiming the state’s refusal violated its religious-freedom rights. In January, a federal court agreed, and Beshear’s successor, Matt Bevin (R), announced he would not appeal the ruling. According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, Bevin also packed the tourism board with new appointees after taking office.