Fuck you and the dinasour you rode in on doesn't work when bible based legislatures use tax dollars for biblical interpertation.
MAY 30, 2011
The American landscape is dotted with tourist attractions created with the help of government subsidies bestowed in the name of economic development. Think of the cheese museum in Rome, N.Y. A project just approved in Kentucky pushes the constitutional envelope.
The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority granted more than $40 million in tax incentives for a planned $172 million Bible-based theme park, featuring a full-size replica of Noah’s ark, complete with live animals.
Conceived by the Christian ministry that built the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., the Ark Encounter park aims to promote a literal interpretation of the Bible by “proving” that Noah had room on his vessel to fit two of every kind of animal. Ark Encounter is owned by a profit-making company, of which the ministry is a part owner.
The project enjoys strong support from Kentucky’s Democratic governor, Steve Beshear, who says it is an opportunity to create an estimated 900 jobs. We suspect he is also eager to please an important political constituency.
Under current Supreme Court doctrine, Kentucky’s support of the proselytizing theme park seems likely to withstand a possible church-state legal challenge, assuming state officials were scrupulous in applying the neutral financial criteria in the state’s economic development law. It is not even clear that the court’s conservative majority would find taxpayers have standing to sue.
But granting tax incentives to the explicitly Christian enterprise clearly clashes with the First Amendment’s prohibition on government establishment of religion. Public money is not supposed to pay to advance religion. Kentucky’s citizens should certainly ask themselves if this is really the best use of taxpayer dollars.