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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Suburban Cincinnati Religious Museum Wants State $$$ For Ark Park: Sees Jews 'Subject To Everlasting Conscious Punishment'

The Ark Was Crewed By Jews
CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Noah is the most famous non-Christian seafarer in history.  He is known to us today through the Hebrew Bible.  The effort to obtain state tourist tax incentives for a Noah's Ark theme park near the creationist museum could end up sailing into shoals of religious discrimination.  All employees at the Answers in Genesis creationist museum in Cincinnati's Kentucky suburbs must supply a "written statement of their testimony" and agree to support the religious group's articles of faith.  AiG requires belief in Jesus Christ and says anybody who isn't Christian is headed straight to hell.  Or, as the statement of faith puts it:  "Those who do not believe in Christ are subject to everlasting conscious punishment, but believers enjoy eternal life with God . . . It is the duty of Christians to attend a local Bible believing church as portrayed in the New Testament."

Clearly, the creationist museum is not very accepting of Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus or anybody else who happens to have a differing religious philosophy -- or no religious belief at all. It seems to prefer bigotry.  While Answers in Genesis is entitled to its own religious beliefs, can it force employees to adopt them to get a paycheck?  Religious non-profits are not totally exempt from fair hiring laws.  Xavier University, a Jesuit college in Cincinnati, employs Jews and non-Christians.  Hospitals run by Christian religious denominations in Cincinnati hire doctors and nurses and staff from diverse religious backgrounds.  Jewish Hospital hired non-Jews.  Those organizations adhered to non-discrimination rules and laws in order to access federal and state financial aid.  But the creationist museum and its partner are seeking Kentucky Tourism Development incentives to build a new park themed around a giant replica of Noah's Ark.  Noah was a Jew -- if you believe the Old Testament -- and wouldn't be eligible for a job with Answers in Genesis if he somehow showed up and tried to join its crew.

Stephenie Steitzer of the Louisville Courier Journal reports that the proposed Ark park is close to a deal with Kentucky officials to get the aid package:  "The developers are seeking incentives under the Kentucky Tourism Development Act, which allows up to 25 percent of the cost of a project to be recovered. Under the law, the state each year returns to developers of approved projects the sales tax paid by visitors on admission tickets, food, gift sales and lodging costs. Developers have 10 years to reach the 25 percent threshold. Advocates for church-state separation question whether the tax incentives would raise First Amendment issues."

The First Amendment probably is an issue.  But laws that prohibit employment discrimination based on race, creed and national origin likely come into play when a work force is required to meet this test:  "All job applicants need to supply a written statement of their testimony, a statement of what they believe regarding creation and a statement that they have read and can support the AiG statement of faith."

And here's a sample of what the "statement of faith" contains:

Section 3: Theology
  1. The Godhead is triune: one God, three Persons—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
  2. All mankind are sinners, inherently from Adam and individually (by choice), and are therefore subject to God’s wrath and condemnation.
  3. Freedom from the penalty and power of sin is available to man only through the sacrificial death and shed blood of Jesus Christ and His complete and bodily resurrection from the dead.
  4. The Holy Spirit enables the sinner to repent and believe in Jesus Christ.
  5. The Holy Spirit lives and works in each believer to produce the fruits of righteousness.
  6. Salvation is a gift received by faith alone in Christ alone and expressed in the individual’s repentance, recognition of the death of Christ as full payment for sin, and acceptance of the risen Christ as Savior, Lord, and God.
  7. All things necessary for our salvation are expressly set down in Scripture.
  8. Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.
  9. Jesus Christ rose bodily from the dead, ascended to heaven, and is currently seated at the right hand of God the Father, and shall return in person to this earth as Judge of the living and the dead.
  10. Satan is the personal spiritual adversary of both God and mankind.
  11. Those who do not believe in Christ are subject to everlasting conscious punishment, but believers enjoy eternal life with God.
  12. The only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. Any forms of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, incest, fornication, adultery, pornography, etc., are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex.
  13. It is the duty of Christians to attend a local Bible believing church, as portrayed in the New Testament.


  1. Jesus was a Jew on his mother's side of the family. Not sure about pa.

  2. Bellwether followerDecember 01, 2010 2:31 PM

    Bill: The Whistleblower is out and Schifrin is using your "Ark Park" line.

    Also saw today's Enquirer carried a rehash of your story about World Harvest church and the corporate jet. You beat them to that one by 12 days. Good work.

    Keep on keepin' on.

  3. That statement of faith is pretty standard stuff. And yes, evangelicals belief that if you reject Christ as God and as your savior, you will not go the heaven. That is right in the Bible. If you don't like it take it up with God. Oh, wait, you may not believe in God or Christ. Their mission, which they do not hide, is evangelism. So how can they carry out their mission hiring someone who doesn't believe it. Would Planned Parenthood hire someone who is vehemently Pro-Life? I don't think so. I'm not a lawyer, but the state obviously has necessary relationships with many religious organizations. Whether this is proper I don't know and am willing to let the courts decide.

  4. Thank-you Bellwether follower. I am glad Enquirer followed up on the World Harvest Church jet item and did their own version. Better late than never. It is sending some traffic this way. And the "Ark Park" line was a no brainer. I notice The Whistleblower graciously gave The Daily Bellwether a link and H/T (hat tip in blogspeak).

  5. And I do want to temper my previous post that I personally view the Bible as a "safe harbor" - follow its path to salvation and your reward is heaven in the next life. I have worked with and known many Jews over the years and a number of them believed in God and sincerely practiced their beliefs. Since God is perfect in every way and is very merciful and just, I hope that there is some "loophole" or other way that they can be saved other than what the Bible seems to describe. But in the absence of that knowledge those of us who believe that the Bible is God's work should continue to try to share the good news with others. That is the real purpose of the Museum and the Theme Park.

  6. Hi Tom:

    Good try. But they don't say non-Christians won't go to heaven. They say non-Christians face "everlasting conscious punishment." I suppose that means Gandhi is roasting in hell right now.

  7. Well, you are right. Matthew is a very short book. And its intended audience was the Jews of the day. Jesus is quoted about 20 times presenting a very stark choice between heaven and hell. Again, I do hope there is some "loophole' for those who do not accept Christ but otherwise live laudatory lives, but the New Testament, which is accepted by millions of people as the word of God, is pretty clear on this. I hope (like hell) that Gandhi is not roasting, but he may be.

  8. Mother Teresa did more in a week to spread the message of Christ than the creationists will do in a million years. There is no room in heaven for haters. Noah's Ark is a nice Bible story. A theme park won't save any souls. Dumb idea.

  9. All my unemployed Jewish drinking buddies in Grant and Scott County are blowing their yarmulkes over not being to operate Noah's Ark and tending to all the animals and tourists. It's bad enough that Kentucky brands their arms with ID numbers. Now this. Nice Hanukkah present.

  10. I hear the Ark Encounter in Kentucky is going to have the Holy Roller Roller Coaster.
    Take you for a heavenly ride while scaring the hell out of you. They are going to sell bottled water. You'll have to change it into wine yourself.

  11. Hopefully, some major news media will pick up on the fact that the proposed park might have biased hiring practices. A organization that accepts tax payer money shouldn't have a religious requirement for employment.