By Dan Arel
The Ark Encounter is a planned theme park in Kentucky that will showcase the story of Noah’s Ark. The park is being built by Ken Ham, creationist and founder of The Creation Museum and Answers in Genesis, a ministry devoted to spreading the gospel of young-earth creationism.
In July of 2014 the theme park applied for a special 18 million dollar tourism tax incentive and was granted preliminary approval. But due to hiring practices that required potential employees to sign a statement of faith, secular groups sprung into action, sparking a heated debate between secular activists and religious fundamentalists on what constitutes a violation of church and state separation.
Wherever you stand on this issue, you should know these five things about Ham’s Ark Encounter.
1. The Ark Encounter is not a non-profit religious organization.
Answers in Genesis is a religious non-profit organization, as is the Creation Museum. Those organizations are free to hire employees who only share their same faith and worldview.
However, the Ark Encounter is for-profit, a status that allows it to take advantage of state and federal tax benefits. That means following all federal and state laws, including hiring practices. But the company’s first job listing held candidates to the same statement of faith as the non-profit organization.
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