Creationist theme park Ark Encounter, which was created by famed creationist Ken Ham, just got a hefty tax break from residents of Kentucky in the amount of $18 Million! This Tuesday night report shares that the theme park was approved for the tax break almost unanimously by the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority. That means citizens of Kentucky will be footing the bill for the construction and maintenance involved with this creationist theme park. However, there is more controversy surrounding this situation aside from the obvious huge amount of money that could be spent on schools, roads, hospitals or police departments.
Even though this theme park was approved to receive an insane amount of tax dollars, don't expect to apply to work there if you're not fitting to their whole Christian image. Gays, atheists and others who are considered to be against the Christian creationist deity will not be hired to work at the theme park. On the surface this doesn't seem like a big deal. After all, why would a homosexual or an atheist want to seek employment at a Christian theme park that pushes Christian ideology to its patrons? It seems only logical that the only people who would want to work at this place are people who share the same beliefs and politics of the owners. However, in a state like Kentucky where the unemployment rate is currently 7.7%, it seems downright unfair that a new business -- especially a large and potentially lucrative one -- would discriminate against anybody in the community where it plans to operate. This is even more unfair considering the large LGBTQ crowd in the state. It's home to Lexington, where an openly gay mayor was elected and where his sexual orientation was reportedly "never an issue during the campaign."
Gays and atheists may be minority groups, but the refusal to hire them is discrimination, and it creates a slippery slope where other groups can be targeted for not falling into the strict Christian standards of Ken Ham. This includes pretty much any religion that isn't Christian and any group that doesn't share the young Earth creationism belief. This, believe it or not, even includes some Christian denominations. Are citizens of Kentucky really ready to allow this level of discrimination to take place in a time where any job is a good job?