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Ken Ham Doing What Obama Has Not Been Able To


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#1 Calminian

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 12:48 PM

…creating jobs!  The bulldozing is about to begin.  

 

The Earth About to Be Moved for the Ark Encounter

 

Huge Bulldozers to Start Excavating at Ark Encounter Site

 on August 7, 2014

 

    • Editor’s note: This article was adapted from a news release distributed to the national media today.

PETERSBURG, Kentucky, August 7, 2014 — Soon after the arrival of a crucial federal permit that took over one year to obtain, massive earth-moving equipment is descending on the location of the future Ark Encounter in northern Kentucky. The first wave of equipment made its way up I-75 from Lexington, Kentucky and is arriving at the Ark’s Williamstown site throughout the day, as excavation and building starts on a massive full-size Noah’s Ark.

ark-encounter-bulldozer-arrives.jpg

This morning the first of many earth-moving machines arrived at the Ark Encounter site in Williamstown. Equipment will be coming in three waves through Saturday.

Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, the organization behind the Ark Encounter, declared: “Obtaining the final federal permit and receiving preliminary approval by the state to receive a possible refund of sales tax collected at the Ark when it opens were the final two hurdles before excavation and construction could begin. It’s thrilling to see dozers, scrapers, tractors, and compactors arriving at the Ark property.”

 

“A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF WORK HAD BEEN GOING ON BEHIND THE SCENES.”
 

Ham added: “While waiting for the necessary approvals to arrive, a tremendous amount of work had been going on behind the scenes: securing several permits from state and local agencies; completing complex architectural and engineering work; designing the world-class exhibits; letting bids and signing contracts; clearing trees, and many other tasks that the average person would not know of.”

Just as important, considerable funding has been raised through bonds, donations, and memberships towards the $73 million first phase of the Ark Encounter. The park’s centerpiece will be a 510-foot-long Noah’s Ark off busy I-75 at exit 154. It is anticipated that with the design work largely completed for phase one, the Ark will open in the summer of 2016. A feasibility study indicates that at up to two million people will visit the impressive ship in the first year.

As noted above, the start of excavation was awaiting preliminary approval from the state for the Ark to receive a possible refund of sales tax collected at the completed park (e.g., from ticket sales, merchandise, and food). Performance-based, the refund of sales tax will occur if the Ark draws large crowds and thus brings millions oftourism dollars into the state. Ham, in countering Ark critics who have falsely claimed that Kentucky taxpayers are helping to fund the construction of the Ark, declared: “Not one dollar will come out of the state coffers to help build the Ark. Because the refund will come from the sales tax collected from those who voluntarily visited the Ark when it opens, no unwilling taxpayer is involved in the ship’s construction.”

ark-encounter.jpg

Artist’s rendering of the Ark (Photo: Provided by Answers in Genesis/Ark Encounter)

 
“A HUGE PROJECT LIKE THIS WILL CREATE THOUSANDS OF JOBS DIRECTLY AND INDIRECTLY AND BRING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS INTO THE STATE TREASURY.”

Gov. Steve Beshear (D) supports the project (including the sales tax refund available through the state’s Tourism Development Act) because the Ark Encounter will promote economic development in Kentucky. Ham observed: “A huge project like this will create thousands of jobs directly and indirectly and bring millions of dollars into the state treasury. Already our Creation Museum in Petersburg has brought hundreds of millions of dollars into the regional economy as it has drawn well over two million visitors. This year, guests have continued to pour in to the museum, and on some days attendance records have been set.” Over 3,200 guests toured last Saturday.

The Ark Encounter and the successful Creation Museum are outreaches of the Christian apologetics organization of Answers in Genesis. The museum recently unveiled a world-class $1.5 million exhibit of an allosaur dinosaur skeleton, and hosted the famous Bill Nye/Ken Ham evolution-creation debate in February (conservatively estimated to have been watched by upwards of 15 million people).

I'm genuinely excited about this project, perhaps more than other in the realm of creation ministries.  There's just something about an ark being constructed before an entire nations that just gives me goosebumps.  



#2 thistle

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 02:27 PM

A feasibility study indicates that at up to two million people will visit the impressive ship in the first year.

 

Mmmm, lots of money for someone.



#3 Calminian

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 03:12 PM

Mmmm, lots of money for someone.

 

Jealous?  

 

“A HUGE PROJECT LIKE THIS WILL CREATE THOUSANDS OF JOBS DIRECTLY AND INDIRECTLY AND BRING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS INTO THE STATE TREASURY.”

 

sounds like they're spreading the wealth around.  rolleyes.gif  



#4 piasan

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 03:20 PM

 

Jealous?  

 

“A HUGE PROJECT LIKE THIS WILL CREATE THOUSANDS OF JOBS DIRECTLY AND INDIRECTLY AND BRING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS INTO THE STATE TREASURY.”

 

sounds like they're spreading the wealth around.  rolleyes.gif  

I still question if they plan to hire only people who subscribe to the AIG "Statement of Faith" and if so, how they justify a tax break to a religious insititution that discriminates in the offering of those jobs.



#5 Mike Summers

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 03:38 PM

I still question if they plan to hire only people who subscribe to the AIG "Statement of Faith" and if so, how they justify a tax break to a religious insititution that discriminates in the offering of those jobs.


I think it are probably even out. Think about all the Christians that have subsidized the teaching of the religion of evolution in our classrooms.

Let's be for real. You really wouldn't expect a Jewish organization to hire members of the KKK now would you?
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#6 Calminian

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 05:27 PM

Yeah, I mean there are going to certainly be some jobs that require adherence and expertise in what the attraction stands for.  But there were also be construction jobs, and I hope for the sake of the project, they choose the best builders, regardless of religious background.  

 

Interestingly, Noah himself likely hired a whole lot of non-believers to help him build the ark.  


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#7 gilbo12345

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 11:44 PM

I still question if they plan to hire only people who subscribe to the AIG "Statement of Faith" and if so, how they justify a tax break to a religious insititution that discriminates in the offering of those jobs.

 

Or they won't... How do you know they would discriminate?



#8 piasan

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 01:54 AM

I think it are probably even out. Think about all the Christians that have subsidized the teaching of the religion of evolution in our classrooms.

Let's be for real. You really wouldn't expect a Jewish organization to hire members of the KKK now would you?

1)  We're talking about job opportunities.  It is illegal for schools to discriminate by religious belief in employment.... of course there is an exemption for religious schools.

2)  Are those Jewish organizations running a for profit business or are they operating religious missions?

 

Yeah, I mean there are going to certainly be some jobs that require adherence and expertise in what the attraction stands for.  But there were also be construction jobs, and I hope for the sake of the project, they choose the best builders, regardless of religious background.  

 

Interestingly, Noah himself likely hired a whole lot of non-believers to help him build the ark.  

I would absolutely agree that there are some jobs for which the religious condition of employment is appropriate... tour guides, for example.   As you point out there are other jobs ... construction is the example you gave .... for which there is no real reason to have a religious test.

 

Or they won't... How do you know they would discriminate? This is simply slinging mud.

Please argue make your accusations based on what I actually said, not your strawman version of it.  You, of all people, should know better.  Notice, I twice used the conditional term "IF"  That should have made it pretty clear I don't know if they will or if they plan to have a religious test for employment.

 

There is legitimate reason to be concerned.  Ham's Creation Museum requires a statement of faith as a condition of employment including jobs such as:

(Source: https://answersingen...org/about/jobs/ )

 

All of these jobs require a salvation testimony; creation belief statement; and a confirmation of agreement with AIG's Statement of Faith as "items needed for possible employment."  Since AIG and the Creation Museum are religious ministries and get no tax money (so far as I know), they are entitled to have such religious conditions of employment.

 

Notice, many of these jobs have nothing at all to do with the religious ministry and a majority don't deal with the public. 

 

The core question is whether Ark Encounter is a for-profit business or a religious ministry.  If it's a religious ministry, they can discriminate in employment but shouldn't get tax money.  If it's a for-profit business, they shouldn't be allowed to discriminate in employment.

 

AE may be something of a hybrid which makes the situation more complicated.... but the majority of jobs should be available to anyone, regardless of their religious belief.



#9 Jambobskiwobski

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 04:53 AM

"I would absolutely agree that there are some jobs for which the religious condition of employment is appropriate...tour guides, for example"

 

I would disagree with this, certainly in respect of tour guides.  You can conduct a guided tour whether or not you believe the content of what you are presenting.  Have rules governing what is said, by all means.  But, in the case of tour guides, you shouldn't be able to refuse to employ someone because of their beliefs (or lack thereof).



#10 nonaffiliated

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 06:10 AM

I'm not quite understanding the public funding aspect of this, can someone please help with this?

Is Ham fully funding the construction, and then will subsequently recieve tax breaks after it is built?



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Posted 08 August 2014 - 06:25 AM

 

"I would absolutely agree that there are some jobs for which the religious condition of employment is appropriate...tour guides, for example"

 

I would disagree with this, certainly in respect of tour guides.  You can conduct a guided tour whether or not you believe the content of what you are presenting.  Have rules governing what is said, by all means.  But, in the case of tour guides, you shouldn't be able to refuse to employ someone because of their beliefs (or lack thereof).

Good discussion, not quite sure where I stand here.

Think I have to lean more to the side of this being discrimination.

 

I can certainly see a tour guide being required to have a good working knowledge of the Bible for example, but to  be able to fire or hire someone exclusively on the basis of thier religious belief seems to go against the discrimination laws we have here in the U.S.

 

As far as my personal beliefs go, I am utterly appauled at the thought of making someone sign a "statement of faith" prior to being hired or to be associated with.

 

I couldn't imagine requiring such a thing.



#12 piasan

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 06:29 AM

I'm not quite understanding the public funding aspect of this, can someone please help with this?

Is Ham fully funding the construction, and then will subsequently recieve tax breaks after it is built?

The Ark Encounter is being granted a sales tax incentive by the state of Kentucky.  Basically, Kentucky will allow AE to keep a portion of the sales taxes collected at the attraction as an incentive to locate in Kentucky.  The state is not advancing any money to AE.  The state is not actually giving AE a check.  But the state is allowing AE to keep 25% of the sales taxes collected and due to the state to offset construction costs. 



#13 nonaffiliated

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 06:58 AM

The Ark Encounter is being granted a sales tax incentive by the state of Kentucky.  Basically, Kentucky will allow AE to keep a portion of the sales taxes collected at the attraction as an incentive to locate in Kentucky.  The state is not advancing any money to AE.  The state is not actually giving AE a check.  But the state is allowing AE to keep 25% of the sales taxes collected and due to the state to offset construction costs. 

So they will be taking gov't money.

They can spin it as they like.

 

I'm not saying that's any different then any other entity taking advantage of such resources, just commenting on the fact.



#14 gilbo12345

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 07:38 AM

Please argue make your accusations based on what I actually said, not your strawman version of it.  You, of all people, should know better.  Notice, I twice used the conditional term "IF"  That should have made it pretty clear I don't know if they will or if they plan to have a religious test for employment.
 
No worries.
 

 

The core question is whether Ark Encounter is a for-profit business or a religious ministry.  If it's a religious ministry, they can discriminate in employment but shouldn't get tax money.  If it's a for-profit business, they shouldn't be allowed to discriminate in employment.

 

AE may be something of a hybrid which makes the situation more complicated.... but the majority of jobs should be available to anyone, regardless of their religious belief.

 

If it is a religious ministry then it shouldn't be paying tax anyway... Religion has tax-exempt status.

 

Perhaps you guys can take the high ground after discrimination against Creationists / people who doubt evolution in science jobs.

 

 

So they will be taking gov't money.

They can spin it as they like.

 

I'm not saying that's any different then any other entity taking advantage of such resources, just commenting on the fact.

 

Um didn't you read what Piasan said? They aren't TAKING anything...

 

They are simply allowed to keep a portion of tax IF they reach X amount of sales... since those sales would equate to a volume of people coming to the locale for the attraction which would have a flow-on effect for the surrounding businesses.

 

Do you think taxing businesses into oblivion is any incentive for them to stay, and thus bring jobs and wealth to the area?



#15 piasan

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 09:27 AM

If it is a religious ministry then it shouldn't be paying tax anyway... Religion has tax-exempt status.

If it is a religious ministry, it shouldn't be allowed to keep government money.

 

Perhaps you guys can take the high ground after discrimination against Creationists / people who doubt evolution in science jobs.

Discrimination in employment against creationists for their religious beliefs is wrong and illegal.  Those who engage in such practices should be dealt with accordingly.  (Employment reinstated; damages for lost wages paid; appropriate discipline for offending managers/supervisors; etc.)

 

Um didn't you read what Piasan said? They aren't TAKING anything...

 

They are simply allowed to keep a portion of tax IF they reach X amount of sales... since those sales would equate to a volume of people coming to the locale for the attraction which would have a flow-on effect for the surrounding businesses.

I'm not sure you understand what our sales tax is.  It's much like a "value added" tax in many countries.  This a tax paid by the customer and collected by the business at the point of sale.  The business then forwards that tax to the state.  Some states allow a small handling fee (1% or so of the tax collected), some don't.  Even religious ministries would collect a sales tax on customer purchases.  Since it is the customer, not the ministry paying the tax, there is no cost to the ministry and it is not a tax on the ministry.

 

Once the tax is collected, the money belongs to the state, not the customer or the business.  In this case, AE would most assuredly be keeping 25% of the state's sales tax money.  The effect is exactly the same as if AE sent all the tax money to the state, then got a check back from the state for the 25% of taxes collected.

 

 

Do you think taxing businesses into oblivion is any incentive for them to stay, and thus bring jobs and wealth to the area?

Again, this is NOT a tax on business and it is not paid by the business.  Opening a business in another state would not provide a competitive advantage.... or disadvantage based on sales taxes.



#16 Mike Summers

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 11:24 AM

States do this thing all the time. They realize if I "business" locates in their state they will have cash flow from the ancillary income. People have to buy gas, they have to eat, they rent hotel rooms.

Even as I speak the state of New York is advertising that companies can locate to their state and pay no taxes for 10 years.

The claim is that there will be no public money used to build the complex. However, because the state and its surrounding areas will benefit more by having the attraction located in their state than they would if it were built elsewhere, they will refund 25% of the collected taxes (or some sort of variance of that).

I see no difference in this and going to a store that runs a sale where an item is priced less expensive than at another store. It's done all the time. "Is it fair that you could of got particular item cheaper at another store?" I think this is much ado about nothing. The state simply is realizing that the advantages of having the attraction in their state outweigh the advantages for this attraction being located in another state.

As local businesses reap the financial rewards, they probably won't care what "screwy religious ideas" cause them to have a larger cash flow. After all that's the nature of survival of the fittest. The state is just practicing what it learned from evolutionary class: "survival of the fittest." But when the tables are turned some of us can't stomach evolution applied to us. Survival of the fittest! Nahna` nahna Nahna!
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#17 piasan

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 12:02 PM

States do this thing all the time. They realize if I "business" locates in their state they will have cash flow from the ancillary income. People have to buy gas, they have to eat, they rent hotel rooms.

Businesses are not allowed to discriminate on the basis of an employee's (or prospective employee's) religious beliefs.... in ANY state.  Even Hobby Lobby, the privately held company owned by devout Christians who recently won a Supreme Court case against the religious implications of "Obamacare" recognizes they cannot discriminate in employment based on the religious belief of an employee or candidate for employment.

 

What if AE said that because of their religious beliefs they would not employ women in supervisory positions because of their religious beliefs?  Would that be OK?  Should they still get government money?



#18 Mike Summers

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 12:57 PM

It'

Businesses are not allowed to discriminate on the basis of an employee's (or prospective employee's) religious beliefs.... in ANY state.  Even Hobby Lobby, the privately held company owned by devout Christians who recently won a Supreme Court case against the religious implications of "Obamacare" recognizes they cannot discriminate in employment based on the religious belief of an employee or candidate for employment.
 
What if AE said that because of their religious beliefs they would not employ women in supervisory positions because of their religious beliefs?  Would that be OK?  Should they still get government money?

agaainst the law to kill [e[le also.

I don't think you get the drift of what I'm sayinng. Whatever they can get away with his what survival of the fittest suggests.

When I worked for a public organization (the local government). In a supervisory position I was not allowed to give out negative information about former employees. But when the employers found a way around it. They asked me my personal opinion if I would hire this person again. I was allowed to answer yes or no.

I was also employer and a teacher. I taught HVAC–R classes. One student told me of how he ripped his former employer off. There the end of the class he asked me for a job. I discriminated. I took his name and probably put it in circular file.

I'm talking about the real world. Laws don't make people obey them. The mantra is survival of the fittest. Corporations get away with a lot of less than ideal behavior. Answers in Genesis is just flexing its muscles. Do you disagree with survival of the fittest? That's the rule the trumps all the rest. Correct?

#19 Calminian

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 04:54 PM

So they will be taking gov't money.

They can spin it as they like.

 

I'm not saying that's any different then any other entity taking advantage of such resources, just commenting on the fact.

 

No, the govt just sometimes allows us to keep more of our own money.  When you get a tax return, do you consider that govt. money?  That would be silly.  They're merely giving back some of our own money.  

 

Kentucky is doing what all states do.  They're offering business incentives by offering lower tax rates.  It's how you get business.  Get over it.  

 

BTW, this is exactly why so much of manufacturing is moving overseas.  America's tax rates are too high.  Want manufacturing to return?  Lower the tax rates for the "rich."  


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#20 gilbo12345

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 06:49 PM

If it is a religious ministry, it shouldn't be allowed to keep government money.

 

It wouldn't be Gov money... Religions are TAX-EXEMPT meaning if it is a ministry it wouldn't be taxed at all. (Except for the sale tax you mention later, I'd agree with that).

 

So you are telling me that there are no other taxes businesses pay?

 

 

Discrimination in employment against creationists for their religious beliefs is wrong and illegal.  Those who engage in such practices should be dealt with accordingly.  (Employment reinstated; damages for lost wages paid; appropriate discipline for offending managers/supervisors; etc.)
 
Great. Now lets see it happen :)
 

 

I'm not sure you understand what our sales tax is.  It's much like a "value added" tax in many countries.  This a tax paid by the customer and collected by the business at the point of sale.  The business then forwards that tax to the state.  Some states allow a small handling fee (1% or so of the tax collected), some don't.  Even religious ministries would collect a sales tax on customer purchases.  Since it is the customer, not the ministry paying the tax, there is no cost to the ministry and it is not a tax on the ministry.

 

Once the tax is collected, the money belongs to the state, not the customer or the business.  In this case, AE would most assuredly be keeping 25% of the state's sales tax money.  The effect is exactly the same as if AE sent all the tax money to the state, then got a check back from the state for the 25% of taxes collected.

 

I agree. Though they aren't TAKING anything aren't they.
 
Additionally isn't there a quota they need to meet before they can get the incentive?
 

 

Again, this is NOT a tax on business and it is not paid by the business.  Opening a business in another state would not provide a competitive advantage.... or disadvantage based on sales taxes.

 

I wasn't meaning to claim it was a tax... Just asking whether not allowing tax cuts (thus taxing into oblivion) would be healthy for encouraging business development.





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