Yesterday, Kentucky’s tourism board announced that the state would not be granting an estimated $18 million tax break to the Creationist group Answers In Genesis (AIG) for its construction of a Noah’s Ark theme park, after learning that AIG intended to discriminate based on religion in its hiring.
Now, AIG’s CEO Ken Ham is crying religious persecution, claiming that Kentucky is violating his “fundamental rights” by failing to provide millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies to his project. Ham told WorldNetDaily that he intends to sue the state for discriminating against him, saying, “We are fully prepared to defend our fundamental rights in court if necessary, as this issue is of huge importance, not only to us, but to every religious organization.”
Answers in Genesis, which is building the life-size version of Noah’s Ark – 510 feet long, 85 feet wide and three stories high – announced Thursday it was informed by the state that it could participate in the tourism program on two conditions.
The organization is required to “waive its right to include a religious preference in hiring” and “affirm that it will tolerate no ‘proselytizing’ at the theme park.”
Not possible, AiG responded, on billboard messages and elsewhere.
AiG said Kentucky officials bowed to pressure from secularist groups when it denied the Ark Encounter theme park an opportunity to participate in a popular tax rebate incentive program offered by the state’s tourism office.”
The restrictions demanded by the state are “unlawful,” AiG asserted.
“It is well-established under both federal law (Title VII) and state law (KRS 344.090) that religious organization and entities like AIG are specifically permitted to utilize a religious preference in their hiring,” the organization said.
“Moreover, the government cannot show hostility toward religion or discriminate against persons or organizations who express religious viewpoints.”
Answers in Genesis CEO Ken Ham explained his organization’s position.
“We have been working on this project with Kentucky for more than two years, so this just-received denial announcement is as disappointing as it is costly for our ministry without the expected rebate,” he said. “Our construction has already begun at the Williamstown, Kentucky, site, and it must proceed. We are fully prepared to defend our fundamental rights in court if necessary, as this issue is of huge importance, not only to us, but to every religious organization.”
He said two law firms, Freedom Guard and the Center for Religious Express, already have agreed to represent AiG in the matter.
On his radio program yesterday, Bryan Fischer once again defended the CIA's use of torture against terrorism suspects by arguing that the techniques utilized by the CIA do not actually constitute torture ... but even if they were it would still be acceptable because terrorism suspects have no legal right not to be tortured.
As Fischer explained, foreign terrorism suspects have no constitutional rights since they are not U.S. citizens, nor do they have any rights under the Geneva Conventions, which means that the U.S. faces no legal prohibition against torturing them.
"They have absolutely no legal rights that they can claim anywhere," Fischer said. "So whatever treatment we give them, if there is any mercy involved in it, they have no right to that; that is simply because we are a merciful people who are driven by Christian principles":
Shortly after last month’s elections, conservative pundit David Horowitz gathered a variety of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim activists, including a handful of members of Congress and far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders, at his annual retreat at a beach resort in Florida.
It appears that Wilders formed a strong connection with Rep. Louie Gohmert who, after Wilders’ speech to the event, stood to tell the Dutch visitor about the Muslim prayer service that had been recently held in the National Cathedral in Washington. Gohmert asserted that the service was purposefully timed by “these terrorists” to mark the hundredth anniversary of a fatwa issued by the Ottoman caliph in the early days of World War I.
“Yesterday, for the first time, Friday Muslim prayers were conducted in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.,” Gohmert said. “And what the Episcopal Church didn’t realize and what you know better than most anyone, anniversaries are a big deal to these terrorists and it’s the hundredth — I’d like to say it’s the thousandth, but it was the hundredth anniversary —November 14, 1914, when the last caliph of the Ottoman Empire, the last one, issued a fatwa that started the murder spree that began with young girls being raped and then crucified. So anyway, we see what’s happening here, but hardly a peep about yesterday.”
Wilders responded by asking the audience to stand and applaud Gohmert and Rep. Michele Bachmann for having “the guts to talk about the issue.”
The exchange came after a speech in which Wilders gave his standard calls for Western countries to “stop all immigration from Islamic countries,” ban the building of mosques and “close down all Islamic schools.”
“Islam is evil,” he told the enthusiastic crowd. “We must shout this out so loud that even President Obama and all the other cowards in politics all over the West will hear it.”
After a federal court struck down North Carolina's ban on gay marriage in October, several magistrates in the state voluntarily left office rather than perform gay marriages and Mat Staver and Matt Barber are not happy about it, using their "Faith and Freedom" radio program today to call upon anti-gay government officials to "stand their ground" by refusing to follow the law ... just like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks.
"What would have happened," Barber asked, "if Martin Luther King, Jr. had just stood down and said, 'No, I can't participate in all of this, I'm just going to remain silent, I'm going to resign and go on my way'"?
Instead, he said, magistrates should stay in their positions and tell the government "you're going to have to come after me, you're going to have to fire me, you're going to have to jail me."
"This is about civil rights," Barber said and Staver readily agreed, saying that America is undergoing "a civil rights revolution."
"But it's not the homosexual agenda," Staver said, "because you can't elevate sexually immoral behavior to the level of race or religious freedom as a civil right. It has been historically condemned as immoral, it has been historically, throughout western civilization, been considered a crime against nature. The fact of the matter is you can't take something that has been so historically thought of and elevate it to this preferred level and then force everyone to applaud it without resistance."
More and more Americans, Staver said, are realizing that this "intolerant agenda" must be stopped: "This is not America. This is not freedom. This is totalitarianism."
"Homosexuality is a moral wrong," Barber added, "so this is the next civil rights movement here and it's an anti-Christian attack, systemic, government-organized and facilitated attacks against freedom of religious expression and Christians":
- Maureen McCarty @ HRC: Does TLC Know What Its Celebrities are Up to?
- Catherine Thompson @ TPM: Cheney Throws Bush Under The Bus On Torture Program.
- Scott Kaufman @ Raw Story: ‘Ex-gay’ group puts up Virginia billboard claiming twin studies ‘prove’ that ‘nobody is born gay.’
- Anthony Costello @ Towleroad: Five North Carolina Church Members Indicted In Kidnapping, Assault Of Gay Church Goer.
- Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: Rick Perry: ‘Running for the presidency’s not an IQ test.’
- A timely bit of radio commentary from Phyllis Schlafly: "Of all the examples of incompetence and failure to protect Americans that the Obama Administration has displayed, its failure to keep Ebola out of our country may be the worst."
- The gays just keep ruining Christmas.
- Now that he's leaving Congress, Rep. Paul Broun is going to need a job so he is going to start his own tea party group.
- You know who should have been Time's "Person of the Year"? David Barton.
- Finally, Janet Porter is so furious that Ohio Republicans failed to pass her "Heartbeat Bill" that she threw her "Proud to be a Republican" coffee mug in the trash! That'll show 'em.
Last week, anti-immigrant activist William Gheen unveiled his plan to get Louie Gohmert or Steve King installed as president by removing President Obama and Vice President Biden from office and then getting Gohmert or King named speaker of the House.
Now Gheen is trying to get his fellow anti-immigrant activists on board his plan, spearheading an open letter “to warn as many Americans as possible” that the GOP leaders are “clandestinely working with Obama to perpetrate an unlawful and unconstitutional amnesty plot” and calling for their removal from office “post haste!”
Joining Gheen in signing the letter are anti-immigrant and Tea Party activists including Gheen’s frequent collaborator James Neighbors of Overpasses for America, Maria Espinoza of the Remembrance Project, Belinda Bee of 2 Million Bikers to DC, Darla Dawald of One Nation Rising.
We, the undersigned leaders, hereby agree to warn as many Americans as possible that GOP leaders in Congress such as John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are clandestinely working with Obama to perpetrate an unlawful and unconstitutional amnesty plot despite their misleading public statements to the contrary.
Furthermore, we call on every GOP lawmaker to actively and aggressively seek the removal of Barack Obama, Mitch McConnell, and John Boehner from their leadership positions as soon as humanly possible because their deceptions on the issue of amnesty for illegal immigrants equate to the overthrow and nullification of our elections, laws, Congress, Republic, and our Constitution, which each of these corrupt politicians swore an oath to uphold!
We also call on all American lawmakers in Washington and our states, party officials, members of the media, voters, and activists to immediately seek the removal of Obama and his Vice President as well their GOP facilitators and co-conspirators John Boehner and Mitch McConnell from their leadership positions - immediately!
As Americans, it is our duty to take any and all steps necessary to protect the well being of our citizens, laws, and Constitution, which are under threat and duress by the Obama-McConnell-Boehner Amnesty Plot and the millions of illegal aliens they are supporting at the behest of the US Chamber of Commerce, Council on Foreign Relations, big banks, and mega wealth billionaires.
In honor of the thousands of Americans losing their lives each year to this politician supported illegal immigrant invasion of our American homeland, and the millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans struggling to make ends meet, we stand in unity against all of those in power who are betraying Americans by conspiring to deprive American voters of any true voice, choice, or representation on these matters of national and individual survival.
We call on other leaders to join in the signing of this open letter to lawmakers, and all Americans to join our efforts to depose Obama, McConnell, and Boehner from power in the unifying and paramount interest of returning Constitutional governance to America post haste!
President of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC)
Founder and President, Overpasses For America
President, Restore American Liberty
President - Riders USA
Minnesotans Seeking Immigration Reform (MSIR)
2 Million Bikers To DC
The Remembrance Project
Tim Selaty Sr.
Tea Party Community
Founder One Nation Rising
Stop the Magnet
Immigration Reform Coalition of Texas (IRCOT
Americans Have Had Enough Coalition
Cabarrus Conservative Alliance - PAC
Lee A Blanton
Republican Party Committeeman of Hamilton County
Precinct 24G, Cincinnati, Ohio
Marianne Ferrari Founder
Speak Up Save America
Speaking on a panel about “Obama’s assault on the military” at David Horowitz’s Restoration Weekend last month, Family Research Council executive vice president Jerry Boykin lamented that “people are not paying enough attention” to “the destruction of our military” under President Obama, adding, “thank God for ISIS” for bringing attention to it.
“I’m concerned about the fact the fact that our military will not be capable of meeting the threats of the future and America is not focused on it,” he said,“and thank God for ISIS, because if it wasn’t for ISIS, there would have been no focus, no attention.”
He went on to deride the decision to send U.S. troops to help build Ebola treatment centers in West Africa, saying, “I don’t know what glue our president has been sniffing, but if you really want to protect America, close that southern border and stop the terrorists from coming across.”
Later in the discussion, Boykin said that the “anti-Semitic” Obama is blinded to the fact that “we are going to be in the Middle East forever.”
“The idea that this president has not been anti-Semitic is absolute nonsense,” he said, lamenting that “when I discuss this with my Jewish friends, they act like I’m an idiot.”
On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer was defending the "right" of the Creationist group Answers in Genesis to discriminate based on religion when hiring for its taxpayer-subsidized Noah's Ark theme park in Kentucky when he got sidetracked and began demanding that if public schools are going to teach about homosexuality, they should be required to start with Sodom and Gomorrah.
For some reason, Fischer brought up California's 2011 requirement that school districts include the contributions of gays and lesbians in their history curricula and then demanded that any such lesson plan begin with Sodom and Gomorrah.
"I will support you teaching homosexuality in California's public schools on the condition that you start with Sodom and Gomorrah," he said. "If you want to teach gay history in your public schools, then you've got to teach gay history. Gay history starts with Sodom and Gomorrah, so if you start there, you can teach all the gay history that you want":
Longtime conservative activist and former Reagan administration official Alan Keyes appeared on Tuesday’s edition of “Trunews” to warn that President Obama is trying to become the next Adolf Hitler.
Keyes told host Rick Wiles that while the government should follow God’s laws, Obama wants to become God and appoint himself Führer: “We are not, as citizens, always supposed to be trying to lift up some Fuhrer the way the Germans thought. Führer was their word for leader. They wanted to lift up some Führer who would dictate to their country the way Obama is trying to do now and tell us what to do.”
Decrying Obama’s “dictatorial actions,” Keyes accused the president of “importing” undocumented immigrants “in order to facilitate what I think is an overthrow of our Constitution.”
“We’re teetering, we’re more than teetering on the brink, I actually think we’re falling through the abyss, headed toward a rock bottom when our institutions will crumble the way the Twin Towers suddenly fell in that terrible day in 2001,” he said.
Wiles, meanwhile, had his own list of the reasons for America’s looming destruction, all of which predate Obama: “Hugh Hefner’s playboy pornography,” “rebellious rock music,” drug abuse, abortion, feminism, political correctness, homosexuality and socialism.
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