Ark Encounter tax incentives in jeopardy over alleged restrictive religious hiring practices

Posted Thursday, October 9, 2014 9:23 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Tax incentives for the Noah's Ark theme park in Northern Kentucky are in jeopardy over the state's concern about possible religious discrimination in hiring, records obtained by The Courier-Journal show.

Read more from The Courier-Journal.

Thursday, October 16, 2014 11:04 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

Better and superior are synonyms.


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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014 11:10 AM

Tonight thank God its them instead of you.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014 3:48 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Just for the record -- this thread is an example of why I enjoy Coasterbuzz so much. There are fascinating threads about coasters and the amusement industry, and there are threads like this that go in interesting, unexpected directions.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Thursday, October 16, 2014 4:05 PM

I agree with that. Its also a civil discussion (like others here). That isn't true of a lot of other boards.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014 4:07 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Yes -- I also appreciate the civility of the conversations here.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Thursday, October 16, 2014 5:02 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Yeah well, you suck. ;-)


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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014 9:24 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

This is what I get when I don't log in for two days.

When it comes to biblical interpretation, the problem is the misunderstanding of scripture's role from both inside and outside the church. Literalist interpretations are a relatively new thing (about 100 years old, IIRC) in the history of the church. Scripture is always interpreted and it's always interpreted through the inspiration Holy Spirit. It's never as simple as "it says so right here" or else we'd be stoning each other a whole lot more than we do. Thus, the argument from the right of, "It says so right here" isn't particularly meaningful even to moderate or left Christians, because there is no consensus about what to do with all the things the bible says. It's also not particularly meaningful for the left to respond with, "Why do you eat pork?" because the reasonable answer is that the contemporary interpretation of some commandments adjust their application while others don't.

Distinguishing between moral commandments vs. health commandments or commandments Jesus superceded (none, he explictily said he came to fulfil the law, not abolish it - if you agree with that interpretation ;) ) are treading on very dangerous ground. In fact, anything which minimizes the role of the Holy Spirit in favor of human reason (which has proven to be not so reliable in the past and has shown no evidence of improvement) is dangerous.

How you avoid "the Holy Spirit told me to hate gays" is where the church comes in. As Christians, we know we are flawed (though using our doctrine to point out other people's flaws is somewhere between hypocritical and offensive) and we know that we need the community of other people, believer and non-believer, to get even remotely close to the Holy Spirit's revelation. The more voices we have in the room, especially diverse voices and the more actual relationships we build with people who are not like us, the better chance we have of actually hearing God's voice and not our own.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Thursday, October 16, 2014 11:24 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

ApolloAndy: well said. I kept saying to myself, "yes, exactly" while reading your post.

Tek: yes, but that costs an extra twenty bucks :-)

Last edited by slithernoggin, Thursday, October 16, 2014 11:42 PM

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Friday, October 17, 2014 8:50 AM
Bakeman31092's avatar

Andy,

What if the Holy Spirit doesn't exist? I know this is impossible, but what if you woke up tomorrow and found out that it was "proven" to be imaginary through some sort of evidence or grand discovery? Would you abandon your morality, or would you realize that all those thoughts and feeling about how to be a good person that you thought were coming from God were actually coming from your own mind? I'm assuming that when you say "the better chance we have of hearing God's voice and not our own," you're referring to that voice in your head rather than the audible sound of a divinity's voice stimulating your eardrums. The issue I have is that the whole idea rests on the presupposition that the Holy Spirit is a real thing.

Also, I don't get how these two statements work together:

In fact, anything which minimizes the role of the Holy Spirit in favor of human reason (which has proven to be not so reliable in the past and has shown no evidence of improvement) is dangerous.

...we know that we need the community of other people, believer and non-believer, to get even remotely close to the Holy Spirit's revelation.

So, if the Holy Spirit trumps human reason, how does seeking the input of non-believers help? By definition, atheists aren't bringing any input from the Holy Spirit to the table (or at least they don't believe they are). Do you believe that the Holy Spirit speaks to everyone and that atheists just don't acknowledge it or don't know how to recognize it, or do you believe that you have to have faith before the Holy Spirit will speak to you? If it's the latter, then wouldn't it suggest, if non-believers and Christians come to the same moral conclusions, that human reason is a perfectly viable source of morality?

Last edited by Bakeman31092, Friday, October 17, 2014 8:52 AM
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Friday, October 17, 2014 9:05 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Jeff said:

Again, who cares? Being an arrogant dick is pretty much the American way, and we've got 200 years of history to show that. But being a dick and imposing it on others by preventing them to live their lives as they see fit is the issue. That isn't even a subtle difference to me (belief vs. imposition).

Do you apply that to seat belt laws or drug use laws or suicide laws?


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Friday, October 17, 2014 9:31 AM

For many people the answer is no because they agree with seatbelt, drug and suicide laws. Often times when they say the government needs to butt out of our lives, people are really saying that they want government to stop doing things with which they disagree but are fine with government doing a whole host of things with which they agree. I have met very few "limited government" folks who actually want limited government as a result.

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Friday, October 17, 2014 9:42 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar

I don't think morality is predicated on divine inspiration. I know a lot of people who don't believe in any higher power and are still moral.

Bakeman31092 said:

So, if the Holy Spirit trumps human reason, how does seeking the input of non-believers help?

This may be super arrogant (or it may be totally reasonable) and I don't claim to have it all figured out, but I believe God speaks through atheists and all people alike, whether they acknowledge it or not. Specifically, because I believe all people were created to have the divine spark (some call it the image of god) , there is some amount of divinity in everything they do and say. For example, many have moral integrity which we can learn from.

However, because we are all imperfect humans, there is also some level of corruption in everything we say and do. The US government's system of checks and balances is based on this predication and was actually modeled after the principles and governance of the Reformed theological tradition. Calvin's premise was that power concentrated in a single or a few people is much more susceptible to corruption than power distributed among many. The more people there are in the room (and the more diverse they are), the greater the chance that corruption will be identified, people will be held accountable, and the best course of action will be arrived at. I think that principle holds up even in the absence of the Holy Spirit. However, it is of particular importance when discerning the voice of the Holy Spirit because of the gravity of the consequences of mistakes.

Thus, even though human reasoning is full of selfishness, irrationality, self-deception and malice, it is possible to some extent to mitigate these flaws with a large enough number of checks and balances, formal or informal.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Friday, October 17, 2014 9:44 AM

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Friday, October 17, 2014 10:15 AM
birdhombre's avatar

ApolloAndy said:

Calvin's premise was that power concentrated in a single or a few people is much more susceptible to corruption than power distributed among many.

I thought Calvin's premise was that the stuffed tiger only came to life in his imagination.

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Friday, October 17, 2014 10:56 AM
Jeff's avatar

Bakeman31092 said:

What if the Holy Spirit doesn't exist? I know this is impossible, but what if you woke up tomorrow and found out that it was "proven" to be imaginary through some sort of evidence or grand discovery? Would you abandon your morality, or would you realize that all those thoughts and feeling about how to be a good person that you thought were coming from God were actually coming from your own mind?

This is precisely my issue with faith (and institutional faith especially). There's an implication that you simply can't be a good human being if you can't tie it to faith. I know I'm completely naive for saying it, but I first believe that "most" humans are inherently "good." Honestly I arrive at that naive conclusion only because I can't imagine living any other way. If that aligns with religion, super, but for me it doesn't need to be connected.

ApolloAndy said:
Do you apply that to seat belt laws or drug use laws or suicide laws?

None of those issues impede my life, and I say that as someone who has lost people to car accidents, have an addict for a brother, and have had friends kill themselves. People make those decisions and they are the primary people affected by them. I assume you're asking a question about the blurry lines between moral issues and law.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Friday, October 17, 2014 2:22 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

birdhombre said:

I thought Calvin's premise was that the stuffed tiger only came to life in his imagination.

Sort of like God.

Mind. Blown.


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Friday, October 17, 2014 2:42 PM

What about people who recover from what should be life ending illness like cancer, etc. and suddenly are healed? What's the explanation for that?

What about answered prayer? I've seen it over and over.

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Friday, October 17, 2014 2:51 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Jeff said:
There's an implication that you simply can't be a good human being if you can't tie it to faith.

Among some, but that's certainly not a premise of most forms of Christianity. In fact, the idea that Christianity is the thread tying the moral compass of the country in the right direction is wrong, theologically and historically.

Jeff said:

I know I'm completely naive for saying it, but I first believe that "most" humans are inherently "good."

I tend to agree. After all, on the sixth 'day', God created humans and saw that they were very good. But I don't think "humans=horrible and non-Christian humans = super horrible" is a central tenet of Christianity (though, again, a vocal minority seems to think so). Lots of atheists do lots of great things for the world.

To me the real question is what happens to the world and to relationships when we put all these "mostly good" people together. Toss some power to a select few and evidence seems to suggest that the worst comes out. That applies to people across all bands of the religious spectrum.

Perhaps the heart of the problem lies in the fact that many use their faith as a lazy justification for the superiority of their position instead of using it as evidence of their inherent weaknesses and need for help. Then, instead of actually engaging in dialog with others we are "given permission" to condescend, judge, and even oppress.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Friday, October 17, 2014 3:32 PM

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Friday, October 17, 2014 3:09 PM
Bakeman31092's avatar

B'ster B said:

What about answered prayer? I've seen it over and over.

Any time someone prays for an event to happen, and then it happens, there are plausible explanations for why it happened other than Goddidit.


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Friday, October 17, 2014 3:36 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Bakeman31092 said:

B'ster B said:

What about answered prayer? I've seen it over and over.

Any time someone prays for an event to happen, and then it happens, there are plausible explanations for why it happened other than Goddidit.

Even as a full-on Christian, I would've given the exact same answer. Scientific explanations and divine providence are not mutually exclusive. In fact, as far as I'm concerned, they are one and the same.

I'm teaching a high school anatomy course and the intricacy of protein folding in a cell is ridiculously complex and works perfectly. There is a reasonable (though as yet incomplete) scientific explanation and I still find myself amazed, thinking, "This thing is REALLY well put together."


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Friday, October 17, 2014 3:37 PM

What about when there isn't other plausible explanations?

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