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January 27th, 2011
09:44 AM ET

Tax incentives for biblical theme park?

Is Kentucky giving tax breaks to a for profit religious group a violation of the establishment clause in the constitution? Supporters say the life sized ark theme park is for profit and will bring jobs and tourists to the area. Critics say the park has religious conversion in mind and the state should not be giving the group tax incentives.

Anderson Cooper takes a look at the controversy.

Ken Ham, the President of Answers in Genesis, Reverend Barry Lynn, Executive Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Jeff Toobin, CNN legal analyst all weigh in on the controversy.

You can see more from AC360 here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church and state • TV

soundoff (218 Responses)
  1. santamariares

    If a project is denied government exemption while fulfilling a purpose that secular project receive exemptions, solely on the basis of a viewpoint or idea, then the government is violating the free exercise of religion and the free speech clauses of the Contistution

    January 27, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • Nadine

      santamariares..once again, you amaze me with your twisted thought processes....
      "
      If a project is denied government exemption while fulfilling a purpose that secular project receive exemptions, solely on the basis of a viewpoint or idea, then the government is violating the free exercise of religion and the free speech clauses of the Contistution"

      But it ISN'T just a viewpoint or an idea. It is RELIGION. and the FOUNDERS said that we cannot confuse government and religion. The Supreme Court says we cannot confuse government and religion, and the CONSTI-TUTION says we cannot confuse government and religion. YOU are confused.....YOU are wrong. the sooner you figure that one out and STOP trying to sound like a professor of English so that these people can actually understand what YOU are really saying, the better off all of us will be.

      Get REAL, sweetheart.

      January 27, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • santamariares

      Nadine

      I am not on here to debate science or attack anyone. I think one of the solutions to these controversies is debates but keeping civility. Secondly I offer my opinions not as a scholar of science, since people like you are more informed in that area but I as a student of government. I think Ken Ham has the law on his side on this one whether he should or shouldn't. The issue at stake here is whether the government should discriminate against a Christian, Muslim, Jew, neo conservative or classical liberal based on ideas. Even religion is the expression of ideas. The founding fathers intended a society of freedom and tolerance.

      January 27, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • santamariares

      I am arguing that discrimination would occur if the state of kentucky denied a tax rebate (not a payment there is a difference) to the proposed park while offering the same incentive to a disneyland.

      January 27, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • Luke

      If I remember correctly, Disney was privately funded anyway.

      January 27, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
  2. Nadine

    Here's more for CW on evolution:

    Well, CW, it does show how you know NOTHING of evolution. We did NOT evolve from 'monkeys', but from apes. WE are apes, if you didn't know. Do you READ anything but the bible? I totally doubt it. I also doubt that you have ANY college or university under your belt. I can just hear any one of my anthropology professors laughing at you. One of them used to say at the first class: "If any of you are religious and sensitive about it, leave NOW. We have no time for myth perceived as fact."

    By the way, I am an Archaeologist and an Historian. We have NO evidence, physical evidence, that any of Genesis OR the New Testament is true. We have buildings but that is all. We have NO physical evidence of any person in the NT, and NO written proof, written AT THE TIME OF HIS LIFE, of Jesus. ALL the gospels were written DECADES after Jesus supposedly died. None of them knew him, at all, and all of it was written with nothing but hearsay. NO evidence, at all. So, believe as you wish. But you WILL NOT get this place sponsored by the government with government funds, meaning the tax money of the people of Kentucky. EVEN if the people of Kentucky, 100%, wanted this. The majority does not matter! Laws in this country are NOT made by majority rule, they are made to protect the minority.

    I suggest that you and all who disagree with me READ their own Consti-tution and Bill of Rights. Educate yourselves...it's the best thing you can do for yourself and your children.

    January 27, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • santamariares

      The laws of this country were written to insure that everyone had freedom to pursue his or her dreams in every aspect as long as they did not interfere with the rights of others to do the same. The laws of this country are not designed to promote a uniform society characterized by a mil-itant athe-ism.

      January 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Nadine

      Your post is awesome! I love you. I love you as much as I do beer and my big screen!

      All that you told them about the bible, I have told them. They would not believe me, being a superst_itious and dim-witted generation.

      I told them, one will come after me, who is greater than me! That person is you.

      Cheers to you!

      January 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • Nadine

      santamariares...WOW...are YOU off:

      "The laws of this country were written to insure that everyone had freedom to pursue his or her dreams in every aspect as long as they did not interfere with the rights of others to do the same."

      OMG...but by TAKING the taxpayers money to pay for this, which is what the money from the state would be, HOW are you not interfering with the rights of NON-BELIEVERS? Or others who believe differently? You have NO right to use THEIR taxes to pay for YOUR religion. I can't believe, as intelligent as you sound, that this is beyond your understanding. Incredible...

      "The laws of this country are not designed to promote a uniform society characterized by a mil-itant athe-ism."

      OH, but it's o.k. for EVERYONE to be Christian? and WHERE is not using State money to pay for this creating 'militant atheism'...wait, I need to stop laughing....... O.K. I'm composed now. MILITANT, how? It's the GOVERNMENT that won't allow this. the atheists, of which I am one (surprise, surprise) have NOTHING to do with it. Are ALL Christians as afraid of non-believers as you are? TOO funny......you crack me up!

      January 27, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Nadine

      DAVID JOHNSON; THANK you...you are very kind. I enjoy putting all of my degrees to some use, as they aren't helping me much with employment now. I greatly enjoy showing some people that they are ignorant when they think they know everything.

      Arguing the bible with the UBER religious usually doesn't work very well, on them, anyway. But when they THINK they know History and the Consti-tution? I've definitely got them beat. Hands down......thank you for your adoring words....you made an old lady feel special......

      January 27, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • CW

      @ Nadine,

      Your A-pe Th-'eory...you can believe we all came from a-'pe-'s but I don't su-'bscrib-'e to that man-'made my-'th as you would say.

      Now to other points...Yes I do hold a col-'lege de-'gr-'ee. Secondly you so-'und well sch-'o-'oled but you do not know one thing about the Bible. The gos-'pels for inst-'ance Math-'ew Mar-'k and Lu-'ke were all written by dis-'ci-'ples that were not apart of the ori-'ginal twel-'ve. They were though apart of the discip-'les at one time but not in the ori-'ginal twel-'ve. If you had done your hom-'ewo-'rk you would know that Jo-'hn WAS apart of the ori-'ginal twel-'ve and was written decades later. Just wanted to point this out to you since your such a his-'torian and all. On your other point you said that your pr-'ofes-'sor put it best when he said that the Bible was a my-'th...I say that there is no proof in all of the attempts made to explain how we got here that can't be s-'h-'ot down.

      January 28, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • Luke

      Awwww, how cute. CW thinks the fact that we are apes and share a common ancestor with Chimps, Gorillas and orangutans is a myth.

      January 28, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Magic

      CW,

      Whichever college granted you a degree should be ashamed of themselves (or disaccredited) - unless the degree was in welding or something. You do not speak like a highly educated person.

      January 28, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  3. Nadine

    Here is more for CW:

    First of all, this can't happen. It's against the law. it's against the CONSTI-TUTION, and it's against decisions made by the Supreme Court. first....how about this one?

    Lemon v. Kurtzman, 91 S. Ct. 2105 (1971)
    Established the three part test for determining if an action of government violates First Amendment's separation of church and state:

    1) the government action must have a secular purpose;
    2) its primary purpose must not be to inhibit or to advance religion;
    3) there must be no excessive entanglement between government and religion.

    It seems to me that the state of Kentucky, getting involved in this and helping to PAY for it violates all THREE of these points.

    It doesn't matter how much money the state will get. They CAN'T do this. It is against the law. If they want it, it must be totally sponsored by PRIVATE monies, NOT by the government. And believing it is O.K. just shows how so many people in our country, including, evidently, GOVERNORS, are ignorant on the law and their own Consti-tution. Sad and pitiful.

    That's just the way it will be. THIS is the reason:

    January 27, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • santamariares

      1.

      January 27, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • santamariares

      The exemption does have a secular purpose ( the promotion of tourism and creation of jobs within the state)
      The primary purpose of the law is not to inhibit or promote religion. (denial of the grant would be possibly inhibition of religion, if the issue is religion as the parks critics claim)
      The government is not becoming involved with running the affairs of running the park and the park is not running the government thus avoiding excessive entanglement

      January 27, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  4. Nadine

    THANK YOU Reality, that was very helpful. I used to blog at The History Channel and they had some weird ones, too. You couldn't say SHAVE or SHAVED....but, as you pointed out, you could say other things that probably should have been banned. TOO funny.....

    January 27, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  5. Nadine

    CW....." ... man's errored research and so called fact.."

    WHAT are you saying? That ALL science is wrong and a book, written by men who NEVER MET JESUS and went by HEARSAY to write it, are right? WHAT? That's the most ignorant thing I've ever seen anyone say. But the point is THIS: It is AGAINST THE LAW FOR THEM TO USE GOVERNMENT MONEY TO BUILD THIS PLACE. Period. Nothing you can do. You might as well give it up, now. Because even if the government does go against the Supreme Court and the Consti-tution to do this, someone will sue. Probably the Freedom from Religion Foundation or Americans United for Separation of Church and State. ONE of them will win and YOU will lose. That's just the way it will be. You should just get used to it. THIS is the reason:

    THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT ALLOWED TO PROMOTE RELIGION – EVEN IF A MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN A GIVEN COMMUNITY MIGHT SUPPORT THAT RELIGION – because, when it comes to your Consti-tutional rights, our country does not operate by majority rule. Whilch means it doesn't matte HOW many Christians want this, it can't happen. Too bad...get used to it.

    January 27, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • Benjamin Fusilli

      Nadine-
      I appreciate what you say, but I think you are missing a couple of key points.

      Beshear is a Democrat in a state that just voted strongly Republican. It shores him up politically whether Ham's theme park gets built or not with Kentucky's overwhelmingly religious voting population.

      Ham and his ministry likewise win whether the park is built or not. First, look at all the publicity and national exposure he's gotten. AIG has taken in over a million dollars in contributions, and if the park doesn't materialize, they are not going to reund those donations.

      Personally, I don't think that the park will be built. I don't think they will get investors to pony up $150 million for it, but it would be much more difficult if AIG had to include $50 to $100 million more for infrastructure and taxes that they are currently looking to have surrept-itiously and covertly paid for the by citizenry.

      January 27, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Nadine

      BENJAMIN:

      " Beshear is a Democrat in a state that just voted strongly Republican. It shores him up politically whether Ham's theme park gets built or not with Kentucky's overwhelmingly religious voting population. "

      It doesn't matter. It won't happen. I don't care what he thinks will benefit him, politically. It's against the Consti-tution. They will NEVER get government money for this. It could, if this fight goes all the way to Kentucky's Supreme Court and they're stupid enough to allow it, go all the way to SCOTUS. I can't imagine they wouldn't feel like they HAVE to accept this case. It will embarrass Kentucky (which they would deserve if it went that far), it would be made ABUNDANTLY clear that it cannot be done. It is a BASIC part of our founding. The SCOTUS decisions on things like this, alone, over 60 years worth, would have to be overturned. CAN'T happen without RE-writing the 1st amendment. Our most precious amendment.

      " Ham and his ministry likewise win whether the park is built or not. First, look at all the publicity and national exposure he's gotten. AIG has taken in over a million dollars in contributions, and if the park doesn't materialize, they are not going to reund those donations. "

      Again, the Supreme Court won't care. It's so obviously against the law, how they ever thought they could get away with this is beyond me. TOO bad for Kentucky...NO government money for this 'park'.

      " Personally, I don't think that the park will be built. I don't think they will get investors to pony up $150 million for it, but it would be much more difficult if AIG had to include $50 to $100 million more for infrastructure and taxes that they are currently looking to have surrept-itiously and covertly paid for the by citizenry. "

      Well, I don't know about 'covertly', they seem to be making the NEWS pretty easily. I can tell you that many religious organizations will not allow it, either, ethically. Most are totally in FAVOR of Separation of church and state and will be heard.

      And you are right: it will NOT, if it is built (which I think is a gigantic waste of money and a joke) get ANY of its financing from the government. If it should, before higher courts decide the issue, they'll just have to refund it right back.

      I'll be laughing into my Coca Cola, for sure.

      January 27, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • CW

      @ Nadine,

      Read my post above to you.....John WAS one of the original Twelve apostles and his Gospel includes much more on Jesus's life after he rose on the third day. For your other comment yes the other gospels Matthew, Mark and Luke are called sinoptic gospels b/c they were written the same way...they all contain the same exact story. Now I since in your mind it is all hearsay how did they keep their story straight? Eventhough they were scattered all over as God wanted to spread the gospel they still managed to have the same story....same timeline....and the same miracles.

      January 28, 2011 at 8:57 am |
  6. Nadine

    Well, Martin. That makes no sense. I am trying to post decisions by the Supreme Court that show that this is against the law, but it keeps giving me that message. WHY would CNN have a problem with what the SCOTUS has to say?

    January 27, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Reality

      The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded "waiting for moderation" category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, "t-it" is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there are words like "an-al" thereby flagging words like an-alysis and "c-um" flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also "r-a-pe", “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, "s-ex", and "hom-ose-xual". You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge "of-fensive".

      • More than one web address will also activate “waiting for moderation”. Make sure the web address does not have any forbidden word or fragment.

      Sum Dude routinely updates the list of forbidden words/fragments.

      Two of the most filtered words are those containing the fragments "t-it" and "c-um". To quickly check your comments for these fragments, click on "Edit" on the Tool Bar and then "Find" on the menu. Add a fragment (without hyphens) one at a time in the "Find" slot and the offending fragment will be highlighted in your comments before you hit the Post button. Hyphenate the fragment(s) and then hit Post. And remember more than one full web address will also gain a "Waiting for Moderation".

      Obviously some are having difficulty with some words/fragments not noted above so here is list of other words that might gain a "Waiting for Moderation".

      Raison's Filter Fiber© (joking about the copyright)
      1. Here's my latest list – this seems like a good spot to set this down, as nobody's posting much on this thread.....
      --–
      bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to post that wonderful argument:
      Many, if not most are buried within other words, but I am not shooting for the perfect list, so use your imagination and add any words I have missed as a comment (no one has done this yet)
      – I found some but forgot to write them down. (shrugs).
      s-ex
      c-um.........as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, etc.
      sp-ic........as in disp-icable (look out Sylvester the cat!)
      ho-mo...whether ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, etc.
      t-it.........const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, etc.
      an-al......ban-al
      sh-it
      fu-ck...
      who-re
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, (an unexpected one)
      pr-ick
      sl-ut
      c-lit
      va-g....as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant
      hor-ny
      ar-se....yet "ass" is not filtered!
      nip-ple
      po-rn
      c-ock
      nig-ger
      cu-nt
      b-itch
      ra-pe
      jacka-ss...but ass is fine lol
      p-is.....as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, etc.
      o ficti-tious, repeti-tion, competi-tion.
      Sna-tch
      soft-ware
      Ja-panese
      There are more, so do not assume that this is complete.
      -–
      okay words that you might not expect to be filtered....!!!
      beaver
      penis
      ass
      crap
      damn
      anal
      anus
      sphincter
      testicles
      testes
      pubic
      boob
      --

      Here's a word to add to the banned list: co-co-on
      whether it's c-oc, or co-on, this is ridiculous

      January 27, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Luke

      seriously....way too much time on your hands.

      January 27, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  7. Nadine

    Can any of you tell me why I keep getting this message: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    I have used no bad words or wording and I can't figure out why one of my comments was posted but not the others.....????

    January 27, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Luke

      The automated moderation system is too strict. It picks up the little word contained within the word consti-tution. Try scanning for words that are "bad" within your text and change it or break it with a hyphen. Pain.

      January 27, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  8. Martin

    Saying things CNN doesn't like gets you censored.

    January 27, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Reality

      The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded "waiting for moderation" category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, "t-it" is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there are words like "an-al" thereby flagging words like an-alysis and "c-um" flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also "r-a-pe", “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, "s-ex", and "hom-ose-xual". You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge "of-fensive".

      • More than one web address will also activate “waiting for moderation”. Make sure the web address does not have any forbidden word or fragment.

      Sum Dude routinely updates the list of forbidden words/fragments.

      Two of the most filtered words are those containing the fragments "t-it" and "c-um". To quickly check your comments for these fragments, click on "Edit" on the Tool Bar and then "Find" on the menu. Add a fragment (without hyphens) one at a time in the "Find" slot and the offending fragment will be highlighted in your comments before you hit the Post button. Hyphenate the fragment(s) and then hit Post. And remember more than one full web address will also gain a "Waiting for Moderation".

      January 27, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  9. Nadine

    I think the park will help convince kids that evolution isn't a science and isn't fact. Which is FALSE. Like the CREATION MUSEUM shows, the dinosaurs did not exist at the same time as man. They were gone MILLIONS of years before man, and before many mammals. This park can do NOTHING but keep children ignorant of science and the TRUTH.

    If it is built with private money, then I cannot do anything but remind people how WRONG the premise is, just as it is at the CREATION MUSEUM. But built with government TAXES? I can do a lot more than that. Anyone who lives in Kentucky can then SUE the state for the misuse of government taxes. It could go all the way to the SCOTUS. And if it does and they take the case and issue a decision AGAINST it, which is what they'd have to do if they go by the Establishment Clause of the 1st amendment, then it will be LAW for ALL STATES ! This would be the best possible outcome, as far as I can see. These people cannot, legally, do this. It must be stopped in whatever means it takes to accomplish this.

    January 27, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • CW

      @ Nadine,

      Such anger.....Well let me say...that I don't have a problem with this. You can believe we all came from Mon-'keys if that is what you want to believe. As the me and my household we believe the Word of God is the final word and TRUTH in all matters.

      As for your Dinosaurs argument...it does say in Genesis that God created man and Beast's so that and my Faith that the Bible is Truth are fine with me. Not professing I have all the knowledge b/c none of us were around when the earth or anything was made but I believe that in Noah's flood the dino's and all creatures not on the Ark died.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Luke

      CW

      Awww, how cute. CW thinks the theory of evolution says man arose from monkeys. It is a fatal flaw in his argument and clearly displays that he doesn't know anything about the theory, which also negates any argument he can make against the natural order of things and further leads any reader to take any other comment he makes less seriously. If you do not even understand the most basic premiss of your counter-argument, you are not worthy to represent your side in any manner whatsoever.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • NL

      Luke-
      Yeah, the monkey thing is always interesting. Clearly the folks who claim that evolution says we evolved from monkeys have either never read any books about evolution that weren't written by religious critics, or they have but decided to misrepresent evolution using this propaganda anyway. Either way, they betray themselves as either ignorant or dishonest, and either way you slice that cake they have demonstrated that the 'truth' is not what they value.

      January 27, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • Luke

      NL

      It's worse than that. The basics of evolution are taught in 6th grade. They fail to grasp that.

      January 27, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Luke

      You said: "It's worse than that. The basics of evolution are taught in 6th grade. They fail to grasp that."

      They don't want to grasp it. If they could, they would only allow the Creation Story to be taught.

      I look for many challenges to the ban on teaching of Intelligent Design, in the coming year.

      Cheers!

      January 27, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • NL

      Sixth grade? Not if you're home-schooled.

      January 27, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  10. Michele

    They believe the earth is only 6 thousand years old and that people and dinosaurs lived together. These are the people who want Intelligent Design taught to YOUR children in public schools.

    January 27, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Luke

      And they're well funded, Michele. Scary scary stuff.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • CW

      @ Michele,

      Your right....us "they" people believe the Word of God is the TRUE acceptable word to live and believe. I'm not sure what you believe....but if its as you may say "grounded" in man's errored research and so called fact....know you are in many Christians prayers. Its a known fact that all of man's attempts to explain mankind can have holes shot through it just like your trying to do christian believer's. Carbon dating, the big bang....and the like can have holes the size of a bla-'c-'k hole shot in them.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Gorilla Guerilla

      @CW: And with your own statement you prove how ignorant and uneducated you are. To point: Black holes are insanely small and if not infinitely dense, then as close as you can get to it. Even the super massize black hole at the center of the galaxy is only estimated to be less that a centimeter in diameter. It's direct size to density (mass) ratio is just so huge that it holds this galaxy together in it's gravitational field. The average size (estimated) for a black hole is roughly one one-millionth of a pico-meter

      January 27, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Luke

      Gorilla Guerilla

      I think that data is a little off, actutally. Most black holes in the universe that we've observed are about 20 miles in diameter, but infinitely dense due to its mass. In fact, if we could crush the earth to the size of a golf ball, then it would turn into a black hole. Perhaps you are referring to the estimated size of the core of the black hole?

      January 27, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Nadine

      They can't do that. the Supreme Court already made that illegal. Here is the decisions and now LAW:

      Edwards v. Aquillard, 107 S. Ct. 2573 (1987)
      Unconsti-tutional for state to require teaching of "creation science" in all instances in which evolution is taught. Statute had a clear religious motivation.

      THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT ALLOWED TO PROMOTE RELIGION – EVEN IF A MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN A GIVEN COMMUNITY MIGHT SUPPORT THAT RELIGION – because, when it comes to your Consti-tutional rights, our country does not operate by majority rule. Which means it doesn't matter HOW many Christians want this, it can't happen.

      So, CW...if you want this place then YOU pay for it. I have no problem with that, at all.....

      January 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  11. Luke

    I am going to proose a religously themed park that teaches the public about stories from the Koran. I predict 500 jobs will be created, 300 of which will be full time. I want tax breaks and aid building my park. I am picking the state of Texas. I am for profit and in no way want to influence teaching standards and the common good of the public. How about it?

    January 27, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      You need investors?

      January 27, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • Luke

      Steve the real one

      I'll fund it myself. All I really want to see is if the state will sign off on my venture. It's actually quite a simple process. The reasonability in this country is unfathombly stupid. Just look at what a ruckus people trying to build a mosque caused with their own private funds in TN. Imagine if they asked for state aid. Do you sign off on such an idea?

      January 27, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  12. Toad734

    If this was an Islamic based theme park that claimed not to be trying to convert anyone in the state of Kentucky and the state of Kentucky was going to give it tax breaks, I guarantee Ken Ham and every other Christian in the state would be flipping their lids.

    Thats the test; if this was an Islamic or Hindu park would it still be ok for the state to fund or subsidize it.

    Not only that, why would they (especially Kentucky) want to promote the ridiculous idea that the earth is 6k years old and that the entire world was once covered by water and in that time, a dude, his family and every animal on the planet and their prey could exist in a boat for a year when there is not any evidence that happened but theres plenty of evidence to prove that did not happen. The genetic diversity of most species on the planet could not have come from a population bottleneck 4k years ago.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Gorilla Guerilla

      Don't forget Toad... God didn't save all the animals (despite the bible saying so) because there was a mass extintion, due of course to the flood and not a cataclysmic celestial event like a comet or large meteor. God only saved his most favorite and cuddly animals, and provided all of them with food and clean drinking water for a whole year, then magically set them down on the top of a mountain tall enough to require oxygen masks at the summit. He then opened the doors and shoo'ed all the animals to their proper locations in the world and kept them from eating each other until the populations were large enough to support such natural tendancies. Then he auto-magically revived all the plants of the world (starting with the olive tree) that had to have been under several thousand feet of water. He also made sure that the fish would could only survive in shallow salt water survived, and all the fish that could only survive in fresh water survived too. But the big ugly dinosaurs and the giant land sloths of north America (They were to slow to make it to the boat) and the many disparate creatures of earths past that were wiped out in mass extinctions God hated. Just like he hates the g-ays and ho-mose-xu-als.

      *please note this is posted as sarcasm and in no way indicates my personal views*

      January 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  13. Gorilla Guerilla

    Key terms: For Profit (no tax breaks there), and specifically religious in nature (propagating a well known, but Judeo-Christian belief) thus invalidating it for tax breaks. Although a great discussion, it is pretty obvious that the church-group running the park is trying to make as much money as possible. If they want a tax break they should do it the same way every major corporation does it; through donations to charities and special programs.

    January 27, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  14. CW

    I don't have a problem with this theme park...their message or them getting fed monies. Just kind of scanned a few of the reponses and noticed one saying something to the effect of how would we feel if the Mu-s-'lims wanted their own theme park to whick I say....go ahead....build it...get your share of fed money....if that is what you want.

    I wouldn't spend money there an many many many christians wouldn't go there either...so I believe it would go out of business anyway.

    @ Luke,

    Buuuuuuzzzzz...WRONG!!!!! On the Noah story. I guess your like everyone else in the Bible...even when Jesus walked the earth people were wanting some PROOF of some sort. Any true christian will tell you that there is no proof needed to believe any of the TRUTH in the Bible. With that said.....I ask....have you asked Jesus into your he-'art? You know all of your sins are forgiven if you will do this and live a Godly life. I ask you to repent and follow the only one true God.

    January 27, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Lex

      No proof for the Truth? As the great Inigo Montoya once said "You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means." Not only does that book lack proof, but it is also filled with inconsistencies and contradictions.

      I WAS a christian until I started asking questions and looking for something besides rhetoric to validate the claims of religion. I found none, woke up, was finally able to like myself, and I haven't looked back.

      January 27, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Anglican

      Lex. What do you believe in now?

      January 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Luke

      Anglican

      You're so original. You asked me the same thing two days ago.

      January 27, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Gorilla Guerilla

      @CW: Your argument is cyclical and self centered. "I don't need proof to know the Truth."
      OK, try this on for size: Jesus was actually the Anti-Christ in disguise. Oh, and his real name was Juan Emanuel Samuel Ulysses Superman. You want proof? I don't have to prove it. My magical book says it's the truth and that is all the proof I need, because my book is right and all of your science and proof and doc-umented fact is wrong.

      That is the argument you are making.

      January 27, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • CW

      @ Luke,

      Read your comment not to me but from someone above on there being no discussion needed on the Noah topic. O well you believe what you believe and I'll believe what I believe. One day....Judgement day we will see who was right. Hope you come to your senses before its too late.

      @ Lex,

      Sorry that you didn't maintain your Faith in God. I urge you to re-'consider your sta-'nce...with that said I will now turn to your point. There are no contri-'dict-'ions as you say so I'm not sure of what you mean there. On the topic of proof....I go back to your Faith. As Jesus said "blessed are those that haven't seen but still believe". You see I believe God was trying to tell you that yes people always want that so called "proof" that you are talking about rather than accepting Gods word "the Bible" as such.

      @ Gorilla Guerilla,

      Okay.....if that is what you want to believe....then so be it. see my previous comment to Luke....one day we all will see who is right. I just hope that you and Luke come to your senses before its too late.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Lex

      CW: I have no faith "to go back to" nor would I want to. You would be more persuasive to admonish me to go back to believing in Santa Clause. As for "what jesus said" or "what the bible said" those will never persuade me. I'm no longer fooled by mountebanks or the drivel they pen.

      Religion is tantamount to a disease. Like the infected ant that climbs to the top of the blade of grass and waits to be consumed, thus carrying on the life cycle of the pathogen, so does religion lead people to climb up and spread its putrid spore of from the high ground, whether it be the pulpit or high office.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • Luke

      Lex, you've read Dan Dennett, eh?

      January 27, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Gorilla Guerilla

      @CW: You see, the only problem is your conception of "Judgement Day" is based on the "revelations of God" to a person who was exiled, alone, to an island where he suffered dehydration, malnourishment and the mental stress of isolation. The same argument you make could also be applied to the "revalations" of Mohammed, John Smith and most modern day cult leaders. Where-as from my side and point of view, you have nothing to fear from a judgement day and not being up to par with the much edited teachings of a man. You only have to fear the immediate, and long term, tangible reprecussions of your actions. Yours is a faith that no matter what you do in life, as long as you believe in a holy progeny your are guaranteed a place in a beautiful afterlife of joy and singing. My belief is the church (organized religion) uses fear and imagery to control its participants and keep themselves in a position of power. I try to lead a wholesome and moral life, where-as the teachings in which you prefess belief allows you to do what-ever you want, reguadless of the immediate and tangible consequences, as long as you truely believe in the holy progeny. I like and appreciate my way better. The way of discovering the world as is really is, and not the way some hypocritical religious leader (not to mention a book based more in myth than fact) tells me it is.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Lex

      Luke: Not directly, no. I read things here or there; much of it is synthesized. Oft times, I come to conclusions myself and then see that others have arrived there as well.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Luke

      Lex

      I reommend you do then. He makes a very similar argument that may help you understand your sort of argument even more.

      January 27, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • CW

      @ Gorilla Guerilla
      You say:
      You see, the only problem is your conception of "Judgement Day" is based on the "revelations of God" to a person who was exiled, alone, to an island where he suffered dehydration, malnourishment and the mental stress of isolation.

      CW says:
      How do you know he was dehydrated malnourished...etc? Do you have some insight? My guess is that you don't.

      @ Luke:

      I read some of you post's relating to comments made by myself....unfortunately Jesus said when he was walking the face of the earth that some of the people that he spoke to wouldn't receive the message he taught. Sounds like to me unless you get your proof your asking for that you will never believe. That is why I'm so glad I have my Faith in God...his word never returns void. I hope one day you will see this before its too late. By the way....you believe whatever the "theory of the day" is and I'll keep believing the "Word of God in The Bible" and in the end we will see who was right.

      @ Nadine,

      Your post to me about the gospels. One of those Gospels was indeed written by one of the original twelve apostles...John to be exact.

      January 28, 2011 at 8:50 am |
    • 425

      It's not truth if there isn't proof.

      January 28, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • Magic

      CW,

      No-one knows for sure who wrote the book of John. It could have been several men, writing under that name.

      "Some modern Bible scholars have raised the possibility that John the Apostle, John the Evangelist, and John of Patmos were three separate individuals. Certain lines of evidence suggest that John of Patmos wrote only Revelation, neither the Gospel of John nor the Epistles of John. The author of Revelation identifies himself as "John" several times, but the author of the Gospel of John never identifies himself directly. Scholars state that "vocabulary, grammar, and style make it doubtful that the book could have been put into its present form by the same person(s) responsible for the fourth gospel."

      January 28, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
  15. Mark

    Here is some more information from Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis:

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2011/01/27/clergyman-opposes-ark-encounter

    A couple items:

    – No money from state tax payers will go toward building or maintaining the park. They are simply applying for incentives (tax breaks). It seems this situation will play out: The park is built with private money, generates millions in state sales tax, and the LLC will still pay the state for that, but just at a lower rate than normal. This is an incentive for them to build in KY instead of somewhere else. Very similar to any other attraction.

    – Luke: yes, millions of people believe what the Bible clearly says. We do so by faith, but there is plenty of archeological and fossil record evidence. What would you expect to see with a global flood? Millions of dead things, buried in rock layers that were laid down by water, all over the earth. And what do we see today? Millions of dead things, buried in rock layers that were laid down by water, all over the earth...even at the top of Mt. Everest. Billions upon billions of fossilized clams buried rapidly. It takes much more faith to believe in billions of years and millions of missing links. How do you know they exist? You are taking it by faith.

    – To "Reality":You mentioned this new Torah and commentary and say it "offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures." So what happens in 50 years when all those latest findings are proven incorrect? What if this Torah was released 50 years ago? It would look foolish because all of the "latest findings" of science have changed. I would rather stick with the Word of God which has stood the test of time and does not need "modern day thinking" to back it up. "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever." Isaiah 40:8

    January 27, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Magic

      Mark,

      "Millions of dead things, buried in rock layers that were laid down by water, all over the earth."

      And those fossils are dated to different times over the long history of Earth. Of course there were floods - many of them. There is no evidence of simultaneous flooding of the entire globe.

      January 27, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • Luke

      You see millions of dead things from mass extinctions in the ground that took place hundreds of thousands of years ago and millions of years ago, none of which were caused by flooding across the globe. You are just making things up to fulllfil a fantasy. You're right – millions do believe. And millions are wrong, just like history always proves. If you were alive just a few hundred years ago, you would be in the majority believing the earth was the center of the universe. It took evidence to prove otherwise. Now sir, do you believe the earth is the center of the universe? Yes or no. Same applies here. There was a time when you could fool society with myths that were unable to disprove. However, we now can. And in the case of Noah, the distribution of life across the planet is support by tectonic and evolutionary theory, not Noah. If Noah's story happened....how did the penguins get to where they are now? Walk? Sadly, you would never actually read a book on tectonic and evolutionary theory that very clearly shows you how life is distrubuted on the planet. Everything is exactly where we would predict.

      January 27, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Gorilla Guerilla

      Truth: At one time seas covered almost every last bit of land that is currently "dry" land. This isn't due to some great global flood but due to tectonics and movement of the continental plates. In another few million years, even if the world looks the same as now, Los Angeles will be positioned not on the shoreline, but somewhere near the center of the Rocky Mountains; New York will be hundreds of miles north-west of it's current location; Hawaii as we know it will become a fairly large archepelago with Maui to the far west of it's current location; the UK will be completely underwater, possible several hundred feet; India will be a large bay on the southern side of Asia; Africa will be firmly locked with Europe and Asia, and the Mediterranean Sea will be a large mountain chain that rivals the size and legnth of the Urals. And all the sea floors that will be pushed up above sea level will be riddled with fossils of modern day creatures, all of which will have undergone some changes to adapt to the differing environments for the time. This is how the world as we know it today was created, and this is how the world of three million years from now will be created. The fossils are a record of the past, the scientific past, and will be a continuous record until long after man ceases to exist.

      Also: Proven by both biblical and semetic scientists; the current fossil record could NOT have been created by the flood, because if the flood happened as the bible stated it the fossil record would be either muddled or completely destoryed by the receding waters. Also, to boot, if there was a massive world wide flood the water levels in all the world oceans would have had to have been raised along with the water on the land, thus leaving nowhere for the water to drain to. We would still be living in boats floating on a world inundated with water, with very few areas of dry land to reside on. The human race would have probably died off due to malnutrition long before we were born. Therefor the flood was most likely a localized event of large, but not world wide, proportion.

      January 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • sealchan

      I hope, Mark, that your arguement is really an over-simplification of the Creationists' scientific arguement. The fossils age is determined with radio-carbon dating and maybe other techniques is it not? These techniques rely on a whole discipline of science called physics which works as a whole to provide us with our technology and demonstrates in many contexts that the age of the universe is not Biblical. So you seem to gloss over that whole, huge point.

      Also, it is not at all true that all of the latest findings of science have changed. Probably the vast majority have stood the test of time and the latest of today mainly build on the latest of yesterday. Again in physics this is obvious as a physics textbook chapter's topics are often in roughly the historical order in which developments in physics have occurred.

      Anyone wholly at odds with science as a whole as a method for determining the truth about God's creation has really isolated themselves from the idea that God gave us a brain worth using. These people must wonder what miracle created the computers which host these web sites...

      January 27, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Luke

      Gorilla Guerilla

      Thank you. I only add that a global flood would also resulted in a mixing of fresh and salt water, killing nearly ever single water based anmial on the planet. We would also not currently have fresh and salt water bodies. they won't stop believing, however. And I'm amazing about how complex their refutals have become. They really think a dude piled 30,000 different species of spides into a boat and that polar bears got of said vessel and walked to the Artic. My eyes bug out of my head when I read this stuff. I can't believe these people hold jobs and function in socity.

      January 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • Luke

      Mark – Do you work for Answers in Genesis and are here to check on how society is reacting your money making and education infringing scheme?

      January 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Nadine

      I FINALLY found who originally made this ignorant statement:

      " – Luke: yes, millions of people believe what the Bible clearly says. We do so by faith, but there is plenty of archeological and fossil record evidence. "

      WRONG. there is no archaeological evidence of a world-wide flood. There has been massive flooding in all parts of the world, but not all at the same time. Not since man has been on the earth, approximately 50,000 YA, if you're talking about modern man with the same looks and capabilities that we have.

      Fossils of sea creatures on top of mountains, especially where I live, in the Rockies, are easily explained. Mountains are made by subduction caused by plate tectonics, and the Rockies are the newest range of mountains in North America. The reason we find marine fossils here is because we used to be flat.....is that so difficult for you to understand? I guess so.

      As an archaeologist, I HATE it when people who are NOT archaeologists claim they have evidence for biblical myths when it isn't possible for them to have them. You've been listening to idiots like KEN HAM. HE isn't a scientist, either. did you KNOW that? This is all so stupid. AND having the fossils doesn't always tell their story. Unless YOU actually did all the digging and have proof of the stratigraphy (which, amazingly, AIG and the religious right IGNORE...) , then you have NOTHING. End of story.

      the amount of ignorant statements on this blog amazes me.....we are all knee deep in the poop that others spit out.....

      January 30, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
  16. Bob

    If this is a business, it should be treated as such. If so, then they're more then welcome to apply for any business incentives that would be offered to anyone else.

    However, if they're not claming to be a business, then they get squat. You can't get federal funding if you didn't contribute to the pot. Sorry.

    January 27, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Luke

      Bob, it is something more than that. Teaching children that dinosaurs and man walked the earth together is the Flintstones, not reality and is in direct confrontation with teaching standards in the state.

      January 27, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  17. Reality

    Lets get to the obvious historical situation with the Ark and Judaism with some truth commentary about the myth worlds of Disney and the Jewish scribes.

    A primer for your perusal:

    "New Torah For Modern Minds

    origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

    "Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument. "

    "These essays, perused during uninspired sermons or Torah readings at Sabbath services, will no doubt surprise many congregants. For instance, an essay on Ancient Near Eastern Mythology," by Robert Wexler, president of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, states that on the basis of modern scholarship, it seems unlikely that the story of Genesis originated in Palestine. More likely, Mr. Wexler says, it arose in Mesopotamia, the influence of which is most apparent in the story of the Flood, which probably grew out of the periodic overflowing of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The story of Noah, Mr. Wexler adds, was probably borrowed from the Mesopotamian epic Gilgamesh. "

    January 27, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • sealchan

      Although this was off-topic thanks for the info!

      January 27, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      A whole lot of "probablys" in your post. Probably indicates doubt yet rules out nothing! Reality, that was below your normal "never happened, never existed" standards! "

      January 27, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • sealchan

      Steve, he is quoting the article he linked to with those probably's...but that is a major statement coming from what I take to be an orthodox religion. I think I have seen some evidence that Catholics also do not subscribe to a literal reading of some of the Genesis stories.

      Its good to see that organized religion is coming to terms with modern scholarship. In my mind this does not invalidate the truth in the Bible, it only focuses the believer more accurately to it. The literal reading is often the wrong reading. Both believers and athiests need to realize this. Myth is not a lie.

      January 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • sealchan

      In fact, although I do not support a literal reading of the Bible in many cases, I still like the idea of the theme park. However, they should stick to the Biblical story and not introduce science. No adult goes to Disneyland believing any of that fantasy world is literally true. But there are moral and psychological values that are true in both instances.

      January 27, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      sealchan
      Its good to see that organized religion is coming to terms with modern scholarship. In my mind this does not invalidate the truth in the Bible, it only focuses the believer more accurately to it. The literal reading is often the wrong reading. Both believers and athiests need to realize this. Myth is not a lie.
      -----------
      The modern scholars that Reality quotes are ALL liberal and they all seek to disprove Biblical persons and events. I submit some in religion flock to them . Guarantee you, I am NOT one of them who do! Abraham "probably" existed? The Word of God said he did. I will stand of that!

      January 27, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • Reality

      Coming to the rescue of Steve, sealchan and all the other Christians out there:

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

      To wit;

      From a major Catholic university's theology grad school white-board notes:

      "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
      Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

      Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

      Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

      The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

      Only Luke's Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

      "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, (the conservative) Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
      http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

      The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

      Of course, we all know that angels are really mythical "pretty wingie talking thingies".

      With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

      An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue, ( Professors Crossan and Wright are On Faith panelists).
      p.4
      "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."
      o p.168. by Ted Peters:
      "Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

      So where are the bones? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      January 27, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  18. Karen

    I just want to point something out.
    No, Noah didn't have the government help him... because no one thought that water was gonna come from the sky...
    And just in case you didn't know, the only people on the ark where Noah, his wife, his sons and their wives.

    Luke 17:26 ‎"As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man."

    January 27, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Luke

      Karen,

      Just to clarify – you think the Noah story actually happened? You do realize there is no archeological evidence of any sort of global flood, nor any fossil record of any mass extinctions during humanity's time on earth (about 250,000 years), right?

      January 27, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • CW

      @ Luke,

      Read my post below....

      response from CW

      January 27, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      Luke I would like to hear your thoughts on the photos of Mount Arrat?

      January 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Luke

      Mike, not me

      It's wood. And? And the carbon dating places said wood many hundreds of years ago, not thousands.

      Did you know that there are 30,000 different species of spiders? Just spiders. And you think..uh...each one made it on a boat alongside the millions of other species of animals? Adn the wood worms? They didn't...uh...eat the boat? What about the termites? Normally I like engaging in intelligent debate with believers. If you buy this Noah story, you're more gullable than I ever imagined and a discussion is unwarranted. You just need a nice little pinch on the cheek and pat on the head. I'll even smile at you while I do it.

      January 27, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Luke,

      Not the ole carbon dating argument? CD has been shown NOT to be accurate! Just wood? Why are you so certain that it is NOT Noah's Ark? I would love to have more info on it myslef!

      January 27, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Luke

      Steve the real one

      False. Carbon dating is the most accurate method of dating materials. You're simply misguided and foolish. It's ok, I really don't care. I just feel sorry for you. So this is how your mind functions. Wood is somewhere. So it must confirm a myth. That's really how your head works? I saw wood wash up on the beach 2 weeks ago. Prove it wasn't from outerspace.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Luke,

      If God shut the mouths of lions as in Daniel in the lion's den AND HE DIID (I am sure you don't believe that either), what challenge would wood worms be? You are attempting to limit God by your finite, fallible, limited mind! That does not work, my friend!

      January 27, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Luke

      Steve the real one

      I'm no longer engaging you. I mean this dead serious. You're a unintelligent human being that is intent on infecting the public with misguied and false claims. You are a dangerous human being, unfit to hold a job of any importance. You're way of thinking and rationalization is unfit for group of indivual work. If you lived near me, I would keep you away from my children and schools.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Luke, then show me the data that backs you up on CD! Do not "cherry pick" either! Let me know! Thanks,

      Steve

      January 27, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Luke
      I'm no longer engaging you. I mean this dead serious. You're a unintelligent human being that is intent on infecting the public with misguied and false claims. You are a dangerous human being, unfit to hold a job of any importance. You're way of thinking and rationalization is unfit for group of indivual work. If you lived near me, I would keep you away from my children and schools.
      -------
      Your choice! You just will not and cannot break me! I am not one to sit in a corner and quiver because Luke the Athesist is engaging in name calling and bettling, and demanding proof! Dangerous? Yes! To the Kingdom of darkness and not because of me but rather HE who lives in me! Unfit to hold a job of any importance? If you ONLY knew what I do for a living. If I did live near you and I am walking on PUBLIC land that passes your neighborhood you would simply watch me walk by! That's all! Sorry you choice to run, that is your call! Plenty of other people to talk to! Interesting how folk like NL, Reality, and others have not decided to pull the plug! This is America and it is your choice!

      January 27, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Steve the real one,
      When used properly radiometric dating, including Carbon, is very useful and accurate.

      Carbon dating matches with tree rings (dendrochronology): www[dot]allaboutarchaeology.org/carbon-dating-2.htm

      Carbon dating matches with other dating methods, such as thermoluminesence, fission track, and more: anthro[dot]palomar.edu/time/time_5.htm

      Specific radiometric dating verification examples: ncse[dot]com/rncse/20/3/radiometeric-dating-does-work

      January 27, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Better tree-ring/C14 paper: www[dot]indiana.edu/~sierra/papers/2009/sesler.pdf

      and more info on tree rings: dendro.cornell.edu/

      January 27, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Nonimus,

      Thank you, I did actually read that. Then I read an article where living shellfish were tested and were deemed to be 50,000 years old.

      January 27, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Luke

      Careful, Luke. By pointing out how stupid their beliefs are, the fundies won't respect you. LOL

      Anyway, I always like to see your posts!

      Cheers!

      January 27, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Luke

      Sine I am no longer engaging Steve directly, does anyone want to explain to this moron that the shell can be 50,000 years old, but the life form inside just a few years old. This sort of animal is not born with a shell. It moves into it like we move into a house. Hence, an old shell that has been around for 50,000 years old can become the home of litterally millions of generation of fish. Remind him that we see this often, even with pets, including the hermit crab.

      January 27, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Luke,

      Your name calling is showing you to be a very small man! Yes I am engaging directly with you!

      January 27, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Luke:

      Are the ocean clams born with shells?

      No. The shells are formed as the clam develops.

      January 27, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • NL

      Luke-
      All things in moderation, buddy. When the frustration rises just remember that you're trying to reason with people who believe in the magic of miracles, and who tend to be closed-minded about all things concerning their God. All you can do is point out how the Noah story is impossible to accept from a scientific, rational point of view and that they are choosing to believe a story from a book over what the evidence tells us. You simply cannot convince everyone. Logic and reason just doesn't appeal to everyone.

      January 27, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Luke

      Someone tell Steve it isn't name calling when it is fact. Tell him that failing to understand even the very basics of science that is taught in 7th grade indicates a lack of ability to grasp topics and use them properly as a basis of arguments. Hence, this classifies the person as moronic or a simpleton on the topic at hand. Misuing data in one's favor, not recognizing one does so and an inibility say, "I was wrong" are clear indications of a closed mind inability to learn. David...you out there? Can you do that for me?

      January 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Luke

      NL – I am done doing that. A simpleton is a simpleton. Being nice gets us nowhere. Until the people dedicated to reason rise up and refuse to be subject to living under the lowest common denominator, we'll never rise again as a nation and continue to waffle along in our feses.

      January 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Luke,

      From yahoo answers:

      QUESTION: How and where do clams and their specie get their shells? Are they born with it or develop these shells?

      i'm asking where and how clams get their shells because it occurred to me one day , when there are like billions of them the world over. Where do they get their shells? Born with it, develop it after sometime? What? I really want a definite and factual answer. It's been like eating at me for sometime now. Thanks.
      5 years ago by Dan S Member since: June 13, 2006

      ANSWER:
      Best Answer – Chosen by Voters
      The larvai develop their own shells. They produce a protein that captures dissolved minute calium carbonate crystals that are dissolved in seawater. The protein lays these crystallls in an exact predetermined place in the protein and at a very specific angle. this process continues as more protein is laid down in a precise position that eventually controls the overall shape of the shell

      It appears clams don't move in to shells like we do to houses!

      January 27, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Luke

      David – tell Steve that he is now changing his goal posts. A shell that was dated to be from 50,000 years ago is not the same as referencing an ocean clam of a younger generation of sentiment. Someone instruct him towards a book on tectonics and point him to the chapter that describes the mid Atlantic rift that clued us in on how to date rocks at the sea floor.

      January 27, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Obadiah

      If I may interject, belief in Noah and flood requires belief in the Word of God. Belief in the Word of God requires faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Faith does not require verifiable evidence and data, it requires obedience to God's word and His will for those who believe in Him. His ultimate purpose for His people is spritual, not physical. He has asked us to love one another. Regardless of differences. If we practice unconditional love in the physical world, it prepares our soul for the spiritual world. Attempts to sway the faith of a believer are as futile as are attempts to convince non-believers that the Word of God, words of love, have eternal life. As a believer, we can only trust in the Lord and lean not unto our own understanding...and definitely not on the understanding of men focused on the physical world. Enjoy your debate. Peace be unto you.

      January 27, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Luke
      Someone tell Steve it isn't name calling... These are Luke's own words:
      1. "You're simply misguided and foolish"
      2. "You're a unintelligent human being"
      3. "You are a dangerous human being, unfit to hold a job of any importance."
      4. "does anyone want to explain to this moron ..."
      5. " Hence, this classifies the person as moronic or a simpleton"
      6. "A simpleton is a simpleton"

      Nope not name calling in the least

      In addition,

      I said SHELLFISH, I mentioned no species. YOU ASSUMED HERMIT CRAB!

      NL and David, help him if you must! I am man enough to say what I desire to say directly to Luke!
      Sorry that it came to this but read my blogs! I stated my beliefs with respect! Challenging yes, respectfully, yes! Obviously Luke did not! I will move on!

      January 27, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Luke, I apologize for my role in this break down. I cannot argue you into heaven and you cannot argue out!

      January 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • Luke

      David – Tell steve I could care less about name calling. It is what it is. Furthermore, he referenced a carbon dating study I know about that tested the shells used by creatures that move into shells that are in fact, that old. Then he changed his goal post and mentioned a different species. Furthermore, I used the hermit crab as an example of a species to moves into different "homes" in its lifetime and assumed nothing. Tell him that now he is failing to even grasp the flow of simple argument.

      January 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Steve the real one,
      Living shellfish get their carbon from the water they are living in. If the source of that water involved Paleozoic limestone, such as in springs or underground aquifers, then the carbon in the water is deficient in C14. This is a well understood aspect of carbon dating by those who use it. Here are some papers if you care to find and read them:

      Keith, M. L., and G. M. Anderson, 1963. Radiocarbon dating: Ficti.tious results with mollusk shells. Science 141: 634-637.
      Riggs, A. C., 1984. Major carbon-14 deficiency in modern snail shells from southern Nevada springs. Science 224: 58-61.

      Please don't try to discount years of research by highly skilled scientists with phrases like "... I read an article where living shellfish were tested and were deemed to be 50,000 years old," or, I heard there was a 'just created rock at Mt. St Helens that was dated millions of years old.' At least reference your source.

      January 27, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Obadiah,
      If the physical evidence contradicts a va.gue phrase in the "Word of God," which should be believed? Keep in mind that part of your faith, as I understand it, says that God created the world. So if the Word of God isn't quite clear, but the 'Work of God' is obvious, which do you believe?

      Also, if "His ultimate purpose for His people is spritual, not physical," then why would you expect the 'Word of God,' i.e. the Bible, to be the authority on the physical world. Why not let the 'Word of God' speak on the spiritual and let the 'Work of God' speak on the physical?

      January 27, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • Obadiah

      Nonimus,
      To followers of Christ, there is no contradiction between what God says in His word and the physical world. This contradiction exists among non-believers. The words listed are true and everytime I hear such contradictions by non-believers it strengthens my faith. It does so because the Word says that it will happen. The doubt of non-believers and the use of science and philosophy fulfill prophesies in the Word. So even now the scripture is being fulfilled. This coupled with my own experiences and testimony as to what He has done for me lets me know that God is real, His word is real, and that Christ has risen. So God's word speaks both to the physical and to the spritual to those who believe and trust in Him and not on their own understanding. Peace.

      January 27, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • C

      Nobody actually believes in God(s), they just claim to so they can be part of something and receive the emotional reinforcement for their belief, thus completing the dangerous loop of self-delusion. That is why faith is a constant struggle – it's alien to a mind that exists and perceives a real world, but is encouraged by group selection and emotional reinforcement to maintain conformity to the beliefs of parents and friends. Religion does not actually exist in isolation, nor are there any Christians in foxholes, there is just survival and biological struggle. God has never existed anywhere except within the minds of a few human beings who were extraordinarily unhappy and psychologically disturbed.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • Anglican

      C. God does exist, and He made you. He loves you and sustains you. I know you will not believe me but it is so. Peace.

      January 27, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      So back to the topic at hand
      "And the carbon dating places said wood many hundreds of years ago, not thousands. "– Luke can you provide a source, everything I read was that the government doesn't let anyone near it. There were two guys who claim to retrieve wood from the site but that's just their claim? Also this is my hope that believers and non-believers would stand arm and arm wanting to uncover the site.

      I do agree with Steve, the same God that can shut the mouths of lions, turn a king into a beast, make a donkey talk, burn a bush and not consume it would have no issue with general transporting.

      January 28, 2011 at 8:48 am |
    • Magic

      Mike,

      "...the same God that can shut the mouths of lions, turn a king into a beast, make a donkey talk, burn a bush and not consume it would have no issue with general transporting."

      That same magic "God" would then have no trouble getting a reliable crew up there to investigate and to provide verifiable proof.

      January 28, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Mike, Steve, et al
      Could you provide a URL or something to the find that you are referencing as there seems to be several Ark finds. The most recent one that I see was announced on April 25th, 2010 (abcnews.go.com/GMA/finding-noahs-ark-filmmaker-found-pieces-biblical-treausure/story?id=10495740)
      Then someone claimed it was a hoax on the 29th (www.aolnews.com/2010/04/29/ex-colleague-expedition-faked-noahs-ark-find/)
      Then the original group attempted to rebut the hoax claim on the 30th (www.csmonitor.com/World/Global-Issues/2010/0430/Chinese-explorers-stand-by-claim-of-Noah-s-Ark-find-in-Turkey)
      I think it may still be under investigation, but given the past history of Ark finds I would be skeptical of this one until the facts had been verified by muliple reliable sources.

      As to the capabilities of God, an all powerful being could, one supposes, do whatever s/he likes but the story described seems awfully cu.mbersome and inefficient. Why not just lift Noah & company into the sky for 40 (or 150 days) and feed them manna? Or, 'part' the waters of the flood around just Noah & company? Why concoct such a odd boat scenario?

      January 28, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Hello Nonimus,

      I have seen the same sites you have mentioned. As of now there is not absolute proof, the find is Noah's Ark.. At the SAME time, there is no absolute proof that is isn't. I chose to be patient at let this run it's course! I would love if this this were Noah's Ark. In short, I don't know if it is and I don' know if it isn't. That still does not discredit the flood story! It is interesting though (but not expected that my side is yelling it is and your side is yelling it isn't)! Again, I still trust the story!

      January 28, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Steve the real one,
      First, science doesn't deal in absolute proof, so I doubt you will ever get it in this case. That being said, there is a difference between keeping an open mind and being predisposed to accept weak evidence. In this case, I think, it would be more prudent to assume that it is not the Ark until evidence says otherwise rather than being willing to accept it either way. The main reason being a long history of supposed Ark finds that turned out wrong, not to mention the likelyhood that something of the Ark would remain after thousands of years, and not to mention likelyhood that it actually happened in the first place.
      In other words, those who want to believe usually find a reason to believe. In science this is called confirmation bias. To counter this scientists look for ways to disprove their hypothesis. But I'm getting pedantic, so I'll stop there.

      January 28, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Nonimus,

      You asked about sites on the Ark, correct? I told you saw, the same things you did!

      You say: I think, it would be more prudent to assume that it is not the Ark until evidence

      I say: That's fine, I think you say that out of your bias! I don't know one way or the other! If it is not the Ark, it STILL does not shake my faith!

      January 28, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      Magic, exactly.

      January 28, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Steve the real one,
      "That's fine, I think you say that out of your bias!"
      Based on the data available there is reason to be cautious. Inductively, every finding of Noah's Ark has turned out to be not true, therefore it's more likely that this find is also not true. 'More likely' is not absolute, hence the "until evidence shows otherwise" and I am more than willing to accept new evidence when it's available.
      Bias, to me, is statements like, 'the evidence will not shake my faith.'

      January 28, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  19. Elizabeth

    Thank you Anderson for reporting this story about the biblical theme park and for presenting both sides!

    January 27, 2011 at 10:50 am |
  20. Peace2All

    In the interview(paraphrasing):

    The government supposedly, in theory, as a litmus test, is not supposed to give any government monies, etc... for any group/project who's..."primary purpose is to advance or promote their religion."

    This 'biblical' theme park is:

    #1)For Profit

    #2)Is Privately funded

    And yet, is still seeking or may receive approximately $40 million in 'tax incentives.'

    I understand that it will generate tourism, jobs, etc...

    Interesting topic, as I can see the arguments from "both" sides.

    I would be just as curious if the Muslim's wanted to build an 'Qur'anic based theme park, what would happen...?

    I'm definitely not claiming I have the answers here, as there are several interesting const-itutional issues at play, regarding the freedom to express one's religion, and also, making sure that basically that our U.S. Government is 'not' giving monies and tax breaks to these 'religious groups' that 'may' be violating the 'litmus' test above.

    Seems that there are often many arguments, and it isn't always so 'black and white' when it comes to the very fine balance of criteria for the 'separation of church and state.'

    Very interesting.... Any thoughts on this ...?

    Sincerely curious...

    Peace...

    January 27, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • Mesa Mick

      Waffle much? No convictions = No courage of personal thought and analysis. Pick a side cowboy (or cowgirl if applicable), you'll be respected by the other side for whatever one you chose....

      January 27, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Mesa Mick,

      You new to this blog? One of the most respected bloggers out here is Peace2all. Respected by BOTH sides of the discussion! Why? He questions BUT does not put down. He tries to see points from BOTH sides. Peace surely does need me to come to his rescue, yet I do it out of the respect I have for him!! Be patience and read some of his blogs. You will soon know for yourself!

      January 27, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Sorry. Make that Peace does Not need me to come to his rescue!

      January 27, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • John

      You hit on what I use for a litmus test: Remove any christian reference and insert another religious view and ask what would happen...then you will know for sure if this is about business or religious views.
      I can only imagine the fallout if this park was based on Muslim beliefs or Hindu or even strictly Mormon or Catholic beliefs and taxpayer subsidized.
      That alone is the reason we have the establishment clause, because none of the local politicians would ever stand behind a tax break for a Koran themed park. Just look at the reaction in NY or Tennessee to mosques being built there with private funds!

      January 27, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Mesa Mick

      I'm inclined to agree with you. Popularity with the non-thinkers is not my quest.

      Good post!

      January 27, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Mesa Mick

      Hey Mick...

      You Said: "Waffle much?"

      Typically, no, on the 'waffling' question, unless I am still in seeking information mode to form a more complete opinion. As to personal convictions, etc...yes... I have 'very' strong personal opinions and convictions.

      After watching the video/audio interview on this topic a few times, I became aware that in a lot of ways, there were still unanswered questions on this issue.

      Hence, my 'not' feeling the need to have to "pick a side," however, I was and still am interested in what others had to say as well, as my own comments/questions on this topic.

      That's why I asked for 'any thoughts...?' from my fellow bloggers on this, (the topic) as I do find it extremely interesting.

      However, I do find it fascinating and actually extremely 'ironic' that you totally and completely avoided commenting on the article...'at all,' but spent your time questioning me, when I was sincerely commenting, and seeking information.

      Hmmmmmm.... Interesting, the 'irony' of your post.

      Anyways, thanks for chatting...

      Peace...

      January 27, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @John

      Hi John...

      You Said: "You hit on what I use for a litmus test: Remove any christian reference and insert another religious view and ask what would happen...then you will know for sure if this is about business or religious views."

      Yes, thank you for your validation of my point, or question. I was trying to take this situation and create another scenario and plug in different elements, yet use the same basic equation, and view it from that angle. I also think that 'if' it is in fact a 'for profit' business, then on one level of analysis, shouldn't they be afforded the same 'tax credits,' if they aren't claiming to be a 'non-profit' nor any of the other tax scenarios that would put them in violation...? In the interview, they claimed to indicate that the 'law' has been more liberally applied to this kind of situation recently.

      You Said: "I can only imagine the fallout if this park was based on Muslim beliefs or Hindu or even strictly Mormon or Catholic beliefs and taxpayer subsidized.
      That alone is the reason we have the establishment clause, because none of the local politicians would ever stand behind a tax break for a Koran themed park. Just look at the reaction in NY or Tennessee to mosques being built there with private funds!"

      Yes, I agree with you on that. And, I'm still not sure what the SCOTUS or their state/local governments will decide on this issue, should it go there...to any of these courts.

      It will be interesting to see, yes...?

      thanks -John...

      Peace...

      January 27, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • Illary

      They are not going to receive money from the state, the will receive a rebate according with its attendance, it is a good deal for a state wich need the jobs and the money. You should go to Answers in Genesis website, they have an interesting note about this interview.

      January 27, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @IIIary

      I think we are aware of the basics of 'how' they will get their reimbursements or tax incentives, should they in reality, in fact receive them.

      This discussion, at least in the thread that I started up top, wasn't about what you wrote, but more about is this even 'const-itutionally' or legally acceptable or not.

      That has been part of what we have been discussing.

      Now, whether or not this Christian Biblical theme park is overall a good thing or 'not,' is a whole other discussion.

      Peace...

      January 28, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • 425

      My thoughts:

      I have no problem with them building it, but there IS a problem with tax-incentives.

      It is true that they aren't getting money from the government, DIRECTLY, but they might as well be.

      Say that the state of Kentucky needs to raise a certain ammount of money per year on taxes. Every person and business is paying a certain percent, based on their income, property, and spending.

      Now, look at this park. If they aren't paying their fair share, who is paying it? The other taxpayers. So, the taxpayers of Kentucky, which include people of non-Abrahamic faiths AND seculars, they are indirectly paying for this park by paying more than their share of taxes to cover those the PARK is not paying.

      Same goes with churches and non-secular charities. They need to pay taxes like everyone else. I think we could give exemption for SECULAR non-profit charities. But if you have a religious message or inhibit free speech or in any way violate the 1st Ammendment within your organization, you pay full taxes as if you were a business.

      January 28, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Peace2All

      @425

      Well said.

      Peace...

      January 28, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • Carrotfield

      @Peace2All

      I agree with you Peace. Great post !!!

      January 30, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.