Saturday, February 18, 2017

Newport must fight religious discrimination

The campaign of religious persecution going on in Kentucky of late is unprecedented in modern America.

If you look northeast at 5th & Saratoga in Newport, you'll see a billboard for what's called Ark Encounter. A strange thing that Ark Encounter is. It's a dominionist theme park 30 miles south run by the Answers in Genesis cult.

You may argue Ark Encounter is strictly a ministry. Ministries wouldn't be expected to hire anyone who doesn't follow the ministry's beliefs. But Ark Encounter has received millions of dollars in handouts funded by Kentucky taxpayers. This is unconstitutional, of course, yet it occurs anyway. Plus, once you accept taxpayer dollars, you're no longer just a ministry. Entities that receive taxpayer money are not allowed to hire people based on their religious beliefs. Yet the taxpayer-funded Ark Encounter requires employees to sign a statement of faith affirming that they follow Answers in Genesis.

It is state-sponsored discrimination. There's no other word for it.

This obligates the city of Newport to remove the billboard. If it does not do so, Newport itself is practicing illegal discrimination. Newspapers can't run classified ads for apartments that practice housing discrimination. Why should a city allow discriminatory businesses to advertise on its billboards?

In Kentucky in 2017, anyone who is not a dominionist is suffering the most extreme religious persecution seen in America in modern times. Anyone who believes in truth and love will find themselves a target.

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