The Ark Park is hiring

Answers in Genesis is advertising a whole slew of jobs, but you do not have to read very far between the lines to realize that the hirees will be “detailed” to the Ark Park, presumably because AIG, as a religious organization, is allowed to discriminate on the basis of religion. I do not know why they are bothering, because recently a Kentucky judge ruled, in effect, that it was legal for the Ark Park itself to discriminate on the basis of religion, and there is no chance that the state will appeal.

For the uninitiated, Ark Encounter (the legal name of the Ark Park) is a for-profit corporation, though it is apparently owned by Answers in Genesis. In order to get a tax break, Ark Encounter had been prohibited from discriminating on the basis of religion. Indeed, as we reported here, they purported to

provide equal employment opportunities to all qualified employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, sex, age, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, citizenship status, veteran status, disability or any other legally protected status. [Emphasis added.]

Nevertheless we predicted some shenanigans here

… it appears as if AIG plans to hire someone to work not for AIG, but for its subsidiary, Ark Encounter, that is, that AIG wants to apply a religious test to an employee who on paper works at AIG but in fact works at Ark Encounter. You might say that they are planning to launder the position so that the religious test can be applied where it ought not be applicable.

and here

In other words, Ark Encounter’s tax incentives will be restored, if only they pledge in writing that they will not discriminate in employment. Ark Encounter has so far declined to give such assurance, which makes a body speculate that they just might be thinking of laundering all Ark Encounter employment through Answers in Genesis in order to circumvent the law.

I checked the job listings, and, sure enough, the jobs are apparently located at “(WILLIAMSTOWN, KY/ARK …),” even though the employer appears to be AIG. Additionally, AIG applies a religious test. For example, a senior network administrator has to have

Ability to communicate technical issues and concepts to a broad range of technical and non-technical staff with Christ-like kindness and tact …

Most importantly, a proven firmness in their walk with Christ, and a passion for technical skill for the glory of God.

A grounds maintenance technician has to supply “Salvation testimony. Creation belief statement. Confirmation of agreement with the AiG Statement of Faith.” Other occupations that I checked had similar requirements.

I cannot immediately find a forthright statement by Ark Encounter that they will not discriminate on the basis of religion, but the mayor of Williamstown certainly thought so:

…The city supports the Ark and is pleased that it is locating in Williamstown. The Ark Encounter will not require anyone to sign a statement of faith. I agree with you that it is a requirement of employment at the Creation Museum [presumably as opposed to the Ark Park] …

according to a Facebook posting on March 6, 2013, which an informant very kindly sent me. I do not know whether anyone piped up to disillusion the mayor.

Finally, while figuratively thumbing through old Panda’s Thumb articles, I came across my own 2011 article, Ark Park goes nowhere, in which I predicted that the groundbreaking would take place in 250,000 years:

My own estimate is that their timescale is skewed by their belief that the Earth is around 5000 years old. It is in fact more like 5 billion years old. Thus, if we take 3-4 months and multiply it by the ratio of 5 billion years to 5000 years, we estimate that the groundbreaking ceremony will take place in 3 million months, or 250,000 years.

LEO Weekly was more modest and estimated 2024.

Read very carefully, because this may be the first time that a pundit has ever admitted error: However reasonable my prediction – and they had raised very little money at the time – I was severely mistaken, and the Ark Park will open on July 7, 2016. If that is not a miracle, nothing is.

Note added in proof, so to speak. Dylan Lovan of the Associated Press reports today that the Ark Park will hire approximately 300-400 people; they must be Christians, but apparently almost any denomination will suffice (see, however, the requirements for the grounds maintenance technician, above). I do not know whether all these positions will be laundered through AIG.