The Lexington Herald-Leader is one of the major Kentucky newspapers. For years, it has spread untruths and misleading information about Answers in Genesis and our life-size Noah’s Ark project. (The Ark will be built north of the paper’s offices in Lexington.)
I suggest that the editors of the Herald-Leader have an anti-Christian agenda. It has resulted in inaccuracies in its stories and editorials concerning the Ark project. The paper constantly denigrates the Christian ministry of AiG and regularly attacks the Ark project in order to undermine it to the general public. Their intolerance of anything Christian is so obvious that some Lexington residents have said to me, “we call it the Lexington Herald-Misleader.”
In a recent typical anti-Christian editorial against the work of AiG, we read considerable misinformation and downright untruths. Actually, I believe it’s clear that the editors are really shaking their fist at God. But God is, as the Scriptures tell us, very longsuffering. But the editors should be warned, for Jesus (in the books of Matthew and Luke) quoted from Deuteronomy in stating, “You shall not tempt the LORD your God” (Matthew 4:7).
In this latest Herald-Leader editorial that bashes AiG and the Ark and uses misinformation, we read the following (quoting part of one of our recent Ark billboards):
Perhaps Answers in Genesis should give up thanking God that intolerant liberals "can't sink this ship," and ask the deity instead whether it can be built without more government handouts.This certainly implies that AiG has already received government funding to build the Ark. But that’s absolutely not true. The Ark is being built by private funding. When it is opened in 2016, not one cent of state government money will have been involved in building the Ark!
The editorial also states, “The city of Williamstown has agreed to a 30-year, 75 percent break in property taxes and a $62 million bond issue.”
In reality, the bonds were issued through the city of Williamstown, but the sole responsibility for the payment of the bonds lies with Crosswater Canyon, a non-profit organization controlled by AiG and the sole owner of the Ark Encounter. None of the funding for the bonds came from any government entity. And what the editorial doesn’t tell you is that just like other developments in the state, what is called a TIF (Tax Incremental Financing) was created so that local governments could attract revenue-generating businesses—like the Ark Encounter—which help to increase the local tax base. In this case, a higher tax base benefits the city of Williamstown, its school district, and many other local services.
The editorial also states, “Apparently, in AIG's world, if this could just be settled at home among Kentuckians there'd be no problem giving a whopping tax break to a business that asks job applicants to profess that homosexuality is a sin and the Earth is 6,000 years old.”
The so-called “whopping tax break” is actually a percentage rebate on sales tax paid within the facility by visitors, beginning after a year of operation (and up to a maximum). You see, by building the facility in Kentucky, much-needed large amounts of tourism dollars will be brought into the state. That’s why the state offers this tourism incentive: to bring positive economic impact. Conservative estimates show that the Ark would bring hundreds of millions of dollars into Kentucky—it will be a huge economic boom for the state. It should also be noted that Ark Encounter (the actual name of our project) has not employed anyone yet and has not set up guidelines for employment. However, AiG agreed that it would abide by all applicable state and federal laws!
The editorial further claims, “Since the Ark park would rely on such secularists [sic] services as highways, sewer systems, and police and fire protection to attract and accommodate its visitors, the $18.25 million in taxes it wouldn't pay to support those services would fall on other taxpayers.” But the editorial doesn’t tell the truth here. The only reason such a rebate in sales tax would be given is if the park is operational and is having a positive economic impact, bringing significant dollars into the state. And as stated, the rebate is only on sales tax paid within the park, up to a maximum, and only after a year of operation.
The editorial is just another example that confirms the truth of the Bible in Romans 1, where we learn that those who reject God “suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” If there is no God, why would people even bother to care about Christians and their outreaches? If, as I said to Bill Nye “the Science Guy” in our debate this year, we all ultimately die and that’s the end for us, then why do secularists even care what others believe or do, if ultimately it’s all meaningless anyway in their worldview? But the death of our bodies is not the end. As God tells us, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Yes, with the Herald-Leader versus God, God has the last say.
This editorial, like many other published items in the Lexington Herald-Leader, is once again presenting untruths and deliberately misleading the public. I agree with our ministry friends who live in central Kentucky—the paper should be called the Herald-Misleader.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,