Politics, Religion and Theme Parks?

Posted: January 22, 2012 in General, Political, Rants
Tags: , , , , ,

Okay, I normally try to stay away from the religious debate(s).  I actually find it easier to talk about politics, even with a diehard liberal (Centrist views here).  The only time I have addressed anything remotely religious in nature was in my Spare the Rod posting back in December.  This particular topic has two of the three taboo drinking topics; Politics and Religion, Her being gratefully absent from this particular discussion (whoever her may be).  As anyone who has ever been around most arguments or fisticuffs involving drunk people knows, broaching any one of these topics while inebriated is enough to possibly devolve otherwise logical beings into someone willing to stand up, even violently for their beliefs.  Combine more than one or the Holy Trinity of them as it were and it is enough to make lifelong friends the bitterest of enemies and families to separate for life.

So why would I even begin to talk about something that has both a religious and political tie to it?  Because I see the article I am about to speak about more as a lack of political commonsense and for the greater good than I do a religious matter, despite the overall topic of discussion.  As a little pre-reading for what I am about to wax inelegant about, take a look at Ark Encounter from Huffington Post.

According to the article the governor of Kentucky, Steve Beshear, a Democrat by the way has decided to cut funding for numerous state programs, not the least of which is a 6.4 percent cut to the higher education budget, a 2.2 percent cut to the State Police and several other agencies or programs.  Now, never being an elected official, especially one for the highest office of the state, I do realize that sometimes they need to make the hard choices and money is not in an inexhaustible supply these days and sometimes that involves shrinking a budget or at a minimum not growing it any.  However, should you, after announcing cuts to vital agencies, extend a 43 million dollar tax cut to an amusement park which is dedicated to Creationism, to be known as ‘Ark Encounter’?

Just a little rundown on the proposed numbers that relate to Ark Encounter as they apply to the state.  A possible 43 million dollar tax-break.  11 million dedicated to improving the highway interchange near the park.  172 million as the projected cost of the project, which has made it through various committees of the Kentucky government.  Making one wonder what is the overall involvement of the state in the development of this attraction.

I will put aside my generally areligious opinions for a bit and discuss a few of the issues at hand (notice I said areligious meaning anti-religion, nowhere did I speak of faith).  Kentucky recently had a church decide, and then quickly retract the decision, to not honor marriages between different ethnicities (white and black marriage) and has an entire region (the Appalachian), that is considered one of the poorest and least healthy in the nation.  So instead of taking some of that money the governor intends to cut out of these vital agencies and donate it to the Mountain Dew swilling, Oxycodone addicted people of Eastern Kentucky, he is going to further undercut potential earnings to the state by providing a tax break to a for-profit religious based organization.  Only in the south would a Democrat vote along the same lines as a Tea Party member.

Personal opinion in this topic and any other that pops up in the same category, politicians and elected officials need to be figuring out ways to fund education, maintain their police forces, get whole segments of the population off their asses and decrease their dependency on welfare rather than legalizing exemptions on taxes for what is indicated to be a fairly substantial money making private enterprise.  The other venture by the group Answers In Genesis, is the Creation Museum and it has drawn millions of people since it opened in 2007.  As an Evangelical group, AIG more than likely already has tax-exempt status for their group, just not for their obviously for-profit endeavors, such as an amusement or theme park.  Governor Beshear’s plan seems to me to be a way to build in a tax exemption into this obviously for-profit subsidiary and more than likely runs into issues at a Constitutional level.

Unfriend me if you like.  My opinion in this matter may not be very popular, but I am prepared to live with that.  When it comes to government and religion I really do not care if you open a meeting with a prayer or have a moment of silence for an occasion, especially in a memorial service.  I do care however when religious views are forced upon me as a matter of law, organizations receive extra breaks of their for-profit endeavors and our allegedly “christian” society will accept and allow a whole segment of their state, wallow in destitution and foster their dependence on government subsidies just to give a theme park a tax break.  I do not care what your belief system is or lack of it, whatever the case may be.  I try to be a good person, raise my kids to be good people and to help those in need whenever possible, provided it does not cost me to the detriment of my family.  If that is not enough to be considered good, then we probably have nothing more to talk about.  Politics and religion do not mix, the Founding Fathers recognized that, somewhere along the line Americans forgot it.  A Secular government does not mean it is one without faith, it just means that it does the best it can as people, not as their religious or personal beliefs dictate.


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