Noah’s Ark Theme Park Coming To Rescue Kentucky

Image: Ark Encounter

Image: Ark Encounter

We really need a “you can’t make this stuff up” tag for stories like this. The hope is that the Ark Encounter theme park will attract conservative Christians, ‘Intelligent Design’ believers and creationists from all across America, perhaps bailing out Kentucky from it’s flood of red ink. It may well work, but should the state be subsidizing what is clearly a religious venture? Laurie Goodstein reports for the New York Times:

Facing a rising tide of joblessness, the governor of Kentucky has found one solution: build an ark.

The state has promised generous tax incentives to a group of entrepreneurs who plan to construct a full-size replica of Noah’s ark, load it with animals and actors, and make it the centerpiece of a Bible-based tourist attraction called Ark Encounter.

Since Gov. Steven L. Beshear announced the plan on Wednesday, some constitutional experts have raised alarms over whether government backing for an enterprise that promotes religion violates the First Amendment’s requirement of separation of church and state. But Mr. Beshear, a Democrat, said the arrangement posed no constitutional problem, and brushed off questions about his stand on creationism.

“The people of Kentucky didn’t elect me governor to debate religion,” he said at a news conference. “They elected me governor to create jobs.”

The theme park was conceived by the same Christian ministry that built the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., where dioramas designed to debunk evolution show humans and dinosaurs coexisting peacefully on an earth created by God in six days. The ministry, Answers in Genesis, believes that the earth is only 6,000 years old — a controversial assertion even among many Bible-believing Christians.

Although the Creation Museum has been a target of ridicule by some, it has drawn 1.2 million visitors in its first three years — proving that there is a sizable paying audience for entertainment rooted in a literal interpretation of the Bible…

[continues in the New York Times]

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  • Dave_Plankton

    Unbelievable. The Ark Encounter site describes the fable of the ark as “one of the best-known historical accounts in the Bible” and claims that “millions will come to see it, and learn how it and the Flood were real events in history.” There’s even a link to the Creation Museum homepage- a veritable collection of batshit insanity.

    Since this is clearly designed to promote religion the state should have no part in it. I would hope that concerned residents and electors in Kentucky will contact the Governor- who incidentally is up for re-election next year- to tell him exactly what they think and mount a campaign to pressure him into keeping public money away from this project. I would expect this stupidity from Sarah Palin and her Teabaggers, not from the Democrats.

    • Caelidh

      this is unfortunately in my neck of the woods.
      These so called “jobs;’ are for a THEME Park.. seasonal jobs… and you have to sign a LOYALTY statement of belief (that you believe in the AIG Biblical creationist literal version) to work for them!!!..

      Who is going to have MONEY to GO to such a folly Theme park anyway? It is more goofy propaganda entertainment …

      We need REAL production jobs.. build a solar or wind plant or something.. have business incubators.. get folks growing food… something long lasting that will provide a REAL investment into the economy.. But NOOOO.. they have to go and support this goofy ride.

      Remember what happened to HERITAGE USA.. another CHristian Theme park.. This AIG run boondogle will last 5 years at the most and then it’s skeletal remains will crumble and 2000 years from now.. archeologists will be pondering and trying to find Noah’s 2nd ark.. Geesh!

      Sigh.. I am scared that humanity IS doomed!!!!

      • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

        Desperation and appeasement work more miracles than Christ ever did. You have my sympathy. Michigan is in a pit of economic despair…but we haven’t hit the level of building phony theme parks to bolster church revenues yet. We have built casinos all over the state…but at least those jobs have stayed and the casinos are still open years later…plus, the only fraud they are based on is the thin possibility of getting a pile of cash…which is legit compared to the Christian gamble (devote your life to the church and when you die there will be sky cake in the magic castle with our invisible patriarch.)

      • Haystack

        I can’t fathom how it’s constitutional to use state money to fund an organization that not only promotes a religion, but denies jobs to non-Christians.

        And yet they get a stick up their ass because some art in the Smithsonian shows ants crawling on a crucifix.

    • Somavolta

      I am a kentucky resident. This is just the governor’s project, he’s backing it with his own money. No public funds are being used to build this.

  • Anonymous

    Unbelievable. The Ark Encounter site describes the fable of the ark as “one of the best-known historical accounts in the Bible” and claims that “millions will come to see it, and learn how it and the Flood were real events in history.” There’s even a link to the Creation Museum homepage- a veritable collection of batshit insanity.

    Since this is clearly designed to promote religion the state should have no part in it. I would hope that concerned residents and electors in Kentucky will contact the Governor- who incidentally is up for re-election next year- to tell him exactly what they think and mount a campaign to pressure him into keeping public money away from this project. I would expect this stupidity from Sarah Palin and her Teabaggers, not from the Democrats.

  • Caelidh

    this is unfortunately in my neck of the woods.
    These so called “jobs;’ are for a THEME Park.. seasonal jobs… and you have to sign a LOYALTY statement of belief (that you believe in the AIG Biblical creationist literal version) to work for them!!!..

    Who is going to have MONEY to GO to such a folly Theme park anyway? It is more goofy propaganda entertainment …

    We need REAL production jobs.. build a solar or wind plant or something.. have business incubators.. get folks growing food… something long lasting that will provide a REAL investment into the economy.. But NOOOO.. they have to go and support this goofy ride.

    Remember what happened to HERITAGE USA.. another CHristian Theme park.. This AIG run boondogle will last 5 years at the most and then it’s skeletal remains will crumble and 2000 years from now.. archeologists will be pondering and trying to find Noah’s 2nd ark.. Geesh!

    Sigh.. I am scared that humanity IS doomed!!!!

  • Randy

    I see a big white elephant in the making.

  • Randy

    I see a big white elephant in the making.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Desperation and appeasement work more miracles than Christ ever did. You have my sympathy. Michigan is in a pit of economic despair…but we haven’t hit the level of building phony theme parks to bolster church revenues yet. We have built casinos all over the state…but at least those jobs have stayed and the casinos are still open years later…plus, the only fraud they are based on is the thin possibility of getting a pile of cash…which is legit compared to the Christian gamble (devote your life to the church and when you die there will be sky cake in the magic castle with our invisible patriarch.)

  • Haystack

    No you guys, this is a good thing.

    “Excuse me, sir. There seem to be some animal species missing from your exhibit. Where are the…”

    “Oh, sorry. We didn’t have room.”

    “But this is a full-sized replica, right?”

    Yeah, I’ll pay a ticket to see that. *grins*

  • Haystack

    No you guys, this is a good thing.

    “Excuse me, sir. There seem to be some animal species missing from your exhibit. Where are the…”

    “Oh, sorry. We didn’t have room.”

    “But this is a full-sized replica, right?”

    Yeah, I’ll pay a ticket to see that. *grins*

  • Haystack

    I can’t fathom how it’s constitutional to use state money to fund an organization that not only promotes a religion, but denies jobs to non-Christians.

    And yet they get a stick up their ass because some art in the Smithsonian shows ants crawling on a crucifix.

  • 5by5

    This brings to mind Lewis Black’s hilarious rant about getting one of these states where there’s nothing and just building “a big fucking thing”, so people will go to see the big fucking thing, and we’ll have to staff the big fucking thing thus creating jobs…

    I think he was more meaning something actually useful, though, like say a new electricity grid, or giant hydroelectric damn, or solar power station or something, not a religious park for crazy people who actually think Noah could actually cram all 30 million species on this planet into a boat.

  • 5by5

    This brings to mind Lewis Black’s hilarious rant about getting one of these states where there’s nothing and just building “a big fucking thing”, so people will go to see the big fucking thing, and we’ll have to staff the big fucking thing thus creating jobs…

    I think he was more meaning something actually useful, though, like say a new electricity grid, or giant hydroelectric damn, or solar power station or something, not a religious park for crazy people who actually think Noah could actually cram all 30 million species on this planet into a boat.

  • Somavolta

    I am a kentucky resident. This is just the governor’s project, he’s backing it with his own money. No public funds are being used to build this.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NS7MLVSCJ26VK5NSGYXKMU7TNA Rufus Dill

    Well, I look at it this ways: I voted for Bashear in 2007 because of his promise to bring Casino gambling to Kentucky which has yet to occur. Now I’m all for them being able to have this Ark Encounter in Kentucky if we can also get legalized gambling across this state in order to make us Nevada East.

    I would really love for Casinos to come to all the bigger towns in Kentucky like Richmond because I’d love to be able work in a casino, alongside all the hot chicks that usually work in them, and watch UK basketball games on tv at the same time.

    If we more enlightened folks can’t have casinos though, then I’m highly opposed to the Ark Encounter. If we can have both legalized houses of sin and pleasure and the Ark, I don’t think it violates separation of church and state as much as the Ark Encounter by itself.

    • Hadrian999

      combine them, have the noah’s ark riverboat casino

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NS7MLVSCJ26VK5NSGYXKMU7TNA Rufus Dill

    Well, I look at it this ways: I voted for Bashear in 2007 because of his promise to bring Casino gambling to Kentucky which has yet to occur. Now I’m all for them being able to have this Ark Encounter in Kentucky if we can also get legalized gambling across this state in order to make us Nevada East.

    I would really love for Casinos to come to all the bigger towns in Kentucky like Richmond because I’d love to be able work in a casino, alongside all the hot chicks that usually work in them, and watch UK basketball games on tv at the same time.

    If we more enlightened folks can’t have casinos though, then I’m highly opposed to the Ark Encounter. If we can have both legalized houses of sin and pleasure and the Ark, I don’t think it violates separation of church and state as much as the Ark Encounter by itself.

  • Hadrian999

    combine them, have the noah’s ark riverboat casino

  • Bigatheist

    If you can’t beat them piss them off by making their victory yours.

    For our Pastafarian friends this Ark they are building should really be a holy shrine for it seems to me that Noah was the First Pirate. Lets look at the truth behind the tale: Noah built the biggest pirate ship of all times, he pillaged the whole earth of its most precious cargo (it’s life) to preserve it, he and his crew escaped in a sea manifest by his almighty FSM filling the earth with his most perfect sauce, and in the end for all those left behind who might seek to do harm to Noah, were destroyed by his Divine Noodliness in a watery grave. A most divine and perfect legend of piracy indeed. For his great deed, Noah must be considered the first King of the Pirates and among the most holy to the Pastafarians. Unfortunately in time, the Christians ,descendents of his own crew they may be, sought to corrupt this most divine legend and fulfill their evil plot to steel illegally and in cowardice that which Noah had stolen legally thru the miracle intervention of his divine Noodliness, And so they build their shrine to their false gods, knowing not the truth but only the lie handed down to them by their mutinous ancestors. And in doing so, they are really creating a most holy site for the true believers, the “Shrine of the Pirate King”. In homage I think it is the responsibility of every true believer to make offerings of rum, pirate flags, and parchment bestowing the truth of Noah the Pirate King and the treachery of those who would steal the true meaning of the ark. We should encourage attendees to the shrine to dress in their most ceremonial pirate attire and then preform a gig on this most holy a shrine to let his most Noodly Lord know that the faithful have not forgotten the truth and are not afraid to celebrate his glory.

  • Bigatheist

    If you can’t beat them piss them off by making their victory yours.

    For our Pastafarian friends this Ark they are building should really be a holy shrine for it seems to me that Noah was the First Pirate. Lets look at the truth behind the tale: Noah built the biggest pirate ship of all times, he pillaged the whole earth of its most precious cargo (it’s life) to preserve it, he and his crew escaped in a sea manifest by his almighty FSM filling the earth with his most perfect sauce, and in the end for all those left behind who might seek to do harm to Noah, were destroyed by his Divine Noodliness in a watery grave. A most divine and perfect legend of piracy indeed. For his great deed, Noah must be considered the first King of the Pirates and among the most holy to the Pastafarians. Unfortunately in time, the Christians ,descendents of his own crew they may be, sought to corrupt this most divine legend and fulfill their evil plot to steel illegally and in cowardice that which Noah had stolen legally thru the miracle intervention of his divine Noodliness, And so they build their shrine to their false gods, knowing not the truth but only the lie handed down to them by their mutinous ancestors. And in doing so, they are really creating a most holy site for the true believers, the “Shrine of the Pirate King”. In homage I think it is the responsibility of every true believer to make offerings of rum, pirate flags, and parchment bestowing the truth of Noah the Pirate King and the treachery of those who would steal the true meaning of the ark. We should encourage attendees to the shrine to dress in their most ceremonial pirate attire and then preform a gig on this most holy a shrine to let his most Noodly Lord know that the faithful have not forgotten the truth and are not afraid to celebrate his glory.