Problem for Ken Ham’s Ark Park?

Noah's Ark (by Edward Hicks, 1846)

Noah’s Ark (by Edward Hicks, 1846)

One of our clandestine operatives notified us of an editorial in the Lexington Herald-Leader of Lexington, Kentucky. It’s titled No more state aid for Ark Park; Don’t endorse discriminatory hiring policy. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Kentucky has an unfortunate history of giving away money. So much so, that tax revenue given up in incentives and rebates now exceeds that collected. An especially unfortunate example of this is the Ark Encounter, approved for tax incentives three years ago but never launched.

You all know what they’re writing about. Our last post on the subject was Joy to the World — The Ark Is Approved. By the way, even if ol’ Hambo’s ark is built, it won’t be “launched” — it’ll be an ungainly, land-locked roadside attraction for drooling creationists. Back to the editorial:

It’s back now with a scaled-back version and has received preliminary approval for $18.25 million in tax incentives, or 25 percent of the total project cost, from the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority.

But that’s not all ol’ Hambo will be getting. Let’s read on:

That’s in addition to the 75 percent break in property taxes over 30 years that the city of Williamstown has awarded the project, the $11 million interchange upgrade the state has agreed to at the KY-36 Williamstown exit off I-75, and the $200,000 the Grant County Industrial Development Authority gave to keep the project there, along with 100 acres of reduced-price land.

M’god — we’ve known about the road project, but the rest is news to us. The Lexington Herald-Leader continues:

Please, this has got to stop, as it should when the Tourism Development Finance Authority meets to consider final approval.

Wow! There may have been other Kentucky editorials like this, but we haven’t seen them. This could signal the start of a big change in public opinion. And they have even more reasons for objecting to all the state goodies. For example:

There have always been serious questions about whether granting tax incentives to a religious theme park violates the principle of separation of church and state, as Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo has asserted.

For news of that, which we haven’t written about, see Stumbo: State tax incentives for Noah’s Ark theme park violate constitution in that same newspaper from a few weeks ago. Back to the editorial:

But even that question is overshadowed by the recent news that the organization which gave rise to the project, Answers in Genesis, requires job applicants to profess that homosexuality is a sin, the Earth is 6,000 years old and the Bible is literally true.

We’re surprised that a Kentucky newspaper would editorialize about such things. It’s very courageous. Here’s one more excerpt, and then you can click over there to read the rest of the editorial for yourself:

The bottom line: Kentucky is willing to give up tax revenue to subsidize a project that will create few good jobs (218 of the 265 jobs projected will be part-time), that’s constitutionally questionable and that’s backed by an organization with discriminatory hiring practices.

We’re delighted. And we expect that ol’ Hambo will swiftly respond. He’ll be sputtering mad, foaming at the mouth, and furious at the “anti-God” newspaper. When that shows up — and it surely will — you may be sure that we’ll post about it. Stay tuned to this blog!

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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17 responses to “Problem for Ken Ham’s Ark Park?

  1. I was drooling like a creationist and rubbing my grubby hands gleefully as I read this post. Could it be that the benighted souls of Kentucky are finally waking up to Hambo’s scam operation? Thanks for keeping up with this little soap opera.

  2. “It’s back now with a scaled-back version”. Which means not all species, sorry, kinds of animals will now not fit in the new, smaller Ark. They could do a raffle or something so the droolers can decide which animals will be excluded & become extinct. For instance those horrible monkeys that we ain’t descended from.

  3. If anything, I think this is an outrage. For a state to spend so much money or offer such incentives for a project that any reasonable person would be opposed to is madness. Maybe they should be helped to wake up. Don’t they have better projects to do? They could start with a community library

  4. There are reasonable people, religious and irreligious, conservative and liberal, in Kentucky. So far, Ham’s been lucky and has had a religious unreasonable group of people on his side, but it was likely to start rankling the reasonable at some point. Good to see it happening.

  5. 265 jobs? I thought you could operate an ark with only 8 people.

  6. michaelfugate

    265 jobs? I thought you could operate an ark with only 8 people.

    That’s if God is helping you – obviously God has abandoned Ham, but then we knew that since God declared pork off limits. So many double-meanings here, hmmm……

  7. L. Ron Hubbard reportedly said something germane on this subject — something our favourite Arkaeologist, Kanny Humbug, is apparently intent on milking dry with the hammed-up assistance of an inexhaustible succession of private and governmental dupes.

  8. Kentuck has found a way to finance discrimination!!!! And we are surprised? Why?? They’re almost in xtian heaven with this!!!

  9. The AIG website has been silent about this. Maybe Hambo has mentioned it on Facebook or Twitter or something, but I never go there so I don’t know.

  10. “Answers in Genesis requires job applicants to profess that homosexuality is a sin, the Earth is 6,000 years old and the Bible is literally true …”

    Somehow I have an overwhelming association to a classic 1984 movie. The Ghostbusters are hiring more help, and their secretary is interviewing an applicant …

    Janine Melnitz: “Do you believe in UFOs, astral projections, mental telepathy, ESP, clairvoyance, spirit photography, telekinetic movement, full trance mediums, the Loch Ness monster and the theory of Atlantis?”

    Winston Zeddemore: “Ah, if there’s a steady paycheck in it, I’ll believe anything you say.”

    Throw in a more Bible-themed list of paranormal stuff, and I guess we arrive at the typical AiG job interview.

  11. michaelfugate

    of course the Earth is 6000 years old, it is also 6001, 6002….4,000,000,000 etc.

  12. The whole project would be more interesting if they built the Ark to look like it would after the flood was over. The inside would be a designed as a very smelly mess; and the landscaping around the ark would be composed of deep mud with skeletons of dead creatures, including people and children, lying strewn about. The scene could feature animatronic models of Noah’s family – he would be naked and drunk in his tent – and the others would speak to visitors at various places around the wrecked Ark in tones and expressions of severe traumatic stress.

    That would capture the spirit of the bible story quite nicely. Oh, and a booming voice from a hidden overhead speaker could occasionally intone “I’m sorry, maybe that was a bad idea”, and “I promise I won’t do that again”.

    Building an ark which has not yet begun it’s voyage is boring and shows nothing of what the story is really about.

  13. Ed suggests: ” Oh, and a booming voice from a hidden overhead speaker could occasionally intone …”

    Hey — that’s my territory!

  14. michaelfugate

    And rainbows – lots and lots of rainbows – but not LBGT rainbows, of course…

  15. I’d love to see these people actually try to build an ark of the dimensions they’ve so carefully translated from Genesis–and then actually try to maintain a full set of “kinds” of animals (plants too) aboard it with no help from the outside for the length of time the Bible says Noah floated his boat.

    I suspect they’d never make it: local sanitation authorities, not to mention the SPCA, would come down on them like a ton of what their animal charges would be producing.

  16. I live in Northern Kentucky, across the Ohio river (that’s Indiana for you all you city folk) and living all my life among these people leads me to think that if money weren’t a problem the question of separation of church and state wouldn’t even be raised. I have friends who were every bit the same child of the 60s that I was meaning sex, pot, hard drugs and hedonistic life style. But somewhere along the line most of them have found religion and I haven’t. They will live for this stuff until it becomes too expensive and their tax money has to pay for it. Then the church and state crap will hit the fan.

  17. “profess that homosexuality is a sin”

    That should stop it dead right there if you ask me.