You’re all aware of Ark Encounter, the project planned by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia, famed for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG) and for the mind-boggling Creation Museum.
Various commentators, including your humble Curmudgeon, have been writing about Hambo’s Ark, with due attention to the bond issue, the tax incentives, the various church and state entanglements, and the overall absurdity of a theme park designed to attract the most ignorant segment of the population. But we’ve started to wonder about something else. Aside from tourism and its expected profits — regarding which we have no objections — we’ve been asking ourselves: Why Noah’s Ark?
Of all the possible religious symbols in our culture, the Ark seems to be among the least significant. If you were to ask a sample of religious folk about scriptural tales that symbolize or are important to their faith, some might mention the original sin of Adam & Eve, or maybe the crossing of the Red Sea, or the miracle represented by a manger scene, or the Crucifixion — but our guess is that virtually no one would list the Flood and Noah’s Ark among the first things that come to mind. Yet ol’ Hambo is building an Ark. Why?
The Flood is among the least believable miracles in the bible. In our unique terminology — see The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Miracles — it’s a Category Two miracle, one which is easily refuted because it’s contradicted by verifiable geological and biological evidence.
In discussing why ol’ Hambo and AIG are building an Ark, we want to be very careful. We’re not accusing Hambo of anything. His motives are his own, and we don’t know what’s going on in his mind. He has often said that the purpose of his Ark is evangelistic; it will enable him to reach millions of souls. Okay. That’s what he says. As we all know, Hambo is a holy man, motivated solely by holy thoughts. So even though he’s not using his own funds for the project, we accept that his motivation is holy.
But what if such a project were to be undertaken by someone with lesser motives? We’ve been speculating about what those motives might be, and this little essay is the result. However, we want no ambiguity on this point: we’re not talking about Hambo’s motives. Those are undoubtedly noble.
One advantage of something like the Ark project is that it’s a huge construction job. Anyone can build a manger or put a cross on a hill, but building an Ark is a big deal. Why is size an advantage? Surely we don’t need to spell it out for you, but we will.
Every corrupt politician knows that one of the best ways to squeeze some illegal gain out of his position is to control the spending of government funds. Almost every day, a brief glance at the headlines reveals some of the ways a politician can get money for himself out of a public spending project. Contractors, suppliers, consultants, and labor unions are always grateful for government jobs, and in the political realm they know they have to — cough, cough — show their gratitude.
But please, dear reader, we want no misunderstanding here, so again we say — with emphasis! — that ol’ Hambo would never consider such behavior. Why? Because Hambo is a holy man, an honorable man. His motives are pure, and corruption is impossible where he’s involved. Of that you may be certain. Those who contribute to Hambo’s Ark may be confident that all is well.
Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.