Ken Ham Rants About “Biased” Ark News

You may recall that we recently wrote A Summary of Ark Park Financial Gimmicks, using information from the Cincinnati Enquirer of Cincinnati, Ohio, just across the border from Northern Kentucky where Ken Ham’s creationist empire is located.

It was about the amazing financial history of Ark Encounter, the religious theme park being built by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. He’s the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia, famed not only for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG), but also for the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum.

Today, to our delight, ol’ Hambo has a response printed in Enquirer. The headline is Taxpayer funds not used to build ark. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

It’s become clear that changes within the Enquirer leadership have led to a very different editorial slant. While we have appreciated the fair coverage our Creation Museum and Ark Encounter have generally received in the paper over the years, the June 28 article on our soon-to-open Ark Encounter only manifested the growing bias the paper has against biblical Christianity.

Observe that Hambo equates his business interests and biblical Christianity. In his mind, they are identical. Then he says:

The anti-Ark article was riddled with errors and misrepresentations. Here are just a few, with more pointed out on our website.

We’ll have to be a bit selective here, but you can read the whole rant if you like. Okay, here are Hambo’s rebuttals of the newspaper’s numerous “errors and misrepresentations”:

Taxpayer/public funds were NOT used in any way to fund the construction of the life-sized Noah’s Ark opening July 7 in Williamstown.

Not directly, but as we mentioned, the anticipation that there would be millions in tax rebates certainly helped to make the bonds seem more attractive. Let’s read on:

All funds (bonds and donations) to build the Ark Encounter have come from private supporters of the Ark project.

That’s not entirely true — well, it is true, technically, but it gives a false impression. The press never mentions this, but as we discussed a couple of years ago in Ken Ham — Looking for More Tax Breaks, the bond issue originally failed to raise the minimum required, so the closing date had to be extended. Even then, they were still short of selling the necessary minimum amount of bonds. To avoid a financing failure, AIG had to step in and buy between $2.5 million to $3 million of the ark bonds. So the funds did come from private supporters, but not the way Hambo would have preferred.

The list of the newspaper’s “errors and misrepresentations” continues:

Yes, the Ark Encounter has the opportunity through Kentucky’s tourism incentive program to receive a future rebate of sales taxes that it generates at our theme park up to $18.25 million over a 10-year period after it opens. (And as the writer did correctly state, the right of the Ark Encounter to participate in this program was upheld in federal court.)

Ah yes — the legendary court victory. But as we keep reminding you, it didn’t happen that way. Early in the case, long before the trial began, the judge issued a temporary injunction preventing the state from denying the tax goodies. That is sometimes done to preserve the status quo in order to prevent damage being done until the case can be decided. At that point, the Governor stepped in and caused the state to withdraw from the case. It wasn’t a court victory on the merits of Hambo’s case; it was an embarrassing incident of lexus interruptus. Here’s more from Hambo:

It’s disappointing to see such a hit piece with numerous misrepresentations about our privately funded project.

Yeah — privately funded. No government help at all. Hambo finishes on a jubilant note:

Regardless, we are excited about the positive impact the Ark Encounter will have on our community, the Enquirer’s June 28 article notwithstanding. Even as this paper throws a wet blanket on our family theme park, the community will be celebrating next week.

If the community will be celebrating Noah’s Ark, life must be horribly dull in Northern Kentucky.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “Ken Ham Rants About “Biased” Ark News

  1. I had some comments on Ham’s comments on a separate newspaper article about the new facility.

    “Speaking out against Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter theme park that will open to the public next week, Bill Nye, known as “The Science Guy,” has argued that there is no way dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time.
    Nye shared his thoughts about the large-scale project in an interview with The New York Times earlier this week, where he said: “Humans and ancient dinosaurs did not live at the same time. It’s completely unreasonable.”

    “We’re going to raise a generation of kids who are scientifically illiterate,” he added.

    The NYT article went on to claim that the presentation of the Ark Encounter is wrong, and said that science “has established that the Earth is billions of years old, and no worldwide flood occurred in the last 6,000 years.””
    “Yet his interpretation of what he calls “the Christian message” is derided by most scientists and educators, and resented even by some Christians who consider it indefensible and even embarrassing.”

    But of course the fundamentalist Ken Ham pretends that he is not only a lover of science but that he and his organisation have a superior understanding of science to everyone else. (as flagged in the Christian Post article)
    “The New York Times piece smacks of British tabloidism by a reporter who wouldn’t interview Answers in Genesis scientists after we suggested it.
    Many reporters today don’t report news — they use their position to push their obvious anti-biblical agenda and denigrate Christians/creationists. Secular reporters often refuse to talk to AiG scientists because of their anti-Christian agenda and don’t understand science. And many reporters are so brainwashed by secular evolutionary beliefs, they can’t distinguish belief from fact.”

    But the fact is that most journalists, whatever their actual scientific background if any, are fully aware that what is pushed – hard – by Answers in Genesis is NOT ‘science’.
    “Media misuse science to claim creationists are against science. What they really mean is they accept secular beliefs and reject creation beliefs.”
    But – for all his many words on facebook – Ken Ham cannot back up his claims that creationists are ‘pro’ science.

    Despite the shrill protestations of Ken Ham Answers in Genesis are certainly anti-science.

    For instance:
    “the kinds on board the Ark were not individual species but, rather, representatives of various biological families.”
    How can animals not be members of a species? Only in the world of young earth creationist made-up pseudo-scientific apologetics.

    Or then again.

    “How can animals not be members of a species?” They could of course be a hybrid of two or more species.

    Which of course is not the YEC ark hypothesis ie the animals on board were ‘hybrids’ is not their allegation. (from 2007)
    “Over the millennia since the Curse, information in the genomes of animals has steadily decreased via natural selection causing speciation, such that in many cases, it is said that several separate species exist within what would be considered one biblical kind.”

    According to Answers in Genesis and other young earth creationists the Curse was around 1,000 years before the Flood. Yet – apparently – there were still ‘no’ species by the time God sent animals to Noah.

    And that is ‘creation science’.

  2. My attempted comment vanished due I assume to multiple links. I trust it was received OK (I have saved it).

    [*Voice from above*] All is well.

  3. Golly, when I get a rebate on my taxes it comes from taxpayer funds. Since his doesn’t [sic], where does it come from?

  4. resented even by some Christians

    I suggest that this is understatement.

    The Clergy Letter Project has 13,254 signatures as of yesterday.

  5. Some of the spacing between paras in my opening comment went awry. Hope you can still distinguish OK between quotations from articles/links and my own observations.

  6. What we really need is less of legal lexus interruptus and a lot more Arkus interruptus.

  7. Stephen Richards

    A response by Christian scientists to Hambo’s flood geology may be found at Flood Geology and the Grand Canyon

    I think many Christians feel resentment or dismay at Hambo’s tax rebates and theology.

  8. Charles Deetz ;)

    Thanks for the lengthy post, Ashley, a number of Hammy gems in there. He seems to be taking the tact of Trump in accusing the press of being evil and agenda driven. Isn’t the point of the AE to thumb his nose at conventional thinking, yet he rants like they should suck it all up.

  9. Charles Deetz ;)

    And a good link from Stephen Richards. Enough facts in there to keep Hambo and the ICR making up science for years.

  10. I think Ken Ham is lying.

    He reportedly funded the Ark park with a whopping $62 million in TIFs, or tax increment financing. That’s $62 money that the City of Williamstown gave him. If his park succeeds, it gets “paid back” interest-free through property taxes that the park would have paid anyway! So Ham pretends it’s a legitimate bond or loan, when it’s actually an involuntary gift from the taxpayers of Kentucky.

  11. Here’s an interesting Canadian article about TIFs, that takes a bit more skeptical view of them. It describes them as “…direct subsidies for the developers.” (In the case where the private sector would have developed them anyway.)

    The Ark project needs to last decades to make it worthwhile to the tax base, and despite the baffling success of the creation museum it is highly doubtful people will be still be taking their kids there in 2036.

  12. Eric Lipps

    The “creation museum” succeeds like any theme park, by roping in the rubes, the folks just looking to have a good brainless time, the merely curious and the media.

    Hambo’s Ark may do the same, which doesn’t make it any less ridiculous than an entertainment empire built around a talking bipedal rodent. But as P.T. Barnum (a distant relative) supposedly said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”