When Australian creationist Ken Ham pitched the idea of building a giant Noah’s Ark in a rural area of Kentucky, folks in the community of Williamstown got excited. Many of them were certain that the ark would become a major tourist attraction and bring visitors – and their cash – to this struggling area.
Ken Ham has been on quite a tear against Americans United lately. The Australian creationist is all worked up because AU continues to point out the inconvenient fact that he built his Ark Encounter park, a re-creation of Noah’s Ark in northern Kentucky, in part on the backs of the state’s taxpayers.
Ken Ham’s $102 million Ark Encounter theme park in Williamstown, Ky., opens today. The official launch of this boat on dry land has led to a spate of media attention for the Australian creationist and would-be Noah.
Ham’s “ark park” was the subject of a lengthy New York Times story recently, during which Ham admitted, yet again, that the entire project has one goal: converting people to his brand of fundamentalist Christianity.
The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority approved $18 million in tax incentives for Answers In Genesis’ Ark Encounter theme park in April.
Former Gov. Steve Beshear (D) had opposed granting incentives to the park, but Answers in Genesis filed a lawsuit claiming the state’s refusal violated its religious-freedom rights. In January, a federal court agreed, and Beshear’s successor, Matt Bevin (R), announced he would not appeal the ruling. According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, Bevin also packed the tourism board with new appointees after taking office.
Political news of late has been dominated by three people – Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. They’ve certainly provided good copy, but there are some other things going on politically that you might not have heard about.
Let’s consider Kentucky, for example. The commonwealth has been the site of mostly bad news lately. Ken Ham’s “Ark Park” is getting taxpayer incentives, and the state’s Republican governor, Matt Bevin, is thrilled.
Officials in Kentucky have apparently decided that they’re willing to endure a large amount of embarrassment if it will bring some mediocre jobs to the state.
Media outlets reported recently that the state will spend $10 million on road improvements near the infamous “Ark Park,” a creationist attraction being erected in Williamstown by Ken Ham.
Thanks to a misguided federal court ruling, Kentucky taxpayers will soon be footing the bill for a package of tax incentives designed to prop up an evangelistic theme park based on the biblical story of Noah’s Ark.
Americans United has followed the saga of the so-called “Ark Park” for years. The attraction sprang from the mind of Ken Ham, a creationist who decided it would be a good idea to build a large replica of Noah’s Ark in Grant County, Ky.
Late yesterday afternoon, a federal judge in Kentucky ruled that creationist Ken Ham’s controversial “Ark Park” has a legal and constitutional right to receive a package of tax incentives from the state and, thus, the taxpayers.
As 2015 winds down, you’ll encounter a lot of lists – best movies of the year, what’s hot and what’s not and so on. Well, here’s our version of that: a list of what we at “The Wall of Separation” consider to be the Top Ten church-state stories of 2015:
Although Kentucky officials rightly rejected up to $18 million in tax rebates for an overtly religious theme park last year, it seems some state lawmakers are still hell bent on doing everything in their power to offer public assistance to that attraction.