It is getting a little difficult to keep up with the latest news concerning Australian creationist Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter theme park in Kentucky, but let’s try. I promise you, it’s worth it.
Ken Ham, the Australian creationist who decided to build a replica of Noah’s Ark on the backs of Kentucky’s taxpayers, may have finally gone too far.
When Australian evangelist and creationist Ken Ham decided he wanted to open Ark Encounter, a theme park centered on a rendition of Noah’s Ark in northern Kentucky, he was quick to point out that the facility would be a for-profit enterprise.
Australian creationist Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter, a taxpayer-subsidized re-creation of Noah’s Ark in Williamstown, Ky., is not providing the economic boost local officials had hoped for.
“It’s been a great thing but it’s not brought us any money,” Grant County Judge-Executive Steve Wood told Lexington’s WKYT-TV recently. “I was one of those believers that once the Ark was here everything was going to come in. But it’s not done it. It’s not done it. I think the Ark’s done well and I’m glad for them on that. But it’s not done us good at all.”
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.
One can say many things about Beowulf, the Old English epic poem that dates between the 8th and 11th centuries: Its authorship is unknown, it’s an important part of the Western canon and it’s the bane of many a college freshman.
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.
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.