Americans United has long been skeptical that Ark Encounter, a proposed theme park in Kentucky that will feature a 510-foot replica of Noah’s Ark, could ever live up to the enormous projected attendance figures claimed by its leadership in order to secure public assistance. As it turns out, the numbers submitted by Ark Encounter were indeed wildly inflated.
As this issue of Church & State went to press, officials in Kentucky announced that they will not offer tax incentives to a controversial theme park proposed by the creationist ministry Answers in Genesis. The officials said giving tax aid to the evangelistic park would violate the separation of church and state.
Look for more details in the February issue of Church & State.
A proposed theme park based on the story of Noah’s Ark will not receive tax incentives from the state of Kentucky, officials announced today.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State hailed the move.
“This project was never a good candidate for public funding,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Its purpose is to promote fundamentalist Christianity, and it should be funded with private contributions from believers.”
Thanks to a complaint from Americans United, a proposed theme park run by a fundamentalist Christian ministry is in danger of losing tax incentives preliminarily approved by misguided Kentucky officials. Now, with so much at stake, that ministry is going on the offensive – claiming it has a “religious liberty” right to taxpayer subsidies!
After years of complaints by Americans United about Kentucky’s ongoing taxpayer assistance for a Christian fundamentalist theme park, it seems state officials may finally be having second thoughts about their involvement with the project.
If you believe homosexuality is a sin, the Earth is a few thousand years old and the Bible is literally true, then Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis (AiG), may have a job for you.
“Per the required Statement of Faith, an applicant must profess, inter alia, that homosexuality is a sin on par with bestiality and incest, that the earth is only 6,000 years old, and that the bible is literally true in order to be considered for the job,” read the requirements for employment posted until recently on AiG’s website.
Ken Ham, president of the fundamentalist ministry Answers in Genesis, has sold Kentucky lawmakers on the idea that a religious theme park featuring a 510-foot replica of Noah’s Ark deserves taxpayer dollars because it will create jobs.
A proposed creationist theme park, the “Ark Encounter,” has received preliminary approval for tax rebates from Kentucky’s state tourism board. The rebates would total nearly $18 million, approximately 25 percent of the park’s total budget.
The Associated Press reported that the park (often informally called the “Ark Park”), is being bankrolled by a subsidiary of Answers in Genesis, a creationist ministry. Mike Zorvath, who co-founded the project, told the AP that the park is intended to “present the gospel” to visitors.
For years, Americans United has been critical of attempts by local and state lawmakers in Kentucky to provide financial assistance to Ark Encounter, a proposed theme park that would feature a 510-foot replica of Noah’s Ark. Now Ken Ham, head of the fundamentalist ministry Answers in Genesis (AiG), which is spearheading the project, finally responded to AU’s criticisms.