Though it may not be as exciting as Gog vs. Magog, the battle between Ken Ham and the heathens and haters who oppose his Christian Creationist theme park is heating up. Stung by a recent article in the Courier-Journal that debunks exaggerated estimates of the park’s prospective attendance, Ham has fired back angry rebuttals on Facebook and on his blog. Also, his “Answers in Genesis” website continues to blame the media for what it calls misrepresentations.
A lot of bloggers – especially lefties like Barefoot and Progressive – are having a field day with the idea of a giant Noah’s Ark being built by Kentuckians who believe the God of the Old Testament destroyed the world just a few thousand years ago, and asked Noah to build a giant ship that somehow contained two of every species of animal on Earth. Personally, I have no problem with the idea of the Ark Encounters park, even though I don’t share their beliefs. Nowadays, religion seems to play a much smaller part in the average American’s life, and the “separation of Church and State” routine is increasingly wielded as a kudgel against certain religions, and against the idea of religion itself. I say, let there be lavish theme parks for all religious beliefs, even obscure ones. Could be epic, if you think about it.
The park is being brought to you by a for-profit group called Ark Encounters LLC and a non-profit group called Answers in Genesis, the folks who brought you Kentucky’s Creation Museum.
You may remember that I wrote about the Creation Museum in a somewhat irreverent style in Weird Kentucky, which prompted Ken Ham to fire back a rebuttal on his site, and also prompted an angry letter to me from one of his faithful. When writing the book, I had sources for each of the points that Mr. Ham takes umbrage to – not to mention my own firsthand experience – but that’s not the point. I knew full well when I wrote it that it would be publicity for the Museum, and as Bela Lugosi said, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.” Ham himself even acknowledges this:
“Regardless — it is all still advertising! We have met a number of people who have come to the Creation Museum out of sheer curiosity because of hearing things like this—and we praise the Lord that they come! At least they will hear the gospel clearly presented.”
And so I find myself in the odd position of supporting Mr. Ham and his enterprises, even though I disagree with the premise they’re based on, and even though Mr. Ham himself doesn’t seem to get that I’m actually trying to help him despite our differences. There are many religion-hating persons out there, who seek to stop Creationists from spreading their message like this – I am not among them. Unlike arrogant atheists like Bill Maher, I wholeheartedly support what Mr. Ham is doing, even if I do find his Flintstones-esque message to be scientifically incorrect and scripturally unsound.
Ham & Co. probably don’t welcome my support, however, since I just don’t fall into lockstep with their dogma. Ham is at his most frightening when he says: “The issue we challenge people with concerns not undermining (thus rejecting) the absolute authority of God’s Word!” Ham’s idea of God has much more important supporters on his side, anyway – like Gov. Beshear himself, who seems absolutely thrilled about all this. From Forbes:
“Gov. Steve Beshear said he favors providing the tax incentives to encourage investors to move ahead with the Ark Encounter project that investors claim would create about 900 permanent jobs and have a $214 million economic impact in its first year of operation. The governor, who is seeking re-election next year, showed little patience with people who object to the project on religious grounds. “The people of Kentucky didn’t elect me governor to debate religion,” Beshear said. “They elected me governor to create jobs. That’s what we’re doing here, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do.”
Want to lend a hand to help make our state a weirder place to live in, and help Ham build his ark? Click here! You can sponsor a piece of the ark – $100 for a peg, $1000 for a plank, and $5000 for a beam! You can also donate on the phone by calling toll-free 1-855-CTHEARK (1-855-284-3275).