Kentucky Makes Taxpayers Fund Noah's Ark Theme Park

Kentucky state officials recently agreed to contribute more than $40 million in state taxpayer funds toward the construction of a Biblical-themed amusement park featuring a full-scale “replica” of Noah's Ark. Those backing the project – and who will benefit from the precious taxpayer cash – include Answers in Genesis, the fundamentalist Christian group that runs Kentucky’s infamous “Creation Museum,” where visitors are told that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old, and dinosaurs walked alongside humans.

The group’s latest enterprise, “Ark Encounter,” will feature a Tower of Babel and a “Journey Through Biblical History,” according to designs on its website. But just in case you were worried, the website also promises that everything will be “historically authentic.” After all, the park will provide “a powerful outreach to teach the world about God’s Word and the message of salvation!”

Oh, boy.

Despite numerous objections that using state funds to build an unabashedly Christian theme park violates the separation of church and state, both the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority and Gov. Steve Beshear (D) have supported the project, arguing it will provide much-needed jobs to the Bluegrass State.

But if you read Ark Encounter’s website, the thanks for their funding belongs to someone else entirely.  

 “Just as God brought the animals to Noah by the appropriate time (Genesis 6:20),” reads one post on Ark Encounter’s blog, “He’s providing the resources for this dynamic experience.

Exactly. As long as by “God,” you really mean the hardworking taxpayers of Kentucky.

In an editorial yesterday, The New York Times regretted that, under current Supreme Court doctrine, state support for the proselytizing theme park could probably withstand a court challenge, but that still doesn’t make the actions of Kentucky officials right:

[G]ranting tax incentives to the explicitly Christian enterprise clearly clashes with the First Amendment’s prohibition on government establishment of religion. Public money is not supposed to pay to advance religion. Kentucky’s citizens should certainly ask themselves if this is really the best use of taxpayer dollars.

If the project moves forward as planned, Ark Encounter would open in 2014 and continue receiving taxpayer dollars for the next 10 years.

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Great points!!
I am outraged. I voted for this governor TWICE! He better have a damn good reason for this bullshit.
I certainly will choose not to visit such a ridiculous park, but were I a citizen of Kentucky, I would be outraged at having my tax dollars spent on a religion-promoting endeavor. That absolutely is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Your comparison to the building of a cathedral is fatuous. Tax dollars in this secular country are not supposed to be spent on anything religious. And your comparison to the government spending money on science and space projects is likewise illogical, since these are secular objectives. The government is not required to fund in parity between religious and secular objectives; rather, it is required by law--specifically the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment--NOT to fund or in any way favor or support the establishment of any religion. It seems to me you need to take a course in Constitutional law. Read it. NO mention of any kind of god or creator occurs in our Constitution. We are supposed to be a nation for the people, by the people.
There are so many things wrong with your statement i don't even know where to begin.
A Noah's Ark theme Park does not violate the first amendment anymore than a Cathedral does. No one is forced to visit the park. And if the state contributed to create jobs that is just good sense. I am sure that they have contributed plenty of Christian tax dollars to Science and Space Projects. The fact is that Secularists, as they now call themselves, simply want to wipe any sort of Faith off the face of the earth. They do not believe in "live and let live"
What a waste of money and tax dollars! If I lived in Kentucky I would sue the state government over this ridiculous violation of the 1st amendment.

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