Noah's Ark Theme Park Gets Final Go-Ahead In Kentucky

by Kate Auletta Subscribe to Kate Auletta's posts Posted May 19th 2011 05:15 PM



The controversial museum, backed in part by Mike Zovath, a co-founder of the Answers in Genesis ministry which previously built Kentucky's 70,00 square-foot Creation Museum, got the funding after months of back and forth over the legitimacy of a religious attraction being funded by a state government.

No matter, the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority voted unanimously to grant more than $40 million in tax rebates for the project, which is scheduled to cost $172 million (visitors to the Ark's website see a "donate here" tab).

Zovath told the Associated Press: "This was the last real hurdle for us as far as I'm concerned." Zovath's purpose, he claims, is to dispel doubts about the biblical event.

The project will include a replica of the Tower of Babel, lecture halls, shops, theaters and, of course, a petting zoo (will there be 2 of every animal?) and live shows. ABC News reported in December, when plans were first announced, that the ark will be taller than a 3-story building, the deck longer than 35 tennis courts, and would be big enough to fit 600 train cars inside.

A consultant who reviewed the proposal for the state's Tourism board said that the project will probably draw 1.4 million visitors per year. That's what Governor Steve Beshear is aiming for, at least. He hopes the park will employ some 600 to 700 people and will bring in $250 million in the first year alone. For those who are counting, the Creation Museum has drawn more than 1 million visitors since it opened over 3 years ago.

But Americans United for Separation of Church and State have something else to say. The company's executive director, Barry W. Lynn, told the AP that Kentucky "should not be promoting the spread of fundamentalist Christianity or any other religious viewpoint. Let these folks build their fundamentalist Disneyland without government help." He added: "This misguided project deserves to sink." (Get it?)

Zovath's response: "The more they try to paint us in a bad light, the more opportunities we have to explain the project."

Check out the plans in a video below:

Filed Under: News

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:
Judy Hall

Where do we go for a job for the Noah`s Ark Creationist Theme Park. For the Grant County , Ky

September 21 2011 at 10:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why do most modern scholars reject a reading of the Bible as history much less as literal fact?

1. In an age of science and technology, too much of the Bible is simply unbelievable to today's mind and turns people away from the underlying messages. From a scientific standpoint, many of the "facts" in the Bible are simply wrong. One of many examples: according to Genesis, the universe is just over 6000 years old. According to physics, the Big Bang occurred 13.7 billion years ago.

2. Many of the stories are also scientifically impossible, like the tale of Joshua stopping the sun moving across the sky. This story assumes (as was the thinking then) that the earth was flat and was at the center of the universe. We simply know this to be false. Second, for the sun to stop would mean that the earth would have to cease rotating on its axis -- an event which would destroy the planet.

3. For many of the miracle stories, natural explanations exist. The authors of these stories lived in an age when people believed that solar eclipses were divine omens, disease was divine punishment, and mental illness was caused by demon possession. In the case of Jesus, healing was an important part of his ministry. However, today we can find faith healers in Haiti who practice voodoo and in tribal Africa who practice witchcraft. Many of these modern-day faith healers have patients who are actually healed by these practices. Doctors call this the placebo effect, an effect so powerful that drugs must undergo double blind experiments.

4. Some of the mythological stories in the Bible are not original, but were borrowed from other traditions. The Epic of Gilgamesh -- a Sumerian poem detailing the creation of the universe that predates the writings of Genesis by many centuries -- contains a flood story whose plot points are almost identical to the story of Noah.

5. The other world religions also contain rich histories of mythology and fantastical sounding (to us) stories. On what basis can we Christians claim that our miracle stories are legitimate, yet theirs are flights of fancy? The mythology surrounding the Buddha, who lived 500 years before Jesus, includes tales of how he healed the sick, walked on water, and flew through the air. His birth was foretold by a spirit (a white elephant rather than the angel Gabriel) who then entered his mother's womb! At his birth, wise men predicted that he would become a great religious leader. Twentieth-century scholars Mircea Eliade and Joseph Campbell wrote that certain archetypal religious myths are found across cultures, histories, and religions. Examples include the Cosmic Tree, the Virgin BIrth, and The Resurrection.

6. The Bible itself is full of inconsistencies. How can it be an accurate historical record, when the various books contradict each other? Here is UNC Religion Professor Bart Ehrman:

"Just take the death of Jesus. What day did Jesus die on and what time of day? Did he die on the day before the Passover meal was eaten, as John explicitly says, or did he die after it was eaten, as Mark explicitly says? Did he die at noon, as in John, or at 9 a.m., as in Mark? Did Jesus carry his cross the entire way himself or did Simon of Cyrene carry his cross? It depends which Gospel you read. Did both robbers mock Jesus on the cross or did only one of them mock him and the other come to his defense? It depends which Gospel you read. Did the curtain in the temple rip in half before Jesus died or after he died? It depends which Gospel you read ... Or take the accounts of the resurrection. Who went to the tomb on the third day? Was it Mary alone or was it Mary with other women? If it was Mary with other women, how many other women were there, which ones were they, and what were their names? Was the stone rolled away before they got there or not? What did they see in the tomb? Did they see a man, did they see two men, or did they see an angel? It depends which account you read."

July 18 2011 at 1:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

WOE to America, where superstition and belief in a 6000 year old Earth are the virii that continue to spread the infection of ignorance. Just think about what could be accomplished with the money represented by tax breaks to build a theme park whose sole reason for existence is to continue infecting children with lies. Nice to know that another generation will be raised thinking that evolution is somehow "controversial.". Thanks for helping usher in the next Dark Ages, Kentucky.

May 26 2011 at 12:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Hobart's comment

spoken like a true Atheist

August 02 2011 at 9:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I just hope that they did a thorough cost-benefit analysis of this theme park and the tax break. If the theme park turns out to be a flop, it could cost the state dearly. Kentucky has already seen one major theme park (Kentucky Kingdom) go belly up. I am somewhat skeptical about how profitable this theme park will be and how much it will really benefit the state.

May 24 2011 at 11:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh my, all I can imagine is living anywhere near that, what a bloody eye sore. High Five Kentucky, once the Scientologists get wind of this we're doomed, they have more than enough celebrity followers to build a theme park based upon their religion without any help from the taxpayers. Way to fail on the whole "collecting up all the proper Christians and taking them far, far away thing God, that was going to be really lovely for us non-believers over here. Is this our punishment for our lack of faith, you make a promise & then don't come through? That's worse than not paying child support buddy.

May 23 2011 at 12:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's high time we put this to rest, this whole "Separation of church and state"! Let's vote on it! I am sick and tired of the vocal minority getting their way! Our forefathers did not have this in mind when they wrote our Bill of Rights, or at least that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it!

I vote YES! I vote yes for the Ten Commandments! It's our heritage, it's what our country founded upon! Again, only my opinion but if the silent majority doesn't speak up, we are all doomed!

May 21 2011 at 7:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They can't legally display the Ten Commandments in public, but they're going to build a "Noah's Ark Park"? What's wrong with THIS picture?

May 21 2011 at 2:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It seems that many here don't understand what constitutes a rebate. If you buy a new car at the dealer or a big screen TV at Bestbuy and receive a rebate, you are returned money have paid or credited money that you would have paid. You are not receiving anything for free. If you disagree with me, head down to your Ford or Chevy dealership and tell them you want the rebate money but don't want to buy a car. If you who continually spout the "separation of church and state" mantra were true to your convictions, you wouldn't want "the State" to accept any money from a religious organization even if it were tax money.
As I see it, the theme park is appealing to the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority as any business would, asking for short term relief from their tax burden and countering with the long term benefit of job creation (600-700) and increased tourism to the area. (Creation Museum: 1,000,000 visitors in the first 3 years) I suspect most of the naysayers here are more concerned that this is yet another reminder that they are inevitably accountable to a higher authority (Jesus Christ).
BTW: I am a born again Christian and wouldn't consider this any different than a museum about Wiccans or aliens from space. Though I don't subscribe to the validity of either, I don't begrudge those who do.

May 20 2011 at 12:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bharvey2's comment

...and obviously you would be more than happy to allow $40 MILLION of your taxes to help support the existence of a park that will indoctrinate the young to be witches. That will teach all that enter a false history and a false science of demons and witchcraft and present all this rubbish as true.
...I suspect the real truth is that you honestly believe that everyone should be like you, and buy into an undeniably ridiculous fairytale. You want to do that fine, ante-up a donation and help your park open without a tax relief.

May 20 2011 at 6:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to beelzebubosun's comment

It's all about the religion you support. Do you support a religion that believes in a loving god or one that believes that hate is the way? Which is it for you, Beelzebuboson? Peace or havoc?

If it is hate and havoc, please mark your body, your home, your car, so those of us who would like to live in harmony will know who you are so we can avoid you!

May 21 2011 at 7:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down

You're still not getting it. It isn't $40 million of my money or yours. It is the park developers that are asking not to pay $40 million in tax now but rather invest that money into the park's construction and development which will in turn, generate jobs and additional tax revenue in the future. If the park fails, so be it. If it flourishes, then the park's owners and the local community benefits. It is a common practice for developers and municipalities to negotiate a temporary relief from tax burden in the present for the promise of future benefit. I'd have to wonder though, would you be protesting so much if this were a Disney resort or and Santa Claus exhibit?
As for everyone believing what I do, I don't expect it for a minute. Though I can't imagine what a terrifiying world we'd be in if nobody murdered each other, nobody stole from each other and nobody lied to each other. Horrible, just horrible.............

May 23 2011 at 12:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

I am excited about the park and the Christian theme. Those who think the Bible is not factual have not taken the time to research the prophesies, compare them to historical facts and realize they are 100% accurate. Some day they will realize the foolishness of their denial and it will be too late. Phillipians 2:9-11

May 20 2011 at 12:07 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Eileen's comment

Did you read a book by David Barton or are you just that stupid? The Romans, who kept awesome records, have no records of Jesus Christ. Hell, even the gospels don't agree on details of Jesus's birth, life, and death. There aren't even any first-hand accounts of Jesus's life. EVerything we know about him was written by people who lived 40-60 years after his death. The Bible is full of contradictions. It's false. Jesus may have existed, but he probably didn't do **** but start a cult of insane, stupid people.

May 20 2011 at 8:28 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Hi's comment

Hi, I believe that the Bible was written to give us guidance, to be able to co-exist. Take the good from the Bible, believe what you want to believe, but know that without it we would not be where we are today.
Whether you are Christian or Jew. Muslim or Buddhist, study history enough to realize that if it wasn't for the Bible we'd still be wearing sandals, riding camels and wondering around in the deserts of the middle east! It is faith that has gotten us thus far and faith will lead us home, wherever home is, for you, me and everyone else.

May 21 2011 at 7:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down

Love it Eileen. How amazing the willful ignorance is of so many (2 Peter 3;3-7). Even to the extent to say that no secular documentation or firsthand accounts of Jesus exist. I am trying to be nice to you," Hi", but I do not think you realize how foolish, not to mention childish with the name calling, your comment is. I would ask you ti look into one person's life and books to see what I mean. This man is Josh Mcdowell. Before he found out the truth of Jesus Christ and the dead on accuracy of the Bible, in his words "Christians were stupid and had two brains, one was lost and the other was out looking for it."

May 20 2011 at 10:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think its a wonderful idea. I believe they welcome everyone to come, if you don't like it? Easy answer don't go. There are a lot of things that the federal government pays for that I don't agree with, but it still goes through, and we still pay for it. That place will open up jobs for people which is so needed in this economy...If people are that stupid that they can't make up their mind about what the believe in, then I feel sorry for them. What they are building isn't hurting anyone. They are providing a safe fun place for families to go. Like I said, if you don't like it....don't go...if you do go and you decide you don't believe, thats is up to you. No one is forcing you into believing in anything.

May 20 2011 at 11:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to cgenie1's comment

This park should open without a tax rebate, period!

May 20 2011 at 6:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to beelzebubosun's comment

What is the difference when the Dell Computer companies of the country get tax rebates and a biblical theme park getting the same rebates? Just because you don't believe in God?

You are a sad piece of work, B! Just an opinion!

May 21 2011 at 7:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down