Kentucky's Creationist Theme Park: God's Happy, Taxpayers Aren't

Kim Conte

stuffed dinosaur dollPlans for a new Creationist Theme Park in Kentucky -- including a massive three-story replica of Noah's Ark complete with dinosaurs -- have critics wondering why the governor would ever support such a thing.

Gov. Steve Beshear and Answers in Genesis, the builders of Kentucky's famous Creation Museum, announced plans for a Biblical amusement park called Ark Encounter. Subsequently, reports surfaced that the builders are seeking state tax incentives that would allow them to recover 25 percent of the cost.

But doesn't this blatantly violate the separation of church and state?

Perhaps the governor is supporting the development of the new attraction because of the economic impact it will have on Northern Kentucky: Estimates suggest that the park will attract 1.6 million visitors annually and provide at least 900 new jobs to the area. (Supporters like to point out that the Creation Museum brought 2,100 jobs to the area and had an economic impact of $65 million per year. In fact, it attracted upwards of 1 million visitors just in its first three years.)

Still, it's hard for some to justify using public taxpayer money for a park that will retell the Bible as according to Answers in Genesis; represent the views that the earth is only about 7,000 years old and dinosaurs co-existed with humans; and feature such amenities as a Walled City, a Tower of Babel, and Jesus on the Cross ride (okay, I definitely made that last amenity up).

What do you think about the state supporting Ark Encounter?


Image via Giles Douglas/Flickr

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