Answers in Genesis (AiG), an apologetics and worldview ministry specializing in the authority of the Bible and in Genesis-related issues, plans to construct an all-wood
full-size replica of Noah’s Ark to proclaim to the world that God’s Word is true. AiG operates the world-famous Creation Museum southwest of Cincinnati that opened in May 2007. The Ark will be the main feature of the Ark Encounter theme park.
On December 1, 2010 Kentucky Governor Steven Beshear announced the Ark Encounter theme park under the leadership of Answers in Genesis.
Here’s a YouTube video of Kentucky Governor Beshear’s press conference at which he announced the Ark project. Grant County Judge-Executive Darrell Link and AiG officials Cary Summers (theme park developer) and Mike Zovath (AiG co-founder and senior VP) participated in the press announcement. Grant County, population 25,000, is home to the proposed site for the project.
The park will immerse visitors in the historical and Biblical world of Noah and visually impact them with Scriptural truth. The construction of the Ark will demonstrate its feasibility and lend credence to the Bible’s account of a huge ship that saved men and animals from a global cataclysm.
Newspapers and bloggers immediately attacked the governor for entangling church and state since the project will be eligible for sales tax rebates. But at the press conference Governor Beshear emphasized his pro-jobs, pro-economy philosophy and said: “Bringing new jobs to Kentucky is my top priority, and with the estimated 900 jobs this project will create, I am happy about the economic impact this project will have on northern Kentucky.” He said several thousand auxiliary jobs will also be created along with the construction of hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and other support services.
The project will be eligible for a rebate of some of the state sales tax that the park generates. Kentucky established this rebate program as a development incentive. It benefits the developer by rebating some of the development costs from sales taxes collected at the park. It benefits Kentucky through new revenue generation from sales tax at the park, from sales tax on all the attendant support services, and from income tax on all the new jobs created. The Ark Encounter will be a huge boon to the state budget.
To earn the tax rebate of collected sales tax, the Ark has to meet attendance quotas in attracting tourists to Kentucky. No state budget money will be used to fund the project.
Beshear said Kentucky can’t discriminate against a religious organization by withholding incentives for which it legally qualifies. “There’s nothing even remotely unconstitutional about a for-profit organization coming in and investing $150 million to create jobs in Kentucky and bring tourism to Kentucky,” Beshear said.
ACLU attorney Bill Sharp said he sees no constitutional problems. “Courts have found that giving such tax exemptions on a nondiscriminatory basis does not violate the establishment clause, even when the tax exemption goes to a religious purpose,” Sharp said.
Here are YouTube videos of the Q & A session at the Kentucky state capitol immediately following the Ark announcement:
Soli Deo Gloria.
Read the prequel in this series of posts on Rebuilding Noah’s Ark:
1. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – Intro
Read the sequel:
3. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – How Big?
See these articles and posts for more information on Noah’s Ark and the Flood:
Noah’s Flood—Key to the Past
Noah’s Flood—A Global Event
Noah’s Ark Replicas
Noah’s Ark Found?
Noah’s Ark Model in Holland with pictures
Noah’s Ark Found? with YouTube video and pictures
Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!
©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday January 5, 2011 A.D.
Read my December 2010 Bible-Science column
World’s Most Titled Man.
Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. “Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. “And this is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. “You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. “And behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish. “But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark– you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. “And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. “Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind shall come to you to keep them alive. “And as for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.” (Genesis 6:11-21)