Holy State-Of-The-Ark Politics! $50 Million In Tax Dollars Go To Replicate Noah's Compulsive Hoarding!
Labels: Ark Encounter, Ark Park, corruption, Creation Museum, Creationism, joke, Ken Ham, Kentucky, wingnuttery
Gopher Wood is EXPEN$IVE!
Uh, what the hell IS gopher wood?
"Make thee an ark of gopher wood;rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make of it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breath of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt be set into the side thereof; with lower, second and third stories shalt thou make it."
That's it folks. Everything else is pure imagination and speculation. The ark was a friggin' box 450' long, 75' wide and 45' tall made out of wood that's never mentioned again in the Bible and certainly doesn't exist today. It had one lousy window about 45" square and one side door (size? who knows?).
So the chubby boat with the house on top is really pure fiction, based upon drawings and etchings like that of Gustave Dore' (see below)
Americans United for Separation of Church and State are protesting the plan to provide $11M in Kentucky state road improvements to support the Christian theme park where the centerpiece attraction is an alleged replica of Noah's Ark.
Added to that $11M are $40M in sales rebates!
The rationale behind all of this is that the Ark Park will bring in a great deal of traffic ... and revenue to the area. Makes you wonder, though, if the same consideration would be given to a Buddhist Theme Park with a 200 foot statue of Buddha.
The Creation Museum
All rationales aside, the Creation Museum from which the Ark Park is a spin-off has had a healthy one million visitors since its construction in May, 2007. The $27 million enterprise was immediately blasted as "a monument to scientific illiteracy" by scientists, and the sight of dinosaurs romping with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden gave vent to the term, "Yabba Dabba science." Case Western Reserve's eminent astro-physicist, Lawrence Krauss formed a protest of some 600 scientists (see below). Of course Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis, the Museum's parent organization came back with the zinger "Lawrence Krauss Blasphemes Our Lord."
The there's the juicy problem the Creation Museum had with Adam:
The evangelicals behind the just-opened Creation Museum are up-in-arms upon discovering that they hired a Sirfuxalot Model (Eric Linden) to portray Adam in one of the videos they've been showing to children. Additionally, the AP reports that Linden also owns the domain Bedroom Acrobat, a sexually suggestive site where he has appeared posing with a transvestite.
And science has not let up on the simple fact that the Creation Museum plays fast and lose with it (science). One glaring point: the museum posits that all dinosaurs were vegetarians and some turned to being meat eaters after "The Fall." What about T-Rex and his huge teeth? Simple: all the better to eat coconuts with. PZ Meyers had this to say about the handling of dissent at the museum:
At the Creation "Museum", one of the jobs of the guards is to suppress criticism. They hover about in rather conspicuous uniforms, armed with tasers, and some use police dogs to check out the visitors. They don't want dissent expressed in their building, and they admit it themselves.
Cuts to Education But $43 million to Noah's Ark
While Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear handed in a state budget that cut 6% from education, he steadfastly included a $43 million tax rebate to the Ark. Beshear, a Democrat (!) sees the venue as a money-maker for Kentucky, while it's creator Ken Ham (of AiG) is unabashedly Evangelical:
“When people say the money donated for the full-size Noah’s Ark should be spent instead on feeding the poor or giving to another cause, they are essentially arguing that no money should be given to building the Ark Encounter. Yet consider the words of the Great Commission given by Jesus Christ.” The “Great Commission” refers to Jesus’ calling of his disciples to spread their beliefs throughout the world.
So the Ark Encounter IS FOR PROSELYTIZING. And woe betide anyone who thinks differently:
PZ Meyers:At the Creation "Museum", one of the jobs of the guards is to suppress criticism. They hover about in rather conspicuous uniforms, armed with tasers, and some use police dogs to check out the visitors. They don't want dissent expressed in their building, and they admit it themselves.
A Big Joke
It never ceases to amaze the rest of the world how American, Right-wing Christianity continues to embarrass the rest of us. True, it has made its forays of bigotry and stupidity into parts of the world yearning to join the 21st century (think Uganda)* but the clowns of God (leaders) keep pummeling us with a maniacal ferocity of all things unreasonable and inane. Speculation about the Ark Park should produce some very outlandish, very comic questions, e.g. will the Ark feature all the animals? Will it have room for waste (or was Noah the world's grand scale polluter)? What languages will be confounded at the Tower Of Babel? Yiddish?
Perhaps the Kentucky legislature is playing an enormous joke on its taxpayers by sanctioning another enormous joke: the Ark Park will ultimately cost $172 million and Ken Ham will continue to thumb his nose at the poor.
*Pat Robertson is still fighting to get a Christian theme park in the Holy Land.