5 Things You Should Know About Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter

Dec 20, 2014

Image: Shutterstock

By Dan Arel

The Ark Encounter is a planned theme park in Kentucky that will showcase the story of Noah’s Ark. The park is being built by Ken Ham, creationist and founder of The Creation Museum and Answers in Genesis, a ministry devoted to spreading the gospel of young-earth creationism.

In July of 2014 the theme park applied for a special 18 million dollar tourism tax incentive and was granted preliminary approval. But due to hiring practices that required potential employees to sign a statement of faith, secular groups sprung into action, sparking a heated debate between secular activists and religious fundamentalists on what constitutes a violation of church and state separation.

Wherever you stand on this issue, you should know these five things about Ham’s Ark Encounter.

1. The Ark Encounter is not a non-profit religious organization.

Answers in Genesis is a religious non-profit organization, as is the Creation Museum. Those organizations are free to hire employees who only share their same faith and worldview.

However, the Ark Encounter is for-profit, a status that allows it to take advantage of state and federal tax benefits. That means following all federal and state laws, including hiring practices. But the company’s first job listing held candidates to the same statement of faith as the non-profit organization.


 

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13 comments on “5 Things You Should Know About Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter

  • I wonder.

    Is Ham subtle enough?

    Eighteen million in tax incentives is just that. To deliberately instigate this ” faith statement ” dust up so that you can play the victim and get a big increase in donations from many sources covering all expenses is far fetched. Still, is this the plan? Then you get your cake ( faith statements ) and eat it too ( all that lucre )

    Nah, Ken Ham is not that clever!



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  • Brilliant, I am now inspired to go away and show that there is more profundity in earlier pre”Collins apostasy’ Genesis music than the bible could possibly give. I’ll probably not get round to it though, being slave to my slothful nature. If anyone wants to start a thread I’ll happily contribute though (or at least read, or perhaps just note the existence of). Back to bed!



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  • Do you think he cares?

    Blind obedience to his religion’s dogma (his version of it at least) is for his followers/victims.

    “Answers in Genesis is a religious non-profit organization, as is the Creation Museum.”

    The religious mission of AiG and the Flintstone’s Themepark is entirely secondary. Their principal function is to support Ken’s family’s lifestyle. He will never publicly admit anything that will put his revenue stream at risk. Even his recent “debate” with Bill Nye will only have been agreed to after he precisely calculated whether having the debate at all (which is what he decided, and which it almost certainly was) was more valuable to him than having it and losing (which he knew would be the outcome before he started)



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  • Number 3. in the list is incorrect. It isn’t the first Amendment that prevents discrimination in hiring, it’s federal and state labor laws (based on those Amendments). The Constitution only applies to the government in it’s hiring practices and, even then, can be circumvented in the name of national security or to be able to continue running services.
    My job can fire me for anything, as long as they make up an excuse that doesn’t violate established labor laws (U.S.).



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  • I would like to see Mr. Ham explain how it is that if two kangaroos could swim to Turkey to board the arc, why did they even need the arc. 😀



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  • You forget to mention that for the pair of lions, he would need more than two each of gazelles and wildebeest, or they would get awfully hungry. Perhaps Noah carried a herd of unicorns. (thanks to G. Larson)



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  • With not much else to do on New Years Day, I went to check progress on the “Ark Encounter.” “Construction has started,” declares Ken Ham, and I watched, as invited, the video of the first concrete pour.

    Normally, on this sort of ground breaking project start up, some Mayor, or other luminary is there to cut a ribbon, or break a bottle. Not so here, in a bleak and empty landscape, two rather portly gentlemen in painfully new high-vis clothing were negotiating a wildly illegally rigged ladder leading into a square pit about 10 meters by 10 meters and about 1.75 meters deep (assuming the gentlemen were 2 meters tall, my numbers are very approximate.)

    At the bottom of this pit is another smaller pit, maybe 6 meters square, and again, about 1.75 meters deep. It contained some rain water, and some sloppily done reinforcing rod. Ken states that this is the foundation of the sump that will hold a huge ammount of water. Ken notes that “Millions of yards of dirt have been moved.” The two pits shown total approximately 310 cubic yards, so the “Hills flattened and the valleys filled,” to which he refers must be elsewhere.

    A crane hung a concrete skip over the pit. One gentleman hung over the edge to trip a lever, and maybe a cubic meter or so of concrete fell into the rainwater and the re-bar. Both gentlemen then negotiated the wildly illegally rigged ladder to leave the larger pit.

    The total infrastructure observable was:
    Two white pick up trucks.
    One crane with cement skip.
    Several backhoes.
    One cement truck.
    One transit.
    One ladder.

    The visible work force was four, two shown, and presumably a crane driver, and someone with a video camera.

    There was no fencing, or safety flagging on either pit. Ken’s exhortation that the safety of the workers would be assisted by prayer might be better realized by adherence to the most basic of industrial safety codes.

    He also suggest we pray, not just for the workers safety, but “Also, please pray for all those who are working behind the scenes preparing exhibits, raising funds, and dealing with detractors who do not want this evangelistic project to be completed.”

    Even if I believed in God, which I do not, there is no way that I could be tempted to donate anything the this ill starred and ill conducted project.



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  • JC Sheepdog Dec 31, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    At the bottom of this pit is another smaller pit, maybe 6 meters square, and again, about 1.75 meters deep. It contained some rain water, and some sloppily done reinforcing rod. Ken states that this is the foundation of the sump that will hold a huge ammount of water. Ken notes that “Millions of yards of dirt have been moved.” The two pits shown total approximately 310 cubic yards, so the “Hills flattened and the valleys filled,” to which he refers must be elsewhere.

    I suppose this is creationist maths – a bit like creationist tax accounting!

    A crane hung a concrete skip over the pit. One gentleman hung over the edge to trip a lever, and maybe a cubic meter or so of concrete fell into the rainwater and the re-bar. Both gentlemen then negotiated the wildly illegally rigged ladder to leave the larger pit.

    Ah! The benefits of “faith-thinking” trump any need to learn science or engineering!
    De Lawd will see to it that the concrete, rainwater, and mud mix, is just fine! No need for that sciency structural engineering regulation stuff!

    Next Ken will be disputing that it unsafe for public access while those engineers of little faith tell him unpalatable truths!!



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