WILLIAMSTOWN, Kent. – There’s an ark being built in Kentucky but it’s not for a flood, it’s for profit.
The state is on board which some say violates the separation of church and state.
It’s not what you would expect a theme park to look like but that’s the intent, an evangelical Disney World of sorts.
The is biblical in size, literally; 510 feet long, 85 feet wide and 8 stories high.
Park creator Ken Ham said, “This is the most authentic recreation of Noah’s Ark in the world.”
Ham runs a Christina ministry dedicated to spreading Creationism, a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis.
He said he believes God created the earth in 6 days and 6 nights and rejects scientific evidence that the earth is 4.5 billion years old.
The ark is a for-profit park with a religious purpose.
According to the Ark Encounter’s website, an adult ticket will set you back $40.
“We didn’t build this just to be entertainment like Disney, we built it for a religious purpose, Ham said. “Otherwise we wouldn’t have built it.”
The state of Kentucky is on board, ready to fork over $18 million in sales tax incentives for a little economic salvation.
Kentucky residents eager for work in the small town have applied at Ark Encounter but there’s a catch.
Employees are required to sign a statement of faith, disavowing homosexuality, same-sex marriage and premarital sex.
They must also believe in Genesis and Jesus Christ.
Not everyone is on board with Ham’s plan.
“I believe, as a Baptist, in the separation of Church and State and I don’t think that the state ought to be involved in promoting any particular religious views,” Baptist minister Bob Fox said. “There’s kinds of laws called ‘Sharia,’ where people have used legislation and the government to promote a religious faith, and I think we as Christians need to be careful that we continue to be Christian, and to be Christian in the context of the United States.”
But it doesn’t bother Kentucky’s new Republican Governor Matt Bevin.
He says his administration does not discriminate against any worthy economic project.
Ham is predicting up to 2 million visitors to the ark each year, which would seem to answer some of Williamstown’s economic prayers.