Kentucky Says no to Noah's Ark Theme Park
If the plan had gone through, then the state of Kentucky would have soon seen an entire theme park bringing to life the Biblical story of Noah’s Ark come alive in the northern part of the state. But the proposal and the accompanied $18 million in state tax incentives that would have been required to get the project off the ground have been shot down by the authorities.
The reason being given for the move is that the state cannot be seen to side with a project that has such overt religious tones, and it is also being said that the theme park will only promote religion and violate the thin line of separation between the church and the state. But this does not make sense because this is a business. There is nothing wrong with making a profit either. This is the private sector’s decision.
However, the group that was the mastermind behind the theme park project – Answers in Genesis – has openly said that it will take legal action against the proposal being denied in a federal court in Kentucky.
Park Policies on Employment had Religious Undertones
According to tax attorneys in the state, one of the major issues that had come forward while the proposal was being considered for approval was that the theme park suddenly decided to change its position on employing officials. The change in the park’s proposed hiring policies has such a strong undertone of religious division that the Kentucky Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet could not give the green signal for the park to be created under the circumstances.
Not only this, tax attorneys also allege that the theme park was slowly turning into an extension for the group Answers in Genesis and their ministerial branch. It was no longer just a theme based park in the state, and had it been allowed to be built it would have surely been used by the Genesis group to promote its own brand of Biblical interpretations. So Disney can promote Mickey Mouse but this group cannot promote God?
Tourism Board will not Take any Action on Park Proposal
Kentucky Tourism Secretary Bob Stewart has come out in defense of the state’s decision to shut down the proposal by saying that the state’s tourism and tax initiatives cannot be used to further a specific group’s religious beliefs. He also said that by using the state in such a way, the members of the Genesis group would only be violating the separation of state and church that is important to maintain and which the authorities cannot dare let happen.
According to Mr. Stewart, Kentucky tourism board officials have decided not to take any further action on the proposal at all. Is this political correctness run amuck? You would think this state would want to create jobs considering how many coal jobs they have lost based on controversial science according to business leaders.
Park could have Created $18 Million Profit for Group & Created Jobs for People
The group Answers in Genesis is still trying to get approval for the park. Tax attorneys say that by participating in the state run tax-initiative program the group was hoping to keep 25% of the sales tax collected in the park for a period of ten years and make a profit of more than $18 million dollars. The group’s proposal included making a wooden replica of the Biblical Noah’s Ark which would be about 510 foot long and would have cost $73 million to make.
Another business venture is shot down in America while the recession marches forward.