A town in Kentucky is feeling duped right now because they just found out that creationist Ken Ham conned them out of millions.
Nearly a year ago, Ham opened the Ark Encounter, a theme park centering around a giant replica of Noah’s Ark from the Bible that he promised would create an economic boom for area businesses because such a park would surely be a popular attraction.
Rather than spend his own money on the project, Ham actually persuaded the state government to give him an $18 million tax incentive to fund the $92 million build, even though giving such a tax gift is a clear example of religious bias and violates the separation of church and state.
Grant County and the City of Williamstown also sacrificed a lot of money to help Ham complete his project. As Daily Kos reports, Hamm received “a 75 percent property tax break over 30 years from the City of Williamstown; an $11-million road upgrade in a rural area that would almost exclusively facilitate traffic going to and from the park; a $200,000 gift from the Grant County Industrial Development Authority to make sure the project stays in that county; 100 acres of reduced-price land and, finally $62 million municipal bond issue from Williamstown that Ham claims has kept the project from sinking.”
In other words, city, county, and state taxpayers were fleeced out of millions of dollars, and they are demanding answers.
Ham sold his park as an “economic recovery” effort for Grant County and the City of Williamstown. Apparently, Ham promised that the tax subsidies would trickle down to residents and businesses around the park. Park co-founder Mike Zovath even estimated that the park could expect 1.4 million to 2.2 million visitors EVERY year. But that has not happened. One year in and the park is only now receiving their one millionth visitor and the number of people who want to visit such a park, especially one that includes dinosaurs on the Ark, will likely not be increasing any time soon.
Grant County official Steve Wood told WKYT that while the project is enriching people like Ham and his associates, “it’s not done us good at all.”
So once again, a right-wing “Christian” organization is exposed as nothing more than a fraud. It’s just sad that the people of Kentucky had to learn that the hard way.
Ham, of course, is not taking responsibility for the failure. He’s trying to scapegoat by blaming atheists.
“Sadly, they are influencing business investors and others in such a negative way that they may prevent Grant County, Kentucky, from achieving the economic recovery that its officials and residents have been seeking,” Hamm whined in a statement.
Why so many lies and misinformation? Simply because we are in a spiritual battle, and the intolerant secularists are so upset with such world-class attraction like the Ark (and Creation Museum) that publicly proclaim a Christian message. They will resort to whatever tactics they deem necessary to try to malign the attractions.”
Again, the “attractions” include dinosaurs on the Ark so that Ham can push his claim that the “Earth is only 6,000 years old,” a claim that has absolutely zero scientific backing. That’s a fact.
Ham is also blaming the media for not repeating his claims as if they were true. In short, he thinks the media should lie to the public for him in order to dupe them into giving him their money.
Nowadays, it seems very few reporters in the secular media actually want to report facts regarding what they cover as news. I’ve found that not only do these kinds of reporters generally do very poor or lazy research, they will actually make things up for their agenda purposes.”
Here’s the video via WKYT.
Ham and his group are precisely the reason why we have separation of church and state in this country, to prevent religious zealots like Hamm and his group from duping taxpayers and picking their pockets.
Benjamin Franklin said it best,
“When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obligated to call for help of the civil power, it’s a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.”
Featured image via Mark Lyons/Getty Images