Ark Encounter is not a Shrine of Scripture

Ark Encounter is not a Shrine of Scripture February 15, 2018

This pithy statement came to my attention via Facebook but originated with Ian Panth on Twitter:

“The Ark is an abattoir of Scripture in the guise of a shrine.”

I thought it deserved to be turned into a meme, in the hope that this thought-provoking quote might circulate even more widely.

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  • It’s true, but I admit I had to look up “abattoir”. I think the most common synonym – “slaughterhouse” – might make a more effective meme.

    • Hmm, I wonder if that is a regional or a British vs. American thing…

    • John MacDonald

      Agreed. I didn’t know what an “abattoir” was either. I wonder if there originally were ten commandment tablets inside the ark. Maybe Moses was something like Joseph Smith (Smith claiming he had found golden plates from heaven), going around and duping people into believing God had given Moses sacred tablets because Moses thought these would be important laws for people to believe in:

      And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tablets of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. 13 And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God.
      — First mention of the tablets in Exodus 24:12–13.

      • John MacDonald

        Oops, I just realized the post was talking about Noah’s Ark. I thought it was about the Ark of the Covenant, lol. My bad.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Yes, it’s about the amazing seagoing adventure of Noah and his wife Joan.

  • Martha Anne Underwood

    Great meme. You did a good job. Ever time I read about the “ark” I want to throw up.

  • arcseconds

    What would an actual shrine of scripture look like, I wonder?

  • I also had to look up “abattoir.” Whether or not the Genesis flood actually happened, I am still very curious what the ark looks like up close and hope to see it someday.

    • I’d rather ride the Pirates of the Carribean at Disney World. More fun and more basis in history than the Ark can ever claim.

      • I’ve been on the Pirates of the Carribean ride. It wasn’t that fun. I am curious to know how big the ark is close up, regardless of whether it has some basis in history or is just ancient mythology. Or are you contending that ancient mythology cannot be interesting?

        • Well researched ancient mythology is interesting. Ken Hamm’s Ark Park is not ancient mythology. It’s a puerile attempt to blend a bible story (sold as “history”) with fake science. And about as well researched as a kindergarten Sunday School.

          I agree that the Pirates of the Carribean ride is not that fun – but it’s still far better than Ken Hamm’s hucksterism.

          • If the ark in Ark Park is built according to the specs in Genesis, then at least the main attraction is not a sham. And that is the part that interests me. I’m not a young earth creationist, but if Hamm went to the trouble of building an accurate replica of the ark (historical or fictional), I’m willing to ante up to see it.

          • Gary

            I liked the Pirates of the Carribean as a kid. But now, way too expensive, and way too crowded. Disneyland lets way too many people in. If you have to wait an hour to get on a ride, it defeats the purpose of “fun”. I doubt if the Ark Encounter will have the same problem. However, if a person wants to hit Pirates of the Carribean, they better hurry. It is falling under the political correctness umbrella. It is suppose to close in the future. I guess pirates raping and pillaging a Caribbean town is now not appropriate entertainment. Even if portrayed with upbeat music and no visual violence. I still have a problem with TV today. Too much graphic violence, which kids constantly watch. The shrine of slaughterhouse resides within each person’s living room. Called a TV. The first program that should be banned is Walking Dead. The most violence and cruelty I’ve ever seen. The Noah’s Ark story is pretty mild, in comparison. Even if it is genocide (as a myth).

          • I don’t have cable or dish, so I’m behind the times on TV land. But if it’s worse than the total destruction of the planet n a worldwide flood, that’s gotta be pretty bad.

          • Gary

            The key word is “graphic”. I haven’t been to the ark encounter, but I would expect there is no graphic violence depicted. Just as there is no graphic violence depicted in the Noah’s Ark story as presented in most churches I am familiar with. Just as there is no graphic violence depicted in my local grocery store when I go and buy a steak. Even though there was probably a slaughterhouse involved somewhere along the line. I have to admit, the Bible might be described as a slaughterhouse of violence in many sections, but then Ian Panth ought to complain about that, and ban the Bible. But then he might be out of a job studying the darn thing. Either way, slaughterhouse of scripture makes absolutely no sense in describing an amusement park.

          • I see your point.

          • Specs in Genesis? This is it:

            “14 Make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 16 Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above; and put the door of the ark in its side; make it with lower, second, and third decks.”

            That’s it. Since the exact length of a cubit is guesswork, you’ve got rough length, width, height, and an unspecific call for a door, roof, rooms, and decks. Everything else in the ark park, such as the grand curving bough and keel, are all just figments of Ken Hamm’s disneyfied imagination. And with a concrete floor and 102 15-foot concrete piers for support, it’s not even seaworthy.

          • Dang, Beau, I don’t want to sail in the thing. I just want to see how big it looks up close. Is there a minimum/maximum length for a cubit? I imagine Hamm is going with the maximum. I’ll give him that. First you want me going on the Pirates of the Carribean. Now you don’t want me going on the Ark because it’s Disneyfied? There’s just no pleasing you, is there?

          • Gary

            One final comment. I suppose if a rich Iraqi built a Gilgamesh Flood Encounter, the left would be falling all over themselves, praising it as celebrating Babylon culture. May not be historic, but lots of fun. But, the left hates the Ark Encounter.

            My main objection is it shouldn’t get any tax breaks or government money. But Amazon gets city money and tax breaks to build their new corporate facility in a brand new city. The cities are fighting over it. So I would be wasting my time to complain.

            Btw, I visited the Shrine of the Book in the late 90’s. There was next to no one there. Maybe it’s more popular now. I hope so. Maybe they need a few Roman Soldiers, and a few dark and light warriors, and they’d get more attendance. Maybe even a dinosaur or two?

          • You’re ignoring key differences, perhaps because you would prefer to interact with your imagined view of “the left” rather than actual people and their views. An effort by Answers in Gilgamesh to oppose science education would be as objectionable as it is when done by Answers in Genesis.

            The Shrine of the Book is much more like a shrine – it is not a theme park, and is about the actual texts rather than a cartoonish imagined version of their contents. Lower attendance may indicate something about the theme park variety of faith that Ken Ham and his crowd both cater to and promulgate.

          • Gary

            “The Shrine of the Book is much more like a shrine – it is not a theme park”…
            No kidding. I think you missed my points. But understandable. You could explain the “slaughterhouse of scripture”, and how it relates to the Ark Encounter, unless you want to dwell on your dislike for Answers in Genesis, and Ken Ham. I would say it is indeed hate.

            And I might add, I know exactly what is, and is not, in the Shrine of the Book. And it’s purpose. I’ve been there.

          • arcseconds

            You must be trolling us, surely.

            Or do you really think it’s somehow hateful and intolerant to oppose having unscientific nonsense being touted as science?

          • Gary

            And what does that have to do with slaughterhouse of scripture?

          • arcseconds

            Ham is not just unscientific, but also historically and hermeneutically illiterate? That’s my guess anyway.

          • Bilbo, I don’t care what you do. I told you what I think of the Ark Park, but I never told you how to spend your leisure time.

            You can spend your spare money and time on anything you like. For myself, if I’m going for a Disney/styled vacation, I’ll go for the real thing rather than a sham museum that uses its funding in attempts to legislate creationism into public classrooms.

          • Fair enough, Beau. Do you want me to get you a souvenir?

          • Don’t waste your money on my account.

          • Are you sure? I was thinking maybe an ark paperweight? Or maybe one of those flannel graphs of the ark with the animals? You could give it to your grandkids.

          • Nope. If you really want to do some good, don’t give your money to an organization that will spend it on lies for children.

          • I’ll tell you what: When I go through the exhibit, I’ll sneer with utter disdain and contempt at all the Young Earth Creationist stuff.

          • Oh, that sounds effective …

          • Lark62

            I’ll take a drawing of a pregnant woman desperately trying to hang onto her children as they all drown. Cuz god is love, and unborn babies and children only matter when republicans can use them for votes.

            Or maybe a drawing of of dead sheep and cattle and dogs floating by, because Noah’s ark is a happy story with cute animals.

          • Rudy Schellekens

            Most people don’t realize that the original ark description looked not like a boat – but like a box… The Netherlands has their own full size ark (just caused quite a bit of damage to other vessels when it got hit by a storm) and it, too, looks like a boat It seems people have a difficult time believing that it does not need to look like a boat in order to fulfil it’s basic function: Float… that’s all it had to do, float

          • But where’s the fun in that?

          • Gary

            As I vaguely remember, Noah’s ark and the basket that baby Moses was put in by his sister, used the same word (box)…I think I read that in Richard Friedman’s Torah Commentary – but I am not positive. Since I got it from the library, I don’t have it to double check. But also fits the Gilgamesh basket boats. One big, one small. All float (at least for the purpose of the stories).

          • Happy Noodle Boy

            Indeed, the Hebrew word translated as “ark” had the basic meaning of “box.”

          • Lark62

            Ham did build an accurate replica, provided Noah used steel beams, cranes, installed electrical wiring, lights, an HVAC system and attached the whole thing to a concrete building. Only the front of Ham’s building is boat shaped. The back half is rectangular, as is obvious in photos taken from above or the back.

            Of course, for some reason, the official photos put out by the Ark Park only show the boat shaped part of the building. None seem to show the concrete building attached to the back side.


  • Gary

    Since I don’t do twitter, I can’t find the rationale for “slaughterhouse of scripture”.
    Is it a mis-representation of scripture?
    A butchering of scripture?
    Because certain people believe in a myth of a worldwide flood? So he is disappointed in some people paying $40 to see this depiction?
    I don’t get it.
    It seems like the main objection is that certain people believe in the scriptures themselves, not the depiction of a myth as reality. If that is the case, then the slaughterhouse is the Bible itself, not the “Disney world” depiction.
    Which, in tern, is rather strange coming from a student of theology. The fact that some people actually believe the myth should not be surprising to a theology student. If this upsets him, I would say he should go into another field of study.

    Considering that the Shrine of the Book costs about $15, the Ark Encounter costs about $40, and Disneyland costs about $100, the ark is family entertainment in the mid-priced range, I doubt if too many kids would want to pour over Dead Sea Scrolls for $15, when the Ark is available. Plus, at least it is family entertainment. Better than sitting the kids in front of the TV to watch “Walking Dead”.
    I don’t quite get the person’s outrage at the Ark. Sounds like laid-back childlike fun.
    If there is an objection to the Ark, how about petitioning for all churches to ban the Noah’s Ark story in churches? That would go over like a thud. The twitter person has obviously never been in a slaughterhouse, or butchered some poor animal himself. Otherwise he would not make such outrageous comparisons.