Ark Encounter is proving to be Kentucky's white mammoth

Ark Encounter is proving to be Kentucky's white mammoth February 28, 2017

Officials in Grant County, Kentucky were so convinced that creationist Ken Ham’s $92-million Ark Encounter would lead to a major tourism boom that they decided to fork out as much as $18 million in tax incentives for the project.
The state also designated $11 million in road funds for an expanded interchange off Interstate 75 to deal with the expected increase in traffic.
But the tourists did not come in the expected numbers. Now the Ark Encounter not only looks like a white mammoth, it’s left Grant Counter “teetering on bankruptcy”, according to this report.
Grant County Judge-Executive Steve Wood ruefully said:

It’s been a great thing but it’s not brought us any money.

Grant County faces a major budget shortfall that Wood has said might have to be solved through a combination of a 2 percent payroll tax and job cuts to the county’s workers. Wood says that there’s no doubt the Ark has been a major disappointment.

I was one of those believers that once the Ark was here everything was going to come in. But it’s not done it. It’s not done it. I think the Ark’s done well and I’m glad for them on that. But it’s not done us good at all.

Writing for American News X, James Stahl labelled Ham “an ultra-religious swindler” and described the Ark Encounter as a “monument to Ham’s ego”.
He also pointed out that Grant County’s ecomomic woes may cost sheriff’s deputies their jobs. He quoted assistant Grant County attorney Julie Scott Jernigan as saying.

After June 1, sheriff’s deputies would have to be laid off. No one will answer 911 calls. The road department can’t buy salt this year.

Stahl added:

Ironically, the idea of the Ark Encounter spurred Grant Co. into becoming a ‘wet’ county allowing for the opening of bars and full-service restaurants. County officials were evidently surprised that nobody had jumped at the chance to open a bar catering to far right evangelicals.

He quoted Steve Wood as saying:

I’m shocked, I’ll be honest with you. We were told [the vote in favor of alcohol sales would] bring restaurants, particularly with the Ark. It hasn’t.

Stahl concluded:

Not surprising that nobody wants to try to sell booze to the same crowd that fought in favour of prohibition.
In the end, it seems Ken Ham has bilked citizens of Kentucky out of money. We will be sure to send our thoughts and prayers their way and hope they vote for some more intelligent officials.

Ham became even more of a laughing stock than he already was when he recently decided to bathe his ark in rainbow colours – not attract gay visitors but show that the Rainbow was the rightful property of Christians which had been misappropriated by deviants.
Hat tip: Matthew Carr

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  • remigius

    Ham’s folly was financed using the Tax Increment scheme.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_increment_financing
    After this fiasco they’d be better off renaming it Tax Excrement.

  • Newspaniard

    Forgive me if I ROFL!!! Har De Bleedin’ Har!! Perhaps the Americans aren’t as thick as I thought.

  • barriejohn

    Just pray!
    https://youtu.be/e7dausgyUWU
    (It’s THAT hair again, isn’t it?)

  • AgentCormac

    It seems to me that Ham’s Folly is actually a microcosm of the whole xtian religion. It was built on blind faith by deluded people. In the end that faith was found to be entirely unjustified. But in the meantime the poor misguided souls had wasted vast amounts of time, effort and money on something that was nothing more than a worthless, pointless and meaningless distraction.

  • AgentCormac

    @barriejohn
    Actually, it’s the make-up. Make-up that looks like it’s been applied by a blind man with no fingers.

  • tonye

    To steal from Tusser:
    Fools (and officials in Grant County) and (hard earned taxpayers) money are soon parted…..

  • Angela_K

    The tragedy of Ham’s farce is the millions of dollars wasted, money that could have gone to help people out of poverty or better still to medical research; but never mind, they believe they can pray away the cancer just like they pray away the gay – all without success. I have nothing but utter contempt for Ham, his enablers and the gullible fools who believe religious crap.

  • L.Long

    Lets see this…a bunch of jesus freaks are sad because they (illegally??) financed a boondoggle that was a myth they believe, which has turned out to be a bigger lie then the lie told by the LIARS4jesus!!! Sorry but ‘we told you so!!’ just don’t approach the level of stoopid they have shown…so cry in your beer because there is nothing left to do!!!

  • Brian Jordan

    As one of the commenters on the article points out, Ham’s Folly could be saved by the religious maniacs Trump has in tow. It just needs a whole raft of school trips run by emboldened cretinists.

  • Cali Ron

    tonye: I prefer “a fool and his money are some party” (apologies to Tusser), but in this case the parties a bust. I’ve read on Patheos that they require employees to share Ken’s bizarre Christian beliefs so most of the employees live outside of Grant County. I think the headline for this story should be “Grant County takes on up the arse from Ham for Christianity”.
    Patheos story link: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2017/02/26/referring-to-economy-grant-county-ky-official-says-ark-encounter-has-not-done-us-good-at-all/

  • Brian Jordan

    Meanwhile, in the UK the creationists are getting hot and bothered about a new RE book, God and the Big Bang that tries to mix science and religion. Not because science and religion are mixed up, as one surely should, but because the “wrong” science is mixed with religion. It should, they say, tell the children that the stars were made three days after the Earth and that the Earth was covered entirely in water ready for Noah’s Folly.
    You can read Simon Turpin’s fantasising here, if you can be bothered, and imagine how it would be received in the USA:
    https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/simon-turpin/2017/02/20/god-and-big-bang-launched-schools/

  • jack brandon

    I am sure since the ark is attracting hundreds of thousands of customers…hambo will support the co government out of the goodness of his heart. Ha!

  • Broga

    We can’t afford to be too smug about this nonsense. How much creationist drivel is being taught in tax funded schools in the UK?

  • Shame on all of you whose eyes have scales and ears have plugs. Some day you will know the truth of creation that is displayed at the Creation Museum and the destruction of humanity because of evil and disobedient hearts. Hardened hearts will not be responsive to the truth of GOD’s word in how the earth was created and how it was destroyed. The same evil runs rampant now. Wait, the storyline has not ended. You might be surprised!!

  • Angela_K

    @Patricia Carey. Try trolling somewhere else and learn some science, there isn’t a shred of evidence for your creation myth.

  • Ham has not brought home the bacon, and has screwed up bad with his ark lark. Time for this pig to stop telling porkies. These evangelicals would eat their own shyte for money, so, hopefully, this f–k up will help slaughter this particular swine’s reputation. Still, the rainbow-hued dinosaurs were quite nice I suppose….

  • The animals went in two by two
    Hurrah! Hurrah!
    The animals went in two by two
    Hurrah! Hurrah!
    The animals went in two by two
    The brontosaurus, the triceratops and the kangaroo
    And they all went into the ark
    For to keep out of the rain.

  • Patricia Carey, “Shame on all you whose eyes have scales and ears have plugs”? You should try using a butt-plug, my dear. It might do you some good. It will remove the scales from your eyes, the plugs from your ears, and reveal to you the Truth of atheism!

  • Jeremy

    I was off by a few months I predicted it would go under in 8 months. Next time Kentucky keep separate church and state.

  • 1859

    Now we have trolls eating trolls….

  • “The Curse of Ham is a misnomer for the curse upon Canaan that was imposed by the biblical patriarch Noah. The curse occurs in the Book of Genesis and concerns Noah’s drunkenness and the accompanying shameful act perpetrated by his son Ham, the father of Canaan (Gen. 9:20–27).”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curse_of_Ham

  • Florida Bill

    Ham’s Ark………Neither Sea-Worthy nor See-Worthy.

  • 1859

    @Patricia Carey: Your stance is extremely arrogant, and arrogance is a typical symptom of a closed mind and a ‘hardened’ heart. My heart – and probably those of most other atheists – is certainly not ‘hardened’ because our minds are wide, wide open. Only those with closed minds have hearts like cement. Try to think outside your biblical box, you will find it surprisingly refreshing.

  • Karyn

    We visited the Arc opening day 7/7/16. It was beautiful and interesting. LOOKING forward to returning again when it is completed. Whatever your beliefs it was an awesome experience AND Certainly something to see in a beautiful part of Kentucky. Have an open mind and do not let anyone try to poison It! Be your own leader

  • Karyn Pharrow

    Give great reviews and do not discourage Hint! Hint!!

  • tonye

    @Cali Ron,
    Cheers for the link.

  • Paul

    Patricia Carey
    There are 44,000 or so Christian religions on this planet, made up by people.
    Therefore, I would be interested to learn exactly which ONE gawd you refer to, and which is the ONE true religion this ‘gawd’ represents – as like others here, I’m having difficulty understanding your point.

  • barriejohn

    Patricia Carey has a point. When I became a Real Born-Again Christian™, almost 60 years ago now, the Second Coming of Jesus was “imminent”. If that’s the case, just think how close we must be to the great event now!

  • Laura Roberts

    In truth, on first read I couldn’t tell if @PatriciaCarey was a Christian, a Muslim or a Poe. I’m still not entirely sure, but my guess is that’s the first and last we’ll hear from that particular little pixie.

  • barriejohn

    Laura: Definitely a Christian.
    Christian Patricia Carey = Parasitic irritancy ache

  • AgentCormac

    ‘Now we have trolls eating trolls….’
    Indeed we do.

  • Brian Jordan

    Perhaps we should not mock – maybe the lady is related to Archbishop “Old Mother” Carey and has received Higher Knowledge.
    Talking of Carey, was or wasn’t that the Archbishop whose wife who upset the flock by being photographed draped over a piano? Google seems to remember nothing of it but I don’t think I’m imagining it.

  • andym

    …or a troll trolling itself.

  • barriejohn

    Brian Jordan: No – that was Robert Runcie’s fun-loving spouse!
    She confessed that she was “not terribly religious”, famously remarking that “too much religion makes me go pop!” Sermons “switched her off”; she could not bear the sound of church bells; and she had little time for “running round the parish dispensing calves-foot jelly, whatever that is”…
    The tabloid campaign against him soon began to focus on his “bizarre” marriage, with one newspaper splashing privately-taken photographs of Rosalind Runcie, including one of her in evening dress draped, vamp-like, across a piano, and another in a swimsuit. The implication was that the marriage was breaking up, and that Runcie should resign as archbishop.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/religion-obituaries/9014245/Lady-Runcie.html
    Well worth a read – with more people like her the Church of England might not be in the state in which it finds itself today, but they just don’t fit.

  • barriejohn

    PS No luck locating photos. They were published in the Daily Star if anyone’s interested.

  • Brian Jordan

    Thanks barriejohn. Carey’s wife is Eileen and Google has reams of quite ordinary photographs of a pianist of that name. Apologies to wife and pianist! Mea culpa.

  • Thought For The Day:
    Troll not lest ye be trolled in turn.

  • Angela_K

    Miss FBR. I see you are over on the Daily Express trying to educate the ignorant.I use a different user name there.

  • tom80

    I can never understand why so many Christians get so agitated about the creation vs evolution debate. The mainstream Christian churches accept evolution and seem to be ok with it. I also note that it was a Belgium Catholic Priest who first proposed the “big bang” theory-His name was Georges Lemaitre. I once had a discussion with my Priest about this and we came to the conclusion that evolution was totally acceptable within the catholic faith. We also thought that creationists-if that’s the right term-did more harm than good for Christianity as they cam across as a bit dotty

  • Now that his Ark has been scuppered, I wonder if the ham-fisted Ham, his eyes dissolving in a…flood…of bitter tears, will have the good grace to do away with himself? If not, he can always join the Westboro Baptist Church. Ma is gettin’ awful lonesome with Pa long gone and her flock having long since flown the nest. Failing this, the Moonies are always on the lookout for new converts…..

  • Angela_K

    @Tom80. I suggest that many Christians fear the evidence that supports evolution because it contradicts their bible and that it may lead down that slippery slope of questioning the rest of their bible and losing their faith [I wish]. At 14 I found the things I was being taught in RE contradicted the Biology, Physics and Chemistry I was being taught so it didn’t take me long to realise that religion is just wishful thinking.

  • barriejohn

    What about Gregor Mendel, the father of modern genetics? I well remember first hearing about him in Biology class and thinking what a brilliant man he was. When I was a Christian we had a very large number of “young people” attending the church (many the children of believers and their friends), and some of us wanted some speakers who were science-literate booked to show them, in some special meetings, how belief in evolution, etc, could be reconciled with belief in the scriptures. Need I tell you that this suggestion was met with horror and the claim that we were “encouraging them to doubt the Word of God”!
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregor_Mendel

  • Angela_K

    @barriejohn. Good point. The religious often use the fact that some scientists of history were Christians as stick to beat us with, as though just because some possess the cognitive dissonance required to be religious and a scientist validates their religion.

  • Cali Ron

    barriejohn: ‘Christian Patricia Carey = Parasitic irritancy ache’-you could just drop the Patricia Carey part and it still applies.

  • remigius

    Cali Ron. Once you get rid of Patricia Carey all that remains is nitric ash.

  • Paul

    Faith, religion, gawd has absolutely no place in science at all. The two are incompatible.
    Have a read of Jerry Coyne’s new book Faith Versus Fact, where he examines the debate and explains why they are incompatible. And also why so many scientists allow the ‘religious’ to enter into the scientific debate.
    And to say that religion and evolution are part of gawds plan or are compatible is simply ridiculous and facile. It isn’t. Evolution is a proven fact – creation is not, it is a construct of a very lazy and immature mind.

  • Cali Ron

    It’s not a pretty site when trolls devour their own, but it does have a certain morbid entertainment value.
    Another Troll Has Gone Astray
    Whilst trolling on the net one day
    Another troll came my way
    I gave a trollish poke
    Provocateur blasphemy he spoke
    Another troll has gone astray
    So I set to the task
    Of saving the misguided lass
    My word, you must have misspoke
    It’s a trolls purpose to provoke
    Another troll has gone astray
    He responded in time
    Being most annoyingly kind
    Like you I used to be an ass
    But my conscience I found at last
    Another troll has gone astray

  • Cali Ron

    remigius: That’s funny.

  • Cali Ron

    remigius: Thanks.

  • Francois Schwartz

    Hi all you atheists, just remember that you still have time to repent and follow Jesus as the bible is the only book that has over 6000 prophecies, (sure you clever people ) know this making the WORD OF GOD superseding all “other” fableish nonsense.

  • AgentCormac

    Hi Francois Schwartz. Thanks for that incredibly erudite contribution. 6,000 prophecies, eh? Wow. Who’d have thought? I’m sure you can explain to me exactly how all those incredible predictions came to pass. (Let me guess, you’re going to tell me to visit a few nutjob websites that attempt to explain how the virgin birth, the exile of the Jews, and maybe even Hitler and WWII were all predicted by iron-age, goat-herding warmongers.) Oh, by the way – here’s a tip for next time you’re trolling. USING CAPS TO MAKE YOUR POINT BECAUSE IT MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE SHOUTING actually makes you look like a fucking idiot. Or proves that you’re one. Take your pick.

  • Broga

    @Francois Schwartz . You have my sympathy indeed pity. You appear to be lost in the nonsense that you regard as the word of God.
    If your God existed, which he does not and could not, on the basis of how the bible describes him you would be in big trouble. I assume that such a God would regard human intelligence as his greatest gift. The test would be to accept the gift and use it. You reject it, you spit in your God’s face and, I’m afraid, he will be angry with you. He is a tyrannical and vengeful God and, consider this carefully, unless you change and use your intelligence you are going to hell.
    The atheists who used their God given intelligence will be in heaven. You know this makes sense. Change before you are too late and are plunged into the eternal flames.

  • remigius

    “I assume that such a God would regard human intelligence as his greatest gift.”
    Quite the opposite, Broga. According to the Genesis myth the tyrant wanted his creation, man, kept in ignorance – like a pet. It was the good guy in the story, the serpent, who suggested they partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge.

  • AgentCormac

    @remigius & Broga
    It does make you wonder why god, having gone to all the trouble of designing and making literally everything, would then go on to undo all the good work by deliberately tricking his finest creations into doing exactly what he didn’t want them to do. What’s that all about? Why couldn’t he just leave them alone and let them get on with being happy? Where’s the harm? And then as retribution for having fallen for his deception he apparently wipes out just about everything, including millions of innocent creatures, in a cataclysmic flood. Sounds like a total psycho control freak to me. Thank god I’m an atheist.

  • barriejohn

    Well I don’t know about the other 5,999 “prophecies”, but here’s one from the lips of the Master himself:
    “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”
    That was allegedly spoken almost two thousand years ago. That’s a very long “generation”!

  • Judith Janes

    Remember what George Carlin said:
    “But He (God) loves you. He loves you, and he needs money! He always needs money!
    He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing and all-wise; somehow just can’t handle money!
    You think he’d be looking out for his best promoter, Ham.

  • Broga

    @remigius: ” It was the good guy in the story, the serpent, who suggested they partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge.”
    Indeed. The talking serpent was the good guy. I just try to get the Christian believers in bullshit a bit disturbed to see if they will employ a bit of intelligence and start thinking. It is a waste of time. The years of indoctrination have destroyed their ability to open their minds.

  • barriejohn

    Broga: But God created Satan, and knew in advance what was going to happen because it was all part of his wonderful plan. What a disaster if Satan had said: “You know what? I’m going to be a good guy after all!”. It’s the same as the Judas Iscariot question: If Jesus was foreordained to die for the sins of the world, wasn’t Judas just carrying out God’s will?
    https://www.gotquestions.org/Judas-saved.html
    [T]he fact that it was all foreordained does not excuse Judas or absolve him from the punishment he would suffer for his part in the drama. Judas made his own choices, and they were the source of his own damnation. Yet the choices fit perfectly into the sovereign plan of God. God controls not only the good, but also the evil of man to accomplish His own ends.

  • Broga

    @barriejohn: Complicated stuff this. I’m going to take my Labrador for a walk and discuss it with him. Although he does tend to be more interested in chasing squirrels.

  • barriejohn

    Broga: That’s another sad result of The Fall. One day ickle baby squirrels and big, black labradors will skip and play together merrily. Oh, joy unbounded!

  • Broga

    @barriejohn : Oh yes. Isn’t that the lion lying down with the lamb stuff. How sweet.

  • Yeah Ken Ham is a swindling buffoon. Almost as bad as Trump. Trump is swindling Americans so bad he is making evangelicals seem honest and moral.

  • Broga

    @ James Stahl: From this side of the pond I find myself wondering if Trump can be as bad as he seems. And yet he keeps providing confirmation that he is. The Christians may find that their hero Trump provides the Armageddon they want. But it will be a hell on earth and not an ecstatic delivery into heaven.