Ham is the Australian-born Young Earth Creationist responsible for building the largest wooden structure in the shape of a boat in Eastern Kentucky, about 450 miles away from the nearest ocean. Ham is the Founder and CEO of Answers in Genesis. From the AiG website:
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.
I’m sure most of us are familiar with the long, storied history of Christian persecution within the United States.
Anyone who worked on the Ark Encounter, LLC (or wants to work at the park now) must sign a Statement of Faith. The statement details requirements to work for the park, such as believing the Earth is only 6000 years old, and that the Bible is inerrant.
If the Bible is incapable of being wrong, could someone please explain Leviticus 11:13-19?
These are the birds you are to regard as unclean and not eat because they are unclean: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, the red kite, any kind of black kite, any kind of raven, the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey, the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat.
If every single thing in the Bible has to be true, pointing out even one incorrect thing, however minor, is a catastrophic problem. This means if the Bible was wrong about referring to bats as birds, then the entire book is invalid. (Spoiler alert: bats are mammals, not birds.)
There’s this logical inconsistency to deal with, too.
Government Sponsorship In short, Ham has used interest-free loans from the state of Kentucky (to the tune of $62 million), which taxpayers are responsible for if the Ark Encounter, LLC fails. This is in addition to receiving $18 million in tax incentives. Another interesting fact: Kentucky ranks 47th in the nation for poverty poverty rate of 19.1% (the national average is 14.8%).
Possibly more concerning than the funding, the anti-homosexual/anti-abortion “Statement of Faith” agreement, and the ridiculous notion that the Bible is infallible, is the fact that legislators have openly endorsed what Ham has done and what he is promoting.
Kentucky Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer said:
I’m a Christian and I support the Answers in Genesis ministry and what they do… For me as the senator for Grant County, it’s about economics, the jobs it’s going to create.
Kentucky Senator John Schickel said:
I don’t see a conflict in science and biblical teaching… I’m not a scientist and I’m not a bible scholar. But when there is a conflict, I believe in the Holy Scripture.
Schickel literally said that “when in doubt, refer to the book written by people who didn’t know where the sun went at night.” That’s scary as hell.
At best, Ken Ham (and others of his ilk) truly believe in what they’re doing. They truly believe that a 500 year old man with bronze age tools was able to create a 500-foot long, 90-foot high boat that God told him to make. Not only that, but he believes Noah’s family was able to shuffle two of every animal onto the Ark in just a week. Fine. Whatever. I’ve seen Zootopia a few times, so I’ll give the whole “carnivores and herbivores getting along for over a month” thing a pass here.
After all, you have the freedom to believe and say whatever crazy nonsense you want. But that doesn’t mean the rest of us won’t think you’re batshit crazy for it.
But at worst, what Ham, et al. are doing is preying on Christians. After all, Ark Encounter, LCC is a for-profit venture.
James Pilcher reported that over the past decade, Christian tourism in the US have increased in both quantity and quality. There are many new hotspots for the devout Christian, such as “Sight and Sound Theaters” (two locations, even!), the Creation Museum in Kentucky (near the Ark Encounter, LLC), “The Holy Land Experience” in Orlando, “Christ in the Smokies” (life-sized representations of the bible in Gatlinburg, Tennessee), and plans for a $400 million “Museum of the Bible” in Washington, DC.
Ham himself has even said that his goal is “Disney quality” with his genocide and incest park:
If you do something in a first-class, professional way, with the quality you’d see at Disney, Universal or the Smithsonian, it will give you a reputation such that people will talk about it and come back and, by word of mouth, encourage others to come.
There’s also the God’s Ark of Safety Ministry, who is the real OG, as they’ve been building their own Noah’s Ark since 1974. Here’s their progress so far.
The Ark Encounter is anti-science.
I’m honestly not all that upset about the idea of someone wasting a shit-ton of money on a boat that isn’t structurally sound enough to actually float, nevermind the fact Ken’s version uses the bulbous bow, something that wasn’t invented until more than 4,000 years after Noah’s alleged existence (Creationists think the flood occurred about 4,300 years ago). What you spend your own money on is your business, not mine.
What pisses me off is the public money being spent, and the tax breaks the Ark Encounter, LLC has received.
What pisses me off is the fact that it’s blatantly anti-science. It’s a scientific fact that the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, not 6000 years old. It’s not even worth entertaining the debate. Even if you choose to ignore this overwhelming fact, we have indisputable fossil proof that dinosaurs existed from 66 to 240 million years ago. Humans have only existed for 200,000 years, meaning it’s impossible that there were dinosaurs on the Ark (despite AiG’s claim that they were).
What pisses me off is that people who buy into the story of the Ark literally believe that God committed worldwide genocide, then forced the survivors to repopulate the Earth through incest, all while also believing that two dudes wanting to get married is an abomination.
What pisses me off is that people are going to bring their children to the Ark and continue the practice of indoctrination into nonsensical theistic beliefs.
Believers as victims
I don’t blame or dislike believers, though. I’m not mad at them. After all, I’d be willing to bet that most of us at some point in our lives believed in some sort of deity. However, for one reason or another, we were able to overcome our natural predisposition to belief of a higher power or authority.
Don’t be angry at people who believe in things like Creationism. As I said before, at best these people (Ken Ham included) truly believe that what they believe is correct. Instead, be angry at the very idea of religion. Be angry at the indoctrination of children. Be angry at the centuries of misogyny. Be angry at the centuries of sexual abuse of children that was suppressed by the Catholic Church.
People deserve respect. But ideas are not people, and some ideas are very dangerous. Raising children to ignore science and to ignore evidence is completely irresponsible.
Can’t never not be wrong
If the Christian God truly is infallible, then that means he never makes any mistakes. The story of Noah’s Ark is basically God saying “oops” and wiping the slate. God kills almost everyone/thing on Earth, except for two of each animal who hop on a boat, then the animals have to repopulate the Earth with their own immediate family members.
Besides, I thought God was anti-abortion anyway? How many people did the flood kill, and how many pregnant women died? Now I’m just confused.
But I suppose God has demonstrated his propensity for incest before anyway, starting with Adam and Eve. Nothing new here.
How could anyone worship someone so heinous and cruel?
So which is it? Is all life on Earth, including humans, the direct result of incest? Or did we actually evolve from filthy monkey men?