Baptist News criticizes Ark Park

Bow of Ark
Ark on opening day. Credit: Photograph by Dan Phelps.

They did not exactly do a hatchet job, but Baptist News Global just posted an article, Creationism is big business in Northern Kentucky, by Mark Wingfield, which is fairly critical of the Ark Park, and indeed draws on an earlier article, The Anti-Museum, by our colleague and sometime contributor Dan Phelps. Baptist News Global is an independent publication that, according to Wikipedia, is affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, a relatively liberal denomination that has withdrawn from the Southern Baptist Convention. Mr. Wingfield, the Executive Director of the publication, notes in his article that

creationism has no support in mainstream science. A 2019 Gallup Poll found that 40% of Americans say they believe in creationism, with the likelihood of holding that belief corresponding heavily toward lower levels of education.

At the risk of cherry-picking, he notes further,

Phelps envisioned the museum and life-size ark appealing to home-schooling parents but also wondered if its presence could put a damper on the teaching of accepted science in the region’s schools. He called the teaching of Answers in Genesis “outrageous and remarkable pseudoscience.”

Not a hatchet job, granted, but at least they went after the Ark with a tackhammer.

On the same day, William Trollinger, of the blog Righting America, posted an article, Ken Ham and the fog that enshrouds Ark Encounter, which outlines the financial shenanigans that accompanied the founding of the Ark Park. Of particular note,

75% of what Ark Encounter would have paid in property taxes instead goes to paying off the bonds that made the Ark possible. Quite obviously, this is a government subsidy.

According to Mr. Trollinger, the bonds will be fully paid off this month, meaning April. He asks,

[D]oes that mean that, after nine years of this very generous local government subsidy, Ark Encounter will finally begin to pay its fair share of property taxes?

Let us hope so, but anyone who thinks that the Ark Park has brought prosperity to Williamstown needs to watch We believe in dinosaurs. Williamstown helped subsidize the Ark Park, but now unfortunately finds itself on the other side of the Interstate highway, a fact that must have been withheld from them when the Ark was begging for subsidies.

Finally, Ken Ham, in his blog, notes on March 26 that there is a labor shortage and proposes building dormitories for summer students or, indeed, year-round students whose Christian colleges allow them to study remotely. You do not have to read very deeply between the lines to recognize that he may call these jobs “internships,” which means that he can pay anywhere from $0.00 upward. These interns will of course be a source of cheap labor and will compete with the citizens of Williamstown and elsewhere.