Biblical outrage: Public dollars may go to a creationist theme park
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If ever there was a boondoggle worthy of tea party outrage, it would be the public dollars that might go into subsidies for a creationist theme park.
On Dec. 20 the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority gave preliminary approval for up to $43 million in tax incentives to help fund an attraction in Grant County based on the Genesis story of Noah's ark.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is an enthusiastic supporter of Ark Encounter, the 800-acre park that will tell how men and dinosaurs co-existed less than 10,000 years ago according to one interpretation of biblical texts.
Ark Encounter is the brain child of Answers in Genesis, the Christian organization behind the Creation Museum, a popular creationist-oriented destination in the state. The developer says the park will generate 900 jobs and 1.9 million tourists a year. Taxpayers will be on the hook for 25 percent of the total cost, but only after the park is finished and begins to reach its performance goals.
Even with this guarantee, expecting the taxpayers of Kentucky to subsidize religious propaganda is outrageous. Imagine the hoots of derision if tax subsidies were OK'd for a Muslim or Hindu theme park.
Science education in Kentucky's high schools could have used an infusion of $43 million. Instead, the state's people will get an amusement park that shows humans, dinosaurs and other animals living together on a wooden ship. It's an embarrassment for the whole nation, not just Kentucky.
First Published December 29, 2010 12:00 am