Posted: December 6, 2010.
Print: New York Times
> The state has promised generous tax incentives to a group of
> entrepreneurs who plan to construct a full-size replica of
> Noah’s ark…and make it the centerpiece of a Bible-based
> tourist attraction called Ark Encounter.
> Some constitutional experts have raised alarms over whether an
> enterprise that promotes religion violates the First Amendment’s
> requirement of separation of church and state…but Mr. Beshear,
> a Democrat, said the arrangement posed no constitutional
> problem, and brushed off questions about his stand on
> “The people of Kentucky didn’t elect me governor to debate
> religion,” he said at a news conference. “They elected me
> governor to create jobs.”
> The theme park was conceived by the same Christian ministry that
> built the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., where dioramas
> designed to debunk evolution show humans and dinosaurs
> coexisting peacefully on an earth created by God in six days…
> Although the Creation Museum has been a target of ridicule by
> some, it has drawn 1.2 million visitors in its first three years
> — proving that there is a sizable paying audience for
> entertainment rooted in a literal interpretation of the Bible.
> In the interest of verisimilitude, the ark is to be built with
> wooden pegs and timber framing by Amish builders, Mr. Zovath
> said. Animals including giraffes — but only small, young
> giraffes — will be kept in pens on board.
> “We think that God would probably have sent healthy juvenile-
> sized animals that weren’t fully grown yet, so there would be
> plenty of room,” said Mr. Zovath, a retired Army lieutenant
> colonel heading the ark project. “We want to show how Noah would
> have taken care of them, taken care of waste management, taken
> care of water needs and food needs.”