Ken Ham, the staunch creationist who believes the earth is only 6000 years old, is in a bind.
The Australian fundamentalist who convinced the good people of Williamstown, Kentucky (pop. approx. 4000) that a Bible-based theme park built around a gigantic replica of Noah’s Ark would be their ticket to prosperity, now has some splainin to do.
You see, it came to pass that Ham and his associates were offered $62 million in junk bonds by the struggling town if they built the boat in their backyard. Grant County (which Williamstown is in) gave Ham’s team 98 acres of land for $1. No, that is not a typo. One dollar.
When the theme park finally opened on July 7, 2016, the price tag for the big bucket was a whopping $102 million.
But the attraction, called Ark Encounter, has not lived up to Ham’s hype or the promise of economic revival for the people of Williamstown.
Steve Wood, a local official, admits, “… a year after the Ark opened, downtown Williamstown, about two miles from the tourist attraction, still isn’t much more than a collection of resale and ‘antiques’ shops and shuttered storefronts.”
Unlike the great movie parable, Kevin Costner’s Field of Dreams (build it and they will come), the Ark was built but the hordes of tourists did not show.
So getting back to Ham’s dilemma … who should the man who grew up reading Genesis as history, blame for his failure. God?
No, this is not a case of Ham looking upward and asking ” My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Ham is lashing out at atheists and the media for his theme park’s underwhelming performance.
“Recently, a number of articles in the mainstream media, on blogs, and on well-known secularist group websites have attempted to spread propaganda to brainwash the public into thinking our Ark Encounter attraction is a dismal failure,” Ham wrote in a blog post on June 12. “Sadly, they are influencing business investors and others in such a negative way that they may prevent Grant County, Kentucky, from achieving the economic recovery that its officials and residents have been seeking.”
Taking a page from our president, Ham believes the park’s woes are due to “fake news.”
“Nowadays, it seems very few reporters in the secular media actually want to report facts regarding what they cover as news,” he continued. “When it comes to reporting on theologically conservative Christians like those of us at [Answers in Genesis], whose ideology they strongly oppose, many writers have an agenda to undermine Christianity as they file their stories.”
Perhaps it never occurred to Ham that non-believers were never going to be attracted to a mythical structure that, according to him, had dinosaurs as cargo. Maybe it was a case of overselling a project (again Trumpian) that just isn’t attracting enough fundamentalist like himself to make the whole thing viable. Perhaps it was just a bad idea.
Nah, like Trump, once again, it is always easier to blame others for your screwups.
Photo | ascienceenthusiast.com