Ken Ham’s “Ark Encounter,” a replica of Noah’s Ark, is set to open July 7 in Kentucky.
According to The New York Times, the cost to build the ark was more than $102 million, and it is finally opening after waves of criticism and attempts to block funding.
At one point, the state of Kentucky tried to revoke tax rebates to Ham after finding out that he would require his employees to sign “statements of faith” that would potentially exclude people who were gay. The case eventually went to court where Ham won.
The ark is about seven stories high and is about 1.5 football fields long.
"The reason we are building the ark is not as an entertainment center," Ham said. "I mean it's not like a Disney or Universal, just for anyone to go and have fun. It's a religious purpose. It's because we're Christians and we want to get the Christian message out."
The Tri-State Freethinkers, a group of atheist activists, had tried to place billboards near the highway approaching the ark, but they couldn’t find a billboard company to place their ad, which called the ark a “Genocide and Incest Park.”
Instead, the group will protest at the ark’s grand opening.
"The moral of the flood story is horrible," said Jim G. Helton, the Freethinker’s founder and president. "We're not saying he can't build his park. But we don't think it's appropriate for a family fun day."
Publication date: June 28, 2016