Kentucky Activists Fight “Noah’s Ark Park”

This summer, creationists in Kentucky will build a replica Noah’s Ark, calling it the Ark Encounter. It’s going to be a theme park for kids.

So a local nontheist group, the Tri-State Freethinkers, are countering with billboards that show how the first section of The Bible, the Book of Genesis, sets a terrible example for kids with its incest and genocide.

They’ve already raised $11,000 through their Indiegogo fundraising campaign, which renames Ark Encounter “Genocide and Incest Park”. They protest that the park is receiving state tax incentives despite discriminatory hiring practices, and generally seek to deflate the concept that the park has anything to do with science, history, and reality in general.

Jim Helton of the Tri-State Freethinkers wrote:

We contacted Lamar about the billboard several months in advance. I spoke with a sales rep and he asked me if the billboard was controversial. I said “only if you consider Genocide & Incest controversial”. He said they would have to charge me the political rate. I agreed.

We knew the IndieGoGo campaign would be big news in the freethought & atheist community. We also knew once the billboard went up the mainstream press would pick it up and it would be a big story. However, we were surprised that the mainstream media covered the story of us simply stating that we were raising money to put up the billboard. When the story hit the local press, Lamar backed out. They were unwilling to work with me to try to find a solution that would have resembled anything close to our original concept for the billboard.

In the past, Lamar put up Ark Encounter billboards that said “You can’t sink this ship,” which targeted opponents to the park.

We then found a small private mobile billboard company willing to drive around the park. After initially agreeing to drive the billboard around the park on multiple weekends during the summer, he recently backed out due to fear of his own personal safety.

If we find a company willing to put up our billboard, we are willing to allow other organizations to use our billboard to show their opposition to the Ark Encounter and to promote their local groups.

We are in the early stages of trying to put together a protest on July 7, which is opening day and an after party to celebrate science and reason.