The national embarrassment attention surrounding Gov. Steve Beshear embracing the use of tax dollars to help fund a $150 million creationist-themed water park in Grant County continues to grow.
Last week, Beshear stood with representatives from Ark Encounters LLC and Answers in Genesis, a religious group that operates the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., to announce plans to build an 800-acre theme park with the centerpiece being a 500-foot-long replica of Noah’s Ark that will include — dinosaurs.
Since then, the Democrat, who is up for re-election year, has been criticized by bloggers, newspaper columnists and national media, who are in awe that the governor would further the commonwealth’s stereotypes in the name of job creation.
From the New York Times:
Facing a rising tide of joblessness, the governor of Kentucky has found one solution: build an ark.
The state has promised generous tax incentives to a group of entrepreneurs who plan to construct a full-size replica of Noah’s ark, load it with animals and actors, and make it the centerpiece of a Bible-based tourist attraction called Ark Encounter.
Since Gov. Steven L. Beshear announced the plan on Wednesday, some constitutional experts have raised alarms over whether government backing for an enterprise that promotes religion violates the First Amendment’s requirement of separation of church and state.
The state intends to give Ark Encounter $37.5 million.