Now we've herd everything!
A Noah’s Ark-themed attraction in Kentucky called Ark Encounter plans to open July 7, and the owners are expecting crowds of biblical proportions—to the tune of 1.4 million visitors each year.
“Sadly, many people (even in the church) have been exposed to the childish ‘bathtub arks’ we see in kids’ books and on the walls of Sunday school classes and so on that make Noah’s Ark seem like nothing more than a cute fairy tale,” creationist and creator Ken Ham said in a blog post. “But once people see the enormity of this Ark structure, they will begin to realize it was a real ship.”
The massive re-creation, which Ham has been sharing on social media, will be about 450 feet long, 150 feet wide, and eight stories high. There will be 132 exhibits on board that will address how two of every land animal could have fit on the ship discussed in the bible. Tickets to come aboard will cost $40 for adults and $28 for children.
While this project has been in the works since 2010—after being granted $18 million in tax incentives by Kentucky lawmakers—the religious theme park made headlines again recently when it announced it was looking for specific types of people to staff the ark.
In order to get hired for one of the 300 to 400 positions, potential employees will be required to sign a statement saying they're Christian and "profess Christ as their savior." Though it's generally illegal to discriminate based on religion, the theme park won a federal court ruling in January saying they could make religious-based hires.
"We are a religious group and we make no apology about that, and (federal law) allows us that," Ham said Thursday. "We're requiring them to be Christians, that's the bottom line."
According to Kelsey Dallas at the Deseret News, the ruling came after "the organization was accused in 2014 of using public money to fund religious descrimination, since it had received millions of dollars of tax breaks during theme park construction."