We have spent countless hours attempting to correct many secular media outlets and bloggers in their incorrect reporting on our Ark Encounter project. It’s always good to learn of instances in which our ministry friends go to bat for us, such as the following AiG supporter, P.M., who lives near the Ark site in Grant County, Kentucky. P.M. sent a letter to Kentucky’s leading newspaper, the Courier-Journal of Louisville, to set the record straight about an editorial that appeared in the paper. Here are his two letters (unpublished by the paper) that help dispel some media and Internet myths about the full-size Ark.
Editor:For critics of the Creation Museum who have said that the Ark project would never be launched, despite the success of its sister outreach, the Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky, we invite them to watch Ken Ham’s video recorded at the Ark site earlier this month:
In attacking a project that will create thousands of jobs in Grant County and bring hundreds of millions of tourism dollars to the state, the Courier-Journal (August 1 editorial) thinks the Ark Encounter is simply not worth it. Its callousness aside toward people still looking for a job and also with a state struggling to balance the budget, the Courier-Journal does not need to be concerned whether there will be a “positive impact on the state budget” [with the finished Ark]. There is no risk being assumed by the state in offering the Ark some of the sales tax back it collects from its visitors. It's only if the Ark sees a large number of visitors that the refund kicks in, and if it succeeds (these are the same people behind the successful Creation Museum, with visitors still pouring through its doors), then the state and residents benefit economically.
—P.M., Crittenden, Kentucky
The Courier-Journal did not print P.M.’s August 1 letter above. Undaunted, when the paper printed an anti-Ark Encounter letter to the editor a few days later from a Kentucky resident that contained a gross error about the project, P.M. submitted a second letter (on August 9) to rebut the critic; weeks later, the paper didn’t print this letter either.
Editor:Find out more about the Ark Encounter, and read refutations of Internet myths being circulated by deceptive secularists, by going to ArkEncounter.com.
To the person who declared (August 6 letter to the editor) that her “tax dollars” are going to be used directly or indirectly to support the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, I wish to point out that none of her dollars will be used to build the Ark or support it. Instead, like millions of Kentuckians, she will enjoy the benefit of having millions of dollars of sales tax being collected at the Ark and added to the state treasury* (as well as the addition of thousands of new jobs the Ark will bring to Kentucky). The only way her dollars would be involved is if she visits the Ark and a portion of the sales tax she pays there may be refunded to the Ark at the end of the year if the attendance is very high. That’s all.
As a future neighbor up I-75 from the Ark Encounter, I look forward to bringing my family.
—P.M., Crittenden, Kentucky
Editor’s note: As we were prepping this blog post, we learned that the Courier-Journal printed an op-ed with many misleading claims. For example, the guest columnist’s statement that the state of Kentucky is providing financial backing of “a $25 million boost” falsely suggests that money is coming out of the state budget to help construct the Ark Encounter. As the letter-writer to the Courier-Journal above correctly stated, state-funding to build the Ark is not happening. Also, regarding the claim made in the op-ed about hiring at the Ark, Mike Zovath (in charge of the Ark project for AiG) was accurately quoted recently by the Courier-Journal that Ark Encounter has not written its hiring policies but that it "will follow all of the applicable state and federal employment laws in the hiring for the Ark Encounter."
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
*If the future Ark Encounter sees high attendance, then sales tax collected at the Ark Encounter will be refunded to the park up to $18 million (25% of the approved project costs). Inducements will accrue annually at a rate of 2.5% of the approved project costs and continue over a period of 10 years, for a total refund incentive not to exceed 25% of the approved costs by the time the program ends. In addition to receiving the balance of the sales tax revenues during the refund period, the state will receive millions of dollars from other sources, such as state income tax collected from people employed at or near the Ark due to jobs created because of the Ark’s presence, and also from sales tax collected at new businesses that will spring up because of the Ark. The net gain to the state’s coffers over the years will be enormous if the Ark attracts large crowds; at the same time, there is no risk to the state because the refund of sales tax is performance based.