We’ve all heard of the word arachnophobia, a fear of spiders and other arachnids such as scorpions. Well, there is a new phobia showing up on countless blogs, on Twitter, and in news sources. And it has a similar-sounding name: Arkophobia. It’s a fear of the life-size Ark we are building in Williamstown, Kentucky, that opens July 7.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a phobia as “an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation.”
Well, the Arkophobia we see all around us is certainly “illogical.” But it’s actually not “inexplicable.” Let me explain.
Arkophobia hit an all-time high the week of January 25. That’s when a federal judge issued a major ruling that gave a huge win to Answers in Genesis in our religious freedom lawsuit against the State of Kentucky and the actions of the previous governor, Steve Beshear.
The judge ruled that Kentucky could not deny the Ark project participation in the state’s tourism tax incentive program. Such a denial would be discriminatory based on the US Constitution and its First Amendment. The judge also ruled in accord with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title VII of that act, confirming that, as a religious organization, AiG can use religious preferences in Ark hiring.
Well, that federal decision was too much for the secularist/atheist bloggers. That’s when Arkophobia was at its height. Many secularists were already livid that a Christian organization is building such a massive tourist facility that will have a huge impact in the culture as it proclaims a Christian message! They just can’t stand it! Their hatred against Christianity was so clear after the ruling.
In bemoaning the judge’s decision, one atheist blogger mocked:
In case you don’t know, Ken Ham is building a big boat in Kentucky and planning to tell people it’s a replica of Noah’s Ark. This, he believes, will make people want to become Christians and stop being gay. Ham’s God really likes spending millions of dollars on vanity woodwork projects but really hates people who love other people of the same gender.
Ham’s God is apparently ambivalent about giving some of those millions of dollars to those who most need it.
These hateful statements really help to reveal Arkophobia. What is the real reason for such vehement opposition to a project that will be so beneficial to the state as it brings hundreds of millions of tourist dollars into Kentucky for hotels, restaurants, and much more, and creates thousands of jobs? It’s because of the message of the Ark.
What is the real reason for such vehement opposition to the Ark?
The opposition to the tax incentives, which are offered to any tourism project that will have a positive economic impact in Kentucky and create jobs (called a “neutral purpose”), is illogical. Furthermore, such censorship violates the US Constitution’s guarantee of the freedom of religion and its free exercise. The opposition we have been encountering is due to a heart issue.
Romans 3:23 teaches us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” And Romans 3:10–18 states:
There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one. Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.
In a major ruling, the federal judge confirmed that the 1964 Civil Rights Act allows AiG to use a religious preference in hiring.
The bottom line with the secularist opposition? Arkophobia is so widespread because “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Secularists are in rebellion against their Creator. The fact that He has the right to tell them, through His Word, what is right (e.g., marriage is one man for one woman) and what is wrong (e.g., abortion is murder) angers them.
Secularists oppose the Ark because they are afraid of the Ark’s goal: to proclaim the everlasting gospel. Revelation 14:6–7 declares:
Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people—saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”
Find out more about the Ark Encounter outreach at ArkEncounter.com.