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Time For Noah to Lawyer Up

From the Washington Post:

A gigantic ark is built with the help of a higher power, a symbolic refuge from the depravity of humankind. It is a huge, grandiose structure constructed out of wood and is perhaps larger than anything comparable in the world. Then, heavy rains begin to fall, inundating the earth around it.

And that’s when the lawyers are called.

Genesis, this is not. This is the fate of the multimillion-dollar Noah’s Ark replica and theme park in Northern Kentucky, Ark Encounter, which is suing insurance carriers over coverage for rain-related damages to the property.

The company is seeking to recoup what it says were $1 million worth of repairs, as well as attorneys’ fees and costs, and an unspecified amount of punitive damages.

The $120 million Ark Encounter, where adult tickets cost $48, was completed in 2016, with a zoo, zip lines, and a restaurant in addition to its five-story high replica ark. It was the brainchild of Ken Ham and his ministry, Answers in Genesis, which also created the Creation Museum. Ham, is a Christian fundamentalist and creationist who argues that the Bible is a historical narrative that is meant to be taken literally.

He believes that dinosaurs lived alongside humans and that the biblical flood created the Grand Canyon. And he maintains that Noah labored seven decades to construct his vessel and was 600 years old when the storm surged.

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So Noah Built an Arky, Arky…

New Noah’s Ark in Ky. aims to prove truth of Bible

HEBRON, Ky. (AP) — Tucked away in a nondescript office park in northern Kentucky, Noah’s followers are rebuilding his ark. The biblical wooden ship built to weather a worldwide flood was 500 feet long and about 80 feet high, according to Answers in Genesis, a Christian ministry devoted to a literal telling of the Old Testament.

It’s an expansion of the ministry’s first major public attraction, the controversial Creation Museum. It opened in 2007 and attracted worldwide attention for presenting stories from the Bible as historical fact, challenging evolution and asserting that the earth was created about 6,000 years ago.

“The ark is really a different approach” than the museum, Mark Zovath (the project director) said. “It’s really not about creation-evolution, it’s about the authority of the Bible starting with the ark account in Genesis.”

Zovath said the ark will have old-world details, like wooden pegs instead of nails, straight-sawed timbers and plenty of animals — some alive, some robotic like The Creation Museum’s dinosaurs. He said it has not yet been determined how many live animals will be in the boat during visiting hours, but the majority will be stuffed or animatronic. At their count, Noah had anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 on board.

State officials are banking on the park’s success and the 900 jobs it is expected to create, by making the project eligible for more than $40 million in sales tax rebates if the Ark Encounter hits its attendance marks.

Tying state incentives to a religious theme park has also attracted some criticism, though notably less than The Creation Museum, which received no state support. That facility was built on private donations.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a Washington-based group, has said the park would run afoul of constitutional law.

“Noah didn’t get government help when he built the first ark, and the fundamentalist ministry behind the Kentucky replica shouldn’t either,” the group said in a statement. But so far they have taken no legal action.

Kagin said challenging the project in court would likely be a losing battle because of the way the tax incentives are structured.