Noah’s Ark theme park: really necessary?

Maggie Kelso, Staff Writer

In the state of Kentucky, an interesting construction project is underway. In fact, you might say it is one of Biblical proportions.

The Creation Museum and the Answer in Genesis ministry have teamed up and are working to generate funding for a Noah’s Ark theme park that will promote knowledge of the Bible and educate people on the ins and outs of Creationism. While normally this would not be a problem—since both the Creation Museum and the Answers in Genesis ministry are private organizations—the funding now involves $43.1 million of Kentucky State Taxpayer money. According to the Constitution of the United States, this violates the separation of church and state. It is one of the most basic and fundamental laws laid out by America’s founders under the First Amendment. The fact that the government supplies the organizations with money for this venture is simply unconstitutional. Yet the state government of Kentucky is saying that they support the values and ideas that are being promoted by this theme park.

I am not saying that the building of this theme park is wrong or that the state government shouldn’t let these Christian organizations build this theme park. What I do believe is that the government shouldn’t be placing $43.1 million into the collection basket for the project. There are other ways that such money could be spent that would improve the lives of Kentucky residents. At present, Kentucky legislature is struggling with issues in providing for their pension plan. Currently, it is estimated that only 44 percent of the required funds are present in the pension plan. This $43.1 million could very easily have gone to this issue instead, which in turn would help balance and stabilize the current pension problem.

Alternatively, the Kentucky government could simply keep the $43.1 million dollars and save it for times of true crisis. Like many states in the nation, Kentucky is hemorrhaging money. What I mean is that they are spending more than they are making, and $43.1 million would help to balance that budget. While it is impossible for states to stop spending altogether, investing money into private commercial ventures is unnecessary and speaks to the reason that the state and federal governments are crumbling when it comes to their budgets.

Simply put, a Noah’s Ark theme park is not necessary for the people of the state. Yes, is might provide a few jobs and a bit of tourism, but Kentucky is already flooded with tourists that come for horse racing every year. In the long run, the construction of such a theme park will make little difference to the well-being of the state. Reallocating the funds to education initiatives, humanitarian projects, and promoting environmental protection would be a wiser choice for the future. After all, the decisions made now don’t affect the current generation, they affect the generations that follow.

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