Mark your calendars peeps, because you're not going to want to miss the Noah's Ark theme park that's opening in Kentucky next year.
Ark Encounter, which sits on 800 acres of land in Williamstown, is currently under construction, and will include a life size replica of the ark, along with a restaurant, theater and petting zoo.
Ken Ham, CEO of Answers in Genesis—the devoutly Christian masterminds behind the park's creation—held a press conference earlier today, announcing an opening date of July 7, 2016, in honor of the seventh verse of the seventh chapter of the book of Genesis, which details when Noah and his crew entered the ark (which Ham believes to be a real story of something that actually happened.)
Ham also announced that sharing your Christian vision, by way of a theme park, doesn't come cheap—the project has a price tag of a whopping $91 million, which, he says, they are still looking for $6.5 million of to complete the project.
Get your check book out Mel Gibson!
Ark Encounter isn't even built yet, but it's already attracted controversy. Last year, Kentucky officials were forced to cancel more than $18 million worth of tax incentives that they had offered, after Answers in Genesis announced they would only hire employees who shared the organization's fundamental Christian beliefs.
Those beliefs include such ludicrousy as the assertion that the world is actually only 6,000 years old—instead of 4 billion years, as scientists state—but, what do those silly scientists know?
They're just basing their claims on decades of research by super smart people…. and carbon dating of rocks and shit.
Whereas, this is going by the word of God! It's written in black and white, in a big book that's read by millions and everything.
In fact, turns out that Answers in Genesis takes the old testament very seriously, believing every word of all of the stories literally—including the whole Adam and Eve thing, and the Earth being created in six days by that God fellow up there in the clouds.
According to the company's website:
The Bible—the “history book of the universe"—provides a reliable, eye-witness account of the beginning of all things, and can be trusted to tell the truth in all areas it touches on. Therefore, we are able to use it to help us make sense of this present world. When properly understood, the “evidence" confirms the biblical account.
Ham makes no apologies for the organization's steadfast Christian beliefs, and the religious bigotry that goes along with them—admitting that their very purpose is to ram their beliefs right down everyone's throats, whenever possible.
“We make no apology about our Christian message," Ham asserts. “We have never hidden the fact that our purpose is to spread the truth of God's Word and its life-changing gospel message."
Over 16,000 lucky Christians a day will be able to enjoy the wonders of Ark Encounter, and Ham predicts the park will attract around 1.4 million guests each year, boasting, "It'll certainly be one of the biggest Christian attractions in the world."
Because of the anticipated high demand for tickets, Ham said that they will be limiting attendance for the first 40 days and 40 nights, in keeping with the whole Noah schtick. Tickets will be available online from January.
But, never fear folks! If you're not lucky enough to score an Ark Encounter ticket, you can still get your Fundamental fix on by visiting the organization's other attraction—The Creation Museum.
A state-of-the-art 75,000-square-foot “museum", which:
Brings the pages of the Bible to life, casting its characters and animals in dynamic form and placing them in familiar settings. Adam and Eve live in the Garden of Eden. Children play and dinosaurs roam near Eden's Rivers. The serpent coils cunningly in the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Majestic murals, great masterpieces brimming with pulsating colors and details, provide a backdrop for many of the settings.
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