Friday, June 16, 2017

Those Meddling Atheists!

Creationist Ken Ham recently put up a blog posts blaming atheists for the failure of his Ark Encounter attraction. More specifically, his Noah's Ark replica theme park has attracted a lot of visitors, but they don't appear to be spending any money in the surrounding area. Instead, it's all going to Ham and his organization.

In a recent blog post to his Answers in Genesis website, leading creationist Ken Ham laments the supposed power of atheists and the “secularist media,” complaining that they are damaging the reputation of his Ark Encounter, and the economy of the surrounding local businesses, writing:

"Recently, a number of articles in the mainstream media, on blogs, and on well-known secularist group websites have attempted to spread propaganda to brainwash the public into thinking our Ark Encounter attraction is a dismal failure.

Sadly, they (atheists and the secular media) are influencing business investors and others in such a negative way that they may prevent Grant County, Kentucky, from achieving the economic recovery that its officials and residents have been seeking."

In other words, Ken Ham blames atheists for his trouble. Ham is refusing to take responsibility for his own failure, and refusing to take responsibility for his broken promises to the citizens and business community of Grant County, Kentucky.

Ham is desperate to counter the narrative that his Ark Encounter and Creation Museum are not delivering on the promises he made. He is particularly upset with a recent article from The Lexington Herald Leader that explores Ham’s failure to deliver on financial promises made to community members and local businesses.

In reality, this should have all been obvious from the start, atheists or no atheists. The tax incentive deal that Ark Encounter got was basically the same thing as the deals sports stadiums get from cities - and those are almost always a bad deal for everybody else in the community. The supposed "economic activity" never shows up, or when it does it's far less than initially promised.

I can only think of a handful of times in the last century where one of these deals has actually produced wealth for the local community. My home city of Minneapolis got reamed on one of these a few years back for the new Minnesota Vikings stadium, which is costing taxpayers a fortune to subsidize. My point is that this is a much bigger problem than the media making fun of Ham's Ark, and it has nothing to do with religion.

So no, Ken, it's not the atheist meanies keeping the "economic activity" away. It was never going to show up regardless.

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