Life-sized Noah's Ark sparks separation of church & state debate
A life size Ark being built in Kentucky is controversial because some believe tax break given to the project violate the First Amendment. Credit: CNN
WILLIAMSTOWN, KY.(CNN)--A life-sized replica of Noah's Ark being constructed in Kentucky has drawn debate over the separation of church and state.
The Ark Encounter will span 510 feet long, 85 feet wide and 51 feet high, the dimensions given in the bible according to the Ark Encounter website. The site of the ark will also have a zoo, zip lines and exhibits explaining how Noah was able to care for the animals. The site also states the ark will be the largest "timber-frame" structure in the United States.
Ark Encounter has also drawn criticism from those believing it violates the separation of church and state. Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin approved of the $18 million in tax breaks given to the project which according to Kentucky.com, will be combined with tax breaks from Grant County and the city of Williamstown.
Critics also point to hiring practices at the Ark Encounter. According to Ark Encounter CEO Ken Ham, only Christians will be hired at the for-profit park and employees will be forced to sign a "Statement of Faith" which disavows same-sex marriage, premarital sex and adultery.
Ham says Ark Encounter is expected to have 2 million visitors per year. The park will open on July 7, 2016.