The Secularist Media War Against the Ark Continues
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 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 one sense, such negative, misleading, and outright false reporting doesn’t worry me. As Christians, we know we will receive opposition like thisand after 40 years in Bible-upholding ministry, I have become used to such antics by those who oppose us. Nowadays, it seems very few reporters in the secular media actually want to report facts regarding what they cover as news. When it comes to reporting on theologically conservative Christians like those of us at AiG, whose ideology they strongly oppose, many writers have an agenda to undermine Christianity as they file their stories.
I’ve found that not only do these kinds of reporters generally do very poor or lazy research, they will actually make things up for their agenda purposes. They often just quote others, who themselves have quoted yet others, who have quoted even yet others. Urban legends have now been created around our life-size Noah’s Ark, mixing misleading and untrue statements gathered from a variety of sources, often not using primary sources but hearsay.
A Recent Case in Point
Let me give you a recent example. Reporter Linda Blackford wrote a recent front-page article on the Ark Encounter for the secular newspaper the Lexington Herald Leader of Kentucky (the state’s second largest paper). Her article was titled “Town Expected Flood of Business after Noah’s Ark Opened. So Far, It’s a Trickle.”1
After reading that headline and then her article, I was convinced that she (and probably her editor) had an agenda even before she began her research and writing. She was determined to convince readers that the Ark Encounter wasn’t successful and that it hadn’t had much of a positive economic impact or created jobs in Grant County. As she ignored overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the reporter misquoted the few people she did interview and deliberately wrote an article that hid the whole truth about the tremendous economic impact that the Ark Encounter has had on all of Northern Kentucky. Her motivation? Well, because her newspaper has been known for antagonism toward anything Christian, and AiG has experienced this agenda from the paper over the years, what’s occurred here is yet another example of its anti-Christian bias.
The Herald-Leader isn’t the only secular media outlet spreading such maligning anti-AiG propaganda. Many secular bloggers and organizations like the Freedom From Religion Foundation and Americans United for Separation of Church and State have produced videos and/or printed articles filled with misinformation and deliberate falsehoods in their attempt to hide the truth about the success of the Ark.
Many articles, for example, have actually stated that the city of Williamstown, where the Ark is located, is liable for the $62 million dollar bond offering that was part of the funding for the Ark. That’s simply a lie. Answers in Genesis is totally liable for that bond offering, which states:
The Series 2013 Bonds shall not be general obligations of the Issuer but special and limited obligations payable solely from the amounts payable under the loan agreement and from funds and property pledged pursuant to the indenture. The Series 2013 Bonds and the interest payable thereon do not now and shall never constitute indebtedness of the Issuer or the Commonwealth of Kentucky within the meaning of the Constitution or the Statutes of the Commonwealth, and neither the Issuer, the Commonwealth of Kentucky nor any political subdivision thereof shall be liable for the payment of the principal of, premium, if any, or interest on the Series 2013 Bonds or for the performance of any pledge, mortgage, obligation or agreement created by or arising under the indenture or the Series 2013 Bonds from any property other than the trust estate. Neither the faith and credit nor the taxing power of the Issuer, the Commonwealth of Kentucky or any political subdivision thereof is pledged to the payment of the principal of, premium, if any, or interest on the Series 2013 Bonds.3
Yes, the bonds were issued through the city, but the city is not responsible for one cent of this offering. Some articles even say the bond offering is part of the TIFwhich is simply ridiculous! The amount of misinformation and outright lies about the Ark project is staggering.
Why so many lies and misinformation? Simply because we are in a spiritual battle, and the intolerant secularists are so upset with such world-class attraction like the Ark (and Creation Museum) that publicly proclaim a Christian message. They will resort to whatever tactics they deem necessary to try to malign the attractions.
Of course, negative reporting and commentary result in more advertising for our facilities! As I witness all this opposition and see such opposition backfiring, I am reminded again of what Joseph declared and how it applies to us today:
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. (Genesis 50:20)