Wanna piss off Ken Ham?

The easiest way is to point out that his Ark Park was built on government handouts.

  • A tax-rebate program nets the Ark Park more than $1.8 million annually from the state. Under the plan, the state charges a 6 percent tax on the sale of tickets, food and souvenirs at the park. The funds are forwarded to the state, but once a year, all of that money is refunded to the Ark Park. It flows directly from the state treasury to Ark Encounter.
  • As bloggers William and Susan Trollinger have pointed out repeatedly, the city of Williamstown floated $62 million in junk bonds for the Ark Park to subsidize the building of the structure. (By the way, Williamstown officials did this because they bought Ham’s claim that the Ark Park would spur tourism in their town. But that hasn’t happened, and now Ham says it’s their fault because the community is too far away from the interstate.)
  • The Grant County Industrial Authority gave Ark Encounter $175,000 to offset the cost of land. In addition, local officials agreed to sell nearly 100 acres of land to Ham for the princely sum of $1.
  • The state spent $10 million on highway improvements on a road leading to Ark Encounter.

Ham will fire off angry letters to the local newspaper and flood Twitter with indignant tweets if you point out that his grand building-that-looks-vaguely-like-a-boat is a gross violation of church and state separation, and that he couldn’t have built it without suborning state and local officials to funnel tax money into his pockets.

If I said I was building a Spider Park in my lab that would be a phenomenal tourist attraction, do you think I could persuade the state of Minnesota to give me a million dollars a year? Or at least improve Highway 28 (or better yet, rail service) for better access to the University of Minnesota Morris?

Maybe if I set up an affiliated Church of the Spider God…


  1. Bruce says

    The war of independence of Bangladesh was between Islamic and mostly Hindu troops, but fortunately the survivors were all home in time for Christmas. Similarly, the state will fund the Church of the Spider God amusement park access railway as long as the Spider Church praises Jesus and says he is the only way to the spider god. Let the little children come unto me and eat the communion of my body, so there are no uneaten spiders around kids. In .Jesus name. Amen.

  2. says

    At least you know going in that Anansi is a trickster. That’s a god that doesn’t pretend to be all-good when messing with you.

  3. Artor says

    “At first it was just another snake spider cult, but now their temples are everywhere!”

  4. Akira MacKenzie says

    Just to be certain, will the spider cult be making offerings to Atlach-Nacha, Lloth, or both?

  5. stroppy says

    “…Spider Park in my lab that would be a phenomenal tourist attraction…”

    You never know til you try.

    Maybe pitch it with a sportsball stadium and monorail…

    Me, I’m thinking of a temple dedicated to the original Holy Trinity: Isis, Osiris, and Horus. No spiders, but scorpions and other critters would be given free reign to flap and scurry about the premises.

    Could work. Why not? We’ve already got a giant obelisk in DC and a beautiful pyramid on teh moneyz…

  6. mnb0 says

    @6: If only because Anansi is a far more amusing character than that YHWH guy. Also Anansi is of African origin. Also paresthesia is called Anansi in Suriname. And Skunk Anansi recorded a few nice songs.

  7. DanDare says

    If we have a temple to Lolth then we somehow have to incorporate the mind flayer from Stranger Things as well.

  8. chrislawson says

    New Genesis 5:18-22

    With thee will I establish My covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou and thy sons, and thy wife and thy sons’ wives with thee.

    And of every living stream of gold, of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark to keep them with thee; they shall be both coin and rebate.

    Of subsidies after their kind, and of exemptions after their kind, of every creeping grift of the earth after its kind, seven of every clean sort and two of every unclean sort shall come unto thee to keep thee in wealth.

    And take thou unto thee of the city shekels that were for the poor, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be manna for thee and for thy family.

    Thus did Ham; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

  9. stroppy says

    An Arachnidarium sounds like a good idea, and if not a physical one then an online museum. Wouldn’t piss off Ham, but probably a way to annoy him by answering the question(à la xkcd what if?); What logistics and size arc would be required to gather, house, and maintain two of every species of spider in the world?

    I’d also like to see a Museum of Religious Buffoonery built right next to the Arc Park, one with a big sign pointing in it’s direction reading “Exhibit A.”

  10. ColeYote says

    “But that hasn’t happened, and now Ham says it’s their fault because the community is too far away from the interstate”
    Then why the fuck did you build it there, Ken?