Protestors' anti-Ark Encounter ads rejected

Posted at 9:04 AM, May 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-11 18:28:07-04

WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. (AP) -- Two billboard companies have refused to display an advertisement by a group protesting the Ark Encounter amusement park in Kentucky.

Tri-State Freethinkers president Jim Helton tells news outlets the group recently raised $10,000 for a billboard. The proposed design depicts Noah's Ark with people drowning around it and the words, "Genocide and Incest Park: Celebrating 2,000 years of myths."

The advertisement has been turned down by billboard companies Lamar and Event Advertising and Promotions LLC.

Helton says the group is considering erecting the billboard outside of Kentucky, if it can find a taker.

The Ark Encounter, a 510-foot wooden ship as described in the Old Testament, is under construction and set to open July 7. It's a product of Answers in Genesis, which also owns the Creation Museum.

In March, Answers in Genesis President Ken Ham called the billboard campaign an attack on Christianity.

Answers in Genesis has bought billboards of its own in the past. A billboard paid for by the organization went up in Covington in December 2014 with the message, “To all of our intolerant liberal friends, thank God you can’t sink this ship.”

The words on the sign near northbound I-75 and Fifth Street were superimposed over an image of an Ark under construction in the background.

“We wanted a billboard that would catch the eyes and ears of the media as well as the general public to go to our website,” said Mark Looy, chief communications officer for Answers in Genesis told WCPO in 2014.


Ham issued a statement late Wednesday afternoon, in response to the proposed billboards, which read, in part:

With our future Ark billboards, we will instead have a positive message to share about our family attraction coming to Williamstown. Freethinkers and other skeptics are very welcome to visit, and we are hopeful they will be open minded enough to want to learn more about an account in the Bible that is often censored in the public arena by anti-freethinking activists...

We will be promoting all the major tourist attractions in the region even though we may not necessarily agree with everything stated at each place. I call on the Freethinkers to support all tourist facilities and help the economy of Kentucky...