Thursday, August 4, 2016

GQ Visited the Ark Park . . . “To our mind . . . it’s hard to think of a message Jesus would like less.”

Of all the magazines, about the last one I would expect to pay a visit to little kennie ham's ark ministry is GQ, you know the magazine formerly known as "Gentleman's Quarterly".  Occasionally I have read articles on food, grooming, sex, music, and travel, usually while sitting in my local barber shop waiting to get my ears lowered (military humor).  I guess kennie's ministry could be considered under 'travel', but it still is a surprise to see GQ weigh in . . . and I loved it!

"Inside Ark Encounter, the Life-Size Noah's Ark Theme Park That Will Save (Some of) Us All" is the article and as soon as I read the title I knew it wasn't going to be another piece trying to canonize kennie.  Here's a few things that caught my eye, including one insight I haven't seen widely publicized.

"Noah’s ark is the first left after the gas station, down the street from the Mexican restaurant . . .But given that it constitutes a $100 million boat-shaped Bible theme park and the self-proclaimed “largest timber-frame structure in the world [It's not],” I’d expected a more dramatic approach."
Before getting into the rest, I do have to specify the ark is not the largest timber-frame structure in the world.  That honor belongs to Atlas-I, aka Trestle, a structure completely built of wood and glue laminate to test electromagnetic pulse impacts on aircraft.  Not a single nail, screw, or metal joint.  I bet kennie can't say that!  Here's a picture with a B-1 sitting on it:
Little kennie's ark is big, but it's not this big.  Trestle is built of 6.1 million board feet of timber, slightly under twice as much board feet as the ark.  Oh well, kennie, nice try.

OK, back to GQ, I added the underlines to stress the overall point I got from GQ:
"Mission-wise, it’s there to deliver the other part of the Noah story, the one in which God grows so furious with his sinful creation that he kinda sorta murders everyone on the planet with an apocalyptic flood."
GQ pointed out something I haven't read in any other reports, how positively depressing the ark is.
"One video about drowning people employs a Wilhelm scream. . . . How many mothers and children perished in God’s planet-wide car wash, you might be wondering? Ark Encounter says it could be up to 20 billion—which is roughly triple the population of Earth today."
" In case that’s too thoughtfully subtle, a sign reading “And everyone died except the 8 people on the Ark” hangs over a Country Bear Jamboree-type fence."
At the end, here is where the article from GQ drove home the point My addition is in the [], done to avoid quoting the whole paragraph:
"All this suffering makes for a pretty downbeat tourist experience. . . . At one point in reporting this story, I call University of Dayton history professor William Trollinger, who (along with his English-professor wife, Susan) . . . [their visit to the ark park and they]  . . .left he and his wife feeling the opposite of uplifted."
The last line in the article says it all, and one I will probably be quoting whenever I write about kennie's wooden ministry:
“To our mind,” Trollinger said, “it’s hard to think of a message Jesus would like less.”
So . . . I have to ask kennie, how is this an educational, historical, or recreational attraction?  Remember, that's how kennie is trying to get around the Constitution and preach to more public school kids on school trips.  What I got from the Creation pseudo-museum a few years back, was it's defensiveness.  GQ caught that as well, how kennie tries to rationalize his version of Genesis to the point of being a very negative and depressing message.

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