Two billboard companies are turning down an ad from an atheist group that is challenging the opening of a Christian-themed amusement park in Kentucky.
Lamar and Event Advertising and Promotions LLC have both rejected the advertisement from the Tri-State Freethinkers.
The Freethinkers launched an IndieGoGo campaign to fund its billboard that the group hoped would challenge the slated July opening of Ark Encounter, a 510-foot wooden ship constructed in the likeness of the ark from the Book of Genesis of the Old Testament. Ark Encounter is being built by Answers in Genesis, the owner of the Creation Museum, which is led by Ken Ham.
The atheists’ group – led by president Jim Helton – raised $10,000 for the billboard, says the Associated Press. The ad depicts Noah’s ark, surrounded by drowning people, and the words, “Genocide and Incest Park: Celebrating 2,000 years of myths.”
“The replica of Noah’s Ark is the newest project by Answers in Genesis to promote creationism,” say the Freethinkers, adding:
While they have a legal right to celebrate their mythology, we find it immoral and highly inappropriate as family entertainment. In addition, the park is receiving state tax incentives despite discriminatory hiring practices. For these reasons, we have created this campaign to raise awareness in our communities.
The Freethinkers offer a special deal for contributions of $500: “Your picture can be on the billboard drowning in the ocean!”
Ham called the atheists’ billboard campaign an attack on Christianity.
“The billboards disparaged and misrepresented not only the Ark Encounter but also the God of the Bible,” he said.
Helton says the group will attempt to erect the billboard outside of Kentucky.
“If we find a company willing to put up our billboard, we are willing to allow other organizations to use our billboard to show their opposition to the Ark Encounter and to promote their local groups,” he said in a press release. “We are in the early stages of trying to put together a protest on July 7, which is opening day and an after party to celebrate science and reason.”