Now for some comic relief (although a few of the truly gullible will certainly fall for this). The gimmicks that Ken Ham and the AiG come up with NEVER cease to make me LOL. First, the sagging visitor numbers at his Creation Museum gave us such successful advertising stunts like cartoon dinos on billboards, real dinosaur remains, radio ads, zip lines, dragons, and more dragons. Now, to help buoy up a sinking Ark park, junk bonds.
[T]hree years after first announcing the project, he hasn’t even broken ground. The project’s first phase will require $73 million in total, and $24 million just to commence construction. (The state of Kentucky generously offered to toss in $37.5 million worth of tax breaks, though those will expire in 2014.) The next phases will require $52.6 million. Thus far, Answers in Genesis has raised $13.6 million—just 10 percent of an optimistic estimate of the total cost. For a while, Ham maintained public silence on the delay. Then, this fall, he explained the delay in a letter to Answers in Genesis donors and supporters.
Blame Obama. What a hoot!
In large part because of AiG’s [Answers in Genesis’] strong biblical stand against the Obamacare legislation’s mandated coverage of abortion-causing drugs, AiG pursued a change in the Ark Encounter funding structure that now includes a bond investment opportunity for you to consider. Actually, God has used this legislation for good! … [O]ur stand has created an exciting opportunity for you. Now you will be able to invest in what I believe to be to be one of the most thrilling outreaches to challenge church and culture in the USA and worldwide concerning the authority of the Word of God and the saving gospel.
I asked Answers in Genesis’ CCO, Mark Looy, exactly how the Affordable Care Act hindered the group’s fundraising abilities. He explained that “we originally planned to raise the remaining funding from a private placement equity offering for Christians who met SEC required accredited investor standards.” Those who contributed would then “participate as limited equity members in an LLC, with AiG as the controlling/operating member.” But after Obamacare was upheld, the group’s lawyers believed that “Ark Encounter would be required … to provide abortifaciants (i.e., abortion-causing drugs) under its health coverage to its employees.”
The park actually sounds like a huge downer, no wonder no one wants to donate:
The ark, to Ham, is a symbol of end times, of the divine punishment humans face when we challenge God’s authority. The ark, Ham claims on the Answers in Genesis website, “was also a visual warning of the condemnation that was coming—a judgment of those who had rebelled and would not turn their hearts to God.”
The ark must “stand as a warning of coming judgment—to condemn those who reject God’s clear Word.” Gays, scientists, and liberals: Consider yourselves on notice.
So when you have alienated scientists, science-based thinkers, all other religions, gay people and families of gay people and those who think highly of civil rights and women’s rights, you might have trouble getting support for your silly, self-righteous, boondoggle.
What’s their next gimmick? Sell bonds to fund the project: Bonds with 7-, 11-, and 15-year maturities, at yields between 5 and 6 percent. The initial investment in these bonds will be steep.
As Answers in Genesis readily admits, the bonds “are not expected to have any substantial secondary market” and are “not an obligation of AiG.” Somewhat alarmingly, the bonds are unrated, an indication that they’re extremely risky—and almost impossible to resell. High risk, higher yield: These, in essence, are creationist junk bonds.
Just put your faith in Ken Ham! He’s got all the answers. And dragons.