Ken Ham of the Creation Museum has taken to Facebook to address criticism over Answers in Genesis' multimillion dollar project to build a life-sized replica of Noah's ark, explaining why the money isn't going to feed hungry people instead.
"I haven't yet seen any articles/blogs/posts directed at Paramount about the $300 million dollars (over 4 times more than the Ark project), they spent on a fictional movie only for entertainment – why aren't they being told by the same people they should be spending this money on feeding the hungry," Ham wrote in a post on Monday, referring to the upcoming Bible-inspired movie "Noah," which is being distributed by Paramount Pictures.
The Creation Museum and AiG CEO and president has criticized the upcoming Darren Aronofsky film for portraying an unbiblical account of Noah. Sources like Slash Film have said that the movie's budget is closer to $150 million.
Ham continued in his response to critics, "In fact, what about all the people who spend millions of dollars at the movie theaters to see the movies that cost hundreds of millions of dollars a year," Ham continued. "Of course, we could go on – what about the hundreds of millions of dollars Universities like Harvard have in their accounts – in fact the list is almost endless."
Answers in Genesis has been raising funds to build a giant life-sized replica of Noah's ark for several years now. Last week, it announced that $73 million has been raised for the first phase of the project.
"Several million dollars in donations and Ark boarding passes (memberships) had been raised prior to the bond offering, and most of that amount has already been used to pay for the Ark's land, secure expensive permits and licenses, clear the property, draw architectural plans, design the exhibits, etc.," the creationist group said in a statement. It is seeking to raise an additional $15 million in order to "provide additional attractions, like the special high-tech and interactive exhibits that guests have come to appreciate at our museum."
Ham and AiG have responded in the past to feedback they have received as to why they are engaging in such an expensive project rather than using the money to help poor people. In 2011, AiG posted a blog post titled "Why Build an Ark Instead of Giving the Money to the Poor?"
In the article, AiG explained that although taking care of the poor is identified as an important ministry for Christians, "Christ also made it clear that we are to make disciples of all nations."
"Frankly, we can't think of a more effective way to share the gospel with many millions of people today than by using an Ark," AiG wrote. "The Ark of Noah is a picture of salvation, which allows us to share with future visitors that Christ is our modern-day Ark of salvation. People who might not ever attend a church service will be powerfully presented with the gospel message at the Ark, where they will learn about Christ."
While Ham did not address any specific commentary against the Ark project, he noted on Monday that the negative feedback he has received has been in the form of emails, posts, comments, and blogs both from secularists and other Christians.
"So what does it all mean? Most of these people who make such accusations do so because AiG is a Christian organization, and because they know we will reach millions with the truth of God's Word. Yes – their intolerance of Christianity is showing clearly," Ham wrote. "They just can't stand a Christian group being so prominent in spreading the truth of God's Word and the salvation message."
The construction of the project is expected to begin in May.