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Atheist group's anti-Ark Encounter ads rejected

Posted at 9:04 AM, May 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-11 10:16:15-04

WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. (AP) -- Two billboard companies have refused to display an advertisement by an atheist group to protest 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.