Plans for a religious theme park featuring a Noah’s Ark of biblical proportions has generated controversy since it was announced that the project would receive $35 million in tax rebates.

Ark Encounter, a $150 million theme park that will present a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis, is set to open in 2014 in Grant County, Ky., southwest of Cincinnati. It has the support of Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, who argues that it’s an entertainment, not a religious complex, that will create jobs and attract 1.6 million visitors a year.

It does not have the support of Kentucky’s second largest newspaper, the Lexington Herald-Leader, which editorialized, “Anyone who wants to believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible has that right. However, the way the Beshear administration handled this makes it appear Kentucky either embraces such thinking or is desperate to take advantage of those who do.”

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