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KENTUCKY –  Anticipating another “biblical” flood, Kentucky is building an ark for some of its elite citizens.

Under the guise of building a “tourist attraction”, the state of Kentucky is preparing for a biblical flood, which state lawmakers anticipate happening by June of 2011.

The state has promised generous tax incentives to a group of entrepreneurs who plan to construct a full-size replica of Noah’s ark, load it with animals and the elite members of Kentucky society.

Since Gov. Steven L. Beshear announced the plan on Wednesday, some constitutional experts have raised alarms over whether government backing for an enterprise that promotes religion violates the First Amendment’s requirement of separation of church and state. But Mr. Beshear, a Democrat, said the arrangement posed no constitutional problem, and brushed off questions about his stand on creationism.

“The people of Kentucky didn’t elect me governor to debate religion,” he said at a news conference. “They elected me governor to create jobs and to protect them from biblical earthquakes, hurricanes and floods.”

The so-called “theme park” was orginally conceived by the same Christian ministry that built the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., where dioramas designed to debunk evolution show humans and dinosaurs coexisting peacefully on an earth created by God in six days. The ministry, Answers in Genesis, believes that the earth is only 6,000 years old — a controversial assertion even among many Bible-believing Christians.

Although the Creation Museum has been a target of ridicule by some, it has drawn 1.2 million visitors in its first three years — proving that there is a sizable paying audience for entertainment rooted in a literal interpretation of the Bible.

The audience may be too big.  “As soon as word gets out that we have the only ark in America and… when everyone realizes that the second flood is coming… we are going to have a real security problem on our hands,” said Governor Beshar.  “I’ve already put in a preliminary notice to the National Guard to protect the ark.  We only have room for so many people and… the animals.”

The ark is to be built with wooden pegs and timber framing by Amish builders. Animals including giraffes will be kept in pens on board.  The Governor has selected the animals that he wants on the ark.  “I don’t want any cats.  I don’t think there is a place for cats in the new world,” said Governor Beshar.

Kentucky will be using Federal stimulus money to fund the ark.  “Finally, there is a good use of government tax dollars,” said Senate-Elect Rand Paul of Kentucky.