Op-Ed

For Ark park: Coal-stoning pit

I've been rethinking my recent objection to the proposed Ark Park, which is coming soon to a convenient location just off of Interstate 75 halfway between Lexington and Cincinnati.

I still believe Gov. Steve Beshear's intent to provide tax incentives to facilitate the creation of the park is unconstitutional; but other than that, I'm beginning to see the possibilities.

The centerpiece of the park will be a replica of ark Noah built around 4,000 years ago to save mankind and all the animals of the earth from extinction at the hands of a loving god.

Personally, I have a few questions about that, but I'm willing to roll with it for right now.

My biggest concern is how to get a good return on my tax money that Beshear is throwing into the mix.

I haven't seen all the plans for the park, but I'll bet you my season pass to the Creation Museum no one has thought of including a stoning pit.

This is a perfect fit for Kentucky. The coal operators can sponsor the pit. We'll stone the rebellious, miscreant sons and daughters, per biblical dictate, who make up a good-size chunk of Kentucky's current population.

And, as a nod to our sponsors, we'll only stone with Kentucky coal.

Talk about a return on our investment. We'll save a fortune on drug rehab, and county jails will become a thing of the past.

I'm really excited about this. I'm telling you the stoning pit could be big. In the early years of our country, people rounded up the kids, packed a few provisions and traveled for days to watch a good hanging.

Everybody — well, almost everybody — had a good time. And local merchants made out handsomely.

With the means of transportation available today, we'll pack the place. And if we run out of disobedient sons and daughters from Kentucky, we'll license rights to the pit to other states.

I can hear it now.

"Robert, it's your brother, Cletis. Yeah, I'm all right. Listen, Madge and I are flying in to catch a few stonings at the Ark Park. Think you can put us up for a few days?"

Folks, this will get so big we'll have to modify our state slogan. "Kentucky: Unbridled Spirit" will give way to, "Kentucky: Unbridled Spirit Just A Stone's Throw Away,"

It's a marketer's dream.

Oh, I know what some of you are thinking. But believe me, there won't be a shortage of "stonees." Remember, Mosaic Law included the following provision for dealing with a disobedient son:

"His father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, 'This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard.' Then all the men of the town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you." (Deuteronomy, 21:19—21)

And, if we were to somehow run out of miscreant sons, there's always Deuteronomy 22:20:

"But if this charge is true, that the girl was not found a virgin, then they shall bring out the girl to the doorway of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death because she has committed an act of folly in Israel by playing the harlot in her father's house; thus you shall purge the evil from among you."

I'm telling you, the governor's on to something with his Ark Park crusade. The cynical might think he's just trolling for votes among the faithful.

But think about it. For a few measly tax breaks and only a slight abrogation of the First Amendment, we can get rid of our profligates and our drunkards, purge the evil from among us, promote Kentucky coal and save a bundle on social services and incarceration.

Now, let's get started. Who's going to cast the first piece of coal?

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