Praiseland Lives! But Not for Long, Hope Some June 9, 2007

Praiseland Lives! But Not for Long, Hope Some


Ok, it won’t be called Praiseland. In fact, it’s Bible Park USA, in Murfreesboro, TN. But according to tomorrow’s New York Times, there is opposition to the theme park coming from unexpected places.

Pastor Bryan Brooks leads Blackman United Methodist Church. The park would be built near there:

“Would I rather look at the theme park or would I rather look at the farmland and the forest here?” Mr. Brooks said, looking out at the proposed site. “I would pick the latter.”

Joe Dassaro lives in the area and started his own website against the theme park.

His reasons for opposition have nothing to do with the Bible:

“I am personally opposed to the Bible theme park… I think it’s going to reduce the quality of life. It will have a serious traffic impact, not that we don’t already have a serious traffic problem in that area.”

The article also mentioned one more interesting opponent who lives in the Blackman area:

Ms. [Susan] Hunnicutt, who described herself as having a “very conservative religious background,” said that she worried about property values and clogged roads, and that she was offended that the Bible would be the central theme.

“We are going to fight tooth and nail,” she said.

Offended? I suppose she means she doesn’t want the Bible cheapened by turning it into a theme park…

The Times summarizes the opposition like this:

Some opponents argue that any theme park would be the wrong kind of growth for the area. Some say proposed tax incentives, which would be permitted under legislation passed in the General Assembly this week, should not be extended to the developers. Some say the park will cheapen the Bible and their religion. Many hold all three views.

The park is being developed by Armon Bar-Tur of New York-based SafeHarbor Holding.

“This is a very serious undertaking,” Mr. Bar-Tur said. “This is not some hokey park that we’re talking about.”

Of course not. It’s just Bible Park USA.

Bar-Tur’s reason for why he chose this particular location was similar to Ken Ham’s reason for building the Creation Museum in northern Kentucky:

The site here is ideal because it lies near an Interstate and a state highway, close to Nashville and its airport, and within a day’s drive of much of the country’s population.

Another factor was its Bible Belt location.

Incidentally, the cost of this “edutainment” (their word) would be between $150,000,000 and $200,000,000.

One more thing that might be worth know, quoted from a newspaper article on Dassaro’s site:

“Prior to the announcement of the theme park, the Rutherford County Board of Education considered building a new elementary school in the vicinity.”

Oh, and the sales taxes that would be paid for goods at/in the park? That government money might go to helping pay for Bible Park USA‘s development costs.

That sound wrong to anyone?

(Thanks to Joe for the link)

[tags]atheist, atheism, Praiseland, Bible Park USA, Murfreesboro, New York Times, Bryan Brooks, Blackman United Methodist Church, Joe Dassaro, Bible, Blackman, Susan Hunnicutt, Armon Bar-Tur, SafeHarbor Holding, Ken Ham, Creation Museum, Kentucky, Nashville, Bible Belt, Rutherford County Board of Education[/tags]

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  • Darryl

    Let’s see . . . I’ve already crossed Texas off the list . . . hmmm . . . Kansas we know has to go . . . there’s Kentucky with its creation museum . . . uh, and now Tennesee (sorry Nashville)–maybe Louisiana could somehow annex Memphis (gotta have Memphis).

  • Oh, and the sales taxes that would be paid for goods at/in the park? That government money might go to helping pay for Bible Park USA’s development costs.

    Sadly, this kind of thing happens all the time with new development – not just for Bible theme parks. Our own town is giving tax break incentives to the Wal-Mart that is coming in return for the sidewalks and water systems they’ll be putting in when they build.

    Frankly it’s that kind of corporate welfare that pisses me off more than anything. I don’t care if it’s Bible Park USA or Wal-Mart or whoever – if you’re a multi-million dollar corporation that’s invading somebody’s small town and destroying its quality of life you can pay for your own damn pipes and sidewalks!

  • Maria

    I agree, Mike C. This money shouldn’t be going to anything like that. I’m glad people of all backgrounds are speaking out against it. It’s about time. It pretty much just turns everything into a caricature, just like the creation museum.

  • Mriana

    Oh brother! 🙄 Excuse me, but I think I’m getting sick. Fred Landers and kids always made me feel nausea.

    I agree though, the money should not go into that. 🙁 Have we forgotten how to help people? I mean REALLY help people?

  • Richard Wade

    I’m surprised they’re not going for tax-free status as a religious organization. It’s a church with roller-coasters. They could have a seven-loop coaster for the Creation: (Big booming voice) “And on the third day…” AIIEEEEE!!

    “Daddy, let’s get on the Dogma Merry-go-round!” “Okay, honey, soon as I finish my Eucharist Burger. This is really good!”

    “HURee! HURee! Step right up to Pasqual’s Wager young man, take a chance to win your purr-itee girl a bee-you-tee-ful donkey plush toy!”

    “The Inerrantmobile turns you completely upside down!” “You go, my stomach couldn’t take it.”

    “Wack-an-Atheist, what’s that?” “Oh it’s cool. These little doll heads of Darwin, Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens pop up out of these hell holes, and you wack ’em back down with the Hammer of Truth!”

    Anybody who wants to see religion lose its grip on society should heartily approve of this theme park.

  • Darryl

    Richard, you slew me with your last post!

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