Monday, January 16, 2006

Bemusement park

I'll make a deal with Pat Robertson: stop saying (and doing) stupid things, and I'll stop giving you so much space on the Malcontent.

This is one of those good news/bad news posts. Starting positively, we can take pleasure that Robertson's big mouth --- specifically his comments about God stroking down Ariel Sharon --- has cost him a major investment opportunity: a Christian theme park in Jerusalem.

The bad news: there's still going to be a Christian theme park in Jerusalem.

A lot of people throw out the Rodney Dangerfield card these days, but I think Jesus has dibs. Isn't there something patently disrespectful about placing a roller coaster in Christ's hometown?

Not to the backers of the Holy Land Christian Heritage Center, a project formerly fronted by Robertson. However, Rami Levy, director-general of the Israel's Tourism Ministry, told the AJC the Virginia-based prophet of doom would be excluded from participating in the planned $50 million project because of his "unwise" comments.

Quoting the newspaper: "The theme park is considered the latest building block in the growing and controversial alliance between the Israeli government and America's evangelical community, a loose affiliation of an estimated 30 conservative and fundamentalist Christians."

The park will be located on a 45-acre parcel of land near the Sea of Galilee, where it is believed Jesus lived and preached. The plan would transform the current grassy hillside into a multimedia visitors center that would include a broadcast center from where leaders could preach, an open-air chapel and an auditorium for re-enacting Jesus' ministries in the area, according to a Tourism Ministry brochure.

No word on where the bumper cars will be placed. I am curious about those crucifixion re-enactments, however.

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