Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Wild Dreidel

My friend Klund has some advice for Mean Mr. Mustard about blogging, but I think Elise at After School Snack's posting about a Christian theme park and how to abuse your tax-exempt status should concern him more, as I'm sure they'll target his daughter with free tickets in order to get to him. I'm having a difficult time imagining what sorts of rides would convince you that Christianity was better than being Jewish, or do they just push you through guilt-themed funhouses? And now that I've considered that, I'm picturing a Jewish theme park with maybe a "Wild Dreidel" ride, and klezmer music pumping in the background... Maybe they need such a park in order to draw business away from this one.

"ORLANDO, Fla. -- A Florida judge has ruled in favor of a Christian theme park seeking an exemption from property taxes. The Holy Land Experience in Orlando is operated by a nonprofit, nondenominational Christian ministry called Zion's Hope, which is devoted to converting Jews to Christianity. It had been granted only limited exemptions for administrative and education facilities. The Orange County Property Appraiser's office had denied the group's broader request in 2001, arguing the park was a tourist attraction rather than a church. But Judge Cynthia MacKinnon said all of the park is tax-exempt.In her ruling, the judge said Zion's Hope is using The Holy Land Experience "to spread what it considers to be God's word." The park features scenes from ancient Jerusalem and biblical settings complete with costumed characters. The $16 million, 15-acre park opened in 2001."

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