Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pontius Pilate and the saints.

I've seen some bizarre things recently. Billy Bob being the top of my list from last night until just now. (Side note: The Billy Bob interview is genius. That's a bizarre clip that will be run for decades. How stoned do you have to be to be like that. I want to shake the guy's hand that interviewed him. No. I want to buy him Starbucks. He's from Canada. He could probably use some.)
Back on track. Preface: I love Orlando. I love the city. I love the parks. I love the weather.
There was a time in my life when I wanted to move there and live there. I don't really anymore but I wouldn't mind going there on a semi-regular basis. AND - I love amusement parks. I used to go to Six Flags once a week during the summers. I love it. I love Disney. I love Universal. Love it all.
But the other amusement park in Orlando...did you know there was another amusement park in Orlando? There is. It's The Holyland Experience. Read it again. The. Holyland. Experience. Right. It's a Biblical amusement park.
You know what? Fine. Fine. Have a Biblical amusement park. Have plays about David. Have a giant special effects spectacle of the Red Sea splitting. Have a giant ark with real animals in it. All of which are okay. (You know they're not but for the sake of the following argument, they kinda have to be.)
But to have the crucifixion played out daily? With a big "He's Alive" ending? All while you sit in the shade, drink your strawberry lemonade and...well, do whatever. The person on the Newsweek website couldn't pinpoint what people did. Actually, she said that people don't know what to do. They don't know whether they should enjoy it or cry or sit silently or clap. Why would they feel that way? Glad you asked. Because this is the most bizarre thing I have ever seen.
AND!!!!! It only cost 17 million dollars to make this park. Right. Because with that money, we couldn't focus our energy on making positive films that don't suck completely, or turning Christian television into something worth watching, or, I don't know, remodeling the TBN studios to make it look like they weren't just designed by Donald Trump while on a coke binge with Sigfried and Roy!
But I digress. There are many fun things you can do while enjoying your stay in Jeruselem.
Take your picture in Jerusalem. With the empty tomb. With a person in a Lion of Judah costume. Take your picture with Jesus. Right. I said it. You can take your picture with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords...or at least His stand in. I'm not trying to be mean or offensive or sacrilegious. None of those things. But seriously.
First off. Calm down. I am a Christian. I am proud to say that. I know what I believe. I am firm in what I believe. If you don't believe that way, that's alright. I don't judge you for it. Especially after this video. Why would you want to believe in something that replays the most brutal death in history...of your Savior...on a daily basis...for entertainment. Second, I have been to the Passion plays and I have seen the Passion of the Christ. Both meant to elicit a certain emotion. I've been in Easter musicals. But again, they happen once a year and for a very specific purpose. But this? WHAT?!

We need perspective.

Picture it. Little Nathan goes to The Holyland Experience and takes pictures with the soldiers and the cool buildings. Then. He starts shouting. "Mommy! Mommy! Look! It's Jesus!" He runs over and hugs the man. Mommy whips out her SLR and takes hi-def pictures of Nathan posing with Jesus. What a great day at the park. Cut to that kid thinking he took pictures with Jesus and the Lion of Judah. Can you see it?
He's in Sunday School.
"I met him once."
"I know Nathan, He's come into all of our hearts."
"No really. I met Him."
"Where did you meet Jesus? Were you in your parents' bedroom? Did you meet him here at church?"
"No. I met Him in Orlando across the street from the Incredible Hulk ride at Universal."
There's no possible way that child will turn out normal. Might as well turn the college fund into his Christian counseling payment plan. But not before you stop by the gift shop to pick up something to remembrance your trip with. How about a Jesus figurine? Or something Jewish? Right. Did I forget to say that? It's being billed as a place for both Jews and Christians. Because we all know how the Jews feel about the crucifixion. Logic will tell you that there is a line when Christianity and Judism split and I call that line Moses. While I don't pretend to be a scholar on such things, pretty sure that Pontius Pilate and the saints aren't represented in one of the menorah candles.
I'm so offended if you can't tell. I'm so offended. I have no idea how I will sleep tonight. It's Easter weekend and I know that's why the video is on Newsweek's website. I know that. I know that's why the article on the fall of Christianity in America is a cover story. I know that. I'm not dumb to that. But I also know that this "amusement park" could quite possibly be the cradle of idiocy. Lara Croft looked for something similar and it was guarded by trees that ate people. Sadly, there are no trees to keep people from going into this TBN owned and operated park.

(I take a pause.)

As the video ends...
Two people...
a man and a woman...
both very large and very happy say:
"Better than Disney."
"Amen. Amen." says the obnoxious woman.

SPLAT! My head explodes.

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