Michael Linton at First Things on Bible Park U.S.A.
It all makes my head spin. A New York investment fund builds a Bible Park square on the buckle of the Bible Belt. Just as they hope to profit from folks interested in rock ‘n’ roll with their Myrtle Beach funland, here they hope to profit from folks interested in the Bible. But folks are interested in the Bible because they are religious and find religious answers to religious questions in this religious book. Yet the Bible park isn’t religious; that would be bad for business, because it would jeopardize the state subsidy (remember those “lower-risk, higher-reward investment opportunities”). So the holy stories are presented as secular “history” by costumed archeologists as its evangelists.
Doesn’t seem like a very smart risk strategy to alienate the very people you are targeting. Plus there are just so many ways such an endeavor would be just plain tacky.
I would like to a truly serious effort of a Biblically based theme park and here are some things I would like to see, though maybe my ideas are not that serious either.
- Elijah Flaming Chariot Roller Coaster Ride.
- A water ride where the Red Sea splits seconds before you think you are gong to get drenched.
- Jonah’s Whale Ride.
- Noah’s Ark Petting Zoo.
- A video game section that includes a First Person Smiter with Elijah and the priests on Mt. Carmel. Literally you would have a Baal.
- An Animatronics Hall of Prophets. Though you might have to have three different Isaiah’s or more to satisfy some Biblical scholars.
- Water fountains would all be disguised as rocks.
- Manna concession stand where any food sold would only have a shelf life of one day.
- Korah Earthquake Simulator. Though I guess the Earth opening up and swallowing you for disobedience might not appeal to all.
- Goliath Slingshot Gallery.
- St. Paul Wall Basket Ride.
- Deborah and Sisera Hi-Striker. This would be just like the amusement park game where you use a mallet to ring a bell. Instead you use a mallet to strike a tent peg through Sisera’s skull as Deborah did, though definitely not for the kiddies.
Those are just for starters. Though I would love a ride based on the Book of Revelation. This would be just like the It’s a Small World Disney Ride where you are taken through a world as seen via John’s eyes. I mean starting of with an Audio-Animatronic representation of "head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire.." would be quite cool. With all the angels, dragons, and assorted beasts it would be quite an eyeful not to mention a lamb as it was slain and Mary as the new Tabernacle. Though I guess with all of the interpretations of Revelation and the differences between many Protestant and Catholic views I guess you would have to set up different tracks for different groups. When they bought a ticket they would have to buy a Preterist, Futurist, Historicist, or Spiritual view ticket.
The daily Via Dolorosa parade through the park with the subsequent crucifixion might be a downer for many though.
Possibly to appeal to atheists they could incorporate a Spaghetti Monster Ride or serve Primordial Soup at the concession stands. Or in areas that display Biblical passages they could use the footnotes from the USCCB’s New American Bible, which would make many atheists happy.
Also cool would be to have representation of Catholic Heaven based on the Simpsons Episode. Now that would be fun.
Please pitch your own ideas for rides.