Outstreched arm

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Oh ferchrissake

The Holy Land Experience theme park in Orlando, Fla., has won a 4-year legal battle to be exempted from property tax based on its religious nature. According to the UPI story:

In her ruling, Circuit Judge Cynthia MacKinnon sided with Zion's Hope, pointing out that the non-profit company produces and distributes biblical cassettes, videos, books and CDs; publishes a religious magazine; broadcasts a syndicated radio show; and supports missionaries in Israel. But Orange County Property Appraiser Bill Donegan said Holy Land bears more resemblance to a theme park than a religious ministry. "None of those that I know of charge $30 admission," Donegan said. "It's a business."

- TaxProf Blog

I've been to this place, and it's an absolute travesty. It's basically a large gift shop with some satellite 'attractions' unworthy of anyone's time. Look, if you sell Jesus ties and Holy Land maps and novelty yarmulkes, what kind of a 'religious service' are you providing to the 'community' (which, in this case, consists of Disney/Universal theme parks)? These complaints apply in case you're Christian; in case you're not, you'll be aggravated to learn that a significant number of products sold there are of the anti-evolution and Jew/Muslim-converting nature.

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