The Holy Land Experience is a church?


Check it out. The Holy Land Experience theme park is a church and as such, receives a healthy property tax exemption. The only catch is they have to offer free admission just one day a year. Pretty sweet deal, right? Well it seems not sweet enough for the Trinity Broadcast Network which owns the park and the ministry. They’d really rather keep the whole free day thing pretty hush hush.

Now follow along here at the explanations from the ministry. First, they only advertise the free day on the local company channel. Now before you cry foul, they claim that the channel “literally covers 100 percent of the greater Orlando area”. That’s great for the people of Orlando who happen to watch that channel (no word about how frequently or how far in advance they make this announcement, btw), but I guess anyone considering traveling there from outside Orlando wouldn’t have a clue. No website announcement?

Ah, but if everybody knew, then they’d have their hands full with the mob since the park “simply does not have the parking, traffic control, comfort facilities and food service capabilities of other venues,” and cutely adds, “[w]e trust that the city of Orlando does not want an uncontrollable situation to occur at the park on this day.”

So to recap, they get a break to the tune of roughly $300,000 a year on their taxes if they offer free admission just one day a year but won’t openly advertise when this day will be each year beyond their own local tv channel, defend this move as effective advertising by claiming that it reaches 100% or Orlando yet at the same time say they can’t advertise more or else they couldn’t handle the crowds, followed by a little fearsome image of what would happen and “trusting” Orlando doesn’t want that to happen like some mafia mooks offering protection because it’d be a shame if anything were to happen to this place. Can you smell the bullshit? It’s like a day on the pasture.

This whole thing is a complete sham, and it should effectively make every group angry. Anyone who cares about church/state separation and hates tax exemption for churches should be upset. Churches and other non-profits should be upset with the clear exploitation of the current tax exemption privilege that they enjoy. Families looking to actually make a vacation out of going to this park should be upset because they can’t find out when this free day is, and finally the people of Orlando and perhaps the rest of Florida should be upset that at a time like this, when they’re going to face a double whammy of increased taxes and a reduction of services from their state and local governments due to the economic crunch, TBN is making out like bandits stealing at least $300,000 of money from the governments’ coffers.

Boy, imagine if the Mouse caught on and sought such an exemption. I certainly know people who visit religiously. Would it be such a stretch?

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21 Responses to “The Holy Land Experience is a church?”

  1. You said, "This whole thing is a complete sham, and it should effectively make every group angry."

    Agreed. I've always thought TBN was mere gaseous emanation from Satan's swollen underbelly.

  2. If anyone can find out what that day is, we can pass the word via blog networks and YouTube to millions of people….

    Just sayin'….

  3. Wouldn't that be a cool little plot? Imagine if you could get mobs of people to flood that place on free admission day, like some big anonymous protest with the Guy Fox masks.

  4. Very cool. And it can be done. This ain't 1979, when you could have gotten away with the bullshit they are pulling.

  5. wow. Just wow. I like the YouTube idea. I might plan a trip to Florida just for that! :)

  6. Is that the "amusement" park that Bill Maher visited when filming Religiolous?

    It seems like a money-making machine to me.

  7. Mickey Mouse has been resurracted in various incarnations many times. What do you want to bet that if Disney did decide to reorganize as a religious non-profit, the rules on tax exemption would get real strict real fast.

  8. LOL!Man, I dunno… I'm still trying to figure out why He hates Canada!

  9. "Anyone who cares about church/state separation and hates tax exemption for churches should be upset."

    Let's modify that statement, shall we?

    "Anyone with a pathological hatred for God and Christians, like myself, should be upset."

    C'mon, Chief, and you don't exploit every tax loophole you can? Any one of you, here, do, and you know it. I damn well do, because, any form of income tax is immoral, anyway. Wasn't your country founded on protest over taxation without representation? Suddenly Ol' Chiefy-boy is all for big government… btw, you DID report ALL taxable income on your last return, right? How much DID you make last year? Are you a treaty Indian (or an Indian at all?)… aren't they illegible for special status and/or exemptions? They are in Canada! Do they bitch about the government down there like here, too?

    What I really find laughable is your pretended concern for those Christian families not knowing what day is 'free day'. Like you'd want them going there, anyway, when there are plenty of atheist-run (and tax-exempt) institutions like museums of unnatural history, promoting godless humanist tripe like Darwinism to visit and pollute the minds of impressionable young waifs!

    Not that I give a rat's ass when 'free day' is, because, I wouldn't go, anyway. But, if they can find a way to meet their contractual obligations without giving too much away, isn't that the "American way"?

    Maybe the "mob" might become unmanageable, maybe the crickets would be chirping, I dunno. The link you provided didn't seem to work for me, but, I'm well aware of the cheesy enterprises that proliferate in your great god-fearing democracy. Still, maybe you ought to give the place a try-out, Chief. Maybe you could give them some tips on tax-evasion, yourself?

    Hi, Lorena! Still pissed at me, Sugar?

    ;-)

  10. That should read: … "eligible" for special status and/or exemptions?

    Sorry… haven't had my coffee, yet.

  11. Yo, Chief… I'm not seeing my blog mentioned in your blogroll… must be an oversight, I'm sure.

    Maybe you infidels should set up an "Infidel Land Experience"? You know… a ruined planet-scape complete with burning infidels and heretics, with Christians looking on from the Holy City in awe?

    Yeah, you're right… that's coming soon enough, ain't it?

    Forget it.

  12. That is whacky Giddyup.

  13. Gideon,

    That made my day. This one's for you. [cl strikes match]

  14. Well apparently the crazy is immune to the cold because it's found a parasitic host in Canada!

  15. What do you want to bet that if Disney did decide to reorganize as a religious non-profit, the rules on tax exemption would get real strict real fast.

    Maybe we can convince Disney to give it a shot. The Holy Land Experience is probably getting tens of dollars a year that would otherwise be going in the Mouse's war coffers in Orlando. It would be a sneaky, underhanded way of ratcheting up the pressure on the "competition."

    Somebody get Mickey on the phone!

    Also, is Gideon a Poe? I wander in and look around occasionally, but I haven't been here enough to see if there are any regular trolls…

  16. The jury is still out on that one. It's so hard to tell.

  17. "Well apparently the crazy is immune to the cold because it's found a parasitic host in Canada!"

    Yes, Ravingassheist, it's takes a REAL man to survive the Canadian climate… I'll take your quip as a compliment!

    "Also, is Gideon a Poe?"

    Gonads… I'm your WORST nightmare, Sugarplumb!

    ;-)

  18. My in-laws went to The Holy Land Experience a couple of years ago and loved it. The only way I'd go would be as part of a flood of humanity clogging the place on free admission day. That could be fun.

  19. I'm waiting for the Infidel Land Experience, myself, Chumplain. That ought to be a 'hot' time in the ol' town, eh?

  20. Gideon is no Poe.

    Anyway, New Post!

    I'm bored today, Philly. Entertain me.

  21. Phillychief, TBN is just wrong on so many levels, essentially it's fractally wrong.

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