Saturday, June 9, 2007

The Bible Experience

The evolution of the Bible continues to reveal its propensity to adapt. Earlier this week Disney purchased the script to "All About Adam," a romantic comedy about the famously doomed biblical couple. The description of the movie is too laconic for analysis: "The story follows the biblical Adam as he trails Eve to modern-day New York after they have a lover's quarrel. Adam discovers Satan was behind the breakup." I am hoping for High Fidelity meets Dogma.

Meanwhile, the Bible Belt continues to debate the merits and pitfalls of building Bible Park USA. The proposed park will be an interactive experience of biblical stories similar to the Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Fl.

Many residents are concerned that the park with be a massive, publicly funded evangelization effort while others feel it will cheapen their religion. But Ronen Paldi, the potential park's chief executive, assured the New York Times that "it would simply present biblical scenes without evangelizing; no roller coaster or Ferris wheel, just a 'calm, solemn park,' where visitors of any faith or denomination would feel welcome." Gee, sounds like a blast. You can't tell me Noah's Whitewater Rafting Adventure, Elijah's Fiery Chariot bumper cars, and The Ascension roller-coaster weren't divinely ordained.

More concerning is Paldi's belief that the park, which the promotional material calls "edutainment," will be able to educate Americans about the Middle East. He notes that many people are either too afraid or too financially constrained to visit the Middle East and experience biblical scenes for themselves. This is a dangerous thought for a nation that already understands that region of the world in a biblical context. Instead of spending public resources to build a "Bible experience," these funds would be far better spent helping Americans understand the real experience of present-day Middle East.

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