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COLUMN

Happytown

Mascot Gov. Rick Scott will be no challenge for CannonHair, the Holy Land turns 10 in secret and you'll never get high – legally – in Florida

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ma-scott: Florida’s new governor will make an excellent pocket friend


In somewhat related news, reports also surfaced on Nov. 3 that spooky future Gov. Scott might not be too keen on Florida’s extreme railroad makeover, even though both Cannon and Haridopolos are noted supporters of both SunRail and high-speed rail. Prior to his election, Scott said in a debate with Democrat Alex Sink that he wouldn’t want to move forward with the projects if they were going to cost the state any money; the problem being that the state is already on the hook for 20 percent of the Orlando-Tampa high-speed rail line (federally funded to the tune of $2 billion) and 50 percent of SunRail. Haridopolos’ camp told the Orlando Sentinel that he would continue to support the two rail projects as they stand, but would not get behind the prospective Orlando-Miami rail project, because “It’s clear Washington won’t have the money for that.” We’d say it’s clear nobody is going to be having any money for anything for quite some time. Let’s get to work.

Or maybe we should just pray? Amid all of the doom and gloom of the week that will haunt us forever, we almost completely missed out on an upcoming divine milestone (although, to be fair, this state basically is a Southern Baptist church right now, so forest, trees). Last week, ABC News came to town to craft an irony-free ode to Orlando’s favorite attraction, the Holy Land Experience, on the occasion of the park’s 10th anniversary in February 2011. How exciting!

“You can never be too young for the Holy Land Experience,” the ABC website genuflected. “There’s a children’s area with a rock climbing wall, a theater dedicated to Noah and his ark and a spot where kids can walk into a stinky whale’s mouth and see a trapped Jonah. There’s even a spot where you can pose for a photo of you walking on water with Jesus.”

Not that the Holy Land folks really want secular people to know any of that. Even the ABC reporter confessed “we were rushed through the attraction, prohibited from taking photos or video and given no chance to mingle with the guests.” What could owners the Trinity Broadcasting Network possibly have to hide? Well, if our own reporting (see “Jesus TV,” July 12, 2007) is anything to go by – we received similar curt treatment when we covered TBN’s $37 million acquisition of the failing Zionist retreat three years ago – there’s plenty to be ashamed of. It’s worth reminding heathens that the estimated $300,000 in annual property-tax breaks (Holy Land is classified as a church and therefore tax exempt) and all of the run-off from the $35 to $50 in entry fees for a park with no rides helps to line the crazy wigs of TBN leaders Jan and Paul Crouch. Also, Paul Crouch paid a former staffer $425,000 in hush money to keep an alleged gay sexual encounter under wraps. And those little prayer sheets collected at the entrance – “60,000 to 100,000 a year are completed,” says ABC – are little more than a fundraising scheme to bring the purple Crouch hair that much closer to God. Oh, you mean none of that matters as long as Jesus is invoked? Happy birthday, Holy Land.

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