[Masthead] Mostly Cloudy ~ 72°F  
High: 70°F ~ Low: 59°F
Monday, Jan. 16, 2017

Theme park could help county

Posted Monday, February 11, 2008, at 9:31 AM

Lots of Rutherford County residents are in an uproar over a proposed Bible park.

Developers are holding information sessions this week while neighbors claim traffic flow will damage nearby residential areas.

Residents are being told the park won't be a typical theme park with roller coasters, etc. The Associated Press was told it will "feature Colonial Williamsburg-like re-enactments of ancient life, theaters for Broadway-sized biblical musicals and a Disney-like 'Bible Fly-Through Ride,' using an IMAX screen and seats suspended in mid-air to give visitors an overview of the Holy Lands."

Murfreesboro officials cite more tax revenue and jobs, and a Chamber of Commerce officials says residents must adjust to change, especially in areas near Interstate 24. Many residents could care less what the Chamber says,

Suppose the Bible park doesn't work in Rutherford County?

Bedford County has quite a bit of undeveloped land near Beech Grove and I-24 -- and an existing tourist attraction in Bell Buckle. That northeast side of Bedford County could have a lot of potential, although I'd think anything there would need to tie in with Bell Buckle and Wartrace in some way.

I wonder how Bedford County would feel about a theme park in general -- anything from a replacement for Opryland to the Bible park if it's turned down in Murfreesboro. Is this the type of project that could benefit Bedford County?

I can see pros and cons but, in the right location, we could benefit big-time -- especially if something was in the far northeast corner of the county where traffic and development would only impact a relatively small area but the entire county would benefit from tax revenue and tourist spending.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Bell Buckle would object to that . . . anything with the word change in it is like poison to them.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Mon, Feb 11, 2008, at 10:00 AM

I would love to see one be developed...

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Mon, Feb 11, 2008, at 10:41 AM

That would be a great thing for families to do!

If we ever want to do anything with our boys, we have to travel out of town, and that gets old.

I could deffinately see some cons, but would be willing to risk it for the pros!

-- Posted by Mary on Mon, Feb 11, 2008, at 10:54 AM

jaxspike - I don't know about that. With the recent (and ongoing) spat about the brown-bagging, I think the folks here in Bell Buckle might be glad to have that over off of 24, but still in Bedford County. It would bring more people to the town for the antique markets and cafe. It's not like they're going to be serving alcohol at the Bible Park...ok, maybe wine, but I seriously doubt it. I think that it would help out Bell Buckle and not create a huge difficulty on the town if it were up in the NE corner of the county. Most people would come up or down I-24 to get to it anyway, so they wouldn't be blasting through town on their way out there. It would create a possible issue for the fire department since we're only a volunteer department. But that's something for the county to hash out. I would imagine that the vast majority of the folks in Bell Buckle would welcome something along the lines of a "Bible Park". It's not exactly a park that people would visit to go wild.

-- Posted by Thom on Mon, Feb 11, 2008, at 11:14 AM

I just wonder what would be in a Bible theme park?

Would there be picket line protesting this park?

afterall, In God we Trust in being taken off our money, prayer taken out of our schools, 10 commandments not displayed in Public buildings, no prayer at ballgames..what makes you think that there wouldn't be a big stink about a Bible park also.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Mon, Feb 11, 2008, at 11:34 AM

The big problem with people picketing a park like this is that it would be on Private Property. That would be akin to someone telling me I can't pray in my own house. Granted, they will probably have people throwing fits if this park is given any tax-incentives, but that's on the county.

-- Posted by Thom on Mon, Feb 11, 2008, at 11:44 AM

Flagging a Rebel Flag on my property is private property too but you still catch crap about doing it...

-- Posted by Dianatn on Mon, Feb 11, 2008, at 11:52 AM

Bell Buckle is a fickle group of people . . . they fuss anytime anyone wants to build a subdivision close to them because they are afraid that it will ruin the town image. I cant imagine having a park close by and bringing that many more people through and many more people wanting to live in that area. That would "threaten" many of those people in Bell Buckle who want to cling to the quiet country life and the little town image.

I am not speaking against Bell Buckle . . . I live in Wartrace and love how peaceful it is but it just seem people in bell Buckle and especially those at town hall meetings get in a tizzy about any changes.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Mon, Feb 11, 2008, at 11:59 AM

I would ever attend a "Bible theme park" anyway so it really doesn't matter to me. It just sounds creepy and seems to trivialize religion just like that Trinity Broadcast and other religious entertainment.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Mon, Feb 11, 2008, at 12:02 PM

I seriously doubt that it would have a major impact on Bell Buckle. But I do agree with you, jaxspike, that it trivializes religion. Unless they're donating the proceeds, or a big chunk of them to a charity (and not one that they own), then it's just another group trying to make a buck off of religion.

Also, I'm waiting to see how much of a tizzy people get into tomorrow night at the town meeting. That's one that I'm not going to miss if I can help it.

-- Posted by Thom on Mon, Feb 11, 2008, at 1:00 PM

The objections to the rebel flag (derived from the Southern Cross battle flag and the Confederate Naval Jack) are much like the ones to the Nazi- corruption of the swastika and the five-pointed star known as the Sigil of Bahomet.

They were embraced by people who sought power from evil.

People who promote "heritage-not hate" are trying to reclaim that flag just as others work to distinguish the older, positive swastikas and pentagrams from the more recent perversions.

The Stars and Bars could be flown without as much knee-jerk resentment as could some of the other lesser-known flags or ones that were not war-related.

If handled correctly,the theme park could be an asset.

If care were not taken,it could die on the vine like Heritage,U.S.A., become obsolete too early like Opryland or become a tasteless self-parody.

Any project introduced to our area needs to be ecologically sensitive,ethically run and respectful of the people who live nearby.

It should reinforce what we love about our home rather than jepardize it.

This theme park could claim kin to Branson or Dollywood for family entertainment and could become as popular as a year-round Tennessee Rennaisance Faire, Bonnaroo or Burning Man.

If traffic congestion,noise,water usage,etc. were dealt with responsibly (and the visitors were more like the patrons of the Chautauqua Movement and less like the more bad-tempered sinners that infest religious spoof sites like Landover Baptist Church) then the theme park could be of real benefit and not offend more people than it blessed.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Mon, Feb 11, 2008, at 2:05 PM

Perhaps objectors could evaluate the similar theme park in Orlando, Fla. The area at I-24, Bell Buckle/Wartrace exit is really not close enough to either of those communities for their objections to be valid, are they? How far outside a communities own jurisdictions should said community have the right to try and have control over land use. If they do object and validate their claim, then perhaps they will win in objection to development in say Chattanooga, or Nashville. How ludicrous would that be? Totally!

If they do not want development in the proximity of their settlements then perhaps they should purchase the land in say a ten mile radius of their village. That would give them the right to control what happens on THEIR land. Otherwise, don't they need to tend to their own business and let land owners use their land according to their desire as long as they do no harm to the land, their neighbors or the environment? How much closer to socialism do we really want to get?

-- Posted by dmcg on Mon, Feb 11, 2008, at 5:53 PM

Actually, this whole "Bell Buckle people would object" thing is moot since there's probably very little chance that the park would be relocated to the area we were talking about anyway. But I agree, the people in town here should have no reason to object to something like that. A landowner's rights should come before a municipality's in which the particular land doesn't reside.

-- Posted by Thom on Mon, Feb 11, 2008, at 7:12 PM

With all the empty crackerbox subdivisions in foreclosure, it seems to me bell buckle should get an apology rather than even more grief. Bell Buckle was right. Bedford county and shelbyville should learn something.

-- Posted by andy33 on Mon, Feb 11, 2008, at 8:25 PM


You are so right the people in Bell Buckle do not want change or growth, just want you to visit and spend money then get out of there town. The new 2 hour cop might get you if you stay to long and don't speed going out of town.

-- Posted by roadrunner on Wed, Feb 13, 2008, at 1:38 PM

Respond to this blog

Posting a comment requires free registration:

David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.