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Christ of the Ozarks
953 Passion Play Rd.
Eureka Springs, AR 72632

Our second Excellent Road Side Stop was the Christ of the Ozarks complex, which has a lot of different attractions including a bible museum, a giant statue of Christ, and recreations of Biblical scenes known as the New Holy Land Tour, which is what we were planning to do. Instead of folk art it turns out to be a massive, slick operation, more theme park than devotional pilgrimage stop, with a nightly Passion Play dinner theater (too horrifying to contemplate eating a buffet before watching the suffering of Jesus), a large parking lot, and no sense of humor whatsoever.

We were dismayed to learn that one does not do the New Holy Land Tour on foot, but in a tram and that it lasts two and a half hours. Unfortunately that timing didn’t work for us as we had a date with dinos and Dolly, we told the ticket lady, who said “Oh, I hate to bad mouth anyone, but you can skip Dinosaur World. It’s just a bunch of concrete dinosaurs scattered on the hillside.” What she didn’t realize is that is exactly what we hoped it would be (one man’s crappy concrete dinosaur is another man’s bliss we always say) and so we still declined to take the tour. An hour of models of Exodus and whatnot would be plenty; two and a half is too much, which was also our reaction to their Museum of Natural History, which we toured instead

This facility claims to demonstrate how science and Genesis can be reconciled but instead turns out to be a shrine to creationism and dedicated to pooh-poohing science and its pesky, “impossible to prove” theories. After listening to an audio program dismissing Carbon 14 dating, all of archaeology and anthropology as giant mistakes, and toting the “facts” of Genesis, you could find us in the fetal position, sobbing. Mary, a theology grad student, is regularly surrounded by devout theists who are also equally devout evolutionists and she imagined them joining us.

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