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Giant Jesus
November 30, 2004 8:59 AM   Subscribe

Giant Jesus stops traffic in Ohio. Church officials say their King of Kings statue is the largest in America, but the folks in Eureka Springs, Arkansas might have something to say about that. Their seven-story Jesus weighs in at over two million pounds.
posted by Otis (60 comments total)

 
Maybe God could compromise, and let them both into heaven?
posted by cmyr at 9:14 AM on November 30, 2004 [1 favorite]


That's one big fucking Jesus.

However, the first one has more dramatic flair.
posted by neckro23 at 9:14 AM on November 30, 2004


I made a few trips around my state of Minnesota to see large oddities, including the world's largest Hockey Stick and The Largest Ball of Twine (made by one man). I suggest Roadside America if you plan to make a trip of your own.
posted by Arch Stanton at 9:22 AM on November 30, 2004


It's not how big your god is.
It's how you use it.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:25 AM on November 30, 2004


My Jesus can beat up your Jesus!
posted by straight at 9:27 AM on November 30, 2004


Ahnold could help the Arkansas Jesus in his upper body a bit...
posted by michaelonfs at 9:27 AM on November 30, 2004


and they both look like white guys despite the fact that jesus is believed to have had a more ethnic appearance.

First - if the past 2,000 years of Western art were the judge, Jesus would be white, handsome, probably with long hair and an ethereal glow...and a swimmer's body.

Second - it can almost certainly be said that Jesus would not have been white. His hair was also probably cut short.

i guess the sight of a seven story black man would just be too much for some white folk.
posted by three blind mice at 9:28 AM on November 30, 2004


Bishop said his wife first proposed the Jesus figure as a beacon of hope and salvation. Together, they formed the plan for their "King of Kings" statue and spent about $250,000 to finance it.

*giggle*

More seriously. Arkansas has one of the highest poverty rates in the country. Don't these people have better things to do than spend all that money just to be made fun of on MetaFilter?
posted by asnowballschance at 9:33 AM on November 30, 2004


That reminds me of something...
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:47 AM on November 30, 2004


If you're following the directions here, be aware that you should go not EAST, but WEST about a mile on Hwy 63 from I-75. I only know because I went right by this location on my way to school for years back in the day. (Jesus at that time was still underground, gettin' psyched up for the big breakout.)
posted by soyjoy at 9:48 AM on November 30, 2004


Wasn't there something about "graven images" somewhere? This is a damn serious amount of graving
posted by Cancergiggles at 9:50 AM on November 30, 2004


asnowballschance: Acutally, they built it about 38 years ago, and I bet the Clinton Library cost a heck of a lot more than that. I'm irritated by these folks too, so very much, but this is hardly worth any outrage. And Eureka Springs is a nice place. It's hardly Branson, Mo.
posted by raysmj at 9:51 AM on November 30, 2004


You might remember this very tall Jesus from the early '90s.
posted by isotope at 9:53 AM on November 30, 2004


another link re 3 blind mice's good point:

The Real Face Of Jesus
Advances in forensic science reveal the most famous face in history.
posted by matteo at 9:53 AM on November 30, 2004


Sometimes people ask us, "Is it true that Eureka Springs is a haven for gays & lesbians?" Well, yes.
posted by raysmj at 9:58 AM on November 30, 2004


Supersized Jesuses scare me.

We keep the supersized cross over here.
posted by HyperBlue at 10:01 AM on November 30, 2004


It's not outrage so much as irritation. If they want to spend their money on monuments to the Lord instead of good works, more power to them. But why-oh-why-oh-why does it have to be so damn tacky? *cries*

Nevertheless, thanks for pointing it out. I got my windows mixed up and misattributed the quote (note to self: I miss tabbed browsing). The $250,000 is for Monroe; Ohio's poverty rate is much lower (by something like 6%).

I'll be out in Cinncinnati in a few months. I imagine it'll be worth a side trip to see this thing.
posted by asnowballschance at 10:06 AM on November 30, 2004


Eureka Springs, Arkansas is the sort of place where any blue-state citizen would feel right at home. The city is almost 100% Victorian architechture with homes and businesses perched atop some very steep Ozark terrain and with heavily wooded areas. Downtown especially always reminded me of San Francisco put under a shrink ray.

Its a fairly progressive town with some nice restaurants, bars galleries, eccentrics, artists, a great dealer in chinese antiquities. Its one of the few places in Arkansas where gay couples are welcomed and fully accepted. The whole place has, for locals, a very laid back, slacker feel.

Sure, there's touristy, fundamentalist and conservative weirdos on the outskirts of town, like the Christ of the Ozarks megacomplex, but they're easy to ignore within the town itself.
posted by pandaharma at 10:10 AM on November 30, 2004


Connecticut has a replica of the Holy Land, complete with giant cross and Hollywood-Style signage.
posted by isotope at 10:11 AM on November 30, 2004


42 foot tall semi-underground Jesus!

That's big.
posted by blacklite at 10:13 AM on November 30, 2004


occasionally i forget that christianity is really a weird hellenic polytheistic pagan religion that plundered judaism for concepts, and then the good people of eureka springs, arkansas build a morbidly giant fucking effigy of god junior to remind me. thanks, arkansas!
posted by ori at 10:18 AM on November 30, 2004


Has anyone informed MC 900 Ft Jesus?
posted by jon_kill at 10:26 AM on November 30, 2004 [1 favorite]


Oh Lord...
Oooh you are so big...
So absolutely huge.
Gosh, we're all really impressed down here I can tell you. Forgive Us, O Lord, for this dreadful toadying.
And barefaced flattery.
But you are so strong and, well, just so super.
Fan - tastic.
Amen.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:30 AM on November 30, 2004


I know Jesus is sooo happy that these folks spent so much on a statue of him (as they believe him to be.)
Jesus would never tell them to spend those funds on the poor instead.

[conversatio in the congregation leadership]
"So, do we feed the poor or buy more comfortable pew cushions?" - chair
"Pew cushions!" - committee members in unison respond

Prosperity theology, a gift you give yourself 'cause God loves you best.
posted by nofundy at 10:32 AM on November 30, 2004


She's bigger.
posted by jellybuzz at 10:32 AM on November 30, 2004


Anyone ever read "Christzilla" by Evan Dorkin?

More seriously. Arkansas has one of the highest poverty rates in the country. Don't these people have better things to do than spend all that money just to be made fun of on MetaFilter?

Matthew 25:35
"For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home."

I suppose it goes onto say in Matthew 25:36:
"I was really big, so I needed to stick halfway up the ground...oh, and make sure to spend a lot of money my graven image while others starve to death. KAY! Byeee! Jesus has signed off 12:24pm"

You know, it just burns me the hell up that people like this make Jesus, who some people choose to follow and believe in, such a fucking farce. I bet if he were in "today's times" he'd have a coronary at all the graven images, the hate, the bigotry and how the church has just abused people.

With that big ass'd tacky stone they put up, they COULD HAVE:

1. fed tons upon tons of hungry folks
2. Started and built a drug/alchy rehab
3. built a moderate area for homeless
4. Funded counselors to help people screwed up by religion
5. Bought wireless LAN's and several Xbox's to play Half Life 2
6. bought a plot of land, kept it natural so it wouldn't be developed upon (like every other damn place in this country...sheesh, any of you been to Atlanta lately? If they can find 3 feet of woodland area, they'll clear it and put a crapped house on it)
7. bought literature
8. funded a private school
9. funded a college of choice
10. gave Mathowie a new Jrun script
/end bitchin'
posted by Hands of Manos at 10:34 AM on November 30, 2004


The Angel of the North is slightly uglier.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:44 AM on November 30, 2004


The Arkansas Jesus reminds me of Cornholio.
posted by punkfloyd at 10:50 AM on November 30, 2004


I've grown up around Christ of the Ozarks, and as a result have collected a little CotO lore.

It's founder, Gerald Smith, was a notorious Neo-Nazi.

If you look at it, you will notice a curious squatness to it, making it look proportioned like a milk carton.

The reason for this is that Smith's Original design called for a much taller Christ. Well after construction had begun, he was informed by the FAA that at the projected height, installation of beacon lights would be mandatory. Rather than suffer Jesus to wear a crown of blinking red bulbs, Smith called for a change of plans and finished with a messiah of more dwarven proportions.
posted by sourwookie at 10:56 AM on November 30, 2004


Boy, I bet This guy is pissed.
posted by TeamBilly at 10:57 AM on November 30, 2004


I knew my god was bigger than his...
posted by fatllama at 11:03 AM on November 30, 2004


Jesus is like, "New York, give unto Arkansas thy tax dollars."
posted by orange clock at 11:09 AM on November 30, 2004


Duh. Should have paid more attention. Two people beat me to it.
posted by TeamBilly at 11:18 AM on November 30, 2004


Michigan has its own big Jesus on a cross. You can look at the straight site or a site that takes itself a little less seriously. The nun museum is just creepy...
posted by jim-of-oz at 11:29 AM on November 30, 2004


Arkansas Jesus has no elbows.
posted by Dick Paris at 11:55 AM on November 30, 2004


where any blue-state citizen would feel right at home

people who make reference to the whole blue-state / red-state construct are playing right into the hands of those who invented it. refuse to allow the political state of the nation to be framed in thier terms. there is no fucking such thing as a red state or a blue state.
posted by quonsar at 12:08 PM on November 30, 2004


As other people have said, couldn't this money have been better spent elsewhere? I'm not Christian, but are the people that spent the money to have this tacky monstrosity made just not getting it? Wouldn't Jesus have wanted them to do something else with that money?

I love religious monuments. I've been amazing by European cathedrals. But the question I've always asked is: isn't it more Christ-like to use those resources to help people rather than building some silly monument?

Maybe I'm the one who's confused about what Christ said and what Christianity is supposed to be all about.
posted by deafmute at 12:09 PM on November 30, 2004


Can we get Ray Harryhausen to animate it?
posted by buddhanarchist at 12:10 PM on November 30, 2004


"I'll be out in Cinncinnati in a few months. I imagine it'll be worth a side trip to see this thing."

No.
posted by arse_hat at 12:14 PM on November 30, 2004


Pandaharma is right: Eureka is a nice little town set in a beautiful location. Culturally, it's quite liberal (so is my hometown, Fayetteville, AR, which is about 40 miles away). I know most of you think everyone in Arkansas is a stupid, right-wing, slack-jawed, overalls-wearin' hick, but the truth is--as it usually is--a bit more complicated.

The Passion Play is a weird, tacky tourist attraction for people on their way to Branson, Mo.. Eureka is an "old hippie" hangout.

asnowballschance:
> More seriously. Arkansas has one of the highest
> poverty rates in the country. Don't these people
> have better things to do than spend all that money
> just to be made fun of on MetaFilter?

This isn't public money. The Passion Play is a private enterprise. It also employs quite a few people in the tourist season, so I don't see the point of your criticism. If the state of poverty in Arkansas concerns you, feel free to send their treasury department some of your excess income. I'm sure they would appreciate it.
posted by wheat at 12:16 PM on November 30, 2004


Bear in mind that vernacular monuments like these Jesus statues are actually pretty common in the history of America, particularly in the Ozarks. Look at Ha Ha Tonka:

"Robert Snyder's dream was to create a private retreat to rival the European castles of ages past. He hired masons from Scotland and a European supervisor, all to ensure that authentic construction techniques were used throughout." More photos here.

Or the attempted construction of a pyramid at Monte Ne:
The Pyramid would be 130-feet high and 40-feet square at the base. Sealed inside this pyramid would be materials that would eventually be useful to the survivors of the coming dark age. Harvey decided on the height by mentally reducing the Ozarks to rubble and filling in the valleys, so that even after the mountains wore away, the tip of the pyramid would be visible. Way up near that tip would be this inscription: "When this can be read, go below and discover the cause of the death of a former civilization."

I think John Margolies's work is good to look at for a better understanding of the roadside in America.

Also, Eureka Springs is a pretty interesting town and not to be confused with Reed Springs, home of the Museum of the Unexplained. Eureka Springs began as a resort with mineral water springs valued for its medicinal properties but today, it has a mix of bikers, hippies, good old boys, and opera lovers. If you're interested in the image of the Ozarks and how it changed over time, you should read a good history about it.
posted by clockworkjoe at 12:45 PM on November 30, 2004


I know most of you think everyone in Arkansas is a stupid, right-wing, slack-jawed, overalls-wearin' hick

nah. Clinton is none of the above, and he's from Arkansas.
posted by matteo at 1:09 PM on November 30, 2004


You can drive by the large "Buddy Christ" from Dogma down in Mexico at the Fox Studios. It's huge.... about a 20-30 minute drive along the coastline south of San Diego, before you get to Puerto Nuevo/Ensenada.
posted by afx114 at 1:38 PM on November 30, 2004


Bah! Giant Jesus is not match for Big Buddha!
posted by homunculus at 1:43 PM on November 30, 2004


I live like 30 minutes from Eureka Springs and have been there only twice, but yeah... it's a neat place. I doubt I know about even 1/5 of what is there. I do know that there is a nursery that sells bamboo of various types. =)
posted by bargle at 2:13 PM on November 30, 2004


Giant cross in Texas panhandle.

How big is the Jebus statue in Rio de Janeiro?

I fourth or fifth the sentiment that Eureka Springs is a fantastic little town.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 2:27 PM on November 30, 2004


This makes the 32 foot virgin mary right by where I work look, well, tasteful.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 2:34 PM on November 30, 2004


I went on the Great Passion Play tour at Eureka Springs once with some other students (it was for this TVO documentary.) Anyway, one of us ended up leading an entire train of people in singing 'Jesus Loves me' while the rest of us cracked up.

Quite bizarre. The town (what I saw of it) was quite nice.

Damn Canadians.
posted by maledictory at 2:35 PM on November 30, 2004


As other people have said, couldn't this money have been better spent elsewhere?

I can tell you the mind set of the people who spend so much money erecting stuff like this. It is a) a glory to the Lord --sort of like a fatted calf sacrifice, and b) a blessing to all who see it.

I could never figure out why people nail signs saying "Jesus Loves You" to the trees on the side of the interstate. But it is so you will be reminded (in case you believe and just forgot for a moment. Also so you can't claim that you were never told.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:44 PM on November 30, 2004


I suppose this officially makes Jesus the biggest, fattest liar of all time.
posted by baphomet at 3:52 PM on November 30, 2004


man, that Big Buddha is one big-ass motherfucking Buddha-- I smell a smackdown coming.
posted by buddhanarchist at 3:56 PM on November 30, 2004


The folks in rural Illinois did the Texas giant-cross guys better by nine whole feet! Let me say that it's quite shocking to see it appear over the horizon.
posted by zsazsa at 4:00 PM on November 30, 2004


Does this remind anyone else of other oversized false gods?
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 4:13 PM on November 30, 2004


what the hell is with this fascination with really, really big stuff? The really tiny things-- things so tiny they're invisible-- thats where its at.
posted by buddhanarchist at 4:27 PM on November 30, 2004


My point: somebody needs to go out immediately and make one tee-tee tiny, eency-weency, microscopic, nanotube-constructed STATUE OF CHRIST.
posted by buddhanarchist at 4:32 PM on November 30, 2004


buddhanarchist, I give you The World's Largest Collection of World's Smallest Versions of World's Largest Things.
posted by Otis at 4:59 PM on November 30, 2004


somebody needs to go out immediately and make one tee-tee tiny, eency-weency, microscopic, nanotube-constructed STATUE OF CHRIST.



===> .
posted by Hands of Manos at 5:10 PM on November 30, 2004


big gods get smashed (like little people.)
posted by DenOfSizer at 5:13 PM on November 30, 2004


WWJD? Why, erect a hooje statue of himself, obviously!
posted by five fresh fish at 7:08 PM on November 30, 2004


buddhanarchist say thank you to otis.
and the fact that its all in a travelling roadshow shows its got soul: there are no icons here to be toppled: they just roll on...
posted by buddhanarchist at 11:21 PM on November 30, 2004


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