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A single tear graced her cheek.
July 5, 2006 7:32 AM   Subscribe

"This statue proves that Jesus Christ is Lord over America, he is Lord over Tennessee, he is Lord over Memphis."
posted by naomi (145 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
!!!
posted by loquacious at 7:35 AM on July 5, 2006


Oh good lord.
posted by GuyZero at 7:35 AM on July 5, 2006


and, Memphis can just keep him.... Good place, nice people, they need a god down there....

now, back to the real world...
posted by HuronBob at 7:37 AM on July 5, 2006


"decree the spirit of conviction on this intersection"
This makes me laugh and cry.
posted by slimepuppy at 7:39 AM on July 5, 2006


"Jehovah" inscribed on her crown

????????'

I guess יהוה was just too difficult to spell. poor tetragrammaton.

who are these people, really?
posted by matteo at 7:43 AM on July 5, 2006


Who's up for a roadtrip?
posted by sohcahtoa at 7:45 AM on July 5, 2006


JEEEESUS CHRIIIIISTTTT.....

MAKE IT STOP!

MAKE IT STOP!

IT BURNS!

IT BURNS!
posted by jamie939 at 7:45 AM on July 5, 2006


"Hmm... Yeah, that torch that is supposed to be a beacon to the lost and wandering, so that they can find a home here and be welcomed... Let's just pop that out and put in a big cross to make sure we don't attract any of those 'other' religions." And mainstream (not crazy) Christianity still remains silent, even about this abomination.
posted by Farengast at 7:51 AM on July 5, 2006


That is the cheesiest religious idolotry I've seen in quite a while.
posted by birdherder at 7:54 AM on July 5, 2006


Wowsers.

Also, since when did churches have bowling alleys and roller rinks attached? Surely they're the devil's doing? (Could just be the Welsh Methodist blood in my veins - I'm used to churches where passing the vicar a biscuit with icing on it would be considered suspiciously frivolous.)
posted by jack_mo at 7:56 AM on July 5, 2006


I love the delicious irony in the fact that the Statue of Liberty is based on the pagan concept of a goddess of liberty.
posted by thewittyname at 7:57 AM on July 5, 2006


so, this was the lord's work then? -- ... A large Delaware school district promoted Christianity so aggressively that a Jewish family felt it necessary to move to Wilmington, two hours away, because they feared retaliation for filing a lawsuit. The complaint recounts a raucous crowd that applauded the board’s opening prayer and then, when sixth-grader Alexander Dobrich stood up to read a statement, yelled at him "take your yarmulke off!" His statement, read by Samantha, confided "I feel bad when kids in my class call me Jew boy."

…A former board member suggested that Mona Dobrich might "disappear" ...

posted by amberglow at 7:57 AM on July 5, 2006


IdolWorshipFilter
posted by clevershark at 7:58 AM on July 5, 2006


I think it would've been more apt to have Lady Liberty bent over god's knee with the cross stuck up her ass.
posted by effwerd at 7:59 AM on July 5, 2006


In a few years it'll be the Liberty Car Wash, and she'll be holding up a squeegie and that'll be a towel over her other arm.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:59 AM on July 5, 2006


(resists embedding the image but can't resist linking to it)
posted by zenzizi at 8:01 AM on July 5, 2006


jack_mo, I agree. I'm all for the separation of church and skate.

I'm here all week.
posted by jimmythefish at 8:01 AM on July 5, 2006


You people don't recognize cool Americana when you see it. This statue is greater than the combined works of Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, and Cristo -- because it's real! She even has a tear running down her cheek, fer cryin' out loud. If all of you didn't spend so much time on the internet, you'd be able to do something this great, too.
posted by Faze at 8:02 AM on July 5, 2006


In "The Meaning of the Statue of Liberation Through Christ: Reconnecting Patriotism With Christianity," he explains that the teardrop on his Lady is God's response to what he calls the nation's ills, including legalized abortion, a lack of prayer in schools and the country's "promotion of expressions of New Age, Wicca, secularism and humanism." In another book, he said Hurricane Katrina was retribution for New Orleans's embrace of sin. (emph mine)

Pardon?
posted by Skorgu at 8:02 AM on July 5, 2006


"Many blacks are not patriotic, and they are not patriotic because of the history of our nation," Mr. Williams said in an interview at the church, in the richly appointed sitting room he uses to receive visitors. "It's good for our people to know that the nation has something for them as well."

As for the rollerskating rink and what all, its part of a growing "Why trust your family to any [enter any entertainment establishment] when you can trust it to a Christian [enter any entertainment establishment]" trend. Its the same reason why you might see a skate board park in the parking lot of a church, etc...etc.
posted by Atreides at 8:02 AM on July 5, 2006


That'll make a very nice paintball target, I think. Aim for the groin!
posted by mds35 at 8:03 AM on July 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


Nice to see someone managed to desecrate both a symbol of liberty and one of Christianity at the same time. They must be having a contest over there in Tennessee.
posted by clevershark at 8:03 AM on July 5, 2006


What's commandment #2? I forgot.
posted by kimota at 8:04 AM on July 5, 2006


this statue also proves people are idolitarian morons.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 8:04 AM on July 5, 2006


If all of you didn't spend so much time on the internet, you'd be able to do something this great, too

what's the sound of a hundred people simultaneously clicking on their Photoshop icon?
posted by matteo at 8:05 AM on July 5, 2006


Take that, huddled masses!
posted by NationalKato at 8:06 AM on July 5, 2006


And mainstream (not crazy) Christianity still remains silent, even about this abomination.
I think this thing is an abomination. I'm glad someone posted here; I wouldn't have known about it otherwise. Contrary to popular opinion, there is no Sekrit Kristian Klub House where we get updates about the latest stupid stunts by nationalist religion folks.
posted by verb at 8:06 AM on July 5, 2006


So does this mean that Memphis is reaching out to the nation's tired, poor, homeless huddled masses?
posted by three blind mice at 8:09 AM on July 5, 2006


Rock over London, Rock on Chicago, Lord over Tennessee.
posted by djeo at 8:11 AM on July 5, 2006


who are these people, really?

Meet the World Overcomers, whose church building is basically a giant breast.

I know you'll also be excited to learn that official "Statue of Liberation Through Christ Merchandise" is coming soon.

And check out the statue's inscription:
Give me your POOR, BROKENHEARTED Your CAPTURED, BLIND, AND BRUISED Your huddled MULTITUDES
yearning to be free;
The wretched LOST SOULS from shore to shore, Send these,
the SICK, OPPRESSED, HOMELESS
The tempest LOST to Christ.
I lift the cross as a symbol
that CHRIST IS THE DOOR.
posted by naomi at 8:11 AM on July 5, 2006


What is it about zealots and capital letters?
posted by Skorgu at 8:19 AM on July 5, 2006


I get emails about overcoming all the time.
posted by tpl1212 at 8:26 AM on July 5, 2006


"This statue proves that Jesus Christ is Lord over America...

What does God want with a starship statue?
posted by PlusDistance at 8:27 AM on July 5, 2006


Holy shit.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 8:28 AM on July 5, 2006


If they don't SHOUT, you won't LISTEN!

THINK ABOUT IT, HERETICS.
posted by naomi at 8:30 AM on July 5, 2006


And mainstream (not crazy) Christianity still remains silent, even about this abomination.

The link has a lot of quotes from local Christians who don't think much of this:
Most of the customers at the Dixie Queen food counter near the church viewed the statue as a cheap attention grab, said Guardia Nelson, 27, who works there.

"It's a big issue," Ms. Nelson said. "Liberty's supposed to have a fire, not a cross."

Elena Martinez, a loan officer visiting Memphis from Houston, said her family was speechless at the sight.

"The Statue of Liberty has a different meaning for the country," Ms. Martinez said. "It doesn't need to be used in a religious sense."

At the pizza place next door, Amanda Houston pronounced the combination of the Statue of Liberty and Christianity "ridiculous," though her co-worker Landon Condit was far less critical: "I can't see anything wrong with it. This is the Bible Belt."
Being the Bible Belt, I'm guessing they're Christians. The problem is that it's insane fundies who put up cheap knock-offs of Lady Liberty as religious bigot. Where's the snazz and flair of reasonable discourse liable to get a word in edge-wise with our ADD media? Mainstream (not crazy) Christians aren't being silent at all--they just don't push product the way insanity does.
posted by jefgodesky at 8:33 AM on July 5, 2006


since when did churches have bowling alleys and roller rinks attached?

"Gitcher money changed, right here in the temple!"
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:33 AM on July 5, 2006


Another post that could benefit from being catalogued with the "batshitinsane" tag.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:34 AM on July 5, 2006


"I personally feel that the answer for the poor is Jesus Christ."
A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'
-Luke 10:30-35
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:38 AM on July 5, 2006


Even if this story weren't a sign of the end-times, the fact that I agree with Faze would be.
posted by adamrice at 8:39 AM on July 5, 2006


The picture looks like it should be in an Onion article.
posted by Hicksu at 8:43 AM on July 5, 2006


How is this not a hoax? This doesn't make any sense. Statue-of-liberty-holding-a-cross is satire. It's something bored college students draw while complaining about Amerika. It's like everything's been mixed up.
posted by nixerman at 8:46 AM on July 5, 2006


since when did churches have bowling alleys and roller rinks attached?

A natural extension of the elitist club ethos.

Maybe someone needs to smite this Golden Calf.
posted by CynicalKnight at 8:46 AM on July 5, 2006


The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'

But when the innkeeper presented the bill, the Samaritan had no money to pay. "They people voted to cut taxes and slash welfare," the Samaritan explained, "so there's no money for the poor," adding ""When he awakens, tell that deadbeat to get a job."
posted by three blind mice at 8:48 AM on July 5, 2006


"Reconnecting patriotism with Christianity" sounds to me like a bad idea for both.
posted by bcveen at 8:49 AM on July 5, 2006


Its awful in both the current and original meaning of the word.
posted by empath at 8:52 AM on July 5, 2006


Wow, it looks like Lady Liberty is going to bash the hell (literally) out of someone with that cross held so high over her head. I hope they put in some animatronics to scare the non-believers. One good smoting on camera could convert the nation.
posted by fenriq at 8:52 AM on July 5, 2006


Hey guys, where are our photoshopped reinterpretations?
This is just crying for it.
posted by Flashman at 8:57 AM on July 5, 2006


It's times like these I wish there really were a Jesus who was, ahem, Coming Back. Only he'd be 500 feet tall, carry a flaming sword, and go around kicking the crap out of idiots like these.
posted by stinkycheese at 9:00 AM on July 5, 2006


As the congregation of the World Overcomers Outreach Ministries Church looked on and its pastor, Apostle Alton R. Williams, presided, a brown shroud much like a burqa was pulled away to reveal a giant statue of the Lady

Nice.
posted by brundlefly at 9:01 AM on July 5, 2006


My pal Megan: "What's next, Michelangelo's David dressed as a missionary, complete with bike helmet and dark jacket slung over one shoulder?"
posted by hermitosis at 9:01 AM on July 5, 2006


My pal Megan: "What's next, Michelangelo's David dressed as a missionary, complete with bike helmet and dark jacket slung over one shoulder?"
posted by hermitosis at 9:02 AM on July 5, 2006


What is it about zealots and capital letters?

He also doesn't seem to have grasped that the original was a poem, with rhyme and everything. But hey, the guy is a self-promoting idiot, of which there are millions out there. (Collect them all!)
posted by languagehat at 9:08 AM on July 5, 2006


The World Overcomers Outreach Ministries Church has a Prayer Request page. I'm just sayin', is all.
posted by jantastic at 9:10 AM on July 5, 2006


I should suggest that they say a prayer so that idolators may come to see the error of their ways.
posted by clevershark at 9:21 AM on July 5, 2006


If anyone complains about the statue of Mary ensconced in the re-purposed bathtub in my backyard, I'll point them to this.
posted by klarck at 9:33 AM on July 5, 2006


It's times like these I wish there really were a Jesus who was, ahem, Coming Back.

The saddest part of it all is that, even if Big J DID come back, I doubt anyone would believe it. Especially if he came back spouting those ridiculous ideas of love and stuff.
posted by zerokey at 9:44 AM on July 5, 2006


For all the people who are complaining that the cross should really be a torch, to be a beacon to the lost and wandering, etc...

Well, they could just set the cross on fire. It'd be functional and highly appropriate!
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:46 AM on July 5, 2006


How is this not a hoax? This doesn't make any sense. Statue-of-liberty-holding-a-cross is satire. It's something bored college students draw while complaining about Amerika. It's like everything's been mixed up.
If there's one thing to be said for dominionists, it's that they are mind-bogglingly resistant to irony.
posted by verb at 10:02 AM on July 5, 2006


Also, since when did churches have bowling alleys and roller rinks attached? Surely they're the devil's doing?

My brother lived with my father in Southern Virginia when he was in high school, and was forced to attend a church like that. They had a room full of Xbox's and I-Pods, plasma TVs and the like, all for attracting the young'uns to Christ, in some round about away.
posted by nuclear_soup at 10:03 AM on July 5, 2006


I think I'm going to re-read Carl Hiaasen's Lucky You this weekend...
posted by i_cola at 10:05 AM on July 5, 2006


The saddest part of it all is that, even if Big J DID come back, I doubt anyone would believe it.

They would if he were 500 feet tall. Now that's a Big J.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:09 AM on July 5, 2006


Wait 'til Christmas. They're planning a Nativity featuring George and Martha Washington huddled over the Baby J, right in the middle of the roller rink. I hear Apostle Alton R. Williams himself will be playing the overseeing angel, suspended by wires overhead and with lit sparklers and bottle rockets afixed to his pious torso.
Wise men will be conspicuous by thier absence.
posted by maryh at 10:16 AM on July 5, 2006


Hey guys, where are our photoshopped reinterpretations?

What you don't see, is that this statue is already hipper than your photoshop reinterpretations could ever be -- it has pre-empted your irony. Are you going to come up with something better than a church with bowling alleys and a giant statue of Liberty (with a tear) holding up a cross?

And why is it that you heathens suddenly go all sanctimonious about how sacreligious this artwork is, quoting scripture and clucking your tongues -- how is this different from Serrano's "Piss Christ?" Aside from being 10,000 times COOLER?
posted by Faze at 10:18 AM on July 5, 2006


zerokey writes "The saddest part of it all is that, even if Big J DID come back, I doubt anyone would believe it. Especially if he came back spouting those ridiculous ideas of love and stuff."

And those who would believe it would probably want this inconvenient Jesus done away with.
posted by clevershark at 10:18 AM on July 5, 2006


Jesus died for your sins, not mine.
posted by furtive at 10:22 AM on July 5, 2006


Well "Piss Christ" wasn't actually sacreligious. Most of the people who disparraged the work did so without even bothering to find out that it was a religious, not sacreligious work. Serrano was pointing out how too many professed Christians actually piss on the words and teachings of Christ when they pay more attention to homosexuals than healing the sick and aiding the poor. Serrano was pointing out that too many people focus on the symbol instead of the works they represent. So he desecrated the symbol to get people's attention. To show that it's just a symbol and that works are more important that what you wear around your neck or hang up over your bed.
posted by Farengast at 10:24 AM on July 5, 2006 [4 favorites]


Farengast -- That was really a very well expressed interpretation of "Piss Christ." But I'm sure it came second to Serrano, after "What sort of outrageous thing can I do that will get me attention." Hey, and I'm not blaming him. It's tough to make it in the arts.
posted by Faze at 10:31 AM on July 5, 2006


you heathens suddenly go all sanctimonious about how sacreligious this artwork is, quoting scripture and clucking your tongues

If you are refering to me, I am a Christian. But I know how you (and a few others) never miss a chance to trash the StrawFi version of this site you have only been a member of for 5 years.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:34 AM on July 5, 2006


since when did churches have bowling alleys and roller rinks attached?
One of the local churches (rural Texas) converted itself to a fireworks supercenter for the week before the 4th. They weren't selling fireworks in the parking lot -- they used the church itself. I guess folks needed the a/c for their Black Cat buying needs. (This is in a county where it's illegal to possess fireworks but legal to sell them, so the bizarro quotient may have already been exceeded.)
posted by forrest at 10:36 AM on July 5, 2006


I love Memphis. It's such a fun, downtrodden, and hopelessly fucked up city.
posted by bardic at 10:38 AM on July 5, 2006


Well just because an artist is trying to gain attention for their work doesn't mean that it is without point or purpose. Much of art is meant to be shocking. Some may write "Piss Christ" off as an attention grab, but that is a valid condition for art. Nobody says that art has to be within any boundaries of conforming or cultural norms. In fact it is the purpose of art to press those boundaries. Just becuase the guy knew his work would be controversial doesn't mean that he didn't understand the deeper meaning of his own work. If anything, I would say that the controversial nature of the work means that he would definitely HAVE to have a deeper meaning. You can't submit yourself to the fire and brimstone without a good explanation on hand.
posted by Farengast at 10:39 AM on July 5, 2006


The World Overcomers Outreach Ministries Church has a Prayer Request page. I'm just sayin', is all.
posted by jantastic at 11:10 AM CST on July 5 [+fave] [!]


My submission:

"Please pray for the World Overcomers Church, that they might get some sense into their heads and tear down the idol they have erected."

If anyone complains about the statue of Mary ensconced in the re-purposed bathtub in my backyard, I'll point them to this.
posted by klarck at 11:33 AM CST on July 5 [+fave] [!]


Ah, the ol' "Mary on the Half Shell", eh?
posted by Doohickie at 11:04 AM on July 5, 2006


...still looking for the Onion connection. It has to be there!!!
posted by Doohickie at 11:05 AM on July 5, 2006


I've said it before and I'll say it again:

What in the name of the twin orbiting Jesuses is going on?

For those of you reading about this from outside of the US let me provide a little context.

In the 19th century, we in the U.S. had ourselves a little dustup called "the Civil War." The rural South tried to secede against the industrial North. The issue was ostensibly about states's rights to trump or be trumpoed by the rights of the federal government (the Union).

The South had better generals, but the North had a drunk guy and a crazy guy so they won the War.

Then, unbenknownst to the rest of the world the U.S. had a Civil Cold War. The North and South tried to extend their respective hegemonies over the rest of the growing country. The North, led by New York and Boston, managed to set up client governments in LA, Denver, Chicago, San Francisco, etc.

The South, rebranded as "Christians", which ironically, excluded Catholic and Orthodox christians, took the wide open spaces of the west, and actually captured territory in the north using weapons of mass banality including NASCAR and Wal-Mart.

This Tennesse thing did not happen in the United States of America. It happened in the Jowly Good Evangelical Christian Comfort Zone of Murrica.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:10 AM on July 5, 2006 [2 favorites]


Flashman: "Hey guys, where are our photoshopped reinterpretations? This is just crying for it."

Too easy of a target. Like kicking a guy with "Kick Me" taped to his back. What's the point?
posted by ZachsMind at 11:14 AM on July 5, 2006


Yeah, first thing I thought of was “Piss Christ” and the display where you walked on the US flag. I’m curious to see if the same folks protest this. Odd how they assert religious oppression (no wiccan or secular, blah blah) using a symbol (in part) associated with the right to practice speech and religion freely. But there’s no accounting for taste.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:16 AM on July 5, 2006


/it’d be a neat bit of irony if the cross was on fire too.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:18 AM on July 5, 2006


Exodus 32

2 Aaron said to them, "Take off the golden rings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them to me."

3 All the people took off the golden rings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron.

4 He received what they handed him, and fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made it a molten calf; and they said, "These are your gods, Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt."
posted by Kifer85 at 11:20 AM on July 5, 2006


well, the Virgin Mary already has strategic dominion over the entire continent. - TAKE THAT LIBERTY!!
posted by huckhound at 11:21 AM on July 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


Also, since when did churches have bowling alleys and roller rinks attached? Surely they're the devil's doing?

There's a large christian church nearby (they took over a car dealership's facility...I call the the First Church of Chrysler). In addition to the huge main building, they have a youth center that is every bit as large as the main church...perhaps larger. Inside, they have a coffee shop, a cafe, basketball courts and dozens upon dozens of arcade video games...including shooters and fighting games. And this is in a relatively small town. In larger cities, some of the churches are downright insane with the shit they have on premises.

Earlier, Atreides hit it on the head. It's all about this self-segregation that fundamentalists seem to engage in. They feel the world is moving away from them, so they build higher walls. Another church around here has it's own little-league baseball. They run it at the same time as the normal, local little-league is in season. Apparently little-league ball is too secular for them.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:25 AM on July 5, 2006


HuronBob: Just so you know, you're leaving fine folks like myself almost entirely at their mercy when you write us off. I'll haunt you, motherfucker. Haunt you forever.
posted by absalom at 11:26 AM on July 5, 2006


And mainstream (not crazy) Christianity still remains silent, even about this abomination.

While we're at it, let's make all Muslims answer for the stupidities and crimes of bin Laden. And let's make all socialists answer for Stalin. Etc, etc.
posted by eustacescrubb at 11:26 AM on July 5, 2006


I've met Muslims who are ashamed and outraged by bin Laden. I don't know any card-carrying socialists, but there are many on the left who consider Stalin to have been worse than Hitler (myself included).

It would be nice to meet some Christians who are actively working to take their legacy back from the bigots, frauds, and asshats. More to the point, who aren't afraid to call out their brethren once in a while when they act in an un-Christlike manner.
posted by bardic at 11:31 AM on July 5, 2006


This makes Kevin Smith's Buddy Christ and Mooby satires pretty tame in comparison. Truth is stranger than fiction.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:37 AM on July 5, 2006


I do that, bardic. The thing is this, though: I don't proclaim it from the heavens so everyone can admire me for it.

Part of what we (liberal Christians) find offensive in these zealots is that they are attention whores. Even when we work to overcome the current popular views of Christianity, we feel that doing it for the publicity would make us as bad as they are.
posted by Doohickie at 11:37 AM on July 5, 2006


While we're at it, let's make all Muslims answer for the stupidities and crimes of bin Laden. And let's make all socialists answer for Stalin. Etc, etc.

Note: I wasn't asserting that all Christians have a duty to address every stupid thing done by their fringe characters. Simply that almost all normal Christians that I know strongly resent that a lot of non-religious people lump them in with these people in Memphis and assert that all Christianity is absolutely crazy and hateful. I've see that assertion here on MetaFilter myself. Well if you resent that designation than now is a great time to speak out. I think it is entirely appropriate for the US Catholic diocese, Episcopalian church leaders, Unitarian church leaders, etc. to speak out on behalf of religious freedom in this country. That this is not a Christian nation, that all people are free to worship as they please here. And perhaps that these people in Memphis are actually undermining the best interests of Christianity be undermining religious freedom, which protects people's ability to practice the religion. Just because Christianity is the majority religion in this country doesn't mean that it shall always be so. In a hundred years, when Christianity my not be the majority religion anymore, it will be much more difficult to practice if religious freedom is undermined now, even if it seems to promote Christianity.
posted by Farengast at 11:39 AM on July 5, 2006


Think she's naked under there?
posted by ColdChef at 11:40 AM on July 5, 2006


the only problem with "calling out" Xtreme christians is that the united states was founded on freedom of religious expression. Whether or not you think that wal-ministries are very christian in a truly classical sense, these people have a right to practice their faith in any way they so choose. However, when these practices bleed into the political realm, this is when we have the duty to see that they do not impose their beliefs on anyone else.
posted by Kifer85 at 11:42 AM on July 5, 2006


I've never heard about these entertainment zone/churches before. Does anyone else think they are just tax dodges?
posted by Pastabagel at 11:47 AM on July 5, 2006


Bartholdi must be spinning in his grave.
posted by grabbingsand at 11:47 AM on July 5, 2006


And a little child shall lead them...
"That church is trashing the meaning of America," said 11-year Hickory Hill resident Evelyn Douglass.

"The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of the United States of America," she said. "The cross represents a specific religion. It's not right that they are mixing the two."

Douglass now takes the long way home to avoid "the big green thing."
posted by naomi at 11:48 AM on July 5, 2006


Douglass now takes the long way home to avoid "the big green thing."

A generation from now, when my kid asks how we coped living through the neocon/fundie/wingnut axis years, I'm going to say "we took the long way home to avoid the big green thing."
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:08 PM on July 5, 2006


Gun control hasn't been an issue for this lefty for about four years now. This just reinforces the notion.

Don't get me wrong, but, you know, just in case...
posted by aiq at 12:14 PM on July 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


This is so ironic, I kind of love it.
posted by agregoli at 12:32 PM on July 5, 2006


While we're at it, let's make all Muslims answer for the stupidities and crimes of bin Laden. And let's make all socialists answer for Stalin. Etc, etc.

We already do.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 12:34 PM on July 5, 2006



posted by brownpau at 12:48 PM on July 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


"neocon/fundie/wingnut axis years"
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:08 PM PST on July 5



Richard Nixon counted on the Silent Majority to stay silent when he claimed they supported him. Then Pat Robertson came along and claimed this Silent Majority was his Moral Majority, when in fact his followers didn't even represent 1 percent of the population. Even to this day the neocon/fundie/wingnut axis is a minority but, unlike the rest of us, they are not silent and they are not passive. However they also count on us, the true majority, to keep our mouths shut and our hands in our pockets.

This madness will eventually implode but, if people are too genteel to dirty themselves with a fight, that may be long after they dismantle our Constitution, Bill of Rights and hard won Democracy.
posted by chance at 12:51 PM on July 5, 2006


This statue proves that Jesus Christ is Lord over America

Hey! I just made a Statue of Liberty knock off featuring the good old lady holding up a piece of turd. Clearly, this proves that my turd is Lord over America. Indeed, by this logic, all I need to do is make a statue of anything and it proves the thing I believe in. I am going to make a statue of al-Zarqawi healing the sick and poor from beyond the grave and that should prove to everyone that he was actually a pretty decent bloke.

I have no problem with people erecting moronic statues in their own backyards. Heck, where I grew up, this dude used to keep a forty foot statues of Santa Claus holding a banner that read "Happy Birthday Jesus." We thought it was hilarious. That being said, this new statue doesn't "prove" anything about Jesus Christ. Were we having a trial to demonstrate that Jesus Christ is Lord over America, it would be inadmissable as evidence.

In fact that "proves" quote sounds like something that Master Shake from Aqua Teen Hunger Force would say in a typical burst of ignorance.

Sorry, didn't mean to rant, but that "proves" statement just hits a nerve for some reason.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:51 PM on July 5, 2006


A-merkin...Fuck yeah!
posted by taosbat at 1:07 PM on July 5, 2006


Joey M -- I felt the same damned thing. Well ranted, sir.
posted by papercake at 1:10 PM on July 5, 2006


Matthew 6:5-6

"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men ... [W]hen thou prayest, enter into thy closet and when thou has shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret."
posted by joe lisboa at 1:17 PM on July 5, 2006


.
posted by voltairemodern at 1:20 PM on July 5, 2006


And a little child shall lead them...

11-YEAR resident, not 11-year-OLD resident.
posted by empath at 1:26 PM on July 5, 2006


"To celebrate the Fourth of July, a good crowd gathered on the church grounds for free hamburgers and grape soda, carnival rides, a barbecue cook-off and entertainment."

I can never read passages like this without thinking of another religious zealot, Mr Jones. mmm. kool aid.
posted by Zack_Replica at 1:31 PM on July 5, 2006


I'm glad I don't live near this thing. I think I'd puke.
posted by raedyn at 1:36 PM on July 5, 2006


If this polarization doesn't somehow get resolved, I anticipate in twenty years the country may be more than one, or it'll be dramatically different in framework than it is today. We may lose the constitution as it exists today, seeing as how it's in tatters predominantly at the mo anyway.

I know it's an urban myth, but this keeps haunting me.

"Perhaps I should let you all in on a little secret. No one likes you in the future. This time period is looked at as being full of lazy, self-centered, civically ignorant sheep. Perhaps you should be less concerned about me and more concerned about that.
posted by ZachsMind at 1:47 PM on July 5, 2006


11-YEAR resident, not 11-year-OLD resident.

Oh well, sure, if you insist on a literal interpretation...
posted by naomi at 1:50 PM on July 5, 2006


That is one stupid-lookin' statue. Like all religiously motivated plagiarism, it's just going to be the thing it tried to copy, but marginalized and totally lacking in taste. A heretic would be lucky to think of so succinct an indictment of mainstream pseudo-spirituality.

I'm glad he's reserved some Jesus for the poor he could have helped instead of building a 72' statue. Well, I'm off to the store... I hope I have enough Jesus in my wallet.

Backwater jerkoffs.
posted by evil holiday magic at 2:05 PM on July 5, 2006


What does it mean when a bird shits on it?
posted by NationalKato at 2:19 PM on July 5, 2006


Clearly, this proves that my turd is Lord over America.

I've been looking for a new religion!

*worships Joey Michaels' turd*
posted by languagehat at 2:21 PM on July 5, 2006


I need to hijack this. Nothing personal. But I find this reasoning below interesting. Intelligent. Articulate. And well. Wrong.

....wasn't asserting that all Christians have a duty to address every stupid thing done by their fringe characters.

eh. Maybe you should. Not every crazy thing. But I guarantee you this shit is not going to blow over. It's going to get worse. And clinging to your root religious doctrine - even though you pile liberal and progressive ideas on top - will not solve the problem.

Simply that almost all normal Christians that I know strongly resent that a lot of non-religious people lump them in with these people in Memphis and assert that all Christianity is absolutely crazy and hateful.

I have come to the conclusion that, where the dominant theist religions are concerned, moderates are merely failed extremists who disregard their more strident and hard to practice doctrines out of modern convenience not out of some higher progressive moral imperative. Hey. Your book says "THIS (all of it not just the convenient bits) is the word of god." Period. Extremism and dogmatism, when eternal life is on the line, is the natural extension of that kind of deal. So. Resent away. Get rid of the eternal life thing and maybe the god thing and you might have a workable more peaceful belief system. Might.

I've see that assertion here on MetaFilter myself.

I assert it. Sort of.

Well if you resent that designation than now is a great time to speak out.

Actually twenty years ago was the time. But hey. Better late than never.

In a hundred years, when Christianity my not be the majority religion anymore, it will be much more difficult to practice if religious freedom is undermined now, even if it seems to promote Christianity.

Huh? Lost me. Religious freedom is not the freedom at risk.
posted by tkchrist at 2:29 PM on July 5, 2006


Your book says "THIS (all of it not just the convenient bits) is the word of god." Period.

This is interesting. Intelligent. Articulate. And well. Wrong.

That is the rhetorical construct used by many so-called "Bible literalists" (who are, of course, nothing of the sort) in arguments where somebody else interprets a passage in any way they don't like.

There is nowhere in the Bible that says these 66 (modulo Catholic, Orthodox, etc.) collected works in translation called The Bible is the literal "word of god," whatever that is supposed to mean.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:36 PM on July 5, 2006


kifer85 wrote: "the only problem with "calling out" Xtreme christians is that the united states was founded on freedom of religious expression. Whether or not you think that wal-ministries are very christian in a truly classical sense, these people have a right to practice their faith in any way they so choose."

And, in what way does saying "you people are batshit insane" interfere with their right to practice their religion. Calling someone out just means telling them that they're wrong, not forcing them to stop.

Yes, they're free to build their statue. But I'm free to say that its bloody stupid, and an affront to America (I'll leave it up to a Christian to say that its an affront to Christianity). That's freedom for you kifer85. Their freedom to practice their religion doesn't exclude them from being mocked, criticized, or insulted based on that practice.
posted by sotonohito at 2:36 PM on July 5, 2006


There is nowhere in the Bible that says these 66 (modulo Catholic, Orthodox, etc.) collected works in translation called The Bible is the literal "word of god," whatever that is supposed to mean.

Seems to me every church service, wedding, funeral, sunday school I have ever been too lied. Wow. So the religion IS bullshit then. So why bother with it all.
posted by tkchrist at 2:39 PM on July 5, 2006


THIS (all of it not just the convenient bits) is the word of god." Period. Extremism and dogmatism, when eternal life is on the line, is the natural extension of that kind of deal. So. Resent away. Get rid of the eternal life thing and maybe the god thing and you might have a workable more peaceful belief system. Might.
So, basically, your problem is that all Christians are fundamentalist literalists -- except for the ones who aren't, and their problem is that they aren't.

Gotcha.
posted by verb at 2:39 PM on July 5, 2006


languagehat: *worships Joey Michaels' turd*

For, lo, it is mighty. Though it may be flushed today, it shall reappear tomorrow at about the same time.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:42 PM on July 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


Seems to me every church service, wedding, funeral, sunday school I have ever been too lied.

You already believed that, didn't you?

Besides, think about it. It's impossible for there to be any such self-referential passage in the Bible, since all those texts were written prior to their compilation.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:47 PM on July 5, 2006


So, basically, your problem is that all Christians are fundamentalist literalists -- except for the ones who aren't, and their problem is that they aren't.

Yup. You got it. Sort of.

Hey. It's your irrational beliefs, not mine.

Since it's all so open ended and non litteral, why not go the extra mile and get rid of the eternal life thing that seems to get everybody into trouble?

Your the ones who pick and choose, depending on convenience or scapegoat, what you want to belive even though none of it at it's core makes any sense what so ever. Not my problem. So don't get mad at me.
posted by tkchrist at 2:54 PM on July 5, 2006


Please pardon my ignorance and hijacking, but what is the rationale (biblical or otherwise) for the goal among some Christians of universal conversion to their beliefs?

I get the impression that the those Christians who feel threatened by secularism are concerned with setbacks to this goal, rather than any oppression of their own practices.
posted by evil holiday magic at 2:54 PM on July 5, 2006


"moderates are merely failed extremists who disregard their more strident and hard to practice doctrines out of modern convenience not out of some higher progressive moral imperative"

I love this one. Translated: "Religious people are stupid and the smarter ones had better stop acting smarter because it makes it harder for me to call them stupid."
posted by brownpau at 2:57 PM on July 5, 2006


You already believed that, didn't you?

Lies. No I didn't.

I think it's just wrong. The entire concept. Well intentioned mostly. But wrong. And more importantly very dangerous to human civilization, progress, and dignity. And I have reams of proof.

Though it's not as if I wasn't as indoctrinated as much as the rest of you. Maybe more so.

It took many years of self examination and painful admission for me to see the truth.

And the truth is theist religion is wrong and has almost nothing to do with deriving meaning in ones life. Or for that matter helping one to understand how the universe works or if there is a higher power.
posted by tkchrist at 3:04 PM on July 5, 2006


It took many years of self examination and painful admission for me to see the truth.

Yeah, high school was pretty harsh for me too.
posted by brownpau at 3:09 PM on July 5, 2006


I love this one. Translated: "Religious people are stupid and the smarter ones had better stop acting smarter because it makes it harder for me to call them stupid."

No. Translation:

"I want to get into heaven because I am a greedy-ass motherfucker—but I don't want it to be hard or interfere with getting laid and I don't want to think too much about it too much."

I don't love it. I think it's sad. Sad because your not stupid. Such a waste of effort.

And being stupid is unfortunately not a prerequisite for religious hypocrisy. If I believed it was we wouldn't be threatened by the world's faithful. Unfortunately a number of you are very smart. The 911 hijackers were smart. religious extremists are often quite smart. Often smarter than their moderate counterparts.

It's not stupid. It's called cognitive dissonance.
posted by tkchrist at 3:13 PM on July 5, 2006


Last I checked Elvis was Lord over memphis.
posted by Football Bat at 3:14 PM on July 5, 2006


Yeah, high school was pretty harsh for me too.

Well. Not everybody can be head cheerleader or prom queen. Buck up. Maybe they have Home Coming in heaven. Forever!
posted by tkchrist at 3:15 PM on July 5, 2006


I'm going to drive by the thing on the way home from work. At least I don't seem to be the only person in Memphis who's a little embarassed by it.
posted by Carbolic at 3:23 PM on July 5, 2006


How ironic that even in his rebellion against whatever fundies apparently tried to brainwash him, tkchrist still buys into their basic premise: their interperetation of a 2000-year old religion is the only legitimate one, and anyone who disagrees with them isn't a real Christian. Pity that.
"I want to get into heaven because I am a greedy-ass motherfucker—but I don't want it to be hard or interfere with getting laid and I don't want to think too much about it too much."
You seem to have made the fundamental mistake of imagining that everyone in the world is just like you, but somehow less brilliant and insightful.
posted by verb at 3:48 PM on July 5, 2006


Last I checked Elvis was Lord over memphis.

Praised be His hips!

There's a web poll in progress at wmctv.com if you want to let your crazy little lights shine. Right now the results are:
What do you think about the new 72-foot Statue of Liberty replica on Winchester & Kirby?

- I think it's a great way for a church to bring a community together (15%)

- I think it is too big and is a distraction to drivers (21%)

- I think it's offensive to combine religion with the statue of liberty (30%)

- I like it. It has a strong message (34%)
posted by naomi at 4:04 PM on July 5, 2006


You seem to have made the fundamental mistake of imagining that everyone in the world is just like you, but somehow less brilliant and insightful.

Imagine? Shows you what little imagination you have. I imagine the world like a giant pretty pink room filled with free beer, Chocolate Mousse, and trampolines with pretty naked ladies jumping on them.

What I KNOW of the world, though fact and history not imaginings, is the faithful, taken as a whole, are more often dangerous and a force for evil than they are benevolent. And that trend is growing as human technology get's more potent. And MORE religion is not the answer.

As long as you all get into heaven, though. It's all worth it.
posted by tkchrist at 4:16 PM on July 5, 2006


Great post, naomi, and so...damn...depressing. Depressing, and tacky (the statue, not the post).
posted by everichon at 4:27 PM on July 5, 2006


I'm originally from Tennessee, & I lived in Memphis for 5 years. I lived & worked in the area where all of this is taking place, & I would have seen this mess every day if it were there then. My head would have exploded. I'm not surprised about any of this, though. I'm so glad I got out of the Bible Belt.

Here's a link to the 3 large crosses at Bellevue Baptist that the article mentions: http://penniemyers.textamerica.com/?r=2258750

She uses the same phrase, "Six Flags Over Jesus," that I used to describe them. You really can see those for miles. That church freaked me out too.

Oh, the World Overcomers Church? It used to be a small college. They bought the college out 6 or 7 years ago.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 4:52 PM on July 5, 2006


As long as you all get into heaven, though. It's all worth it.
I suppose all I can say is that I'm sorry you suffered whatever debauched indoctrination you hint at. It's sad that while you rejected the attempted brainwashing, you still swallowed the fundamental premise: that fundamentalist literalism is the only true religion. Like it or not, you're still on their side in this fight.
posted by verb at 5:37 PM on July 5, 2006


Would someone please loan me $260,000 so I can erect a similar statue just across the intersection? Mine would have Lady Liberty holding not a cross, but a hammer and sickle. Oh, and the book she holds would be a Ko... nah, let's don't go there.

Maybe a nice statue of Otis Redding?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:16 PM on July 5, 2006


That would prove that Otis is Lord over America, Lord over Tennessee, Lord over Memphis and Lord over the Dock of the Bay.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:39 PM on July 5, 2006


I think I understand what tkchrist may be getting at. (Don't mean to put words in your mouth, so call me out if need be.) If I really believed that God with a capital "G" had explicitly told people what's the deal, how to behave, etc - well, what else would one do but be absolutely dedicated to that? Not to say that hard-right fundies are the only ones like that. Obviously runs across religions. But really, if I truly believed with all my heart and soul, had complete unwavering faith that Joey Michaels' turd was *God*, wouldn't I be kind of an idiot for NOT devoting my entire life to it? (Which I may just do anyway.) Uhhh, maybe I'm not helping at all.
I think the point is really just that if someone really believes they have been given insight into Absolute Truth(TM) then they may be reasonably expected to act in a pretty uncompromising way.
Oh hell, I make perhaps no sense.
posted by zoinks at 6:45 PM on July 5, 2006


Oh and I mean no disrespect to anyone's religion or the way they choose to practice it.
Joey Michaels? What are the Turd's feelings on the subject of idols in Its likeness? I did some straightening up today and have a bit of extra space now....
posted by zoinks at 6:51 PM on July 5, 2006


The turd believes that every turd is of the same worth. Make as many turds as you want. Mine is down with that.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:06 PM on July 5, 2006


Oh hell, I make perhaps no sense.

Not at all: that was (more of less) part of Kierkegaard's criticism of the "comfortable Christianity" of his day/place. I think you've expressed what many of us find so dangerous or disconcerting about the "teleological suspension of the ethical" that such leaps into the Absolute entail. I mean, Abraham (we are told) had no second thoughts whatsoever about sacrificing his own son at (what he took to be) the command of the Almighty, and for this he is lionized by the very semitic faiths that now bear his name and not, say, dismissed as a fanatic.

I think tkchrist makes the mistake of pinning religious extremism on a belief in an afterlife per se. I think such beliefs tend to devalue this-worldly existence (and underwrite all manner of social/political complacency by promising imminent "pie in the sky"), but I can't help wonder if it's the apocalyptic eschatology (and not the belief in an afterlife per se) that drives so much fanaticism. I mean, who doesn't want to be a hero in a cosmic battle? And what's the point of being born several eons before The-Shit-Hits-The-Fan endtimes? It feeds into our sense of self-importance as much as our thirst for meaning.

But now I'm just contributing to the derail. Apologies.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:07 PM on July 5, 2006


*pokes tkchrist with Ceiling Liberty With Cross to see if he totally flames out*
posted by Doohickie at 7:38 PM on July 5, 2006


Mine would have Lady Liberty holding not a cross, but a hammer and sickle.

Mine would have her brandishing a Jackhammer Jesus.
posted by homunculus at 7:44 PM on July 5, 2006


joe lisboa: I can't help wonder if it's the apocalyptic eschatology (and not the belief in an afterlife per se) that drives so much fanaticism. I mean, who doesn't want to be a hero in a cosmic battle?

That's what has my vote. Belief in the afterlife can turn people into jerks, yeah... But belief that there is an invisible war going on and the world will end any day now and that you're in the secret army of good and people who get angry and call you names are unwitting dupes of the Lord Of All Evil... that gets wacky pretty fast.

People talk about Left Behind like it's a new phenomenon, but it's really just the first major crossover series in a long-running genre of apocolypse fiction. Everyone wants to feel like they're part of something big, and exceptional, and so staggeringly important that normal rules don't apply. That wigs me out.
posted by verb at 8:59 PM on July 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


forrest wrote: One of the local churches (rural Texas) converted itself to a fireworks supercenter for the week before the 4th. They weren't selling fireworks in the parking lot -- they used the church itself.

No more of this Jesus casting money-changers out of the Temple [Mt 21:12], now he has to cast out fireworks!

Careful Jesus
!
posted by yeti at 7:06 AM on July 6, 2006


Do they have any dashboard-sized?
posted by Smedleyman at 1:52 PM on July 6, 2006


Sam Harris, author of "The End of Faith," on why religious moderates are worse than fundamentalists, 9/11 led us into a deranged holy war, and believers should be treated like alien-abduction kooks.
posted by homunculus at 11:30 PM on July 6, 2006


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