Friday, July 07, 2006

O say can you see?

A megachurch in Memphis has a new take on Lady Liberty. Dubbed "The Statue of Liberation Through Christ," World Overcomers Outreach Ministries has erected the 72-foot replica of the New York icon with a twist--well, several to be exact. Instead of a torch, Liberation holds a cross, and on her crown is inscribed "Jehovah." Instead of a tablet welcoming the poor, Christian Liberty holds the Ten Commandments. A single tear slides from her eye, which Apostle Alton R. Williams, according to the New York Times, explains "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.' "

I like the response of a local 11-year-old girl, Evelyn Douglass, who said that the Statue of Liberty represents America and the cross represents only one religion: "It's not right that they are mixing the two." I think you may have a career in law, Evelyn--though spending $260,000 to erect a 72-foot religious eyesore is, I grant, what America is all about.

Williams disagrees, of course: "This statue proves that Jesus Christ is Lord over America, he is Lord over Tennessee, he is Lord over Memphis." I'm not sure this is what Jesus had in mind.

Still, these kinds of things seem to be cropping up all over my home state. Two giant crosses have sprouted within 50 miles of my parents' house, one in front of a gigantic porn superstore. That one at least got a response; the "XXX Warehouse" now sports a new sign: "Closed on Sunday."


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