Jun 15 2010

“Touchdown Jesus” to be resurrected

He won’t be coming back in three days, but the gaudy statue will be rebuilt, says Solid Rock Church. It’s bad enough they wasted $500,000 to build the thing to begin with – now they’re going to drop even more money to put it back up. I hope they’re insured; at least then they’ll be getting back money they already spent.The idea of spending over a million dollars on a ugly Jesus statue seems decidedly un-Christian to me. Couldn’t that money be better spent, you know, helping the poor or feeding the hungry? Just a thought.

But of course, that’s not the point of this sculpture. This is just another example of arrogance – of religious people who think their particular fairy tale is so awesome that they want to show it off. Not all religious people are like this: If everyone actually kept religion a personal issue like so many claim to do, we’d have a lot less problems in the world. But whenever someone feels the need to put up a 62-foot Jesus on the side of the highway, that’s just so they can show off.

I also find it amusing that religious people often attribute natural disasters to God’s will, but when it hurts them instead of homosexuals or pro-choicers, it was simply bad luck. Ah, isn’t cherry-picking your religious beliefs to make them conform to your political ones so nice? Hurricane Katrina? Totally God saying he hates gays. Lightning striking your giant idol that’s making Christians look bad? Totally explained by physics. Of course, at least one of my commenters from last night was being consistent:

wow.. so many different views.. but I keep thinking, that once again God has sent Jesus to protect us. I live only a few miles from Solid Rock Church. There are also all kinds of hotels, and hospitals surrounding the area. Jesus took the beating so his people wouldn’t have to…. once again. Praise God.

Yep, because God couldn’t send that lightning bolt to hit a tree. Now the church will have to waste even more money putting up their giant idol, instead of helping their congregation or community. Man, God is kind of a dick.


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  1. 1

    Every time I see reports of the church saying, “We’re going to rebuild it,” the theme sequence from The Six Million Dollar Man replays in my head. I hope they make the new one look like Lee Majors.

  2. 2
    Dave Morgan

    I drive by there on the way to my wife’s parent’s house – ugh it was ugly, but funny at least. Also on the way (i forget if its I-71 or I-75) there are 2 billboards of the 10 commandments.. You really remember it’s the bible belt down there.Oh well, proved to be some interesting discussion with my religious friends on twitter.Still a little crazy they’re gunna rebuild it though. Maybe they’ll pick something non-flammable?

  3. 3

    “I also find it amusing that religious people often attribute natural disasters to God’s will, but when it hurts them instead of homosexuals or pro-choicers, it was simply bad luck.”Typical double standards. On the same level it also happens when it comes to medical successes…If someone gets a bad disease and, after going to the hospitals, treatments, etc. the person is cured: yep, thank god.However, they don’t blame god for not preventing the disease of that person.

  4. 4

    The God of my Mother and Sisters and most of my family is an arbitrary and capricious ass with a twisted sense of humor that I could easily fear but never love.They don’t blame god for not preventing the disease, they blame the devil for inducing the disease. If something good happens, praise god. If something bad happens, its the devil at work.

  5. 5

    Big Butter Jesushttp://www.bing.com/videos/wat…Funny as hell

  6. 6
    Nameless Cynic

    There’s a couple of things these christians (and especially their megasuperultrachurches) forget. Their own scripture.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. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. (Matthew 6:5-6)And more specifically in this case:Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth. (Deuteronomy 5:8, a.k.a., “The Second Commandment”)(If you want to quibble, those quotes are KJV – the NIV translates “graven image” as “idol.” I’m pretty sure this qualified.)

  7. 7
    Julie from AatRB

    “Jesus took the beating so his people wouldn’t have to…” No…Jesus took the beating because he hands were shaped like freaking lightening rods and were made of highly flammable material. What an incredible waste of money; to think of all the families that money could help.

  8. 8

    What your reader didn’t note is that Big Butter also must have taken that hit to spare the Hustler Hollywood store less than 2 miles away (and at a higher elevation)! http://preview.tinyurl.com/32k

  9. 9

    If the new statue gets struck by lightning again, it just might prove that there is a god. A god of thunder.

  10. 10

    For some reason I can’t help but think of the end of the original terminator movie when Arnie is set on fire and all his skin melts off to reveal the metal skeleton beneath.Who knew that giant Jesus was actually a robot from the future.

  11. 11

    “You really remember it’s the bible belt down there.”And yet they forget the graven images bit.

  12. 12

    The terminator and Jesus have their history. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

  13. 13
    Heather Clemenceau

    OK, what does Pat Robertson have to say about this?

  14. 14

    right. Just imagine how they’d react if it were a FFRF billboard got hit!

  15. 15

    The best comment I have seen anywhere on this statue burning is the article that noted it as the 3rd sign of Armageddon after the oil spill and the Jersey’s Shore’s The Situation getting his own record deal. That is awfully hard to argue with – mostly the Jersey Shore part.

  16. 16

    Rebuilt eh? Maybe they should take the hint…

  17. 17
    Andrew Hall

    Would it be too crazy to say they could use that money for famine relief somewhere instead of the Uber-Jesus statue?http://laughinginpurgatory.blo

  18. 18
    Rocket Stegosaurus

    That’s a rather expensive lightning rod.

  19. 19

    i kind of like the metal frame – it’s Touchdown Robot Jesus!

  20. 20

    I’ll pray for you.

  21. 21

    Zeus doesn’t like it when you build idols to false gods afterall ;).

  22. 22

    You beat me to the “thou shalt make no graven image” line, it was the first thing to cross my mind here…

  23. 23

    Thor sure has a sense of irony! The insurance industry calls lightning strikes an “act of god.” So you pay $500K for a sculpture in T-storm country and neglect to install a top-of-the-line lighting rod system? That urethane idol was likely mostly consumed before the the firefighters arrived. In the 90′s I was at a huge urethane movie location backdrop (Cliff Hanger) when it caught fire, I radioed it in, and it combusted into thick, black smoke in a few minutes. I am a retired Los Angeles firefighter.

  24. 24

    For God so loved the world that he electrocuted a giant statue of his only son to save it.

  25. 25

    Yes, a hundred-something people can die in a plane crash but it one survives, it’s a “miracle”.

  26. 26

    I’m sponsoring a kid from Guatemala. I pay $23 a month. With $500,000 they could sponsor more than 900 kids for two years.Of course, that isn’t the kind of thing Jesus would do. He would rather waste his time and money with selfish, stupid bollocks like a giant statue. Oh wait:‘Depart from me, you who are cursed … For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me … whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Gawd have they even read the story of the rich young man in the Bible? “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven. Then come, follow me.”

  27. 27

    It’s official. My belief in the Christian God has failed and Zeus has taken his place./serious face and nod.

  28. 28

    Clearly they have incurred the wrath of Tlaloc!As to the price, MSNBC says: “Estimated damage from the fire was set at $700,000 — $300,000 for the statue and $400,000 for the amphitheater, Fire Capt. Richard Mascarella said Tuesday. “

  29. 29

    Jesus roasting on an open firePedos hiding in their robesClueless hymns, being sung by the choirAnd Popes condemn the damned homosAll the christians know a compound with some missles-OHelps to make their Bible rightI.D. minds, with their lies all a-blown, Will find it hard to sleep tonightBut we know the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s on his wayHe’s loaded lots of Beer and Pirates on his sleighAnd every Stripper’s child is gonna spyTo see if pasta really knows how to flyAnd so He’s offering: change your waysChristians Mensa to no I.Q.Eat my noodles, many kinds, many waysAnd merry RAmen to you

  30. 30
    Jessica Lee

    then they tend to claim that god is testing themi seem to recall some biblical story of a contest between god and the devil, over whether or not some guy was very faithful. the devil claimed that the guy was faithful because he was a rich and successful man, and that if he were not he wouldn’t be faithful. so god kills the man’s family, destroys his wealth, and messes with his health. i’m gonna go google this story…

  31. 31
    Jessica Lee

    story of Job. God allows Satan to kills Job’s family, destroys his possessions, and messes up his body.

  32. 32
    Mel Uys

    Do mega~churches insure against acts of god?

  33. 33
    Not Guilty

    Except hotels and hospitals would have lightening rods and wouldn’t have been burned down. Jesus did not have a lightening rod so he went up in flames. Logic Fail. Also, I kinda like the way he looks now. More abstract.

  34. 34

    Yeah and it was basically a bet between Satan and God if he would break. Gotta love a deity that uses followers like poker chips at the gods weekly poker game.

  35. 35

    Two points:1. The irony of a styrafoam Statue being in front of the “SOLID ROCK” church is worth mentioning.2. I’ve driven by it many times, and I always thought it should be captioned “HELP ME! I’m drowning in this pool!!!!”: D

  36. 36

    When I first saw the statue I kept thinking [David Attenborough voice] And here the mighty Jesus, tricked by the reflection of the light on the surface of the water, becomes yet another victim of the trap pit. Like the Mastodons and Thor before him, Jesus will slow sink and become entombed. The more he struggles, the quicker he sinks. His cries for help go unheard, as both his father and mother fell victim to the same trap pit. In the hot tar, Jesus’ bones will be preserved. And who knows, maybe in another hundred thousand future paleontologists will uncover his bones….

  37. 37


  38. 38
    Evan B

    I was about to say the same thing, because the BBC reported that an ‘Act of God’ is exactly what the insurance company was describing it.Guess they’ll have to up their tithes to pay for it instead :/

  39. 39

    Which sort of just makes them place holders for good and bad luck. Just a way of personalizing the whims of chance.

  40. 40

    Megachurchs and much of religion in general is more about entertainment than anything so I think rebuilding is an excellent idea! If Cinderellas castle or the world largest ball of string burned to the ground they would rebuild them. After all I am sure people come to this church and pay their tithes because the church has a giant ass Jesus out front. Its all part of the experience!

  41. 41

    Even more than that, the giant Jesus statue going up in flames is a sign that the “forces of evil” are on the rise. Their all-powerful god figure apparently isn’t powerful enough to stop them.

  42. 42

    I knew it all along! Jesus is a gigantic-ass-robot came to earth to destroy the world! And now the lightning has stuck him to reveal his true identity to you all, no wonder people were so amazed by him that they started worshipping him, he’s a piece of the future in our presence, even now we haven’t been able to build an existent robot, sigh.

  43. 43

    It would be hilarious if they make the new one look like Justin Beiber! xD Althought, that would be a more vexing statue to look at, i say they should leave it the way it is now…

  44. 44
    Never Was An Arrow II

    I USED TO think that Evangelicals were such simpletons, in the way that they would read their bibles. Now I know that atheists are far worse…if such a thing were possible.Yesterday, as timeliness would have it, Patrick Madrid reposted a previous piece on statues, idolatry, and the whole damn thing. So I’ll let him field this one.See: http://www.patrickmadrid.com/M…Anyway, thanks for the endless laughs you guys provide me with when I get to read your “take” on Scripture, God, and other things! No condescension intended~

  45. 45

    Arrow, you’re welcome.By the way, many many people have died today in the third world because of an infection caused by drinking dirty water from a river. That’s the kind of thing you do when there’s no clear water anywhere around and you’re thirsty.With the money needed for your statue, you could have buy food and medicine for an entire village for one year. That time and money is all you need to build clear paths, one well which provides clean water, canals, the first house/clinic, etcetera, with the most important thing being teaching the locals how everything works, how to build it, how to maintain it. If they farm, how to do it in a way that prevents desertization… there’s a lot of possibilities.Of course, you could also spend the money in a statue.I’m guessing your god prefers a statue.

  46. 46
    Never Was An Arrow II

    Not my statue, Jose.My Catholic Church has been helping the poor worldwide for 2000 years. We don’t just talk about solutions like you do in your post…we’re over there working with marginalized folk.We are doing the exact things you suggest.It is your godless, totalitarian, socialist, communist, Islamist, atheistic regimes that move in, and ruin everything. All our work.You know there is more happening in this world, for the benefit of the poor…than Oprah is willing to tell you about.Remember, more abortion doctors have been murdered on Law and Order than in real life. TV is not real life. You know that, right?

  47. 47

    Oh I know exactly where this is. I met two guys from Monroe Central (the local high school) during science olympiad district competition. One’s agnostic and interested in going into drag, and the other one is an atheist, and from what I saw the SciOlymp team was actually pretty open minded. Not like I should be surprised though, we are followers of science and all like a good explosion now and then.I swear that not all of them are idiots…but it seems like the overly religious majority of them really are. I heard the guy’s story but I never thought it could get this bad They could’ve done something else with the money like, oh I don’t know…actually building a gym for the high school so they don’t have to go to the neighboring town for a state required education standard? Not to mention the things they could be doing to help the rest of the world of course, but even if they want to keep the money local, how’s about something for the schools? Nice priorities. I am so relieved most of the team there graduated and are getting out of there.

  48. 48
    Barret Denman

    I actually had to force myself to stop laughing and breath at the Judas part.

  49. 49
    Barret Denman

    You would think it a sign of blasphemy to directly plan to oppose GOD’s will in such a way.

  50. 50
    Barret Denman

    Irony is in the whole doctrine, but I concede the impact of such a real world example.

  51. 51
    Barret Denman

    The mere construction of it was a form of idolatry. Looking at it day after day praising it’s ability to bring in more followers would be another idolatry.The statues praying to statues part I would classify under reenactment of a historical event hardly different from the Iwo Jima statue. The same as I would say of the manger scene for baby Jesus. But the cross, especially those WITHOUT a Jesus on them, I see as yet more idolatry. When holding the device betwixt the hands during prayer you show a dependence on it to contact the lord. As if the prays transmit through the cross.I also believe those who “get the holy spirit in them” are human idols to yet more idolaters.

  52. 52
    Barret Denman

    Oh and taking GOD telling Moses to build two statues as cart blanch to make as many as ya like is a stretch. Sounds like a kid asking a parent “can I have a cookie” and when told yes goes and grabs ten.The Bronze Serpent mentioned was again specifically denoted by GOD himself to be created. The pomegranates too.When talking with Solomon GOD specifically denotes “this house”. It never ceases to amaze me how people twist words and meaning to get what they want instead of just listening.

  53. 53
    Barret Denman

    You don’t have to pull the trigger to kill someone. Emotional abuse is a great way to get them to do it to themselves. I bet those protesters outside consider THAT before going and scaring the shit out of the employees day after day.

  54. 54
    Barret Denman

    If you are going to claim your different then those “other Catholics” don’t you think all you different types need to come up with subcategories so we can tell you apart?What’s a good name for the ones that think it’s ok for molesting priests to stay in circulation of the churches. While excommunicating a nun for approving an operation which kills the unborn child of a mother who will flat out not survive if the operation is not done. Oh and the baby was going to die if the mother died as well.

  55. 55
    Barret Denman

    Lastly the difference between an athiest who wants to help and a Catholic is that the Catholic is going to require you to learn English so you can read the bibles they brought so you can follow GOD. Or they can go help another village who wants to follow GOD, they are not going to force you to believe in GOD but blackmail especially the subversive kind is ok.

  56. 56
    Evan B

    *require you to learn Latin^_^

  57. 57

    The idea of spending over a million dollars on a ugly Jesus statue seems decidedly un-Christian to me. Couldn’t that money be better spent, you know, helping the poor or feeding the hungry? Just a thought.You’d be amazed at how many of us Christians agree with you on that. It’s one of the things that irks me about megachurches — they spend tons of money on “additions” to their facilities that could be MUCH better spent feeding the poor or helping out victims of disasters.

  58. 58

    Yes, because being a skeptic of the misuse of funds for a poorly designed statue automatically makes one merely a cilia of a one-celled “…godless, totalitarian, socialist, communist, Islamist, atheistic regime[s].” You know, there is more happening in this world, to the benefit of free speech, integrity, and faithful inquiry… Than McCarthy is willing to tell you about.

  59. 59

    So your god doesn’t prefer a statue, right? Okay, you’re agreeing with me and with all the other hideous atheists around here–rebuilding that statue is stupid.Thanks for acknowledging that particular point, Arrow.

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