God’s Bad Aim? Or a Message From On High?


The Christian right is constantly telling us that this or that natural weather or seismic event is a message from God (a message that always coincides with whatever they hate, usually gay people). So how are they going to explain the fact that lightning has struck and damaged the world’s largest statue of Jesus — again?

Lightning has broken a finger off the right hand of Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.

Father Omar, rector of the shrine that holds the statue, told the Globo radio station that lightning frequently strikes the nearly 100-foot tall statue, a symbol of Rio that overlooks the Brazilian city from the peak of the Corcovado mountain.

Its right hand had been damaged sometime ago, but the finger finally broke off in a storm late Thursday.

“They say lightning does not strike the same spot twice. But with the Christ it does,” the priest said on Friday.

A lightning rod and other equipment are in place “to protect the image,” but they do not always do the trick, he said.

And remember a few years ago when lightning burned down the Touchdown Jesus statue in Cincinnati. Now, a reasonable person would simply attribute this to the routine operation of nature. But since Pat Robertson and the Christian right are forever declaring other routine natural events as God sending a message, they don’t have that option. God has clearly declared war on Jesus.

Comments

  1. Reginald Selkirk says

    “They say lightning does not strike the same spot twice. But with the Christ it does,” the priest said on Friday.

    Ooh, it’s magick.

  2. Reginald Selkirk says

    A lightning rod and other equipment are in place “to protect the image,”

    Oh ye of little faith.

  3. Moggie says

    No, you have it all wrong. It’s not lightning striking Jesus, it’s Jesus shooting lightning from his fingers. Evidently this is just a little too awesome for this man-made statue.

  4. Wylann says

    I saw a hilarious headline in response to the recent comment on the UK floods being caused by ‘the gays’.

    It read something like “Gay men to tour drought stricken countries – no charge.”

  5. raven says

    It’s been obvious for decades that god hates fundie xians.

    He is always sending tornados and hurricanes to their heartland of the south central USA. They never catch on.

    Oklahoma, home of the newest 10 commandments monument itself, has been hit by some of the world’s largest tornadoes.

  6. John Pieret says

    I’m with John Hinkle … it’s God recreating a scene out of Frankenstein (1931 version, of course).

  7. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @daved

    Well, I’d say that all we can conclude is that God has declared war on statues of Jesus.

    Do they count as graven images?

  8. Reginald Selkirk says

    Moggie #6: No, you have it all wrong. It’s not lightning striking Jesus, it’s Jesus shooting lightning from his fingers…

    “Pull my finger.”

  9. tbp1 says

    Wasn’t there a lot of debate in the middle ages about why church towers were struck by lightning so often?

    Of course we know why—they were almost always the tallest structures around, and often had huge metal objects in them (bells). They’re essentially lightning attractors, but in a time when people thought God individually guided each lightning bolt, it was a bit of a puzzlement.

  10. bbgunn says

    Wonder what all the xtians would think if that statue was left with only the middle fingers from both hands?

  11. says

    Wonder what all the xtians would think if that statue was left with only the middle fingers from both hands?

    We would think that a man made object was struck by lightening and damaged. What would you think? Something different?

    And I, for one, would get a good laugh out of it.

  12. a miasma of incandescent plasma says

    Obviously this message from Zeus means that he loves us and is a big Puscifer fan (the C is for … album).

  13. raven says

    Christianity has always avoided reality, a practice that is still ongoing today. They resisted putting lightening rods on churches because it was seen as an attempt to evade god’s will.

    Well they eventually did it anyway. God 0 reality 1

    Was there any theological opposition to the lightning rod? – History
    history. stackexchange. com/…/ was-there-any-theological-opposition-to-th…‎

    Jul 2, 2012 – Apparently, there was some opposition to the lightning rod at the time of its invention because … American Luke Jul 2 ’12 at 18:33 … architechtural styles, ironicly lightning does happen to be attracted to Christian churches.

  14. Michael Heath says

    bbgunn writes:

    Wonder what all the xtians would think if that statue was left with only the middle fingers from both hands?

    Way too broad a brush. This is not an attribute of Christianity, it is of conservative Christians with some exceptions . . . enter stage left. heddle writes:

    We would think that a man made object was struck by lightening and damaged. What would you think? Something different?

    And I, for one, would get a good laugh out of it.

    heddle, you damn well know that this belief that God sends messages through supernatural events comes straight from the Bible. You also know that it’s theologically conservative Christians who contemporaneously promote the idea and maintain its popularity. Yes not all conservative Christians believe these types of claims, but even they also promote a biblically inerrant worldview where that same Bible falsely asserts this sort of thing does in fact happen.

  15. howardhershey says

    Actually the fact that churches were ‘targeted’ led many theologians to ascribe lightning to dark, demonic forces as well as being caused by God’s wrath (that they couldn’t agree which tells us something). Ben Franklin’s lightning rod did what blessings, holy water (unless applied in large quantities afterward), ringing church bells, processions, or burning witches did not. A number of American preachers were opposed to preventing the destruction due to lightning. Fortunately, saner heads (mostly pointy-headed intellectual ones) eventually won the day and looked at lightning rods as being no different from heated houses or umbrellas or coats as means of using human ingenuity to prevent the inconveniences of God’s snow, rain, and wind.

  16. says

    I wrote:

    And I, for one, would get a good laugh out of it.

    on which you commented:

    You also know that it’s theologically conservative Christians who contemporaneously promote the idea and maintain its popularity.

    What does your comment have to do with mine?

    We know how this plays out, right? Heddle: I know lots of conservative Christians. They don’t feel obliged to live up to your stereotype. They don’t see a statue being struck by lightening as a message from god. Which will generate, sure as night follows day, some combination of i) Outlier! ii) There you go trying to be a spokesman! and iii) No True Scotsman!

    Let’s save ourselves the trouble. It’s bad enough than raven posts the same idiotic comment time after time after time: It’s been obvious for decades that god hates fundie xians. We don’t really have to be so repetitive and rehash this tiresome debate, do we?

  17. Thorne says

    In his essay, “The Fateful Lightning”, Isaac Asimov wrote:
    “It became all too noticeable to all men that the town church, unprotected by lightning rods, was hit, while the town brothel, if protected by lightning rods, was not.”

    Just one more tool to push back against superstition.

  18. Michael Heath says

    Well heddle, if not conservative Christians and their biblically inerrant churches, then who is it that successfully enables and promotes the continuation of this false belief in the U.S.? What is its documentary source if not the Bible?

  19. davideriksen says

    RE: a miasma of incandescent plasma @16
    +1
    You had me mentally reviewing all of the songs original to that album before I remembered the cover art.

  20. says

    Wait a minute, folks! The statute is in Rio! You know, home of that heathen Carnivale celebration. Bare-breasted ladies abound, and the beaches are littered with condoms in the mornings. I think this is one case where the lawd came damned close. ‘Course, after he swilled all the rum, you might expect him to hit closer than usual, just because of the essential perversity of nature. Oh, and his timing still sucks.

  21. says

    The “real”” answer is that God is finally going after a statute of fake Jesus, the one worshipped by Catholics, not the true, right wing, Republican, Southern Baptist Jesus.

  22. dingojack says

    Perhaps it’s not a statue of Kosher Jesus™†, hence the lightning strike, or maybe it is Kosher Jesus™† and god was trying to fry him before eating him…..
    Perhaps we should ask WhirledNuts Daily.
    ;) Dingo
    ———–
    † Kosher Jesus™ – the real soul-food…. pick-up one today from your nearest supermarket freezer.

  23. Doug Little says

    The empire state building is struck, on average, 23 times a year.

    All hail our new boxy overlord.

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