How poignant. A Catholic priest in Poland put up that giant statue of Jesus but it didn’t do any good. People in Poland are still wandering away from the church.
Just past the Polish border, passengers traveling by train from Berlin to Warsaw can see Jesus. He is 36-meters (118 feet) tall, made of concrete, and towers over the surrounding fields near the town of Swiebodzin, a gilded crown perched nobly on his head. His gaze is directed over the Recaro plant, which makes car seats…
Well that could be your problem right there. Maybe his gaze should be directed over a plant which makes bicycle seats, or zippers, or napkin rings.
The plaque at the base of the giant religious statue says that Jesus Christ is the true king of Poland and will rule for eternity. It is not for nothing that the country is, in the eyes of the church at least, Europe’s most Catholic nation.
Yet despite the monumental redeemer, Swiebodzin has not become a pilgrimage site. “The statue has not triggered a tourism boom yet,” confirms Waldemar Roszczuk, editor-in-chief of the city’s newspaper and publisher of a regional Internet publication.
I’m telling you, it’s that car seat plant. Thinking more broadly here, maybe Jesus’s gaze should be directed over something that’s not a plant at all, but something more attractive to tourists – an insurance office, a shopping mall, a meadow full of wild flowers.
After joining the European Union, Poland turned to the West and embraced the Western lifestyle more than almost any other country. Nowadays, Polish women dream of careers, self-fulfillment and children. Hundreds of thousands of young Poles live together without being married. In booming cities like Warsaw and Poznan, gays and lesbians live their lives as openly as in Berlin or Madrid.
“More and more taboos are falling by the wayside. But the church reacts by hardening its positions even further,” says Barto.
And putting its giant statues of Jesus next to plants that make car seats.