Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Statue of Liberation through Christ: Does it honor God, or is it just a ridiculous eyesore?

As if Memphis isn't already gaudy enough with all that Elvis-worshiping going on at Graceland, a mega-church last summer erected what some might call a blasphemy not only to Jehovah and Jesus but to America and America's goddess.

Behold, the Statue of Liberation through Christ!

It's a $260,000 ridiculous eyesore that blurs the line between church and state, some say. Others call it "a creative means of just really letting people know that God is the foundation of our nation."

Whatever you call it, it's big. Standing 72 feet tall, this confused goddess is the brainchild of World Overcomers Outreach Ministries Church and its pastor, Apostle Alton R. Williams. It is a replica of the Statue of Liberty, bastardized with the Ten Commandments under one arm and "Jehovah" inscribed on her crown.

Instead of a torch, she holds aloft a huge gold cross.

And, a single tear is on her cheek. How touching.

In "The Meaning of the Statue of Liberation Through Christ: Reconnecting Patriotism With Christianity," the Apostle Williams explains that the teardrop 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."

At the unveiling last July 4th, Williams proclaimed, "I decree the spirit of conviction on this intersection. This statue proves that Jesus Christ is Lord over America, he is Lord over Tennessee, he is Lord over Memphis."

Williams is a prolific and opinionated writer. In another book, he said Hurricane Katrina was retribution for New Orleans' embrace of sin.

In yet another book, Williams promotes the theory that the original Statue of Liberty was given to the U.S. by France as a symbol of the emancipation of slaves in the U.S., not as a general gesture of good will. His church is predominantly black, and he bases his non-mainstream belief on the fact that Lady Liberty has a broken shackle around one ankle.

This idea has been debated for years, and the general consensus is that it is not true. The designer of the original statue, sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi (a Freemason, by the way) was commissioned to build it. He had engineering help from Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, the designer of Paris' Eiffel Tower. The project was a joint effort between France and the United States — France built the statue, and America built the pedestal, soliciting funds from the public to pay for it. It was timed to commemorate the USA's 100th birthday in 1876.

Williams certainly thinks big, and his church certainly qualifies as mega with its 12,000 members. It has a school, a bowling alley, a roller rink, and a bookstore.

I hope the store sells paperweight replicas of the statue. One would look swell on my shelf next to my bobble-head Elvis.

New York Times article, July 4, 2006
The U.S. Park Service

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  1. Memphis? Isn't that the name of a city in Egypt which was...

    Aw, never mind. The irony would be lost on them anyhow.

  2. "I decree the spirit of conviction on this intersection. This statue proves that Jesus Christ is Lord over America, he is Lord over Tennessee, he is Lord over Memphis."

    I. Feel. Ill.

    No, the statue proves that you have no clear understanding of history, and that your taste is all in your mouth.

    Let's get this straight. I don't care what kind of tacky lawn ornament you put up. I don't care what you believe or how you practice that belief - as long as you don't break the law of the land.

    But the idea that, (and follow me here), Jesus is Lord of America -> You know what Jesus wants and you speak for him -> you have a "right" to dicate how I live my life. That's where my Chips Ahoy start to move north.

    Anyone who wants to place further restrictions on their liberty beyond the constitution and the law of the land - go for it. Try to place those restrictions on me and we are going to have a teensy little discussion about that.


  3. As Sinclair Lewis said, "when fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."

  4. Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

    treaty of tripoli

  5. will you all just shut up!!!! you just mad cause you didn't think of it first!!!

  6. if you feel ill go to the doctor. irony is so not called for and who cares about sinclair lewis!? we all real care about hitorical facts when it comes to serving God, thanks for the facts u guys about history i am sure that will determine if i get into heaven or not!!!

  7. You don't really think God gives a rat's ass about that stupid statue, do you?


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