Well, here she is, the seven story green monstrosity, disrobed for all the world to see. And she's even made it into the New York Times. Wielding a giant cross, a tablet of Ten Commandments, and "Jehovah" etched on her crown, she is the Bible Belt's very own copycat Statue of Liberty. Or, as we here in Tennessee like to call her, she is the Giant Green Church Lady of Memphis.
Religion is big business in America, so the Christian Lady Liberty's price tag of $260,000 is a pittance. What's a quarter of a million dollars when your mission is to transform an icon of democracy into a symbol of theocracy?
She makes me want to pick up my family and get the hell out of the Bible Belt, but not as much as her creator, the certifiable pastor of the Church of Insanity:
"I decree the spirit of conviction on this intersection," Mr. Williams boomed from a podium decorated with red, white and blue bunting. "This statue proves that Jesus Christ is Lord over America, he is Lord over Tennessee, he is Lord over Memphis."
I know I shouldn't say this, but don't third world nations take in big-mouthed hypocritical Christians anymore?
And I know you don't have to be religious to be a crazed fool, but it sure seems to help.
New York Times:
The Statue of Liberation Through Christ, as she is called, stands 72 feet tall from the base of her pedestal to the tip of her cross. She was the idea of Mr. Williams, a very successful pastor whose church, World Overcomers, qualifies as mega: it has a school, a bowling alley, a roller rink, a bookstore and, he said, 12,000 members.
The pastor is not shy. His church has bought full-page advertisements in The Commercial Appeal, the Memphis daily, condemning homosexuality. At the World Overcomers' previous location, neighbors complained that trees were felled unnecessarily; Mr. Williams said it had to be done so that people could see the church from the road.
The statue, inspired by a Memphis church that has three giant crosses, strikes him as "a creative means of just really letting people know that God is the foundation of our nation," he said.
Mr. Williams has written several books and pamphlets analyzing a variety of matters, among them patriotism and the original intent of the founding fathers.
In "The Meaning of the Statue of Liberation Through Christ: Reconnecting Patriotism With Christianity," he explains that the teardrop on his Lady 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." In another book, he said Hurricane Katrina was retribution for New Orleans's embrace of sin.
Mr. Williams said his statue's essential point was that Christianity should be the guiding ethos of the nation.
What they're saying:
Shakespeare's Sister calls her a Lawn Ornament. Sister Novena says she is a Summary of the Problem. At Pandagon, she is deemed an example of Fundies Gone Wild. Welcome to Pottersville says, she is bizarre. And the J-Walk Blog says we are talking about religious idiots.
Amen and Awomyn too.
Update: WMCTV.com is talking about us: "Bloggers on the Tennessee Guerilla Women blog called her a seven-story monstrosity, disrobed for all the world to see. Their official name: the Giant Green Church Lady of Memphis."
Previous TGW post: Church Erects Christian Statue of Liberty –
Theocracy Politics Bush Religious Right Statue of Liberty Tennessee Memphis Gay Homophobia