Fat Middle-Aged Wannabe

This is an occasional blog exploring spiritual matters.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I found this article in the NYT pretty interesting. For those of you that can't log in, it's about a megachurch in Memphis that built a replica of the statue of liberty. The replica (including pedastal) is 72 feet tall (compared to 305 feet for the original). There are a few other modifications:

1. In place of torch, she holds a cross
2. In place of a tablet inscribed with "July IV, MDCCLXXVI," she holds the ten commandments

I think that it is a pretty succinct statement about the vision that many "Christians" have for the United States. In case you don't get it, the article contains the following quotes from the pastor of the church:

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.

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."

"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 kind of like this. First, it is such a beautiful illustration of the way in which many Americans merge nationalism with religion. They invest religious symbols with nationalist meaning and nationalist symbols with religious meaning. For these folks, God is definitely on our side and not on those other people's side.

Second, I admire Mr. Williams honesty. To heck with the founding fathers, to heck with the constitution - what he wants is a theocracy that makes his particular picture of God the official picture for the nation. I wonder what it's like to be that sure of one's picture of God?

Third, I just love that last quote: "This statue proves that Jesus Christ is Lord over America."
How is that, exactly?

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