Christian church’s $2.5 million bastardized version of the Statue of Liberty.

Christians have a bad habit of wanting to usurp the symbols and icons of others in order to promote their ideology. History shows us this can be much more effective than relying on the sword alone as a means of subjugating people. Christmas, Easter, and Halloween are the three best examples of attempts by the Christians to replace Pagan seasonal holidays with versions that were more palatable to the Catholic church. The Vatican hasn’t done much of this sort of bait and switch for the last couple of hundred years, but that doesn’t mean other Christian sects aren’t keeping the tradition alive.

This time it’s a single church, specifically the “World Overcomers Outreach Ministries Church” of Memphis Tennessee, and their brand new $2.5 million bastardization of the Statue of Liberty which they’re calling The Statue of Liberation Through Christ. The picture in the upper right—click it for a bigger pic if you dare—is from the recent installation of this monstrosity and still is still partially veiled (I’m trying to find a picture of the statue without the veil). Here’s a description from the statue’s website:

The New Statue of Liberation Through Christ is a 72ft replica of the original Statue of Liberty with a cross in the right hand and the Ten Commandments tablets in the left hand; designed to remind America of its spiritual liberation and its foundation in God.

Lady Liberation’s theme inscription reads as follows:

Give me your POOR, BROKENHEARTED Your CAPTURED, BLIND, AND BRUISED Your huddled MULTITUDES
yearning to be free;
The wretched LOST SOULS from shore to shore, Send these,
the SICK, OPPRESSED, HOMELESS
The tempest LOST to Christ.
I lift the cross as a symbol
that CHRIST IS THE DOOR.

(Luke 4:18, John 8:32b, Romans 7:24, Acts 10:38, 2 Corinthians 4:3, John 10:9)

Oh, but it doesn’t stop there. They go on to list a number of new interpretations of the symbols present: 

THE CROSS demonstrates God’s love for humanity by offering His Son for our salvation. The Statue of Liberty represents America exalting Christ and recognizing that He alone is the way to God and the source of true liberation in all areas of life.

THE GOLD SEVEN-SPIKED CROWN demonstrates God’s benefits for man when he receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Each spike reflects one of the seven redemptive names of God. These names reveal His character. 1) God is our Provider. 2) God is our Healer. 3) God is our Peace. 4) God is our Victory. 5) God is always Present. 6) God is our Righteousness. 7) God is our Sanctifier.

THE TABLETS OF STONE represents the Ten Commandments and the importance of God’s laws in society to establish morality and values. Scripture says that if we reject God’s laws, then He will reject us.

THE TEAR [Ed Note: They’ve added a tear to the statue’s right eye.] represents Lady Liberation’s despair over America’s rapid decline from its Judeo-Christian values. She weeps for our nation’s self-destruction as the protective hand of God is removed. Yet, she realizes that there is still hope for America if we return to God through Jesus Christ.

The Robe – GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS

THE PEDESTAL holds the tomb of Christ.

THE BROKEN CHAIN is wrapped around her left ankle and hangs over the left edge of the pedestal. It symbolizes freedom of any and all bondage. It is God’s desire to see mankind liberated in every area of life.

THE DOVE symbolizes the Holy Spirit. The Word of God says that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17).

So what’s the point of all this, other than to spend an obscene amount of money on what is arguably a violation of the commandment prohibiting idol worship, you might ask? They’ve kindly spelled it out right on the main page of their website. THE MEANING OF THE STATUE OF LIBERATION THROUGH CHRIST: Reconnecting Patriotism with Christianity.

Like I said, the tradition of usurping other’s symbols to promote their mythology continues.

 

28 thoughts on “Christian church’s $2.5 million bastardized version of the Statue of Liberty.

  1. This is worse than burning a flag.  But if it weren’t for this, they’d be buying airtime to bilk more grannies out of their pensions.

    The original statue only cost $250 grand to build.  Wonder how that adjusts for inflation from 1880 to now?

  2. DoF: Wonder how that adjusts for inflation from 1880 to now?

    According to this a dollar then, allowing for inflation was, in 2004, worth $18.37 … extrapolated, the original Statue of Liberty cost about $4.6 million.
    It’s sick, but nevertheless interesting, to see your history re-written in our time, isn’t it? downer
    What can be done about it?

  3. Wow – it cost 4 times as much as the original!

    What can be done about it?

    Depends what you mean.  I wouldn’t do anything at all to stop them.  The statue conveys a message, so it is expression, and falls under ‘protected speech’.

    But it certainly is appropriate to mock them, make derisive comments about them, write editorials about them, draw offensive cartoons, etc.  Meet ‘speech’ with ‘speech’.

    The message of their statue is far narrower than the original.

  4. Well, heck, if it should be illegal to burn a flag, it should certainly be illegal to aesthetically and philosophically mutilate the Statue of Liberty, right?

    (Well, no, neither should be illegal, but I don’t imagine we’ll hear moves for such a ban from any of the Senators who backed the flag burning amendment.)

  5. It would be interesting to know what kind of symbolism the original sculpter of the Statue of Liberty, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, put into its appearance.  Chances are those behind the “Christian Liberty” statue would be shocked and upset at some of them.  I wonder if they even realise it was the creation of a French artist.

  6. But if it weren’t for this, they’d be buying airtime to bilk more grannies out of their pensions.

    Who says the two are mutually exclusive, DoF?  As their website proudly announces:

    Soon you will be able to purchase
    Statue of Liberation Through Christ Merchandise

  7. But it certainly is appropriate to mock them, make derisive comments about them, write editorials about them, draw offensive cartoons, etc.  Meet ‘speech’ with ‘speech’.

    Photoshop contest, anyone?

  8. tradition of usurping other’s symbols to promote their mythology continues

    It is actually MUCH worse than that: Because the Statue of liberty is such a well-engrained icon of patriotism and love for America, the modified version has the power to trigger emotions associated with the original at an unconscious level (the emotions generalize).

    For those not already overwhelmed with cynicism about fundies, that’s a pretty powerful foot-in-the-door—and more deeply engrains the association between the religious and the political.

  9. How much do you want to bet that the right-wing Christians in Congress are green with envy, wishing desperately that they could desecrate the real Statue of Liberty in similar fashion?

    Elwed: Proudly making that abomination cry.

    You and me both, brother!  LOL

  10. Wow, what a weird SEB week.  First, remembering confrontations with the VA police, and now World Overcomers Church in Memphis pops up.  As part of my summer job last year in which I repeatedly encountered the VA, I also visited this church. 

    It is truly a huge, ugly building, surrounded by nauseating images of Christian brotherhood.  Plus the flags of all the nations to which they are spreading their message of Christian love and homophobia.

    Part of my job involved confirming addresses and phone numbers of the places I visited.  So, I strolled inside and asked the lady at the information desk.

    “Why do you need that information?”

    I explained that it was for car navigation software, etc.

    “I don’t think I should tell you.  It’s public
    knowledge.  Why don’t you just go to the library, look it up?”

    I did not point out that if it was public knowledge, she could just save me and her a helluva lot of time by just, you know, telling me.

    In the end she called a deacon to come out and talk to me, who told me the address and phone number.

    I think the figure quoted about the price of the abomination is high; the NY Times quotes a price tag of $260,000.

  11. What can be done about it?

    Ridicule it as the religious theme-park nonsense it is. Though sadly, the ridicule will also get them more attention.

    Also, I do not understand the US infatuation with half-sized replicas of historical buildings etc. To me that always screams ‘CHEAP COPY, PLASTIC SOUVENIERS SOLD HERE!!!’

  12. Wow.  The secretary wouldn’t give out the place’s address and phone number.  Do you, by any chance, look like a terrorist, mister NeonCat?!!!  mad  tongue wink

    The statue cost only $260G?  Well, all right then.  According to their website FAQ, which runs in Flash so you can’t copy text from it, their church gave $12,000 to po’ people in their county to help pay utility bills, don’cha know.  And they established a ministry for women of Memphis called Oasis.  “Yet this is never mentioned!”

    But you know, the message of God is “more important than any temporary assistance”.  It said so on the woman’s alabaster box.  To put in another way, “This is how we help the poor”.

    (BTW the standard sermon-message of that passage about the woman with the alabaster box is that Jesus, compassionate man that he was, was trying to defuse a situation in which the apostles were dissing a slightly unhinged woman.  The box was already broken, after all; what was gained by making her feel bad?  This passage is often misused to justify church extravagances.)

    The figure of $0.25M would fit a 75-foot fiberglass statue better than $2.5M.  But in any case, the church says they plan to sell souviners “to help defray the cost of the statue and support the ongoing work of the church”.

    At a tire store in Peoria, IL, there’s a 17-foot statue of a woman in a bikini, giving a thumbs-up sign to passers by.  I’m pretty sure this is helping the poor, too.

  13. I’m sure the Bikini Tire lady is helping the poor, too, DoF.  But if you ask me, her raised left arm is just crying out to be holding a big gold cross…

  14. her raised left arm is just crying out to be holding a big gold cross…

    Or a big rubber phallus (which is arguably what the cross symbolized before Christianity). LOL  But I suppose turning the tire store into an adult establishment would NOT play so well in Peoria! wink

  15. Or:

    Give me your POOR, BROKENHEARTED… etc. as long as they were born here.

    THE CROSS (high over the head) demonstrates their desire to rule and control the world.

    THE GOLD SEVEN-SPIKED CROWN demonstrates the aggressive defense of the closed-mind.

    THE TABLETS OF STONE represents resistance to change.

    THE TEAR – “We’re persecuted. No, really.”

    The Robe – the covering up (or repression) of sexual identity and desires.

    THE PEDESTAL – “We’re Christians, after all.”

    THE BROKEN CHAIN – Freudian slip: “RRUUUUUUN, FORRREST, RRUUUUUUN!!”

    THE DOVE – the magician. The hand is quicker than the eye. The religious leaders’ herding tactics are quicker than the religious mind.

    THE VEIL represents hidden motives. (But I guess that will be taken down, eventually.)

  16. OB: I guess if you want to be a blasphemous masturbator, better be a Christian than a Jew (ouch!)… LOL

  17. Just FYI

    you can check out the site in it’s entirety at the following:
    http://www.thestatueofliberationthroughchrist.org/meaning.htm

    Oh and the PEDESTAL – stands for the EMPTY TOMB of Christ and “her stand for liberty”, and “several principals.  I notice you left that out and a few other details.  Just thought I’d give visitors an opp to check it out for themselves from the churches own mouth.

    Have a cool one.

  18. Try rereading the entry I wrote and you’ll find I provide a link directly to said website already.

    Oh and the PEDESTAL – stands for the EMPTY TOMB of Christ and “her stand for liberty

  19. shame on the bunch of you. first of all, i attend this church, and secind of all, the statue didn’t cost 2.5 million. it only cost 260,000. the next time you bash a church for doing something right for a change, research before jumping conclusions.

  20. The one who should be ashamed is you, Josiah. Regardless of how much that statue cost to build it’s still a bastardization of the original statue. The fact that you don’t have a problem with that is what’s disgraceful.

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