If you’ve ever traveled I-75 through Ohio in the past six years then you’ve probably passed by the Solid Rock Church which is famous for a 62-foot tall statue of Jesus that faces the freeway. This is what it looks like:
Or rather I should say, that is what it used to look like. Apparently God got sick of staring at such a tacky looking statue and decided to lay a little Biblical wrath upon it:
MONROE — Charred remnants remained this morning, June 15, of the large Jesus statue iconic to Interstate 75 that was destroyed following an apparent lightning strike during a thunderstorm late Monday night.
The Lawrence Bishop Music Theater at Solid Rock Church on Union Road endured smoke damage, according to officials. Damages to the King of Kings statue and the theater were estimated to be around $700,000, said Monroe Fire Chief Mark Neu.
No one was injured in the blaze.
Now, if you’re like me, you’re probably wondering how the fuck a statue burns. It must be some honest-to-God kind of miracle, right? Well, not quite:
Since its completion in 2004, the statue, which appeared to come out of a pond in front of the nondenominational megachurch, was known by multiple nicknames, including “Touchdown Jesus” because the arms and hands were raised upward. It also was known as “Big Butter Jesus” after comedian Heywood Banks referred to it as such and created a song about the statue, which he performed on radio’s popular “The Bob and Tom Show.”
The statue was constructed of wood and styrofoam over a steel framework that was anchored in concrete and covered with a fiberglass mat and resin exterior, according to the church. It was slated to undergo renovations this summer.
Yeah, that shit will burn pretty easily even with a thin fiberglass coating over it. My mistake was thinking it was made out of traditional statue material like plaster or marble or cement. Shit that doesn’t burn. Apparently it cost $250,000 to build, which seems a tad ridiculous considering how cheaply it was made and how tacky it was, but I’m no art critic so what the hell do I know. The cost of the damages to the statue and the amphitheater behind it are estimated to be around $700,000.
OK, so a statue of a mythical figure made out of easily combustible materials gets struck by lightening and burns to the ground isn’t really all that interesting to me. Sure, there’s some humor to be found in an image of a God being destroyed by what would be called an act-of-God, but irony of this sort is pretty easy. What really interests me in this story is the response of some of the believers. Like these two guys:
Also gathered along Union Road were Franklin twins and storm chasers Levi and Seth Walsh, who said they were out in the thunderstorm when they heard about the fire through a Facebook update.
“It sent goosebumps through my whole body because I am a believer,” said Levi Walsh, 29. “Of all the things that could have been struck, I just think that that would be protected. … It’s something that’s not supposed to happen, Jesus burning,” he said. “I had to see it with my own eyes.”
“I can’t believe Jesus was struck,” said his brother, who noted the giant Hustler Hollywood sign for the adult store across the street was untouched. “It’s the last thing I expected to happen.”
You’d think that perhaps this would clue these two in that there is no God. Or, if there is, that he’s much different than what they imagine him to be. Apparently he really doesn’t like cheap statues of himself, but finds stores selling porn right across the street from his supposed house of worship to be quite tolerable. Not surprising when you consider that Jesus spent a fair amount of time hanging out with prostitutes.
But this won’t do anything to change their minds. They’ll sit around for awhile and wonder what the church could have done to have God torch the graven image of himself. Perhaps they’ll find something they can latch onto as a rationalization for it and then they’ll put it our of their minds altogether. No, it’ll take more than some simple irony to change their minds.
Story sent in by a whole lot of people all at once. You guys were all over this one.