Move Over Roy

Because your monument can’t touch Memphis’s newest lawn ornament:


I don’t even know how to use photoshop; this is for real. Here is the whole story:

On Independence Day, Lady Liberty was born again.

As the congregation of the World Overcomers Outreach Ministries Church looked on and its pastor, Apostle Alton R. Williams, presided, a brown shroud much like a burqa was pulled away to reveal a giant statue of the Lady, but with the Ten Commandments under one arm and “Jehovah” inscribed on her crown.

And in place of a torch, she held aloft a large gold cross, as if to ward off the pawnshops, the car dealerships and the discount furniture outlets at the busy corner of Kirby Parkway and Winchester that is her home. A single tear graced her cheek. . . .

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.

I don’t use “theocrat” lightly, but the symbolism here is pretty powerful. If that is not enough, listen to Williams, the the self styled apostle who came up with it:

This statue proves that Jesus Christ is Lord over America, he is Lord over Tennessee, he is Lord over Memphis.

The Tennessee Guerrilla Women have more here.

My thoughts: You do not have to disagree with that statement in order to disagree with the statue.

First, Jesus may be Lord, but that alone does not mean society ought to conform to his teachings.

Practically, Williams can not expect policy to be driven by his own religious beliefs. Jesus may disaprove of abortion (or of Alabama’s tax policies) but the only people who care are people who think Jesus is authoritative. For everyone else, Jesus’s views are irrelevent. If Williams wants to get rid of abortion, therefore, he needs to provide secular rationals.

Theologically, there is the whole “my kingdom is not of this world” thing. Jesus is not out to save America, but Americans. If Williams persuades Americans, America will change. If he imposes rules on America, Americans will resent him and Jesus.

Second, something that always bugged me in my fundie days was how today’s Christian sub-culture is just a sanitized version of the normal culture. Christian music is the best example. Sometimes the ads sounded like ads for knock-off perfumes: “If you like Lynyrd Skynyrd, you’ll love Third Day.” This statue is another example. Where is the art that expresses in an original manner Jesus’s grieving over the world?

Explore posts in the same categories: Goobers, Not Alabama, Religion, Roy and the Clones

5 Comments on “Move Over Roy”

  1. Kathy Says:

    “This statue proves that Jesus Christ is Lord over America, he is Lord over Tennessee, he is Lord over Memphis.”

    No, it proves that this pastor is an egotistical assh*le.

  2. […] And if you’re in the mood for a little horrified amusement, check out Wheeler’s post at Alablawg about the new Statue of Liberation through Christ in Memphis. Wheeler opines that Roy’s Rock has nothing on this display of religious overreaching. […]

  3. This statue is all about pride, ego, and power. Wonder why didn’t they ask themselves — what would Jesus do with $2.5 million?

  4. Loretta Nall Says:

    The whole thing makes me cringe and shudder. It’s a good thing religious rights are protected in the US…else alot of these type folks would be in insane asylums. If I lived in that part of Tennessee I’d be pissed at having to look at that every day.

  5. […] Wheeler has some information on a monument bigger then the 10 Commandments. […]

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