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Jesus Torched In Act of God

Jim Burroway

June 15th, 2010

There was a huge, rather startling statue on I-75 between Cincinnati and Dayton just north of the Monroe interchange on the grounds of Solid Rock Church that locals have dubbed “Touchdown Jesus.” The statue, a part of a music theater complex, was built in 2004 and depicted Jesus swooping up from out of a pond by the side of a busy freeway. I love American kitsch, and I have to tell you that the first time I drove by the massive 8-ton, 62-foot steel, styrofoam, wood and resin monstrosity bathed in massive floodlights, I did a full-on gay-gasp. It’s the last thing you would expect to see on a suburban interstate, and for me it was the perfect nightcap to a day spent at the Creation Museum outside of Cincinnati. Too bad traffic was so heavy or I would have stopped to take a picture. These two photos give you some idea of the effect the statue has in the daytime. Multiply the drama by a factor of ten to get an idea of what it looked like at night.

Last  night, the “King of Kings” statue was struck down by lightning. Witnesses traveling on I-75 first reported seeing the Right Hand of God on fire, and then the rest of the statue was quickly engulfed in flames. Firefighters say that the styrofoam/wood/resin combination was extremely flammable, and that the fire was too hot for firefighters to approach. It was, church members agree, an act of God. One church member said, “It’s a sign from God that we need to learn something as Christians as whole that we’re not doing something right.” Another agreed: “It scares me, like, it really does. I just think about what that symbolizes and to me that’s a sign, and not a good one.”

I’m the last person to read current events as signs from God, but I would like to point out that the giant Hustler Hollywood adult bookstore sign across the freeway is still standing tall.

Update: I guess it will be a while before travelers can pull over to have their picture taken:

These Ohio State fans are also undoubtedly in mourning:

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Mortanius
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

I’m sure it is God’s way of telling them they aren’t anti-gay enough and should step it up some. LOL.

Priya Lynn
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

I recognize the YMCA picture but what does the other picture spell?

Its hilarious that church members think this is a sign from god and they’re totally baffled by what god is saying.

John
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

God was apparently now amused and called a major foul on this play…

This is hilarious, I never heard of this status before! Pity I won’t be able to see it ever now unless they decide to set up another one. YMCA fans everywhere are keeping the hope alive…

Paul in Canada
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

It’s a sign, all right. But not from God. It’s a sign that the engineer forgot to build in a lighting rod given it’s exposure, height and dimensions in a flat, exposed area.

Silly, superstitious folk.

Craig L. Adams
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

Now, now. Just because Touchdown Jesus caught on fire by an “act of God” does not mean that widespread acceptance of gay marriage is just around the corner. You need to contain your excitement. (But, it sure is funny.)

Jim Burroway
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

The other picture spells “O-H-I-O”. Jesus has his legs spread apart Egyptian-style under the pond to complete the “H”

Priya Lynn
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

I see, thanks Jim.

Timothy Kincaid
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

They don’t know the message? But it’s so clear.

It’s God’s condemnation of their ex-gay ministry and especially the part that Greg Quinlan played in establishing it.

Timothy Kincaid
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

Jim,

There’s something odd about the second photo. Perhaps it’s the angle, but the depth and ratio seem off.

Swampfox
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

No message here, just lightning doing what it does. How many times in one year does lightning hit the top of the Empire State Building?……….over 100 times per year.

Daimeon
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

Is it just me or does the fire look like some sort of bird swooping down?

Priya Lynn
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

If you were going to believe this was a message from god the only conclusion you could logically come to is that god is saying don’t worship Jesus, that’s a false god.

David Foreman
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

A friend of mine recently wrote an article against the idea that Katrina was an act of God’s punishment. (He was there when it happened.)
I would equally disavow any idea that this statue destruction was an “act of God.”
I’m not saying that God is totally “hands-off.” I don’t believe that for a second. He’s alive and well and lives in and through us.
BUT, and this is something many of my fellow believers can’t seem to get into their collective heads, sometimes, shit happens.
(By the way, that article is at:
http://www.ptm.org/10PT/summer/katrinaWrath.pdf)

Jim in MA
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

Actually, I would say God is striking down the worship of idols. Worshipping a cross or a crucufix is idolatry. Worshipping any man-made effigy of God is basically idolatry, according to the bible.
I’m surprised the huge 20-foot solid-gold statue of an angel on the Mormon temple in Arlington, MA hasn’t been struck down yet. All that super-conductive gold hundreds of feet above everything else around it has to be a big lightning attractor!

Priya Lynn
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

Jim, the mormon angel hasn’t been struck down because mormonism is the one true faith.

Timothy Kincaid
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

Thanks, Priya Lynn,

that got an out-loud laugh from me

Jim Burroway
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy,

The picture was probably taken from across the freeway using a telephoto lens with the camera held low to the ground. It’s an artistic trick photographers often use when they want to compress the depth of field.

Priya — Does mormonism being a lightningrod have anything to do with being the one true faith?

beachewtoy75
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

One thing that hasn’t been brought up yet…

Who the hell makes a statue that can catch on fire?!

Priya Lynn
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

Jim said “Priya — Does mormonism being a lightningrod have anything to do with being the one true faith?”.

That’s it! Mormonism is a lightning rod because its the one true faith! I see it so clearly now…

David Foreman
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

The link I provided above didn’t seem to work so:
http://www.ptm.org/10PT/summer/katrinaWrath.pdf

beachewtoy75: Good observation!

cowboy
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

Oh….the newest Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City had its encounter with lightning.

http://Www.ksl.com/?sid=6819386&nid=148

it turned the Angel Moroni face black. Was that a message from G.d too? It did not change a thing dogma-wise but we certainly got a chuckle out of it.

Priya Lynn
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

What?! A mormon temple got hit by lightning?! I’m so confused…

Candace
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

Apparently God isn’t sure if he approves of Mormons or not, because only half of the statue turned black.

Then again, maybe because the angel was made of METAL, instead of, oh –say, STYROFOAM, it’s a little more resilient to divine wrath.

http://heraldextra.com/news/state-and-regional/image_f62d34ca-3803-5f3e-9f9e-087d91e0e367.html

Candace
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

LOL Ms. Betty Bowers (America’s Best Christian) gives her take on the incident:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#!/pages/Mrs-Betty-Bowers-Americas-Best-Christian/312383761871

Candace
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

I hate Facebook… apparently one can’t link directly to a page clicked on. Well, the link to the article is on the page. It’s snarky, enjoy.

cowboy
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

And as a point of clarification about something someone typed above. They are not solid gold (the statues of Angel Moronis on top of Mormon Temples). Even the Mormons are not THAT rich.

The one statue on the Oquirrh Temple in Salt Lake Valley was not properly grounded. (or so the claim.). They had a replacement statue in storage to use. Besides, the spires are natural lightning rods.

I’m just surprised the Mormon G.d doesn’t strike/smite me whenever I cross over onto Temple Square when I take a jaunt downtown here. I’m a heritic because I read BTB.

cowboy
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

Heretic. I swear my iPhone changed what I typed to heritic.

Scott P.
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

What the hell does the LDS Church need with ANOTHER temple in the Salt Lake Valley?

But the image of Moroni, zapped and blackened, brought me a chuckle.

cowboy
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

Mr. P,

There are 4 temples now in the valley. Mother Ship downtown. Jordan River. Draper. Oquirrh.

If anything… I would have thought the earthquake in So. California recently was a warning from G.d.

Candace
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

There’s a Mormon Temple about 2 blocks from my house… will have to go over there and see if there’s an angel on the top……..

Erik
June 15th, 2010 | LINK

“It’s a sign from God that we need to learn something as Christians as whole that we’re not doing something right.” Another agreed: “It scares me, like, it really does. I just think about what that symbolizes and to me that’s a sign, and not a good one.”

Let me get this right. God crucified his son and that’s something to be celebrated, but by destroying a statue of his son, he thought he’d send an ominous, cryptic message.

Better watch out, the Village People will be next.

Mark F.
June 16th, 2010 | LINK

Well, an all powerful God could have stopped this lightning strike, so this must mean something.

Erik
June 16th, 2010 | LINK

Give God a break. He (or she, if you prefer) has been trying to cap an oil spill. Maybe God’s just practicing removing things from water and going from what he already knows.

Bill S
June 16th, 2010 | LINK

I don’t think it’s got anything to do with idol worship. I think God simply found the statue to be an ugly, tacky eyesore.
I certainly did.

Matt
June 16th, 2010 | LINK

I used to live in Dayton and would throw up a little in my mouth whenever I drove by that eyesore. Good riddance.

It originally cost a quarter of a million to build (I wonder what their charitable budget is in contrast?), and the church has stated that they do plan to rebuild it. Clearly that church has their priorities in order…

Richard Rush
June 16th, 2010 | LINK

And God saw that statue his fervent admirers made in 2004, and behold, it was not very good. So He burned it in 2010. Or did He?

Seeing as how God likes to be vigorously praised a lot, maybe he was fond of the statue. After all, God is not really known for having good taste – what with His being satisfied with slavery and designing lions to eat zebras, for examples. So, instead of the fire being an act of God, maybe it was an accident or an act of Satan, in which case, why didn’t God prevent it? Was God not powerful enough? If so, then he’s not a god.

Or does God just not care? Maybe God views all that vigorous praising of Him as excessive ass-kissing. In that case it may be a sign that He’s not interested in being a nitpicking busybody about human behaviour here on earth. And that would mean the Super Christians are wrong about the nature of God.

The Super Christians really need to be careful how they explain the fire, since that will explain a lot about the nature of their God.

Jason D
June 16th, 2010 | LINK

it’s a sign that your statue should be made of something less flammable such as stone or metal.

The Lauderdale
June 17th, 2010 | LINK

Maybe God just doesn’t like kitsch.

God: [looks down] What the – oh hell no! [zap]

ijboiubhopiuboi ;ojn
June 19th, 2010 | LINK

THIS WAS NOT AN ACT OF GOD. THERE IS NO GOD, AND FOR THAT FACT THERE WAS NO LIGHTNING ROD THAT’S WHY IT BURNED DOWN. IT’S A 62 FOOT TALL STATUE WTF DID THEY THINK WAS GOING TO HAPPEN??!!??

AND MORMONISM IS A FREAK’N CULT!!!!!

Priya Lynn
June 19th, 2010 | LINK

No, ijboiubhopiuboi;ojn, mormonism is the one true faith, didn’t you hear? The solid gold mormon statue hasn’t been hit by lightning!

Julianto Pandin
December 10th, 2010 | LINK

Wow!!

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