Warning: mockery to follow.
I have to admit, I did chuckle when I read the news about how an enormous statue of Jesus in Ohio was struck by lightening and burnt to a crisp. Not because I hate statues of Jesus – and I sincerely don’t – but seriously, does nobody see the irony?
According to the story, the statue was built in 2004 and was about 64 feet tall. The owners say it will cost about $300,000 to replace – but they’re determined to rebuild, no matter what.
This in a country (and a religion) that manages to see signs and portents in every earthquake, tornado and hurricane that hits other parts of the world. Pat Robertson claimed the flattening of Haiti was a punishment (apparently, decades of tyrants and corruption, poverty and civil unrest aren’t considered sufficient – go figure). The catastrophic bushfires in Australia last year were payback for recent changes in abortion laws that brought us out of the dark ages. And let’s not forget the Westboro Baptists who see American deaths in the war as god’s punishment for homosexuality (nope, never been able to see the connection, but there you go).
Okay, so I know it’s not really fair dragging Westboro into this discussion, but hey, any opportunity to bag them is fair game as far as I’m concerned.
Thing is – in a country that sees signs from god at every crossroads, how come nobody sees the total destruction of this graven image as a sign? Does nobody think that maybe this is god’s way of saying ‘don’t rebuild’? Isn’t that one of the commandments? “Thou Shalt Not Worship Graven Images?”
Surprised god didn’t strike it down earlier…
Actually, I’m thinking it’s more like Thor’s getting his own back. Or Zeus is on the comeback trail, re-stamping his authority on his lightening bolt technique. Either way, I wonder whether that money could be better spent on something that would have more lasting good than providing myself and many others with easy fodder.
Seeing signs in inanimate objects is not new, of course. It even has a biological explanation and name. But who could forget that marvellous story of the woman who saw the face of Jesus in her morning toast? Or the potato that sold on eBay because it looked like Jesus?
One thing is sure – the statue will be rebuilt, and with money donated by the local community. When it is, it’ll be hailed as a miracle and all questions as to why it burned down in the first place will be silenced, in the same way all inconvenient questions are.
A sign, it seems, just like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.