Patriotism, As Understood by Christians

I guess I missed this when it came out in 2005.

The Statue of Liberation Through Christ “combines Christianity with patriotism to showcase the origins of God’s design for America.”

Taking 5 years to build, at a cost of $260,000, and 72 feet tall, this little beauty stands out front of “World Overcomers” church on the corner of Winchester and Kirby Roads in Memphis, TN, cheek-by-jowl with a dry cleaner, jeweler, convenience store, auto service center and auto glass shop.

“Lady Liberation” rather than Lady Liberty …

extends the cross of Christ high above her head proclaiming to the world man’s true source of full and complete liberation; and that America belongs to God through Jesus Christ.

And if that’s not weird enough, she holds the Ten Commandments in her arm. And the tear on her cheek

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.

The interesting thing about this is that it exists at all. Here’s what the developers’ website has to say about the REAL Statue:

THE STATUE OF LIBERTY is probably the nation’s most familiar iconic symbol of patriotism and independence. It also represents freedom for the entire world. For over a century now, her right torch-filled hand has been extended in the air providing a light that has pointed millions of immigrants to the liberty capital of the world.

THE STATUE OF LIBERTY was presented to the United States by France in the late 19th century. It stands at the mouth of the Hudson River in New York Harbor as a welcome to all returning Americans, visitors, and especially millions of immigrants who come looking for opportunity, freedom, prosperity, and liberty.

The copper statue was a centennial gift from France to the U.S. and a sign of friendship between the two countries. The statue personifies American ideals, much like Uncle Sam. In a more general sense, the statue represents liberation from tyranny, dictatorship, communism, and monarchy.

Yet alongside that bit the site can unselfconsciously say:

LADY LIBERATION extends the cross of Christ high above her head proclaiming to the world man’s true source of full and complete liberation; and that America belongs to God through Jesus Christ.

and

This nation was designed by God to be a place where men, women, boys, and girls from every race, color, and creed could come and pursue God peaceably and worship Him as they so choose.

We praise God for Lady Liberty’s message of freedom from tyranny, dictatorship, communism, and monarchy; lighting her torch to mankind for freedom from physical restraint and allowing the positive enjoyment of various social, political, and economic rights and privileges.

Yet, Liberty’s message is still incomplete. It lacks spiritual liberty and significance. Millions find freedom from physical or social tyranny, yet they are enslaved in spiritual bondage and dictatorship by a spiritual enemy named Satan.

Gah.

The image of the Statue has been dragooned into advertising, cartoons, movies, countless purposes that have little to do with its original meaning, so I guess I shouldn’t have a problem with yet another group borrowing it to sell their message. But something about it being used in this way seems especially offensive.

Pitching a message so skewed from its original meaning — even diametrically opposite in some ways (submission to a mystical heavenly “king” rather than democratic equality, for instance, or allegiance to a supposed holy book rather than a Constitution constructed by men) — I can only say it irks me.

  • Aliasalpha

    Hmm wonder how well secured the cross is, it’d be fun to invert it and see how long it takes for them to notice

  • davidct

    Christianity is more about blind servitude that liberty. The equating of any of the Abrahamic faiths with liberty is as sick as the words “arbeit macht frei” (work makes you free) over the gates of Dachau

  • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    $260,000, eh? I wonder how many of the hungry could have been fed, or naked clothed, with that kind of dough.

    It’s too bad these folks have never read the book of Matthew.

  • jimmiraybob

    I assume that we all know that Lady Liberation is a representation of the Goddess of Liberty under which American’s enthusiastically fought a revolution. Yes, the colonists did evoke the Goddess of Liberty. It’s in the written record.

    I guess, to paraphrase the great American philosopher Gump, pagan is as pagan does.

  • jimmiraybob

    Invoked, also too.

  • Retired Prodigy Bill

    Where in the world does…

    ….ok, sorry, I’m back, looking at the statue with the cross had me throwing up in my mouth a bit. Where does this nonsensical historical revisionism come from? (Other than being pulled out from behind the sphincters of the revisionists?)

    Yes, the majority of people in the colonies were Christians of one stripe or another. But even a casual perusal of the works of the founders will show that, yes, they were quite aware they deliberately didn’t put God in the Constitution. Several of the Federalist papers talk about the dangers of mixing religion and politics.

    Admittedly, not a single Baptist signed the Declaration of Independence and not a single Baptist signed the Constitution, so in one sense the Baptists can say “It’s not OUR Constitution, none of us were founding fathers in that way,” but the signers did represent such people, and it’s awfully mean spirited to come back at this late date and pretend that something happened which did not.

  • http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/ Andrew Hall

    Tennessee and Kentucky are perpetually locked in a death struggle to see who can mimic the Bronze Age best.

  • alanuk

    Presumably the slaves were brought in by a different route.

    • alanuk

      A different route and a different time.

  • Didaktylos

    “Vampires not welcome here”

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com WMDKitty

    I’m with Aliasalpha (@1) — let’s go invert that sucker!

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers Camels With Hammers

    The kitsch factor is pretty high and the lack of a sense of irony or shame is pretty astounding—something to marvel at in horror, really.

    But the strongest emotion is revulsion at such a shameless display of theocratic assertion abusing such an icon of Enlightenment rationalist, secular idealism.

    • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort

      This comment requires a “QFMFT”

  • Dunc

    How’s the area for storms? ‘Cause that looks like a big fat invitation for a lightning strike to me…

  • Margaret

    “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”


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