Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A Single Tear Graced Her Cheek

Lady Liberty Trades In Some Trappings

MEMPHIS, July 4 — On Independence Day, Lady Liberty was born again.

At a megachurch in Memphis, the Statue of Liberation Through Christ was consecrated Tuesday. The statue, says the church's pastor, is a way of "letting people know that God is the foundation of our nation."

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.

It was not clear if she was crying because of her new home, her new identity as a symbol of religion or, as the pastor said, America's increasing godlessness. But although big cheers went up from the few hundred onlookers at the unveiling, and some people even wore foam Lady Liberty crowns bearing Christian slogans, she was not universally welcomed.

(Via MeFi.)


Juggling Mother said...

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door
But only send those that believe in the trinity
For Jews, Muslims, Buddists I abhor
This is no longer the land of the free
My light only shines with Christian favour.

Stephen (aka Q) said...

Any pastor who goes by the title, "Apostle", is bad news.

As for the statue, it reminds me of the biblical accounts of early Israelite history. Each nation had its own god(s). Apparently this church still views religion that way.

I live in Canada; the god of the USA cannot be my God.

Ben Avuyah said...

what an affront to what liberty stands for, where is their propriety ?

jewish philosopher said...

Any insights on North Korea, one of the world's most atheistic nations, developing nuclear missiles while the masses starve? Just curious.

Laura said...

JP: I assume you're implying to compare North Korea to the US (as a religious nation) right? How do you explain the US having some of the highest infant mortality rates in the developed world then? What about our poverty problems that are continuously ignored while Congress keeps giving themselves pay raises? Are those "religious" values? How about the VA denying a wiccan soldier killed in Afghanistan from having the symbol of his religion engraved on his marker? Even after Wicca has been recognized as a religion by the federal government for 20 years? Is that liberty?

Your comment has nothing to do with the argument being made here. The point is that we are NOT a theocracy. Sure, a high percentage of US residents are religious. But does that mean that we should simply shred the Bill of Rights and ignore those of us who are not? Freedom of religion also means freedom FROM religion. Liberty is for all, not just those who happen to believe in a god.

CyberKitten said...

So when do they change the original in New York I wonder...?

Does Congress need to pass a Law or something?

Jewish Atheist said...

Any insights on North Korea, one of the world's most atheistic nations, developing nuclear missiles while the masses starve? Just curious.

Um, yeah. The problem there is totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is usually worse than theocracy. That they are atheistic isn't particularly relevant. See for example the religious dictatorships in Africa which are probably even worse, although thankfully they haven't acquired nukes!

Juggling Mother said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Random said...

Okay, this is just stupid on so many levels. First of all, has nobody told these people that Liberty is actually a pagan (Roman) goddess and that erecting a monument like this is therefore a flagrant violation of the 1st and 2nd commandments? Didn't anybody notice this when they were incorporating the text on the statue?

And let's not even start on the issue that "Jehovah" is I believe widely discredited these days as a transliteration of the Tetragrammaton, or the crassness of appropriating what is supposed to be a unifying national symbol for sectarian purposes. JA, you win this one - stunts like this really do give religion a bad name. Still, at least Memphis won't have to worry about vampire attacks:-/

Random said...


It's JA's blog, so he can write about what he wants. It's probably wrong to describe North Korea as an atheist state in any but the most formal sense - although the state doesn't officially describe Kim Il sung as a god, it certainly seems to treat him as one and Kim Jong Il is steadily accumulating the manifestations of deity to himself as time goes on. All in all, it's rather like the Imperial Cult in the Roman Empire (magnified by several orders of viciousness).

jewish philosopher said...

The thing that get's me, and tell me if I'm wrong here, however every officially athiestic state in history has been fiendishly cruel. All of them. I don't think theists can match that. If you just look at body count, atheists seem to be way ahead.

Is this merely a coincidence? Or does it say something fundimental about the value atheists assign to human life?

Just curious.

Laura said...

JP: I beg to differ. If you count all of recorded history most conflicts occurred between people of different faiths arguing over ideas of God and religion. Now, if you count modern warfare and the obscene body counts you can accumulate with modern weapons as opposed to those used in the Crusades, for instance, then sure modern warfare has a higher "body count". But that does not negate the fact that most conflicts, even today (look at Sudan, East Timor, India/Pakistan, Afghanistan, Serbia/Bosnia) most world conflicts today involve religion.

Sadie Lou said...

While I think this stunt is ridiculous and totally should be ignored, I want to raise awareness of the fact that turning the Statue of Liberty into something promoting Christ is no more offensive than people turning the image of Christ on the Cross into a T-Shirt joke--
"Jesus Did it for the Chicks"


"What Would You Do For a Klondike Bar?"

equally laughable and distasteful.

Hi JA! Missed ya, you big lug.