I Went Back to Ohio, and My Jesus was Gone; I Was Stunned and Amazed at my Plastic Jesus

Paul Harvey

In Ohio, Jesus has been struck down by lightning -- discuss. So come back, Pretenders and Woody Guthrie, come back to us now.

My theory: God is mightily annoyed at the recent prayer rally at the Texas GOP Convention, featuring a woman in Minuteman-like style using the Psalms to defend our sacred borders. John Fea explains more here.

Possible implications for BP do not look promising.


Kelly J. Baker said…
All I can say is who thought Styrofoam was a good idea!
The most amazing part of the story for me is that they are not hesitating a moment before they decide to rebuild it.


One of my Religious Studies friends in Ohio keeps saying that it's important to categorize this church as "Pentecostal" more than "evangelical." I'd love to hear others weigh in on why that might (or might not) matter in understanding both the fetish for the huge statue and the unquestioned decision to rebuild it.

This Church's obvious desire for spectacle also makes me wonder about the role of the artist. I wonder if the church decided to have something like this and then searched for someone to design it, or if out-of-work-sculptors (?) are now looking to Pentecostal churches for patronage. Both of these things might have happened... We need more discussion about the intersection of religion and the arts.
Joshua said…
I'm originally from Northeast Ohio and am now living in Houston and have noticed this kind of *cough* horrible, gaudy stuff *end cough* here, too.

Near Houston's Beltway 8, there is a 150-ish foot cross standing which tries to proclaim Texas' most diverse city for Christianity while a school district I used to teach for gave trainings in a rented megachurch which had artwork much like this statue in Ohio.

What fascinates me more than just the art is the insistence/assumption that we all must like it, too. Good thing we won't read too much into this in theological terms, right? Right?

I'll stay away from kitschy religious art from now on - not that I was hanging around it before...

-Josh, http://joshintaiwan.com
Anonymous said…
I only hope it can be rebuilt better than before (which was awesome)!
another great piece for teaching religion in American history. Great work, folks.

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