After acknowledging he didn�t get all �choked-up� about
yellow ribbons tied around trees or flag stickers pasted everywhere, comedian
George Carlin quipped, �They�re symbols, and I leave symbols to the
Well, the �symbol-minded� have struck in Hickory Hill,
Tennessee. At a cost of $260,000, World Overcomers Outreach Ministries unveiled
the United States of Jesus� �Statue of Liberation.� It was proudly described by
the Christian news service Agape Press:
designed to resemble the 151-foot Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, World
Overcomers� statue has a few distinct features in addition to its smaller size.
Instead of a single tablet inscribed with the date of the Declaration of
Independence, the 72-foot figure erected by the Tennessee church holds in its
left hand two tablets representing the Ten Commandments given to Moses by God
to govern His people. In the figure�s other hand, in place of a torch, is a
large cross. And engraved on the figure�s crown is the word �Jehovah.�
picture is worth a thousand words.
pastor, Apostle Alton Williams � yes, he�s called �Apostle� Williams � had a few things to say about the statue�s raison d�etre: "We just
wanted to send a message to let people know that God established this nation . .
. If you really did honest research on the foundations of this nation, you
would find out that the Founding Fathers of our nation and many of our early
Supreme Court rulings established that this nation would be a Christian
Aside from the First Amendment � �Congress shall make no law
respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise
thereof . . ." � the overt
religious bigotry and utter disrespect for any non-Christian American, the
�Apostle� is utterly wrong historically.
It�s historical fact
that the Founding Fathers � most of whom were
Deists � carefully and intentionally
excised from the Constitution all
references to �God,� and used the word only twice in the 85 Federalist Papers.
It�s also historical fact that the nation�s first treaties, unanimously
approved in 1797 by Congress and endorsed by President John Adams, stated �The
Government of the United States . . . is not in any sense founded on the
The Statue of Liberation is, in reality, a symbol of
theocratic enslavement which is, after all, the goal of the Christian Right.
The question has been popping up
on billboards, yard signs and in newspaper ads around conservative central
Indiana lately . . .
�Jesus taught us to love everyone, even our enemies and those who are different
from us, not destroy and mistreat them,'' said one ad published in the
Indianapolis Star. . . .
And how did the
self-righteous, �Statue of Liberation� Christian Right respond?
independent Baptist congregation along a major thoroughfare posted the message
�God discriminated at Sodom� on its signboard. A Christian conservative group, the American Family Association of Indiana,
distributed radio ads saying, �Not only did Jesus discriminate; he is going to discriminate again.�
These people actually claim to know what �Jesus� is going to do. How presumptuous (and
preposterous) is that?
The billboards and ads were meant to foster acceptance of
gays and lesbians, but could easily be applied to the acceptance of people with
different religious views and spiritual beliefs: anyone the
�Statue of Liberation� does not welcome and the Christian Right disdains.
One anonymous writer made the
obvious points and offered a more accepting image.
Note that the radio responses were sponsored by �the
American Family Association of Indiana.� Don
Wildmon�s American Family Association and its �pro-family� state affiliates
are dedicated to hurting
gay and lesbian Americans � and their families � as much as possible and in
every way possible. How �Christian� and �pro-family� is that?
To be sure, the
Christian Right is politically influential, as long as King George the W and
his gofers (like Rick Santorum
and Marcus Kindley)
are in power. These Machiavellians are so wrapped up in their own supposedly
religion-based bigoted dogma as to be dangerous, as was another fanatic who used Christianity to advance his
concocted �the final solution.� The Christian Right concocted
�ex-gay� therapies that
include such things as electric
shock treatments and exorcisms:
From the 1960s through the early 1990s, the Rev. Mel
White played a behind-the-scenes role in the resurgence of evangelical
Christianity. While pastoring several West Coast churches and working with
national crusades like Youth for Christ, White produced films and ghostwrote
books for a �who�s who� of evangelical leaders, including the Revs. Billy
Graham, Jerry Falwell, D. James Kennedy and Pat Robertson.
Unknown to his friends and colleagues, White was also a closeted gay man who
was nearly driven to suicide after two decades of struggling to save his
marriage � and, he believed, his soul � with �reparative therapies� including
electric shock and exorcism.
Perhaps a replica of The Statue of Liberation should be
placed at the entrance to all �ex-gay� therapy camps along with the motto Arbeit Macht Frei (in biblical
lettering, of course).
In a previous
article I cited 'Bounty' For
Killing Gays At World Pride. Since then � and not surprisingly � the �Red Arm for
Salvation� has denied it had anything to do with the leaflets. �Faith� is
required to believe them. In
any case, �regardless of who sent out the leaflets, what is far more
troublesome is who might pick them up and take the message to heart. It really
only takes one crazy soul to hurt a lot of people.�