�The Statue of Liberation,� symbol of American theocracy
By Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Jul 21, 2006, 00:45

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 symbol-minded.�

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:

Although 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.�

But a picture is worth a thousand words.

World Overcomers� 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 nation."

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 Christian religion.�

The Statue of Liberation is, in reality, a symbol of theocratic enslavement which is, after all, the goal of the Christian Right.

�Would Jesus discriminate?�

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?

An 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.� [italics added]

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 cause.

Adolf Hitler 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).

NB: 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.�

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