People are flocking to collect ‘Holy Water’ from a statue of Jesus, in a village near Mumbai in India, that has started crying. Police have had to be called in to control the crowds.
The last time this happened at church in Mumbai, in 2012, Sanal Edamaruku came along to disprove the miracle and proved that the source of water was a blocked drain. Instead of thanking Edamaruku for protecting their health, the people turned against him and a number of blasphemy charges were brought against him. Edamaruku is well know for exposing fake miracle workers. After death threats were made and a fellow activist was murdered, he sought refuge in Helsinki, Finland and remains there to this day.
It all started when the head of Jesus was stolen from a statue outside a church in Canada. One of the congregation kindly supplied a temporary replacement head. Unfortunately, the clay replacement looked more like a demonic version of Maggie from the Simpsons. Before the elements had time to destroy the clay head, it was removed, leaving the baby Jesus headless again. The original head was then returned by the teenager who had stolen it. However, it looks like the statue will remain headless for some time. It is better to fit the head in warmer weather and they are worried about it being vandalized again. It looks like the baby Jesus will remain headless until next summer.
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Yes, the founder of the church of the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church, famous for picketing funerals, kicked the bucket this week. There will not be any pickets at his funeral because he is not having one. He was voted out of the church some time ago, supposedly for wanting to take a softer line. It’s like he was bitten by the monster he created. The church gained notoriety in 1998 after protesting at the funeral of a gay student, Matthew Shepard, who had been brutally tortured and murdered. They started picketing the funerals of soldiers in 2005 and claimed that every US catastrophe, including 9/11 was a punishment from God for accepting homosexuality. They called for all gays and lesbians to be killed. In 2007, they featured in a BBC documentary, “The Most Hated Family in America”. Ironically, the work of this group has done more to promote tolerance by demonstrating just how bad intolerance can be. Would there have been a statue erected in memory of Matthew Shepard if they had not intervened? Perhaps they are secretly trying to promote tolerance towards gay people. The lord works in mysterious ways.
Not to be outdone by the Satanists, a Hindu organisation also wants to place a monument on the grounds of the Oklahoma state capitol. The proposed monument is of Hanuman, a monkey-like Hindu deity. Hanuman statues are very common in India, the highest of which is 135 feet high. Politicians haven’t been as quick in dismissing the Hindu deity as they were with the Satanic monument. Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is continuing with a lawsuit to have the 10 commandments monument removed, which caused all this in the first place. It’s all quite amusing. Maybe we should propose a monument to Apathy? No, I think you have to care too much.
Do you believe in freedom of religion? Are all religions equal? Conservatives in Oklahoma City thought it would be a good idea to allow a privately funded Ten Commandments monument to be erected on the Statehouse steps in 2009. Now a New York based Satanic Temple has notified them that they also want to donate a private monument to stand next to the ten commandments. They insist their monument, an homage to the historic/literary Satan costing in the region of $20,000, will be in good taste and in keeping with community standards. The design may feature a pentagram or an interactive display for children. Well I guess it’s important to get both sides of the story. However, Republican Bobby Cleveland, R-Slaughterville, who is pushing for legislation to allow religious themed symbols in public places, dismissed the Satanists saying they are in the Nut category.
In Flathead, Montana the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), managed to get a permit for a Jesus statue revoked. The statue has been standing for 50 years, erected as a World War II memorial by the Knights of Columbus, at the top of a ski slope. Following a great public outcry to prevent the statue from being removed, the US Forest Service granted a renewal of the permit.
The Tourist Board of Brazil recently floated the idea of erecting a thirty foot replica of Christ the Redeemer on Primrose Hill, London, to coincide with the 2012 Olympics. The idea has been met with open hostility and derision and the Brazilian Tourist Board have been surprised with the negative response. Malcolm Kafetz, chair of the Friends of Primrose Hill said “We oppose it on the grounds that we don’t want any advertising in Royal Parks, otherwise we’ll have Coca-Cola in there soon enough”.
The Jesus thieves have started early this year. Each Christmas hundreds of Jesus statues are stolen from Nativity displays because some people think it’s funny if Jesus doesn’t show up for Christmas. A Catholic church in Phoenix had a four foot statue of Jesus with outstretched arms in the grounds until the end of last week. The Rev. Charles Kieffer was shocked to find that the statue had been stolen when he discovered the loss last Saturday morning. Who would want to steal a bronze statue worth around $10,000 which was just standing out in the open with minimal security? Yeah, lots of people. There were surveillance cameras on the ground, but they don’t seem to have helped very much. There’s a bit of an epidemic of bronze and gold sculptures being stolen at the moment. I blame all those turn your old gold into cash advertisements. If you have a $10,000 statue in your garden, get a GPS device and some security installed.
Parishioners coming to church on Easter Sunday were surprised to find Jesus with red paint all over him. It wasn’t a bit of Easter decorating gone wrong, the statue outside Saint Peter Chanel church in Roswell, Georgia, USA, was vandalised to coincide with Easter Sunday. The eyes and hands were painted and a satanic symbol (pentagram) was used to shock churchgoers. The police were called in, as this kind of hate crime against a religious group is considered a felony. Police took paint samples before it was removed and are checking all video surveillance cameras in the area. Thankfully the $80,000 marble statue survived the ordeal and the paint was successfully removed after several hours. The church has published a thank you letter to all involved.
If there is a God, she doesn’t seem to like large Jesus status very much. The largest sculpture of Jesus Christ in North America was struck down by lightning only last June. Despite this the leaders of the Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio have commissioned a replacement. The height of the new Jesus will be 11 feet shorter than the original at 51 feet. It will have the arms reaching out instead of upwards and will incorporate a lightning suppression system to avoid the wrath of God.
After the polish priest Father Sylvester Zawadzki plans to build a “small garden sculpture” changed into plans for building the largest Jesus sculpture in world, things started going wrong. A crane collapsed when the head was being placed and the head fell crushing a builder’s foot. Zawadzki also suffered a heart attack leading some people to regard these events as signs of God’s disapproval. Strong winds delayed the final construction, but on Saturday the head was lifted into place and the construction was completed.
The construction has been funded by donations from people around the town of Swiebodzin, but not everyone in the area is happy. There are accusations of workers being paid paltry sums in wages, because they were expected to work for next to nothing to prove their faith. There are also claims of slave labour from a local prison being used in the construction. The editor of a local newspaper has been a campaigner against the statue calling it a monster of a statue, with no connection to Christian teaching, which will make them the laughing stock of the country. During construction the chief building inspector received threats and had a brick thrown through his car window.
Those in favour of the project hope that it will attract tourism to the area all year round and improve the lagging economy.
The statue measures just 33 metres. However, if you take the mound it stands on into account, it measures 51 metres and takes the record for the world’s tallest Jesus statue. This relegates the 40.4 meter high Cristo de la Concordia in Bolivia to second place. The famous Christ the Redeemer statue at 39.6 meters, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil comes in third.
Remember the first commandment, thou shalt not worship. How long before God smites down another one of these things?
The US Supreme Court has ruled that it will not review a decision by the Circuit Court in Denver. The Denver court ruled that the 8 foot tall stone monument, placed on the courthouse lawn in 2004 is unconstitutional as it amounts to a government endorsement of religion. As a result the monument will have to be removed from the courthouse lawn.
Having an extra commandment, the monument is obviously flawed. If only they had stuck with the nine commandments, then perhaps the court may not have seen it in the same light.