Giant Jesus Burns!

Hey, all.  I’m in Put in Bay today, but I could not believe this happened.  Giant Jesus, aka Touchdown Jesus, or officially King of Kings, was struck by lightning Monday night during some intense storms that blew through Southwest Ohio.  The statue caught fire and was reduced to its metal frame.

There are a number of explanations that will float around over the next few weeks: God was angry at such a blatant display of idolatry. The End Times have begun (and never mind Revelations says nothing about a giant statue of the Son of Man along an interstate going up in flames. Not. One. Word.) However, most likely it was the material Giant Jesus was made of: Fiberglass and styrofoam. True, there were lightning resistance devices in place, but in the end, the statue was, in fact, flammable. So odds are, if the weather conditions are right, no matter how holy your intentions, your flammable statue could get reduced to this simply by the laws of physics.

Solid Rock Church, which commissioned the statue, says it will rebuild.

MTM: Cincinnati – Giant Jesus On I-75

Travel north of Cincinnati on I-75 to Dayton. About halfway there, beyond Monroe, beyond the Hustler Superstore and the flea markets and opposite the distant AK Steel mill, which occasionally belches fire and gives Middletown that Bladerunner chic, you see it.  You can’t miss it with its arms in the air, a reflecting pool below mirroring it.  It gives both the most ardent atheist and most devout Catholic or Mormon a serious WTF moment.

I speak, of course, of…


Giant Jesus.  Or Butter Jesus.  Or Touchdown Jesus.  It is a 62-foot high statue on the west side of Solid Rock Church, a 3000+ member megachurch in Monroe.

Depending on who you talk to, it’s either an show of faith or the tackiest landmark in the Cincinnati area since they tore down the old El Rancho Rankin Hotel.  Personally, I believe they could only make it tackier then the El Rancho if it were a 62-foot statue of Elvis.

Don’t laugh, Elvis’s stepbrother lived in the area at one point.

Whatever your thoughts on the statue, officially named King of Kings, it most definitely is a local landmark.  People have been known to stop and pose with it from the highway.  One site posted Photoshoppery that had the big guy wearing a referee’s uniform, a Hawaiian shirt, and looking like Stevie Wonder.

While a lot of people (myself included) could think of better ways to demonstrate the Christian faith than building an expensive statue to a man whose religion clearly states “God dun’t cotton idols*,” I do hope it sticks around.  I-75 wouldn’t be the same without it waving its arms in the air.

*That’s what Simon Cowell is for.

More posts (and likely, less controversial) at the My Town Mondays blog.