Irony of the Day: Giant Jesus statue destroyed by lightning

15 06 2010

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If you’ve driven along I-75 north of Cincinnati, Ohio, anytime in the last decade or so, you’ve undoubtedly seen the enormous — 62 feet tall — statue of Jesus appearing to rise out of the ground, raising his hands in supplication to the heavens (or signaling a touchdown — it’s hard to tell which).  This statue has been immortalized in popular culture in many ways, from comedian Heywood Banks’ classic song “Big Butter Jesus,” alluding to the fact that it looks like it was carved from butter, to a satirical and often hilarious website/blog that encourages reader submissions of photoshopped images of the, um, graven image.

So late last night, when the statue was destroyed by lightning and subsequent fire, the fickle finger of fate finally caught up with “Touchdown Jesus.”

Fire crews were called to the church at 11:15 p.m. after several people phoned 911 to report the blaze as a severe thunderstorm swept through Greater Cincinnati, producing a spectacular lightning show, Peace said.

“The lightning was just amazing,” she said, wryly adding: “It was a lot of fun in here last night.”

When fire crews arrived, they found the statue fully involved and an adjacent amphitheater burning. The fire extended into the attic of the amphitheater, destroyed equipment, before fire crews contained it, Peace said.

The irony of lightning striking and “killing” Jesus just cannot be overstated, no matter how hard you try. (And believe me, I’ve tried.)  One wonders whether the fundamentalist whackjobs who originally erected this massive tribute to religious excess will get the message.  I’m guessing “no.”

Touchdown Jesus, before the fire

Before....

Touchdown Jesus, after the fire

....and after

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