Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nevada Jack's Rant on Religion

While Sage struggles with his sanity and multiple deadlines, and folks not getting things done on time and all kind of other headaches, I thought I’d help the old boy out and write a post for him. This is Nevada Jack reporting…

I "borrowed" this photo from another blogger. I can kick myself for not stopping on one of my trips south and snapping a photo of an icon that's now just scorched metal framing..
One of the funniest things I’ve heard about lately is the demise of the oversized “touchdown” Jesus whose shadow nearly fell across I-75 in Southern Ohio. I know Sage tries to follow Jesus (and between me and you some days he does a better job than others) but thankfully Sage hasn’t fallen for the belief that a bigger Jesus will bring bigger or better blessings. It seems a true follower of Jesus would try to show their allegiance in other ways than building statues that seem to be a total disregard of at least two of the Ten Commandments. That might be okay if keeping 80% was a passing grade, but I don’t think it works that way. A better method of showing allegiance is to spread a little kindness and gentleness. Even Jesus tried not to draw too much attention to him, traveling around on foot, doing good and often telling people not to tell others of the good he did. I’m sure such secrecy drove the early church’s PR folks crazy, but once Jesus ascended into the heavens and was no longer there to keep then straight, generations of do-gooder PR folk have tried to outdo one another, giving rise to what the world didn’t need, another kitsch industry. But a few days ago, in a sign that God does have a sense of humor, that monstrosity rising over the freeway just north of Cincinnati, was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Or maybe God is just doesn’t have the stomach for tacky statues of his Son. There must be an 11th commandment? It’s unwritten, of course, but goes, “Thou shall avoid kitsch.” If you missed the news of this event, check out this yahoo news report.

On a similar subject, Sage was telling me recently about his conversation with some Zondervan publishing executive that he sat across from at a dinner. He asked this guru of the Christian publishing world about their printing presses and was shocked to learn that they don’t have any. They outsource all their printing. Their smaller runs are still published in the United States, but their larger runs, like Bibles, are all published in China. Sage found this interesting as just a few days later he was talking to two friends of his who are heading for China. They were talking how each of them were going to smuggle 5 Bibles into China. Ironically, having more than five Bibles seem to raise the eyebrows of Chinese customs. There is something strange about smuggling in Bibles (5 or less at a time) that were printed there to start with, but like so many things religious (including that Commandment-breaking monument), money and pride often top piety.


  1. I’m sure such secrecy drove the early church’s PR folks crazy

    LOL Great line, NJ.

    I think I'm just disappointed I never got to see this monstrosity. The largest cross I've ever seen is on the the interstate just outside Effingham, IL, and to me, that's always marked the beginning of the "bible belt." I know I've crossed that North/South line, even if traditionalists don't agree that's where the Mason/Dixon divide is. I always find these over-the-top displays of religion to be amusing while driving. I'm kinda bummed I missed out on "touchdown Jesus." (And that I'd never heard of it prior to today.)

    Does seem odd that it's so difficult to take Bibles into China, but I guess while it's ok for them to making MONEY off the bibles, they don't really want people there reading them.

  2. Hey, maybe the giant "touchdown" Jesus was made in China too? :)

  3. There is a large cross down in the Texas panhandle on the old I-66 at Groom.

  4. Oh, how...bizarre.

    And the Chinese-bible thing? I'll bet it's all backward...like they keep cookbooks in the bedside drawer over there 'cause all those bibles are being shipped out of the country.

    Ya think??

  5. Years ago, I read a book by Francis Schaeffer's son Franky, which touched on the problem of the quality of "art" used by self-described "Christian" artists. He bemoaned the idea that something can become validated, no matter how crappy/kitschy it is, if one merely appends the adjective "Christian" to it. He argued that true art, i.e. the creative expressions/manifestations of the artist, born from God's inspiration, have a validity irrespective of whether the art has a Christian theme or not. Stated differently, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris would be great art/architecture no matter what, even if it were the city hall.

    I think the statue you refer to follows that line of thinking. If it wasn't good, it doesn't matter that it attempts to portray Christ. It's still crap.


  6. I would have thought as many times as I have been through/by Cincinnati, I would have seen that but alas, I hadn't until this post. I have seen a very large cow, a large spoon with a cherry in it and the world's largest ball of twine made by one man. I guess you can't see them all.

  7. MOney and pride top piety. Ain't it the truth. So often, and so disappointing.

  8. I agree: The Lord would give fits to today's PR executive. But his message was simple. "Follow me". Statues are symbols. Jesus was the real deal. Take it from a Buckeye! ;)

  9. Nice post, I love your blog tahnks for stopping by at mine! xx gloria

  10. TC, as a PR folk yourself, I thought you'd like it!

    Mother Hen, maybe, and it probably created toxic flumes as it burned

    Vince, all over Appalachia, you'll find three metal crosses standing on hilltops.

    Kathyrn, and what would be their cookbook title: "How to Cook Cats and Dogs..." Sorry, but it wouldn't make for bedtime reading.

    Randall, the word Christian should never be an adjective! When it is used that way, I generally hold on to my wallet

    Ed, we do have a lot of kitsch on our roadways, don't we

    Charles, Yep!

    Michael, that's right, this was in your home country :)

    Gloria, that pumpkin soup sounds delicious, I can't wait for fall

    Buffalo, Being a native of the Southern Bible Belt, I don't find West Michigan to be that much different... And it ain't nearly as weird as Utah!

  11. I'm entertained, thanks for the post.

  12. Did that Christian publishing company reside in or near your town there, by any chance?

  13. I like what Michael said
    Statues are symbols. Jesus was the real deal.
    Faith doesnt need status

  14. Kontan, glad you got a chuckle out of it! If we couldn't laugh, we'd have to cry.

    Murf, they are in Grand Rapids--there are a lot of such companies up there

    Just because, Amen!

  15. sage-- I have always LOL's every time I heard Touchdown Jesus. He has about as much effect on the outcome of a game as us LEANING and willing the field goal to go through!

    Great perspective Buddy!

    Always a FAN- ar ar,


  16. I was just thinking the other day that it had been awhile since a Nevada Jack post.

    Probably sad that I was even thinking about that, but anyway...

    What are your thoughts on so-called Jesus fish? (Or is it fishes?) I got cut off by a car with a Jesus fish on it one day. I remember thinking that I expected better.