Charred remnants remained this morning of the large Jesus statue iconic to Interstate 75 that was destroyed following an apparent lightning strike during a thunderstorm late Monday night. --Dayton Daily News
Why would God do such a thing? What could it possibly mean? Is the apocalypse nigh? Do I have to pay my parking tickets anymore? Herein, 19 possible reasons for His happy blasting of a six-story Jesus statue to fiery smithereens:
1) You ever wake up one day and look at your leopard-print bedspread or your jacked-up Ford F-150 pickup with the airbrushed scene from "Lord of the Rings" on the side, or maybe see your fifth wife's giant box of pink wine in the fridge and go, "Oh my God, what the hell was I thinking?"
You ever have that fine, epiphanic moment when you realize an eyesore's an eyesore and it's time for some, you know, housecleaning? And what better way to rid yourself of some of the more hideous crap laying about than maybe tossing it into a nice bonfire? By the highway? In Ohio? God has those moments, too.
2) The late, great fundamentalist nutcase Oral Roberts, he who singlehandedly inflicted the nightmare of the megachurch on humanity, he who invented Oral Roberts University and spawned a hugely corrupt, slug-slick huckster son named Richard to run it into the ground -- well, Oral reportedly had himself a hot little vision some 30 years ago, in which he claims to have encountered -- and chatted with -- a 900-foot Jesus, which is as tall as the Chrysler building, thus making his casual conversation sort of like you talking to a flea. Cute!
All of which is to say: A measly six-story, truncated half-Jesus made out of Styrofoam and coat hangers and Elmer's glue, stuck on the side of an Ohio highway? You call that a vision? For that to be a real vision worthy of a pseudo-religious shyster worth his misfiring synapses, the thing should be on fire. Aha!
3) I'll let you in on a little secret: God had nothing to do with it.
A shockingly large number of Americans don't yet realize just how powerful the gay movement has become. Few seem to comprehend what sort of nasty underworld forces have been unleashed thanks to all those sassy gay sitcom characters, the gay marriage movement and Ellen DeGeneres. The homo energy wave has quietly been increasing in strength over the years and is now fully able, after millennia of bad Liza Minnelli impersonations, tight tank tops and Speedos, to actually control the elements.
Don't you see? It's all very timely, really. Prop. 8's ultimate fate is being decided in Superior Court as I write these words. The evil gays needed to send a message to really freak out the homophobes. Turning half the megachurch pastors, Catholic priests and Boy Scout leaders gay didn't seem to have any effect. I've got it! Torch the giant Jesus! So easy. Next up: hailstorms of butt plugs during the Super Bowl. Watch for it.
4) Oh sure, make all the jokes you want. "God struck down his only son. Again!" Or, "I guess God really hates Styrofoam!" Here's what the fundamentalists think: "It's genius! Don't you see God's master plan here? He started a holy conversation! We're all talking about Jesus again! He brought Christ back into the public consciousness! Yay, God!"
Sure, you could argue it's a form of the Savior that's just a wee bit tacky, insulting and childish, not to mention a laughable piece of "artwork" you wouldn't wish upon a blind quadriplegic goat herder. Whatevs. As the Pharisees used to say: "No such thing as bad press, yo."
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Mark Morford is the author of The Daring Spectacle: Adventures in Deviant Journalism, a mega-collection of his finest columns for the SF Chronicle and SFGate. Get it at daringspectacle.com or Amazon. He recently wrote about the dark, magnificent horror of the BP spill, the KFC Double Down, and what it's like being part of the evil liberal conspiracy. His website is markmorford.com. Join him on Facebook;, or email him. Not to mention...