For those of you unfamiliar, the statue is in between the Solid Rock Church and the interstate, and is about halfway between Dayton and Cincinnati. With a massive flea market and a brand new upscale shopping center adjacent to this church, the six-story statue had begun to get more and more notoriety in recent months.
When I posted this picture on my Twitter, I also said "Things like this are why I'm not a Christian", which sparked a massive debate on my social networking sites.
Today, I heard numerous updates that the statue was going to be rebuilt by the church. The statue was insured for over $500,000 - and according to statements made by the church's Darlene Bishop, cost half of that originally. In addition, Bishop has stated that donations are pouring in to erect a new statue.
Folks - this is why I am not a Christian. This is why I do not believe in organized religion. This is why I consider myself a socialist.
This giant statue was not a cool thing that the residents of this region were proud of. It was an eye sore that we mocked. It was something that travelers passing through would see, do a double take and say "What the hell..." Most of all, it was a giant waste of money by a charitable organization that receives tax exemption.
If this church is going to profit off of the destruction of this statue, then they should be taxed. Period. This church had the money to build this statue once, and, by their own admission, will double their money due to the lightning strike - not counting the non-taxable donations pouring in that will go right into the church coffers.
When there are people starving and suffering in this area - when children are put in harms way or abandoned - I fail to see how building another gaudy eye-sore of a statue helps the parishioners of this church. How many people could be helped with those funds?
I do not understand this mentality or this philosophy. I understand people with similar beliefs gathering together to share their beliefs. I understand the members of the groups wanting to have a nice place to practice their beliefs. I do not understand why wars have been waged over opulence in the name of a deity. I do not understand how people can continue to tithe to a shyster such as Benny Hinn, who lives in immaculate riches. I do not understand why people continue to make donations to the Catholic Church, which pays out millions each year in settlements from lawsuits filed by victims of their organization's sexual abuse practices. Organized religion is a business. It should be treated as such.