23 thoughts on “The Statue of Liberty, Memphis-style

  1. Maybe when Rick Perry/Michelle Bachmann becomes President, ze’ll be inspired by this to change the original statue, too. I always thought that the original was dangerously pagan. Those French!: Hating God Since 1792.


  2. The funny thing about this pic is that when I show it to people, even the most progressive, it takes them a minute or two to notice that something is actually wrong with it. It’s almost like a mind trick–so similar in morphology to the original, so culturally familiar with its Christian cultural iconography (What would our highway system be like, particularly in the middle of the country, without those side-of-the-road, towering, tacky odes to The Man?). The shoddy simulacrum gets taken for the real thing.


  3. sleight-of-hand cross

    It’s not just the cross. A ten commandments style tablet has replaced Lady Liberty’s rectangular tablet. The laws of god over the laws of men, that’s what it means to make that replacement.


  4. There is an entire wikipaedia page on the hundreds of these knockoff Statchas, which are scattered all over the globe (not with this particular thematic, just replica Liberties). I’ve seen the one on the rock in the middle of the Susquehanna River just above Harrisburg. It is doubtless leading a regiment of white-coated French colonial soldiers down the main seam in an effort to reclaim Fort Duquesne for its rightful stealers.

    I at first thought the one on this post was signalling that the U. of T[ennessee] was going to run the table this fall by bringing prayer back into the huddle, and by running a bunch of “throwback” plays from the 1920s.


  5. Well, I kind of like the amended Christian Statue of Liberty as a roadside oddity. (But then, I really like roadside oddities like giant chickens, giant Uncle Sams, giant tin men, cars on top of restaurant signs, etc.)

    Dr. M. has some great photos of a ginormous Jesus emerging from a pond (I think?) on I-75 in Southern Ohio. They’re even more arresting than this one.


  6. Wait – is the jesus emerging from the pond Touchdown Jesus? That got hit by lightening and completely burned? Us southern Ohio folks just loved Touchdown Jesus.


  7. The statue is indeed at an intersection. Took it from a grassy mound in front of CVS. And yes, I’ve got some fun photos of Touchdown Jesus! I was fixated with him for a while and attended some services with students. It was chilling. Jesus is a warrior and we all have to make money to give it to the church. The pastors used to be coke dealers (smuggled through horses’ intestines). At one point, the “co-pastor,” Darlene Bishop claimed to have healed her brother from throat cancer through speaking in tongues and such on a book tour, all the while the guy was dying of throat cancer. This is one nutty place. I remember getting a bunch of emails when TD Jesus burned. Some people considered it a sign. A battle sign? To make it fire proof? Even nature can’t take Jesus down.


  8. Be still the heart of this little American religious historian, who happens to work on religion and Christian nationalism! The image is incredible, and I have to admit that like most other commenters it took me a second to figure out what was going on.

    Also, if it had been a flaming cross, I could use this image in job talks this year to show how RELEVANT my work on the 1920s Klan is to the contemporary period–because there are no politicians who are presidential hopefuls who make my case for the embeddness of Protestant Christianity in the enactment of American nationalism! (please note the delicious sarcasm.)


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