Posts Tagged ‘Lady Liberty’

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Statue of Liberation Through Christ

November 25, 2007

Statue of Liberation, MemphisOn Independence Day of 2006, the congregation of Memphis’s 12,000-member World Overcomers Outreach Ministries Church unveiled their version of the Statue of Liberty. Lady Liberty’s torch is replaced by a cross, and she holds the tablets of the Ten Commandments in her left arm and hand. “Jehovah” is inscribed on her crown. She is called the Statue of Liberation Through Christ, and stands 72 feet tall. The church’s pastor, Apostle Alton Williams, claims that the statue serves as a reminder to all that God is the foundation of our nation. Some people have said that there’s nothing wrong with the statue, especially in the Bible Belt. Some have complained that religion and the symbol of our country’s freedom have nothing to do with each other, and that this statue misconstrues the true meaning of the Statue of Liberty.

Pastor Williams has written a book titled, “The Meaning of the Statue of Liberation Through Christ: Reconnecting Patriotism with Christianity.” His church is predominantly black, and in another of his books, Williams says that the real Statue of Liberty, a gift from France, “was originally intended not to welcome immigrants but to celebrate the emancipation of slaves” (New York Times, 2006).

Dismissed by one man as a cheap publicity stunt, the monument was anything but cheap. The structure cost the church $260,000, and was erected on church property. Williams is quoted at the end of the article as saying, “This statue proves that Jesus Christ is Lord over America, he is Lord over Tennessee, he is Lord over Memphis.”

What does a symbol like this say to people of other religious faiths in America? Are you okay with taking an American icon and changing its appearance and meaning? Does this “work” as evangelism?

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