This Giant Christian Cross on the Side of a Mississippi Highway is Utterly Useless

Why Is This Giant Christian Cross on the Side of a Mississippi Highway?

About a year ago, in September of 2020, as the pandemic was ravaging the country, a bunch of Christians in Mississippi got together and decided to raise some money.

They didn't know if they could do it. They asked everyone they could to chip in -- friends, family, local businesses, civic groups -- and guess what? They achieved their goal and then some.

Within six months, they had collected $240,000. Nearly a quarter of a million dollars! Which they used to provide support to people in their state who had lost someone to COVID. I'm totally messing with you. They absolutely did not do that.

They didn't even think about it. Instead, they blew the money on a giant Christian cross in Prentiss County in the northeastern part of the state just off of Highway 45. It is 120 feet tall, 64 feet wide, and 0% useful.

If you're curious, it is legal, not on government property as far as I can tell, and the non-profit group that decided to put it up isn't secretly profiting off of it, so okay. But that doesn't mean anyone has to take this thing seriously.

In fact, I have a few questions about why anyone would do this. Like, who was driving around Mississippi and thinking, "You know what this state doesn't have enough of? Jesus."

And how seriously should we take the faith of someone who converts to Christianity because they were driving on the side of the highway, saw a cross on the side of the road, and decided everything they ever knew was wrong?

That's like getting a divorce after 50 years of marriage because the cashier at a grocery store smiled at you. Like... really? That's all it took? And how many people do they think will even see this thing, given the rising COVID rates in a heavily unvaccinated state?

And why did the Prentiss County Sheriff's Department post a video of the cross going up? Isn't that some kind of church/state separation violation? Actually, we know the answer as to why they posted it. Sheriff Randy Tolar was on the Cross Project Committee.

Which is very convenient. Nothing weird at all about the head of local law enforcement thinking THIS is what the community really needs... And, I know this is an old question, but why are we still using a torture device as the symbol for Christianity?

I know I'm not the first person to say this, but I guess we should be thrilled Jesus wasn't beheaded or these people would be erecting a guillotine. And why is this not the first and only Cross these people are putting up? It's not even the second cross.

This is the seventh Giant Christian Cross in the state put up by businessman Mike Rozier, who says a few more are County Sheriff's Department. Like, what is the thinking here: If you're not impressed the first time, we'll get you by number 5? "Just be sure to take long road trips, everyone!"

Rozier actually said, "if one person drives down Highway 45 and looks at this cross and thinks about what Jesus did for him, and he has a conversion moment, it's worth every penny." So a conversion is worth $240,000.

I obviously think that's a waste of money, and I get that they don't because salvation means everything to conservative Christians, but how is this the most efficient use of THEIR money, even to accomplish THEIR goals?

If the point is to bring people to Jesus, there are better ways to do it than spending a quarter-million dollars on the most boring skyscraper imaginable. Here's a thought: Find 240 desperate people, and promise them $1,000 each if they attend church every week for the next year. I'm not saying that's ethical -- it is totally coercive -- but you know what?

I will bet you more of them will end up getting baptized than the people who change religions because there was nothing else to look at during a long drive.

Or, you know what? Donate that $240,000 to a children's hospital and say Jesus made you do it.

That would be better publicity for Christianity than a monument to the letter T. Can you imagine what the reaction would be if a Muslim group put up a giant symbol of Islam in the same way?

Would Christians think, "Oh no! Everyone is gonna convert to Islam?" No, of course not. They would say it's appalling or useless or worse -- I mean, this IS Mississippi -- and yet they think it'll work when it's their symbol.

And how come local news channels are covering this cross like it's just a normal quirky thing? It's not. It's weird and expensive and unnecessary.

That intersection had nothing interesting to look at, and they STILL found a way to make it worse. Can we at least turn this into a windmill and try to generate some electricity or something?

Okay, hear me out: What if The Satanic Temple puts up a 121-foot upside-down cross on the opposite side of the road? Because while this is all totally insane and unnecessary, a theological mine-is-bigger-than-yours competition would kind of be glorious.

I would donate to that effort. And wasn't there a rule about graven images being a problem? I could've sworn that was somewhere in the Bible. On a list. Let's be honest. This cross is not about bringing people to Christ.

This is about declaring Christian supremacy, and the people doing it are probably the same ones who claim Christians in the U.S. are being persecuted. Anyway, have fun with this, Mississippi.

Scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to education and health and poverty but willing to spend big bucks on the one thing Mississippi already has way too much of Christianity.

Originally published by Hemant Mehta on Friendly Atheist. Published on Fadewblogs by Dave Martin.

Disclaimer: This article is published on Fadewblogs with the permission of the author.

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