The deacon, our youngest son and I were driving through Illinois today when we saw a truly astonishing sight:
This monstrosity, located near the intersection of two interstate highways, is 198 feet tall. That’s about 20 stories high. That is one big cross. You can read more about it here. According to the Cross USA web site,
This site is intended to serve as a beacon of hope to the 50,000 travelers estimated to pass the site each day. In addition, the Cross Foundation will promote the values of faith and family through other activities at the Effingham site, as well as programs to be announced shortly…
I probably was not the only person who drove by that thing today and thought, “What a colossal waste.” The money that was spent erecting that eyesore could have provided thousands of meals to hungry people, or enabled families to spend hundreds of nights in transitional housing, or subsidized child care expenses for working families, or… or … or…. Think of how much energy is wasted lighting that sucker up every night. If that cross was supposed to make me think warm, fuzzy thoughts about God, it failed miserably. Instead, I thought of a guy with a warped conception of how scarce resources could be used to minister to the public. I also thought of all the donors who did not see the futility of this gesture and could not imagine more fruitful ways to spend their money. This thing is supposed to persuade or reassure me that Christianity has a viable message for the 21st century? Sorry, it doesn’t work for me.
If I were God, I would have would have struck that thing down years ago.
– the chaplain