Lightning strikes massive Jesus statue

Jesus11111 Firejesussss Framejesusss
Last night, lightning struck a six-story tall Jesus Christ statue north of my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, sparking a fire that burned the figure down to its steel frame. The end is nigh. From the Associated Press:
The sculpture, 62 feet tall and 40 feet wide at the base, showed Jesus from the torso up and was nicknamed Touchdown Jesus because of the way his arms were raised, as though reaching out to catch a football. It was made of plastic foam and fiberglass over a steel frame, which is all that remained early Tuesday.

The fire spread from the statue to an adjacent amphitheater but was confined to the attic area, and no one was injured, police Chief Mark Neu said. The fire department would release a monetary damage estimate Tuesday, he said.
"Gigantic 62-foot Jesus statue struck by lightning, destroyed" (Thanks, everyone!)


  1. Irrelevant commentary:

    I thought he was called Touchdown Jesus because he looks like he’s signaling “Touchdown” using… referee… pantomime… or whatever it’s called.

    There’s also one in South Bend, IN.

    1. You’re right, I think. That’s like the first thing I thought of when I read this article.

    1. Wow, I read that article and judging by those guys’ habit of taking natural disasters as signs from above, they should be hiding under their beds right now

  2. This is proof of what I’ve been telling all of my Christian friends – the Rapture has already occurred and you’ve been left behind.

    1. The reason your Christian friends didn’t notice that the rapture has already happened is because not only did they not get taken, but no one they know got taken either.

  3. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above…

    I guess the big dude is getting more serious on enforcement for that one.

  4. Thou shall not worship false icons (and I’m an atheist).

    Is it me or is there a little terminator’esc in the remains.

  5. No, you fools! You have to crush it between the gears of massive machinery to make sure it’s dead!

  6. The best bit (according to the BBC radio news report I heard earlier) is that the insurers have said it’s an act of God.

    1. I laughed out loud when I heard that from the BBC.
      Think that means no insurance payment ?

    2. If that is correct, that is brilliant.

      I mean, of course I want their insurance to cover it, that’s what they paid for insurance for and all, but the irony is quite delicious.

  7. @RHK – That’s brilliant. I’m stealing that.

    I wonder how the christianists will spin this. My guess is that they say it’s just one of those things and not a sign of Cheebus’ wrath.

  8. Try not to get worried
    Try not to turn on to
    Problems that ignite you
    Oh, don’t you know
    Everything’s alright
    Yes everything’s fine
    And we want you to burn well tonight
    Let the world turn without you tonight
    If we try
    We’ll get by
    So forget all about us tonight

  9. “I can’t believe Jesus was struck,” said his brother, who noted the giant Hustler Hollywood sign for the adult store across the street was untouched. “It’s the last thing I expected to happen.” – Seth Walsh, as reported by the Dayton Daily News.

    1. In fairness, the Hustler store isn’t exactly “across the street.” It’s a good five miles away, although both the church and the porn store are off the same exit.

  10. In my circles it was more commonly known as the Big Butter Jesus because of its yellow color. Heywood Banks wrote a song about it.

    Big butter Jesus
    Sweet cream Jesus
    Oh country fresh Jesus
    Unsalted Jesus
    Oh Promise Jesus
    Imperial Jesus
    Can’t believe it’s not Jesus
    Oleo Lord.

    1. The new chorus: “Big fireball Jesus, flaming shot Jesus, charbroiled Jesus, Opa! Jesus, extra crispy Jesus, bananas foster Jesus, I’m put out it’s not Jesus, Charcoal-y O Lord.”

  11. Where are the -BoingBoing has no balance! I bet if it was a 60 foot steel and foam rubber statue of Darwin with a butterfly net that was struck by lightning we wouldn’t have even seen this here- comments?

    1. When there is a 60 foot steel and foam rubber statue of Darwin with a butterfly net it will be featured here. No intelligent smoting required.

    2. Fair enough, but keep in mind that Darwin or his followers never spoke of striking down his disbelievers with bolts of lightning!

    3. You’re right, but:

      1. There aren’t too many atheists out there praying, but there are plenty of Christians who are more than happy to chastise non-believers, and worse.

      2. This is ironic, a flaming Darwin isn’t.

      3. This is a WHOLE lot funnier.

      By the way, my Captcha phrase is “pounded tsunami.” I hope this isn’t a bad omen for Buddhists.

  12. That’s too bad. . . woulda been nice to try and kick some field goals through his arms, knowing that he would automatically be signaling “it’s GOOD!”

  13. Don’t worry, guys. I’m sure they’ll have him back in action…probably in about 3 days time. Amirite?

    I’d rather see them use the cool quarter mil that it cost to put him up to do something along the lines of what they say jesus taught, like helping the destitute and stuff. I went to UC and know for a fact that money could be well spent helping people in Over the Rhine.

  14. No rapture, no angry god, they made a styrofoam giant grotesque figure so a Valencian passerby thought it was a falla so he cremated it

    1. God hates styrofoam, it’s in the new Testament, in the appended on-line wiki version.

    1. Maybe you need more representatives on Earth to explain why you do things — people of Westboro Baptist Church caliber.

    2. There aren’t enough pluses in the universe to give you a high enough score for that comment. Bravo.

  15. I actually think that the steel frame remains are more aesthetically pleasing and interesting than the big Jesus was. Must be the post-industrialist in me.

    1. You, me and the LORD UC. We like our sculptures made out of steel tubing and vaguely inspired by Giacometti.

      1. It occurs that I ought to have used the term “armature”.

        I prefer the armature to the finished work.
        I am gratified that I appear not to be alone in this judgment.

  16. I read elsewhere on the intertubes that the nearby billboard for the Cincinnati Hustler store is unscathed, but I cannot confirm this yet.

  17. I guess GODâ„¢ is finally enforcing the IP rights over his images.

    If only they’d licensed the rights for public display first this all could have been avoided…silly mortals.

  18. My name is Touchdown Jesus, King of Kings:
    Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
    The lone and level Ohio stretches far away.

  19. Is this the divine equivalent of a takedown notice? Seems a bit dickish to me; I mean, yeh, it’s His image but given all that “..for you to use” stuff in Genesis, you would have thought God would be a bit more into the GNUPL.

    I guess it was pretty derivative though…

  20. Meanwhile, ten miles down the road in West Chester, the Hustler Hollywood Store was left completely untouched by God.

    1. Actually the Hustler Hollywood is only like a mile or a bit more away on the otherside of the highway, they’re both off of the same exit and yes it’s still there.

  21. I live about 15 minutes north and it’ll be missed mostly as a kitsch highway side show. What’s sad is they want to rebuild it instead of spending the money on actually creating change.

  22. Having driven by this a number of times, I will say it was a pretty impressive sight from the highway.

    Location here in Google Earth:
    39 27.230 n 84 19.585 w

    Though, it should be noted, that photo was taken in March 2004, seemingly before construction was complete.

  23. “9-1-1 Operator. Please state the nature of the mergency.”

    “Jesus is on fire! He just got hit by lightning!”

    “Sir, have you taken any drugs, or been drinking?”

  24. Wow. $250k put into a gaudy statue that could have instead funded caring for numerous poor families, or bought several houses to be used for transitional housing, or as seed funding for a public clinic… nah, I can’t imagine why god might be upset enough to zap a big fugly statue of his son.

    Well, if I believed god was some angry big hairy guy in a dowdy sundress, prone to dropping books on the heads of his worshippers so they could have the unequivocal truth from his mystic printing press in the sky, that is…

  25. A sad story for all of you.

    I was in the area about a month ago with my boyfriend, attending the Hamvention. We drove by it a couple times a day to and from the con. We kept saying, “We should stop and get a picture, angled so that it looks like one of us is giving him head.” We’re quite mature.

    We kept referring to it as the BJ Jesus, and made cracks about a mermaid underneath the water doing the deed. (The statue is coming out of a giant pond.)

    When we got home, we googled it and realized it is actually called “BJ Jesus” and “Touchdown Jesus” by many locals, and is quite infamous. We had no idea, but it makes sense.

    The day we left to go home, we completely forgot to take a photo, and were 40 minutes away by the time we remembered. We said, “If we come back to the con next year, we’ll take some pictures then.”

    Now I will never get that picture of me giving Jesus a BJ. The world weeps.

  26. If we’re going with old-time religion, I think PerkÅ«nas (the Lithuanian thunder god) may be behind this.

  27. Churches shouldn’t be able to buy insurance polices that protect against acts of God. No matter which side you’re on (theist or atheist) one is scamming the other.

  28. Watching the Heywood Banks video/song with my (then) nine-year old was an excellent chance to discuss the relative merits of satire vs. idolatry.

  29. The irony to this is that there is a Hustler Hollywood super store about two exits up.

    I hear they are changing their billboard to

    ‘Ha You Missed!’

  30. If they want to prevent a repeat of this incident, they should erect a lightning rod… shaped like a crucifix I suppose.

  31. Is it just me or does anyone else see the head of a goat in that fireball?
    … Just wondering.

  32. the lesson i take from this incident is to stop wasting time and money on statues, and instead use the money to help the poor. as a non-Christian, what always bemuses me is how Jesus lived a life of poverty, but so few Christians today emulate that aspect of his life and prefer to live a life of luxury.

  33. This be interpreted as proof that God does not approve the propaganda we spew in the name of Jesus.

    Or this can be interpreted that he does not exist.

    Choose you interpretation.

  34. “nicknamed Touchdown Jesus because of the way his arms were raised, as though reaching out to catch a football”

    Isn’t it because it is the referee hand symbol for approving a touchdown?

  35. This was on an NPR segment yesterday that had two hilarious quotes, both were similar to some BB posts above, although the intent was polar opposite. I’m paraphrasing here.

    One guy said that Jesus once again died for our sins and took a lightning bolt meant for the church.

    A pastor at the church said that Jesus is like the Terminator and “he’ll be back”.

    Boggles the mind.

  36. I can say with absolute certainty that these types of stories really do make me happy. Extreme irony with religion wins every time in my book.

  37. When I heard about this, I was immediately disappointed it was caused by a lightning strike instead of some black metal dudes.

    It should also note that it was painted a few times. It sounded like a recipe for flammable.

  38. From the pre-strike picture…looks like Jesus was asking for it…and he got it! Ask and thou shall receive :)

  39. I hope that the insurance refuses to pay due to it being “an act of God”, which they frequenctly have exceptions for :p

  40. I believe this is what Christians call ” AN ACT OF GOD”……. I hear the porn shop a block away was unharmed.

  41. Didn’t the Israelites raise their arms when they rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem when they came out of Babylon? There were over 22,000 poor souls celebrating the reopening of the temple during the 7th Hebrew Month and Mordecai the Jew should have been there as well, book of Esther. Wasn’t it a tradition of the Jewish people, i.e., descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to honor the burnt offering provided to Abraham by GOD.

    It does say GOD’s Word is a consuming Fire. Moses saw the burning bush, most likely in Arabia where Jethro his father in law lived in the land of Midian. Take off your shoes, for where you stand is Holy Ground.. Didn’t the Jewish disciple John say In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with GOD and the Word was GOD. Isn’t Jesus a manifestation of The Word from Spirit to flesh.

    We of the people in the world are the most miserable. Jesus/Yeshua appears to sit on a mercy seat and at the right hand of GOD, but we cannot see him with our flesh. By faith we are saved, not of works, lest any man should boast, some Jewish person called Saul/Paul said that just the day before yesterday if one day is a thousand years and a thousand days is as one day to The LORD. Psalm 22 is from an earthly king called David. My GOD, My GOD, why hast thou forsaken Me?… read the whole psalm to understand.

    The irony of it all is the perversity of the society and place it happened in. Yeshua came to save the lost. Abraham was given a full grown male Ram caught in a thicket in exchange for his son Isaac as a sacrifice on a hillside that became a city called Jerusalem around 2100 B.C.., the irony of a burnt offering. Moses was instructed to make a burnt offering as part of the protection from the plagues put upon Egypt so their First Born would not die. Moses sacrifice was to be eaten with bitter herbs during the exodus, i.e. Passover to save the first born. King David purchased a threshing floor from Onran for taking a census that was killing thousands of innocent Israelites and he gave that piece of property to his son Solomon who built a temple there. The Ram caught in the thicket showed up in person, around 2100 years after Abraham, in the same physical location. Yeshua was that burnt offering. Irony of irony, “no one comes to the Father but through me”… Yeshua quoted it correctly. In the end times we are turned to fables and foolishness, like Noah before the flood.

    YeshuaGOD Bless! What a burnt offering we have in exchange for our sins so we might have eternal life without sin. The Love of Christ passes all worldly understanding. I’d rather have just a drop of the Holy Spirit to keep me out of the lake of fire for eternity than all the worldly foolish we wallow in daily.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Jeff Vincelette

  42. @GraemeM • #6 • 2:26 PM Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 • Reply
    “Is it me or is there a little terminator’esc in the remains.”

    It has me thinking of mechagodzilla, …and oil cans.

    definitely an improvement. and way less scary.

  43. Whoever wrote this is not truthful. Touchdown Jesus is outside Dayton, Ohio almost three hours away from Cinci. We used to make the drive from Louisville to Dayton to take our friend to his Air Force Reserve obligations and seeing TDJ was a landmark letting us know we were getting close to Dayton. We would snap pics of TDJ and photo shop them to look like a referee, a soccer goalie, a man tossing pizza crust… the list goes on…

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