"Touchdown Jesus," the colloquial name of a six-story statue in Ohio, was burned to the ground Monday night after lightning struck it. The structure depicts Jesus Christ raising his arms in exultation and was well known to commuters of Ohio's I-75 highway. Onlookers captured striking photos of the burning statue which sparked comment among the Web's chattering classes:
- Way to Go, God! complains Ernie Smith at Short Form Blog: "Damage has been set at $700,000 – $300,000 for the statue itself and another $400,000 for damage to the ampitheater. Stupid acts of God, ruining great things."
- Did Obama Cause It? The LA Times' Jimmy Orr plants his tongue in his cheek: "The White House Tuesday announced that President Obama will travel to Ohio on Friday. Specifics of the trip have not been released yet. In other Ohio news, a 62-foot statue of Jesus exploded Monday night after lightning struck the 6-story-tall structure. 'Touchdown Jesus,' as Ohio citizens nicknamed it, was completely destroyed. Outside of geographical location, the two news items are probably not related."
- Great Quote from a Local Ohioan "I found this comment from the news story hilarious," writes Jonathan Chait at The New Republic:
“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.”
- No, It's Not That Touchdown Jesus, writes Chris Rovzar at New York Magazine: "People keep calling it "Touchdown Jesus" because its giant arms were in the air (hence, presumably, the lightning strike). But it's not the "Touchdown Jesus." The end of Notre Dame's 2009 football season was punishment enough without having their landmark exploded, thank you very much."
- Behold, God Speaks! writes Ann Althouse: "Ah! The world is strange, but perhaps God is trying to tell us something."
- Jesus (the Statue) Will Be Resurrected notes The Dayton Daily News. They've confirmed with Church officials that the statue will be rebuilt this summer.