Thursday, July 05, 2007

Why?


Here's one for the hair-brained, nutty ideas file. Apparently a group of Christians wants to build the world's largest cross, at a height of 60 metres, in Nazareth, to welcome pilgrims and tourists. According to the website, it will also house a museum displaying historical artifacts and a chapel. Call me a world-weary cynic, but what possible benefit is this to anyone? I would have thought that there's more pressing needs in the world than building such monuments. If you feel so inclined, visit http://www.nazarethcross.com/ and see for yourself what this is all about.

19 comments:

Glen O'Brien said...

The Nazareth cross link appears to be broken

Ross McPhee said...

Yes, you're right. The problem seems to be on their end. You can do a search engine search to find out more. I've already brought this practical and necessary project to the attention of the good people at ship-of-fools.com.

Kitty Cheng said...

You're quite right Ross. You are a world-weary cynic. If this group of Christians has a calling from God to do such a project, who are we to say that they shouldn't be involved in this, than more pressing needs in the world?

Ross McPhee said...

I've read the website, and those behind it want to help the Nazareth community. Their motives are good, but I'm afraid I don't see the point of putting all these resources into such a mammoth project.

James Garth said...

This is a tough one. I can think of three other religious constructions which could also rightly be criticized as being a wasteful use of resources:

1) The First Jewish Temple
2) The Roof of the Sistine Chapel
3) The Statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro.

If you accept these as being permissible, it could be argued that the Nazareth Cross is a permissible project, as a 'rallying point' for Christians at the geographical cradle of their faith.

However, despite this, I would still argue against its construction on two grounds:

(i) It is aesthetically uninspired. It's design is clunky at best and tacky at worst, an imposition that stands in stark cultural contrast to the surrounding area.

(ii) It is a very sensitive part of the world at present, and the sad truth is that such symbolic constructions are far more likely to inflame violence and tension at this time than they are to inspire religious devotion.

Those constructing this Cross might certainly be sincere, and claim that their motives are from God, but, as any student of history can attest, discerning God's will can be a very tricky thing. Though I'm sure you would be too humble to suggest this Ross, but who's to say that your admonition is not itself from God?

James

Ross McPhee said...

Kitty, you forgot to add a smiley-faced emoticon to the end the second sentence in your comment...

James, you articulate some of my feelings on this proposal. I can only comment based on the information available on the website. It would be good to sit down and talk with the backers of this project to see what their motives are.

Kitty Cheng said...

:) perhaps you are a cynic, but not a world-weary one hehe?

By the way, I think James' comment is worth reflecting on as well!

One Salient Oversight said...

discerning God's will can be a very tricky thing

I just stick with the Bible. It "thoroughly equips" us for every good work.

Therefore I think that these people, who believe that God is "calling" them to do this, are not listening to God but to some other channel.

Ross McPhee said...

Salient, I'm inclined to agree with you. I wish we could speak face to face with those behind this project to find out where the idea came from. Wanting to help the people of Nazareth by boosting local tourism is a good thing, but surely they can find a less ostentatious way of doing this.

Heather said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog, Ross.

As for the positive comments above...

There is no way that this ugly monstrosity could be compared to the first Jewish temple, the Sistine Chapel or the statue of Christ in Rio De Janeiro.

The thing is an atrocity. Awful. Horrendous.

I'm positive that the God who designed the mountains, the stars and the trees has better taste.

:-D

betterthangod said...

The Nazareth Cross site is listed by ZoneAlarm and Google as a suspicious site that attempts to install malicious software.

Here is what Google has to say.
http://safebrowsing.clients.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?client=Firefox&hl=en-US&site=http://www.nazarethcross.com/

How christian…

EvilGod said...

You think this is crazy? There is a group of Americans raising funds to put a satellite, or collection of satellites, into space so there will be a cross in space visible from Earth. I'm not joking.

Ross said...

BTG, have you brought this to the attention of the Nazareth Cross people? Another possible explanation is that the malicious software was planted by hackers.

betterthangod said...

@ Ross
How do I bring it to their attention without risking harm to my computer?

Funny how you thought it would be "hackers". My first thought was that the Nazareth Cross was such a ludicrous idea that it was probably fake and the whole thing was simply set up to attract people to a site from which they would spread mal-ware. The best way to do this would be to set yourself up with a seemingly godly enterprise as the gullible religious types think other religious people are automatically "good" people. Just look at the way every second American Yellow-Pages ad has that ridiculous fish on it. Are believers that gullible they think no one would use what they consider sacred as a simple, meaningless, sales tool?

godkiller said...

Maybe I've forgotten it but I'll be damned if I can think of the relevance of Nazareth to Jesus or Christianity.

Ross said...

BTG, I just bypassed the Google filter and contacting the Nazareth Cross people about the malware warning for their site. Thanks for visiting my blog again.

Ross said...

Godkiller, Jesus was raised in Nazareth as a child.

betterthangod said...

I think godkiller, in an odd way, makes a point. Why specifically Nazareth? The place someone spent a few years of their childhood is rarely of any relevance in their later life.What about Jesus' time in Nazareth is monument-worthy? What I mean is there is absolutely no way a monstrosity like this would ever be considered in his place of birth or place of death so it seems like those proposing this looked for a site where there was any chance at all it could be built combined with any connection to Jesus at all no matter how tenuous.
It also doesn't hurt that the average Christian misunderstands The famous I.N.R.I. on the cross as reading "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews".

EvilGod said...

I think the only reason this is being proposed in Nazareth is that anywhere actually relevant to Christ and therefore Christians, i.e. his place of birth or place of death are simply out of the question. Since when is the place where someone spent part of their childhood considered monument-worthy?
I think a lot of christians get confused about Nazareth as it seems a large number of believers misunderstand the I.N.R.I. from the cross as Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. I have heard this many times even from preachers. It is common for christians to say Jesus of Nazareth yet the only people to be able to say that truthfully would be people alive at the time Jesus lived in Nazareth. Like saying Ross of Melbourne. I don't know if you were born there but it would be correct while you are there but if you were born in Sydney and died in Brisbane and had only spent a few years in Melbourne it is unlikely you would be referred to as Ross of Melbourne.