Lo, it is a solemn day for lovers of religious-themed roadside attractions, for today one of the most recognizable of our nation's giant Jesuses is now nothing but a charred metal frame.
The 62-foot-tall "King of Kings" statue that once rose from the pond outside Monroe, Ohio's Solid Rock Church was struck by lightning last night and set ablaze. The figure, which many detourists lovingly nicknamed "Touchdown Jesus" or "Drowning Jesus," had little chance of survival due to its highly flammable plastic-foam and fiberglass construction. (Video below.)
Motorists are already feeling the loss. So many gawkers were stopping along Interstate 75 this afternoon that highway patrolmen were forced to begin issuing citations just to keep traffic moving. Reports indicate that some visitors were scooping chunks of molten Jesus from the pond as souvenirs.
Yet, the church has already announced plans to rebuild the iconic statue. "It will be back," said co-pastor Darlene Bishop, "but this time we are going to try for something fireproof."