Sunday, August 06, 2006

Beifuss on Our Lady of Manifest Destiny

John Beifuss is dead on in his new blog:
...I give a goggle-eyed thumbs up to the green lawn jockey on steroids erected outside the World Overcomers Outreach Ministries Church at the corner of Winchester and Kirby Parkway. I always loved the Brobdingnagian grocery sackers that stood outside Memphis' old Giant food stores, and I'm a fan of the monster mouse with the Volkswagen-sized slice of Swiss cheese that sits on top of that business on South Bellevue;
Yes! OLoMD joins the great, if fractured, Memphis tradition of entrepeneurial showmanship and roadside artistry, including the Giant Sacker and the Bellevue Mouse and of course the Great Sign. It's definitely a tradition that influences my primary delusion.

Regarding OLoMD's intentional message, and its commingling of church and state icons, I guess I don't have a problem with it -- as long as its done by a private individual on private property. To me using Lady Liberty to sell Jesus (or Jesus to sell liberty) is very much in the grand American tradition of using public icons to market private products and causes. We need look no further than our television set in the month of February: Abraham Lincoln and George Washington making many a half-off Presidents' Day Sale pitch. The marketeers of these sales are clearly violating the separation of furniture store and state. But private individuals can do as they will with their imaginative work, even if it includes Lady Liberty, urine, and 6-piece dining room sets.


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