back to article Lightning bolt smites 60ft Jesus statue

The faithful of Ohio were left contemplating a message from above this week after a bolt of lightning hit a 60 foot high statue of Jesus, reducing it to a smouldering steel skeleton. The King of Kings statue at the Solid Rock Church had previously stood 64 foot high, and 40 foot wide, making it something of a landmark for the …


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  1. Rumcajz

    Two words..

    teach science.

  2. ravenviz Silver badge


    Mine's the technicolour dream coat with the Dead Sea Scrolls in the pocket.

  3. Ben M

    $700,000? Seriously?

    Sounds like another ill-fated statue... one golden calf circa 1500BC, perhaps?

    Well God sure showed them... again.

    1. Disco-Legend-Zeke

      Interesting To...

      ...note that the facades of Las Vegas casinos are constructed this way, stryofoam shapes with a thin coating.

      However, these monuments to sin are protected by lightning rods.

      Contrary to popular opinion, the pointy type lightning rods are NOT intended top attract lightning, but rather to stream electrons either into or out of the air, preventing voltage buildup.

      The mushroom tipped type, on the other hand, are designed to accumulate a large charge and attract lightening, carrying it "safely" to ground. The big advantage of the domed tip is that rooftop workers are less likely to be skewered by them if they fall.

      In a demonstration sponsored by the makers, they proved their mushroom design was superior, because lightning never hit the pointy ones!

  4. ElNumbre

    Art Critic?

    I can only presume God has got pissed off that people arn't constructing statues true to Jesus's image - a big black rastafarian woman.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      ".....a big black rastafarian woman."

      You owe me a new monitor!

      And which doofus didn't think to build a lightning conductor into the design? $700k and no bright spark thought of that? Damn, I really need to move into the oversized-religeous-icons field!

      1. Across-the-pond Scum

        High-5 after a touchdown.

        Same doofus that thinks that evolution needs to be banned from schools. Science was clearly not one of she/he's strong points and hopefully he didn't build any houses either.

        What would it have taken to put in two lines of copper--one in each middle finger? Just think of the AWESOME photo op as lightning strikes the hand of Jesus, repeatedly over time no less AND next to a highway. Like a spiritual High-5 from father to son. LOL

      2. Peter H. Coffin

        Oh yes they did...

        A perfectly functional lightning conductor was included in the design. They just had it labeled as "metal skeleton" on the plans, and the instant lightning hit it, it set everything ELSE on fire.

    2. Daniel 1


      Some one needs to tell them that they just lost a six-storey high copy of a recycled statue of Jupiter.

  5. Mike Tree

    A sign?

    “I think it’s a sign of the end of the world,” Paul Wright, told the Dayton Daily News “If lightning is going to strike God, then there’s no hope.”

    Nope. It's called Physics!

    Is that a lightening conductor in my pocket, or am I just plesae to see you?

    1. TimeMaster T


      Yep, this Paul Wright is not the sharpest tool in the shed.

      The lightning hit a STATUE, not what ever God he claims to worship, or was he worshiping the idol that went up in flames and not the concept behind it? Maybe that was the message from "God".

      Fire, cause a Burning bush was once seen as a visit from God.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I've never understood Christians. Even Christ spoke against idolatry.

    Still, it's nice to see the big man getting back to the old ways.

  7. peyton?


    Sweet Jesus!!

    1. Mr Grumblefish


      Sweet flaming Jesus

  8. Graham Bartlett

    Not really news

    Ever since lightning conductors were fitted to church towers, Christians have (rightly) put their trust in science protecting their property, rather than relying on divine intervention. Like the joke about the guy who drowns in a flood saying "Jesus will save me" and refusing all help - Jesus says to him, "I sent you policemen, firemen and a lifeboat, what more did you want?"

    Which is why Pastor Darlene Bishop is aces.

    "Honey," she says, "it's just some fiberglass."

    More like her and less like Pat Robertson, please...

  9. Anonymous John

    You shall not make for yourself a graven image *


    * Bootnote.Not 60 foot ones without a lightning conductors, that is.

    1. Elmer Phud


      The sermon at the wekend must have been about false idols and graven images followed by the collection.

      Crap Jesus well and truly smited.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      Well, as long as they didn't *worship* the graven image, I think they'll be fine...

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Graven


        It all depends on how you enumerate the 14-or-so rules which make up the "10" commandments.

        *Worshipping* something else breaks one rule. Making a graven image breaks the very next one. Or perhaps the same one. Or perhaps not.

        This kind of thing was a bone of contention between the early protestants and the Catholics (the early protestants shunning crucifixes in favor of crosses for exactly this reason).

  10. TeeCee Gold badge

    End of world?

    No. Obviously it's just some non-Christian deity's turn at the Lightning Bolt Which Smiteth The Unbeliever button this week.

    1. Steve X
      Thumb Up


      Doesn't do to piss off Zeus

      1. scub


        Maybe its a sign that America isn't hitting anyone hard enough these days?

        C`mon America BOOYAH!

        (Cue banjo music..)

  11. LuMan

    Lightning conductors..

    ..don't actually conduct lightning.

    Mine's the one with the 11-Plus Physics book in the pocket.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      So what do you think they do, does electricity flow through them or not? Why are they connected to an earth?

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lightning conductors

      Yes, the idea is that the lightning conductor forms a protective shield that is the same polarity as the storm above, so reducing the liklihood of a strike, but in case there is one, they are designed to take the instantaneous current without damage.

      (Example, a negative cloud above repels the electrons in the lightning conductor, which leaves the lightning conductor positively charged. This then attracts negatively charged particles in the atmosphere above the conductor, giving a negatively charged "shield").

      Handy to know should you want to recharge your Delorian.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The clue's in the name

        Having read, I now am an expert (obviously). OK I've only skimmed it, but I've not seen that theory expressed there.

        Surely the clue's in the name Lightning Conductor - not Lightning Preventer, but conductor.

        Or am I missing something?

  12. lansalot


    but what would you put on the insurance form: Act of God, or "fillicide" ?

    Maybe J has been acting up and Dad has him on his last warning or something...

    " Get back there and have that second coming you promised "

    " In a minute! Gonna level up on COD4 "

    " Do as you're told! "

    " No! You're not even my real Dad ! "

    " Right, this is what you've got coming - and don't say you weren't warned, m'laddo !! "

    *zap* etc etc

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is a god...

    ...and clearly his name is Thor.

    1. Chris Miller

      Cue irrelevant ditty:

      The thunder god went for a ride

      Upon his favourite filly.

      "I'm Thor!" he cried,

      The horse replied:

      "You forgot your thaddle, thilly!"

  14. Scott 19

    He works

    The big man works in mysterious ways?

  15. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Um, it's been a while but

    isn't there some passage in the Bible in which God supposedly forbids creating objects in His image ?

    I really do seem to remember something about that.

    1. Jonathan 10

      @Um, it's been a while but

      Not quite right,

      Though shall not make false Idols of me. Exodus 20:2–17

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: @Um

        So true idols are OK, then? Fine, I'll just dust off that rastafarian lady in the corner...

  16. Anonymous Coward

    It makes a change

    ... from burning crosses....

  17. Graham Marsden

    Will the insurance pay out...

    ... or will they claim it was an Act of God...?

  18. Annihilator

    The lesson is

    "The lesson is: Our God is vengeful! O spiteful one, show me who to smite and they shall be smoten!"

  19. T-Bo

    Consider this:

    Larry Flint's Hustler Superstore is right across the freeway from the statue and it was perfectly fine after the storm. And no, I'm not kidding ... :)

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Was it

      20m high and made mostly of metal though?

      Go science!

    2. fred #257

      Just shows...

      ... that God is a rotten shot. :)

      (At last an entirely appropriate icon!)

  20. frank ly

    Thank You

    " ... The flameout has inevitably prompted wailing and gnashing of teeth as locals ponder why a bolt of electricity would choose to light on a six-storey high structure with a steel skeleton standing in a predominantly flat area.

    “I think it’s a sign of the end of the world,” Paul Wright, told the Dayton Daily News “If lightning is going to strike God, then there’s no hope.” ... "

    Oh how I laughed at that. (Does this mean I'm cruel and cynical?)

  21. Richard 102
    Thumb Up

    Big Butter Jesus

    Google for Heywood Banks' tribute song, Big Butter Jesus. Classic! And he had a new verse about the lightning almost immediately.

    Big butter Jesus!

    Sweet cream Jesus!


  22. Anonymous Coward

    I don't want to be a grammar nazi . . .

    (or do I?)

    "The King of Kings statue at the Solid Rock Church had previously stood 64 foot high, and 40 foot wide, making it something of a landmark for the town of Monroe."

    When was the plural of foot deprecated? Did I miss the memo? Is this a Merkin thing?

    1. Annihilator

      Foot or feet

      "foot" has also been an acceptable plural of "foot" when discussing length. Easiest (sort of) example is when talking about boats and referring to one as a "65 foot-er".

      "feet" is also acceptable obviously.

    2. vic 4

      plural of foot = foot or feet

      When talking about foot as a measurement of length either foot or feet is correct, see

    3. The Indomitable Gall

      Weights and measures...

      It's traditional for the singular to be used with weights and measures -- using the plural is a relative innovation, and there's still plenty of people who will describe something as "3 pound 95" rather than "3 pounds 95".

      And there's certain measures that never take a plural after a number: dozens, hundreds, thousands, millions etc may exist, but 24 is "two dozen", 200 is "two hundred", and so on.

      Funny how "purists" are just as likely to defend neologisms as anachronisms. The only logic behind "correct" English is that it's whatever the person doing the correction speaks....

  23. adnim
    Thumb Up

    it *IS* a sign

    this is a sign from Gaia warning the delusional of the futility in worshiping false idols.

  24. Hugh Jorgen
    Paris Hilton


    Lets all agree with the local inhabitants and encourage this act of God as the sign the end of the world is here......and God's starting the apocolypse in backwater USA. Convince them to move somewhere less evil where God's going to up the land and property really really cheap......

    ...........then flatten the lot and open a casino with hookers, and bullfighting.

    Paris, because she's the closest to a hooker icon (and I'd pay to slap her boobies).

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's also worth noting...

    ...that due to the statue's having both arms (and index fingers) pointing skyward with its head slightly inclined, it was referred to colloquially as 'Touchdown Jesus', given its position's similarity to that taken by triumphant (American) football players.

    1. Mike Flugennock

      You're sort of half-right... it's the "touchdown" signal made by referees in American "football".


  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Everyone's a Critic

    I live in Dayton, a little north of the statue, and my thought has always been: why would someone create a statue of Jesus that makes it look like he's drowning (the statue was of Jesus' upper body coming out of a pond, extending both arms to the sky, hence another nickname of "touchdown Jesus" for the statue).

    My first thought upon hearing of the fire was that God must be an art critic.

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      Art critic...?

      Well everyone knows Jesus can walk on water, so a statue of him half-submerged is a clear case of heresy....

      1. Tim Bates


        He also went into water for baptisms (his and others)...

        Since I'm posting now...

        Personally, I think I'd have done the same thing if I was God. It looked ugly.

  27. Chris Seiter
    Thumb Up


    It'll be back in a few days anyway...

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    God works in mysterious ways

    This proves something about the people of that town: They're sinful!

    And there's only one way to cleanse themselves of sin, and that's to boost congregations and give even more money to the preacher man.

    Jesus, he knows him. And he knows he's right. He's been talking to Jesus all his life.

    PS. Is God working here in as much a mysterious way as when he kills hundreds of thousands of Asians in an earthquake? Or is this a *totally* different thing all together, how dare I even say that?

  29. Matt Piechota

    Only 62?

    Only 62 feet? What about MC 900 ft Jesus?

  30. Muckminded


    For those of us who live near the smoldering abomination, donations are pouring in from around the world to rebuild it. So, it will probably be reincar..., er, rebuilt soon. Hopefully from marshmallow this time, so we can make smores when the next campfire starts. Hot damn.

  31. Dana W

    Here we go again.

    Ah the joys of being an American. If a tornado hits within 200 miles of a gay bar its the "WRATH OF GOD" But the wrath of god crowd get their sacred cow struck by lightning and burned to the ground, and they are going to rebuild this "symbol of faith"

    Its funny, natural disasters are only God hissies when its things they DON'T like that are being destroyed.

  32. Oldgroaner


    Zeus rules.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    I drive by that church frequently

    And when I saw the pictures of it engulfed in flames, several things passed through my mind:

    1) There's a Hustler Super Store directly across the freeway that didn't get struck, so the perv's are probably breathing a sigh of relief

    2) Terminator Jesus! Think about it... The outer covering in flames and exposing its metal skeleton, it just reminded me of "The Terminator".

    3) Yeah, I'm a Christian; I make no apologies for it and I really don't care what others may think about my beliefs as I generally don't care about yours, but I can't help giggle a bit, thinking about our lord & savior saying "I'll be back..."

    Mine's the old AC/DC Highway to Hell tour jacket.

  34. Blubster

    Fuck him

    His followers have been causing nothing but trouble for the last two thousand years - it's about time he got some payback.

  35. Stratman


    It's just a gentle reminder that Jesus protects us (big lightning strike, no one injured) and sacrificed himself for us.

    I do like the Terminator analogy though :)

  36. MajorTom

    64 foot or feet

    What's that in cubits?

  37. Mike Flugennock

    My first thought on seeing the still-flaming skeleton...

    Hot damn! Burning Man's early this year!

  38. Winkypop Silver badge

    The god tards will...

    ....always find a way to rationalize these types of events. No matter how kooky, natural or unusual.

    The plain simple fact is always: Science

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "64 foot high, and 40 foot wide"

    And (US) Man made God (to scale) in his own image.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bit late

    Nature should have pulled this trick on the real thing two thousand odd years ago and saved us all a lot of trouble.

  41. Asiren


    Now they can update the statue and put a proper "Buddy Jesus" there!

  42. Noton

    Big Butter Jesus

    I drive past the statue four times a week. I drove past the land the church was built on for ten years looking at a sign that read "FILL DIRT WANTED". Once the swamp was filled and the sign came down, they built the church. Then they put the name up in lights right next to the freeway "SOLID ROCK CHURCH". I never recovered from that irony, especially once I learned the financial founder of the church was a horse trader. A few years later, apparently unable to locate any least of his brethren to assist, the church dipped into the kitty and built a statue of Jesus, 45 feet high, planted up to his navel in a lake with his hands upraised towards the heavens. Since the statue has upraised hands, many in the area began referring to it as "Touchdown Jesus". The rest of us noticed the color of the statue resembled week-old butter, and just called it "Big Butter Jesus." About a year ago, I drove by and noticed a ten crows evenly spaced with one on each finger and thumb. I thought this might be a bad sign.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Haaaaa Haaaaaa Haaaaa

    If the lightening had of hit his cock, would he have "gone up" or "zapped off"?

  44. Mips
    Jobs Horns

    Makes a change..

    .. from the KKK burning crosses.

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