Facebook > Email > More Pinterest Print Twitter Play

Cross Ways

A pastor at a Corpus Christi church is on a mission to build “the largest cross in the Western Hemisphere.”

By Comments

The Corpus Christi cross, designed to be 230 feet tall, would be the second largest cross in the world after this 492-foot monument in Madrid called Valle de los Caídos (Valley of the Fallen).
Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Rick Milby wasn’t trying to be playful. His stern expression and deep voice didn’t seem to lend itself much to jokes. Neither did his windowless office in Abundant Life Fellowship Church in Corpus Christi, where he’s been the pastor for 35 years. No, Milby was actually giving me something of a sales pitch.

“Papa Johns will match two for one,” he told me from the other side of his desk. “You buy a pizza, you can get one free. That’s a good deal. If you go to Texas Roadhouse and buy two entrees, you’ll get a free appetizer.”

Milby’s supporters have partnered with both chain restaurants to offer a $25 card that allows customers to claim buy-one-get-one-free appetizers or pizzas for a year. All 25 of those dollars will go toward raising money for the pastor’s grand vision: making Corpus Christi home to “the largest cross in the Western Hemisphere.”

The pastor’s vision for the cross came about three years ago when he took his family on a road trip to Galveston. Along the way they drove toward a 170-foot cross outside of Sagemont Church in southeast Houston, near the intersection of I-45 and Beltway 8. Milby was mesmerized by the way the cross appeared to keep growing larger as the car approached it. He decided then he wanted a mega-cross for Corpus Christi.

In short time, he and Danny Isom, the family pastor at Abundant Life Fellowship, formed the Corpus Christi Cross Project, an organization completely funded by community support and private contributions. A plan for a 150-foot-tall steel cross turned into 160 feet, which turned into 175 feet when engineers told Milby in 2015 that they could save on material costs at that height. At that point, Isom broached the logic of ‘what’s another 45 feet to become taller than a 208-foot cross in Augusta, Florida, currently the largest in the United States?’ Milby couldn’t have agreed more. “I went back to the engineers and said ‘Change the structure, change the drawings. We’re going to build this thing 210-feet tall.’”

After the groundbreaking on January 31, the Federal Aviation Administration approved the structure to soar up to 230 feet. The Corpus Christi Cross Project upped the ante one more time, deciding to use every one of those approved feet. It would make Corpus Christi’s cross the second tallest in the world. Only the 492-foot cross at the Valley of the Fallen, a monument outside of Madrid, Spain, will be taller. (Which technically means if the Corpus Christi cross is constructed, the claim of everyone involved that it will be the tallest in the Western Hemisphere is inaccurate; the Valley of the Fallen is also geographically located in the Western Hemisphere. Though, the Corpus Christi cross will still be taller than the other giant crosses of Texas, including the one at Sagemont, a 190-footer in Groom, and a 100-foot-tall cross in Ballinger.)

Abundant Life’s proposed cross won’t be in the heart of the city; it will be on the way in, just off of I-37 and Carbon Plant Road across the freeway from the Coastal Bend State Veterans Cemetery. The vast majority of people entering Corpus Christi will do so by driving on I-37 where they’ll see the mega-cross on their left side welcoming them in. An average of 80,000 drivers would pass by it on a daily basis, coming or going in either direction. “Any airplane that flies from anywhere all over the world into Corpus Christi will fly within a half mile of that cross,” Milby said.

As if 230 feet of steel isn’t a strong enough visual, a beam of light will shoot into the air from atop the structure, “like God is pointing His finger into the cross,” Milby said. There will be a pool of water at the surface where the pastor has already made an open invitation for Christian churches to conduct baptismal services.

It’s an ambitious project, one that is estimated to cost more than $1 million, a hefty sum to raise for Milby whose Abundant Life Fellowship Church averages about 150 attendees each service. (For comparison, Sagemont Church has 20,000 members and an annual budget of $13 million to work with. “The money comes from God,” Sagemont pastor John Green told me. “He gives it to the people He chooses.”) As of March 30, approximately $160,000 had been raised for the Corpus Christi Cross Project.

Yet ifs and whens loom over the fundraising needed to build the cross and the aggressive timeline for its completion. “My dream is that next year on Good Friday, I’m going to conduct a citywide service under that cross,” Milby told me back in April.

Govind Development, a local company, is handling much of the engineering and construction for the project, but Andy Bennett, Govind’s president, was reluctant to talk about finish dates, in part because his company was not managing every aspect of the project. Bennett said a project like this could certainly be built that quickly, adding the caveat that “in our business, in any construction project, if you’re trying to expedite something you end up paying a little more for it.”

Regardless, much of the community appears to be rallying behind Milby’s vision. Govind is providing certain pro bono services for the church, and Bennett likes the idea of the cross. “We think it’s a good project for our community, for the Gulf Coast, and specifically for Corpus Christi,” Bennett told me. “We want to build interest in our city. We want to bring tourism here.”

Mayor Nelda Martinez has also thrown support behind the endeavor, which strikes a personal chord with her. According to Martinez, her late father had wanted to build a large cross for the bay of Corpus Christi, but was unable to purchase the land he desired from the Texas General Land Office. “I see a piece of my father and something he wanted to do [in Milby’s plan],” she told me.

It’s also why she, along with two city council members, didn’t hesitate to attend the cross project’s groundbreaking this past January. But their attendance became the spark for a minor controversy when a San Antonio man named Patrick Greene filed a lawsuit against Milby. In the suit, Greene asked the courts to admonish the mayor for her presence at the ceremony.

When I spoke to Greene on the phone in late March he didn’t wait for any questions to start voicing his opinion on the cross, calling it “a monstrosity” and “an eyesore.” Greene had dropped the lawsuit the previous day citing a turn in his wife’s health that required his full attention, but his opposition of the project had remained.

The lawsuit frustrated Martinez. Government officials are allowed to attend religious ceremonies in any capacity. Martinez also later said that if the suit were to be filed again then they would fight back with every legal asset in their power. “I think when it involves my taxpayers, I take it seriously,” Martinez told me. “Personally, I knew my constitutional rights.”

Greene, who is an atheist, has never been to Corpus Christi, but he has a history crusading against things he believes cross church/state lines. In 2012 he threatened to file a lawsuit against Athens, Texas, over a nativity scene on the courthouse lawn. Greene’s protests made him unpopular among many Christians in Athens, until he began having vision problems that led to a diagnosis of impending blindness. In an act of turn-the-other-cheek generosity, Christians in Athens raised what he claimed was “hundreds of dollars” to help with medical expenses. Greene was so moved by these acts of kindness that he dropped his threats of filing a lawsuit and converted to Christianity.

Only, Greene’s conversion was brief. (His vision problems were also temporary; he says his retina reattached itself.) Still, Greene told me, the emotional weight of the circumstances made him briefly consider Christianity. “These people treated [my wife and I] so nicely, which was the total opposite of the way we were treated by Christians normally,” he said. “Ninety-nine percent of Christians treated us like dirt [in the past].

Greene’s opposition to Christian institutions dates back many decades, and he considers the idea of a 230-foot cross an example of unsolicited and unavoidable proselytizing. But his lawsuit didn’t amount to much more than a blip on the radar for this project, and it shouldn’t pose problems going forward. After the lawsuit was dropped, Milby filed a sanction against Greene in May preventing him from filing a similar suit. It ended in a settlement in which Greene agreed his lawsuit was “baseless” and “without merit.”

Council member Carolyn Vaughn, who was also named in Greene’s lawsuit, attended the cross’s groundbreaking, not as a city representative, but as a member of the Abundant Life Fellowship Church for 35 years and a close friend of Milby. “He’s a great preacher. He preaches the Word, and I love the church,” she told me.

It’s Vaughn’s right to be at the ceremony, just like it’s her right to donate to the project, which she told me that she did. But separating Vaughn, or Milby’s, political life from their religious preferences is no simple task.

Milby heads the Corpus Christi Tea Party and hosts a weekly radio program called “The Corpus Christi Tea Party Report.” He talked openly about the sin and degradation resulting from the current presidential administration. “I believe that America is being overtaken today by a liberal agenda that is wrong [and] immoral,” he told me. He went out of his way to refer to abortion as the “genocide of children,” and criticize the legalization of marijuana in three states.

He also spoke about his increased involvement in politics over the past few years. “Little by little we’ve been working our way into different departments.” Milby is on the Charter Review Board and the Ethics Commission of Corpus Christi.

Vaughn also talked about the intersection of her politics and her faith. “We’ve got Christians rising up in office,” she told me. “It’s one of the reasons I’m serving. Pastor Milby encouraged me to do that.” Her election to office predates the idea for the cross, so it wasn’t her motive for running, but, she told me, “I’m on there for a reason though, and this cross could be one of them.”

Vaughn viewed Greene’s lawsuit—the only notable vocal opposition that had surfaced—as a typical example of attacks on Christianity, stating that people would “clap their hands” at a Muslim project. I asked her to confirm that she believed a 230-foot Muslim symbol could be erected in Texas. “Lord, I hope not. That I would be against,” she said. “We already know that they are out to get America. I’m sure there are some that are great, but we have to figure out who the great ones are first. I’m not against Muslims at all, but my faith is first so I would not support [it] if they’re going to infiltrate the community.”

When I asked Mayor Martinez about a hypothetical situation involving the construction of an icon of a different faith being built at such heights, she said, “[People of another faith] would have every right. Those are people’s liberties and rights.” But even the mayor stopped the interview at one point to ask me whether or not I’m a Christian. I am, and knowing such seemed to put her at ease.

Milby is able to see such matters from both a religious and constitutional standpoint. “I wouldn’t be okay with [a large non-Christian symbol in Corpus Christi], but I wouldn’t protest it or stop it.” He even said that while he considered Greene’s lawsuit frivolous, it was Greene’s constitutional right to protest. It’s worth noting that Milby didn’t become worked up talking about all of this. He was no less pragmatic than a man talking about two-for-one pizzas.

Before I left Corpus Christi, I made the pilgrimage out to where the cross would be erected. After parking my car on the edge of a residential neighborhood, I crossed Up River Road to the plot of land adjacent to the freeway where the grass and weeds were almost waist-high. It was 90 degrees as I trudged through the shrubbery to reach the middle of the field.

corpus_christi_crossI looked up at a plain, 10-foot wooden cross planted in the ground. Easter Sunday had been four days earlier. There were no signs or banners or fancy pronouncements to advertise what had seemed like a grandiose project. It was just a placeholder for things to come. Eventually that wooden cross, which reflected the texture and approximate size of the actual cross Jesus Christ was crucified upon, would be replaced by a steel version standing 230 feet tall. It was hard not to wonder if, maybe, simplicity was actually the most powerful approach to the Christian message.

The roar of traffic off I-37 was loud, but turned into white noise relatively quickly. Cars and trucks were speeding by on their way into Corpus Christi, perhaps some for the first time. Back in a conference room in City Hall earlier that day I hadn’t even finished getting out my first question about Corpus before Mayor Martinez took an opportunity to protect her city from the carelessness of an outsider.

“I’m going to give you a gentle reminder,” Martinez interrupted with a smile. “A lot of people shorten our name to Corpus. If we just say we’re Corpus then we’re just “The Corpse.” It was a fair correction, and the city’s full name plays right into Pastor Milby’s plan. The Latin translation for Corpus Christi, “Body of Christ,” is perhaps the best sales pitch for an extremely tall version of the Christian symbol that once held that very thing.

What would the symbol mean to the people living there? Martinez said she hopes the cross will one day become the most recognizable structure in the city, “not just for all the good reasons that reflect [the city’s] name, but all of its wonderful people, no matter what belief they have.”

John Green, Sagemont Church’s pastor, told me that the 170-foot cross outside of Houston has been responsible for aborting numerous suicides, a testament to the power of a symbol of such stature.

For Milby’s part, his mission is, plain and simple, to raise an Ebenezer to God. “I was saved because of a rugged cross. I have eternal life because of a rugged cross. My life was transformed and changed because of a rugged cross.”

The cross I walked away from in late March—the one that was nearly out of sight by the time I reached my car—was certainly rugged. It’s just that it might have been about 220 feet too short for Corpus Christi.

Related Content

  • randalclaw

    HOPE HE FAILS, HE SHOULD GIVE THE MONEY TO DISABLED, AND POOR,SOME THING THAT WOULD REALLY HELP PEOPLE, NOT AND EDIFICE TO HIM.

    • allmaya

      Using all caps is like audibly farting in a crowded elevator.

      • WestTexan70

        Doesn’t make him incorrect, though …

  • Michael Steen

    Shame. Shame on this Mr. Milby and his entire congregation and all that he is doing for pride and self-promotion through violation one of the strongest tenets of Christianity. That one that seems to escape all… idolatry.
    Truly. Shame.

  • Biggus Mickus

    This would seem to be a monument to one man’s vanity.
    I’m sure God would rather see the money used to feed, clothe and house the poor.

    • Tejasguitarman

      Why yes I would,Biggus! I’m so glad that you too see things my way! Peter will have your all access laminate at the gate! Please don’t wear a cross when you’re called. Those things still give my boy the willies! (tongue firmly in cheek)

    • John Byde

      Why not do both?

      • Biggus Mickus

        Do you honestly think he’ll have any cash left over for the poor?

  • Some Guy Somewhere

    I never understood why the symbol of Christianity would be the torture device that supposedly killed the savior of the human race. If he comes back, and sees all these crosses, you think he’s gonna feel good about that?

    • allangee

      If you took an hour or two to read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the New Testament, the importance of the cross becomes very apparent. It’ll also help you understand things that sound even weirder, such as “washed in the blood of the lamb”. Definitely not something you want to bring up out of context. 🙂

      But the fact is, Christianity isn’t logical. Neither are faith, love, fashion, or talking to goldfish. Trying to understand Christianity “from the outside” is like single people giving marriage advice, or childless people wondering why anyone would voluntarily change a poopy diaper and catch vomit in their hands rather than let it hit the carpet (or spend the next 18 years trying to teach someone what’s best for them). 🙂 You can describe skydiving in as many ways as you want, for as long as you want, but no one will understand it until they jump out of the plane. Christianity is the same way (even with the same fear, doubt, thrill, and joy).

      • Some Guy Somewhere

        I actually have read the gospels; I don’t think any of it justifies making the cross the symbol of Christianity… but I think the religion is nonsense anyway.

  • dj_remickz

    why not – they’ve got the biggest religious a/s/s/holes in Texas, may as well build a cross of the same magnitude…

  • ddavel544

    I don’t think it is the size of the cross that matters. But more so the love of Jesus and His message for us all.

    • Rey Finkle

      In Trump’s America, size is ALL that matters. If your church’s cross is smaller than mine, you’re a loser. Sad!

      • ddavel544

        Way I see it, this has nothing to do with politics. But given the choice which I do have (currently, lol), I’ll choose boosting Trump over deceitful Hillary. Especially in these trying times. BTW, Hillary is extremely ill of health, and the MSM is trying hard to censor this fact:

        • Rey Finkle

          Crazy, she’s so sick, it’s amazing that she was able to murder Scalia and fake Sandy Hook. Must be the alien overlord body doubles that did those.

          • ddavel544

            She does have people to do her dirty work, for her. Money buys …anything, and EVERYTHING! And she will pay, big time, when her time on this earth is over. …God is watching.

          • Jed

            “…God is watching.”

            would that this were true.

            god must have a thing for snuff films.

          • ddavel544

            God doesn’t offer eternal life on earth…only in His Heavenly Kingdom. Quit blaming God for the weakness, and wrongs of man.

          • Jed

            right. how could human nature be god’s fault?

            wait.

        • Biggus Mickus

          You recognise deceit in Clinton, but not in Trump?!? They’re both liars, but Trump is the far more untruthful of the two.
          Find a dictionary, look up confirmation bias.

          • ddavel544

            Sure, Trump talks some BS, no doubt about it. But ‘Hilliar’ has been called on just about everything she’s ever said as being total lies! She couldn’t speak the truth if her butt was on fire! I’m not worried if Trump wins, he’ll have ‘handlers’ who will guide him through being Presidential. If she wins?…then we’re all just plain screwed! She hates all men and the entire world with a passion!

          • Biggus Mickus

            Fact checkers have confirmed that over 70% of Trump’s comments in various speeches are lies or fabrications.
            But of course the standard response is that “the liberal media” are biased against Trump.

          • ddavel544

            At least he wasn’t holding an office position in the WH, and let our people die in Benghazi! VOTE TRUMP 2016!!

          • Biggus Mickus

            Suddenly, you’ve changed the subject. A common tactic of someone who can’t refute an argument.

          • ddavel544

            No argument needed …Trump is the only option!

          • Biggus Mickus

            So, you are happy to have a proven liar, a failed businessman, a bigoted & racist misogynist narcissist who refuses to let the people see his tax returns (what’s he hiding?) as the Commander in Chief? Good luck with that.
            Oh America! How far you have fallen!

          • ddavel544

            He WON! …sucka! lol!

          • Biggus Mickus

            Yes, he did. (although most people wanted Hilary) It just goes to prove how stupid people can be, to choose such a man to lead the country.
            Doesn’t change the fact that he’s a liar, a failed businessman, a bigot, a racist, a misogynist who brags about sexual assault, and a narcissist.
            The next four years will be … interesting.

  • allangee

    This is an easy target for lazy non-Christians to take shots at… but a difficult subject for a lot of Christians. Glorifying God? Absolutely a good thing. $1-million for (what amounts to) a statue when it could be put to other uses? That gets uncomfortable, even within Christian circles.

    Some will say it will serve as a constant reminder of God, which is good, even if it makes you uncomfortable. As a comparison, would there be as much controversy over a giant $1-million dollar rainbow constructed as statement for gay rights, or memorial for those who died as a result of violence against gays? What about a $1-million dollar war memorial? I suspect a lot of the vitriolic criticism will stem from the Christian roots of the project.

    Christians themselves will also debate the structure. Would the million dollars be better spent on soup lines… homeless shelters… thousands of free Bibles… a church building where people can hear about God… or it this a good way to make a stand for our faith?

    For me, personally, I wonder if they’re praying “God, what would you have us do with a million dollars?” or “God, we’ve already decided to do this, please help us raise the million dollars.”

    • IQdaRadical Thinker

      Which God? The racist, Republican, non-existent one, or the other non existent one?

      Doesn’t matter. Most Americans ignore what he said and follow their own f’ed-up agenda.

    • Biggus Mickus

      Your last para hits the nail on the head.

    • Jed

      false analogies; spending $1M on a rainbow wouldn’t *directly contradict the stated mission of the LBGTQ community* in the same way that building a modern day tower of babel does for christians.

      who is being lazy here?

      • allangee

        Really? You don’t think they’d be better off spending the money on AIDS research, legal battles, etc? A giant rainbow is going to make an LBGTQ feel better after an employer makes up an excuse to fire them? The fact that you just defended the giant rainbow instead of putting the money to more effective use validates my point.

        I guess I CAN be lazy if others are making my arguments for me.

        • Jed

          “not better off” not equal “inherently contradictory”

          sorry. category error.

  • Virginia Peiffer

    GOD BLESS THIS MAN OF THE CLOTH. THE IDEA IS A GREAT ONE. I ONLY WISH. I LIVED CLOSER TO BE ABLE TO SEE IT EVERYDAY. AFTER READING THIS ARTICLE A PICTURE CAME TO ME. THE CROSS WITH WATER BELOW FOR BAPTISING. WHY NOT ABOVE THE WATER. A LARGE CROWN OF THORNS. THAT JESUS WORE AS THIS WOULD BE ONE OF A KIND. AND THE IDEA OF PEOPLE TO REMEMBER THIS……..””FOR GOD SO LOVED WORLD THAT GAVE HIS ONLY SON”””. HE DIED FOR OUR SINS AND WE SHOULD BE REMINDED EVERYDAY HE WAS HERE FOR US AND THIS CROSS IS OUR SIGN FOR HIM…

    • Biggus Mickus

      So you’d be happy to see millions spent on a monument, rather than use that money to help poor people? I think that Jesus would disagree with you on that point.

  • Virginia Peiffer

    AFTER READING COMMENTS. HERE GOES. MAKE YOUR STATE STOP OVER SPENDING FOR THINGS NOT NEEDED. AND THE PRESIDENT STOP HIS SPENDING BY GIVING HIMSELF RAISES ,TRIPS,AND MONEY OVERSEAS TO BRING ALIENS HERE TO GIVE THEM MONEY AND HOMES PAID BY YOU. AND THIS WHOLE COUNTRY OF MORE WORTHY PEOPLE. THE POOR. THE HUNGRY. THE CRIPPLED. NOT ALIENS FROM OVERSEAS. THINK ABOUT IT RIGHT. RIGHT

    • observabletruths

      people can be sick, poor and hungry no matter what their nationality is. you should be shamed for your lack of empathy and compassion for your fellow human beings.

      • Rob Cahill

        They love jesus… but don’t really follow his alleged teachings.

        • observabletruths

          no kidding. and have to, apparently, indicate their degree of ignorance by writing in all caps

    • observabletruths

      “….MORE WORTHY PEOPLE.”

      Yeah spoken like a true fascist. Why would someone be any more or less worthy of compassion? Who decides such a subjective qualification?

    • Biggus Mickus

      You reveal yourself to be a Republican, rather than a christian. The poor in the USA & other first-world countries are incomparably rich next to the poor in the countries you vilify. Your own country is founded on the belief that all men are equal, yet you say that americans are more worthy. Repent in sackcloth and ashes, lady, you have missed the Jesus’ whole point
      .

      • Virginia Peiffer

        SORRY. BUT IAM A DEMOCRATE. AND AS FAR AS IT GOES. HERE IT IS. HILLARY. A LIAR. FRIENDS WITH ENEMIES OF OURS. HAVING DRINKS AND DINNERS WITH THEM. HER. E MAILS. WHATS UP SHE DESTROYED TOO MANY BECAUSE SHE KNOWS IT WOULD SHOOT HER DOWN TO BE PRESIDENT. OBAMA. WELL. I FOUND HIM OUT FAST. I WROTE HIM AND ASKED IF HE COULD HELP ME. TO GET A FLAG TO HONOR MY FATHER WHO DIED. IN. 2008. HE RAN AWAY FROM HOME TO JOIN THE ARMY TO FIGHT IN WW TWO. AND THE. REPLY I GET. SORRY. SORRY. HOW NICE FROM THE HEAD OF THIS COUNTRY TO SAY IAM. SORRY. IF MANY OF OUR GOOD MEN NOW AND IN PREVIOUS WARS SAID IAM SORRY. WHERE WOULD OUR FREEDOM BE. AND FOR. HIM TO BE SEEN IN AFGHAN OUTFITS. TO HAVE PICTURES TAKEN IS A FULL DISGRACE. TO HIM HIS FAMILY AND TO THIS COUNTRY. NON. NO. NON OF THE OTHER PRESIDENTS. WOULD DO WHAT HE IS DOING. I WANT THIS FREEDOM TO CONTINUE FOR THOSE HERE. HERE. WE PAY OUR TAXES. FOR OUR COUNTRY AND FREEDOM AND YET ALIENS. ARE ALLOWED TO COME HERE AND NOT PAY TAXES. I KNOW BECAUSE I WORKED WITH SOME OF THEM. NOT. FAIR. SO IF WANT TO BULLY AN OLD LADY. DO IT SOMEWHERE ELSE AND LEAVE. ALONE. I. VOTE WITH MY HEART. AND RIGHTS FOR FREE LEGAL PEOPLE HERE

        • Biggus Mickus

          Your comment above is fairly incoherent, but let’s see what we can understand.
          Firstly, yes, Hilary is a liar. I doubt you could find a politician who isn’t. Trump, however, has also been shown to be a liar. More than that, a buffoon who can’t keep track of his lies, constantly contradicts himself, & doesn’t care. A narcissist of the first order.
          Hilary’s job as Secretary of State had her meeting with & eating with people of all persuasions the world over. And probably with people unfriendly to the U.S.
          The emails – can’t agree more. No doubt there was stuff in there she wouldn’t want anyone to know. (See above re liars.)
          You wrote to POTUS & got a reply, but didn’t get a free flag. Personally, I think you were lucky to get a reply. I doubt he’s got time to answer every random bit of mail that comes in. Maybe you should contact the army for a flag? I dunno how that works.
          The next bit (about saying sorry) makes no sense at all. You are angry that he said sorry for your loss of your father?!?
          The pic of him in muslim dress (for a muslim wedding) were taken many, many years before he took public office, so I’m not sure how you think that affects things here & now, or why it should reflect badly on the country.
          Next is the usual racist/bigoted rants about ‘aliens’ (they’re not aliens, they’re humans) taking tax money away from americans.
          You say you vote with your heart. The bible says “The heart of man is above all things evil & wicked.” A suggestion. Look at the facts with an open mind, & vote with your brain instead.
          Not that I really care, not being in the U.S. But the thought of Trump in the White House scares me some.

          • Virginia Peiffer

            SORRY YOUR SCARED BUT YOU KNOW. SINCE ONE OF OUR PRESIDENTS WHICH I WILL NOT SAY WHO. THIS COUNTRY BECAME. SCAREY. BUT YET THIS COUNTRY GOES ON. CHURCHES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THERE TO FEED THE POOR THE HUNGRY AND THAT WILL NEVER STOP BECAUSE CHURCH PEOPLE DO CARE FOR THOSE WHO CANT DO FOR THEMSELVES. BUT IF YOU WERE LIKE ME WHEN I WENT TO MY STATE FOR HELP WHILE I WAS PREGNANT AND HEARD. ACTUAL OTHER FEMALES TALK ABOUT HOW THEIR BOYFRIENDS BOUGHT THEM EXPENSIVE CARS GOT THEM EXPENSIVE APARTMENTS. AND LARGE DIAMOND RINGS. AND ACTUAL. STUCK IN UNDER EVERYONE NOSES. WAS JUSQT UNFAIR. AND NOT RIGHT. I WENT THERE TOO MANY TIMES JUST TO GET A LITTLE HELP. BEFORE YOU START. SAYING WHAT I THINK YOU THINKING. I WAS IN A SITUATION WHERE I WAS TOLD I HAD A SERIOUS PREGNANCY AND COULD LOSE MY CHILD. AND PROBLEMS WITH MY LIFE. MY MOMTOOK ME TO CHURCH EVERY SUNDAY. I DONATED MY ALLOWANCE. MY FOLKS GAVE ALL US KIDS EACH WEEK TO CHURCH TO HELP FEED THE POOR. I FELT BAD BECAUSE I ONLY HAD A DOLLAR BUT THEY TOOK IT. MY SIBLINGS SPEND THEIRS. BUT NOT ME THIS ELECTION IS THE BIGGEST FOOLS ELECTION. BECAUSE SHE IS NOT WORTHY. BUT TRUMP YES HIS WEALTHY. BUT THIS IS WHAT IS ON OUR PLATE. I TALKED TO A 96 YEAR OLD AND SHE SAID SHE WOULD RATHER HAVE TRUMP THEN HILLARY. TOO MANY REASONS AND OTHERS ARE SEEING IT TOO BUT. THIS IS WHAT WEVE BEEN HANDED. OBAMA. IS DOING TOO MANY WRONGFUL THINGS. WE THE PEOPLE CANNOT CONTINUE TO GIVE MORE MONEY FOR HIM AND HIS FAMILY TO LIVE ON. OUR COUNTRY NEEDS SHOULD AND MUST COME FIRST PERIOD. YES AND IF THE POOR ARE AT THE FRONT OF LINE. THEN HE NEEDS TO GIVE TO THE POOR THE MOST. WE HAVE TO PUSH TO HELP THE POOR. BUT WHY CANT THIS MANS DREAM WITH HELP FROM THOSE WHO CAN HELP BECOME A REAL DREAM. OUR PEOPLE ARE GRACIOUS ENOUGH TO HELP HIM AND THE POOR TOO. WE CAN DO IT. BECAUSE WE ARE HUMAN NOT SNEAKY PEOPLE COMING HERE FOR THE MONEY AND NOT PAY TAXES AND SEND THEIR MONEY BACK HOME TO THEIR COUNTRIES. THIS IS FAIR TO ALL.

          • Biggus Mickus

            You make no sense at all. If you claim to be a follower of Jesus, look at what Jesus said. Jesus stood against the organised religious folk of his day, who were making themselves rich at the expense of the poor. Jesus said give to the poor, give til it hurts & then some, give everything you have. Jesus didn’t stand against ‘aliens’ (Samaritans). He said we should support & help them. Your position is very much us & them – an un-christian & un-american attitude.
            Trump is a proven liar, a failed businessman, a bigoted & racist misogynistic narcissist who refuses to let the people see his tax returns (what’s he hiding?). Hilary has her faults, but shes the lesser of two evils.
            Obama is the best president the US has had in decades. Your republican mindset blinds you to that fact, as it blinds you to Trump’s failings. (You say you’re a ‘DEMOCRATE’ (sic.) but you talk like a republican)
            The other option is that you’re a troll, but even trolls make more sense than your rants do.
            And I do wish you’d stop shouting.

          • Virginia Peiffer

            I AM NOT SHOUTING. IAM HAVING PROBLEMS WITH EYES. SO SORRY ITS KILLING YOU. I AM NOT GOING TO HAVE ANY MORE CONVERSATIONS WITH SOMEONE SO BLINDED BY LIFE. I WOULD RATHER HAVE TEDDY ROOSEVELT FOR PRESIDENT. BUT THE ONES OUT THERE THAT CAN RUN FOR PRESIDENCY. ARE JUST PLAIN CHICKEN CRACKERS. AS FOR ME MY PARENTS RAISED ME RELIGIOUSLY. AND THEY DID A DARN GOOD JOB. I SAY WHAT MY FOLKS FELT AND I CONTINUE TO BELIEVE THEIR WAYS. I WANT PROTECTION FOR NATIONS FUTURE OUR FUTURE. AS FAR AS CANDIDATES. WE HAVE WHAT WE HAVE. SO EITHER VOTE FOR AN AMERICAN. OR THE OTHER ONE WHO IS FOR AFGHAN AND ENEMY COUNTRIES OVERSEAS. EVERYONE ELSE READING THIS I WILL SAY THIS. IAM A BELIEVER OF ONE GREAT SENATOR. BARBARA MIKULSKI. A HUNDRED. PERCENT HONEST AND HELPFUL TO HER. PEOPLE. I WILL NOT LISTEN TO ANYMORE EVIL PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE. ONE IS DOING WRONG BECAUSE THEY REALLY DONT GET IT. GOING BACK TO MY STUDIES. HAVE FUN. DO WHAT YOU THINK IS GOOD FOR YOU. NOT ME

          • Biggus Mickus

            You are welcome to your own hallucination. “None are so blind as those who will not see.”

          • Virginia Peiffer

            I AM NOT A BIGOT. I WRITE WITH FULL HONESTY FROM MY HEART. PLEASE READ THIS. I HAVE BEEN RELIGIOUS SINCE BIRTH. WHEN MY FOLKS TOOK ME TO CHURCH EVERY SUNDAY. I CARE 100% FOR THE ANIMALS OF THE WORLD. I MADE $600. EVERY TWO WEEKS TO WHICH. I GAVE $400. TO POOR. NEEDY AND OUR VETS ON THE STREETS. THE REST IF MY MONEY WENT TO BILLS. FOOD. AND MEDICAL CARE FOR MY TWO CHILDREN. MY DAUGHTER. SINCE FIVE YEARS OF AGE AND TILL NOW CONTINUES TO FIGHT CANCER. AND MY LOVE AND TRUST INTO OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. KEEPS US GOING. MY MONEY NOW GOES THE SAME. BUT I GET ONLY $787.00 A MONTH. AFTER BILLS AND FOOD THE REST GOES TO HELP THE NEEDY AND OUR VETS.
            NOW IF THIS IS YOUR IDEA OF A BIGOT. GOD HELP THIS COUNTRY BECAUSE PEOPLE DONT KNOW THE FULL TRUTH. OF THE WORDS. NEEDY. POOR AND HOMELESS VETS.
            THAT CROSS THAT GUY WANTS TO BUILD. IS A GREAT WAY TO SHOW OUR HEAVENLY FATHER THAT WE LOVE HIM CARE FOR HIM. AND KEEP HIM DEEP WITHIN OUR HEARTS AND SOULS. AMEN

          • Biggus Mickus

            “I AM NOT A BIGOT.” That may what you like to tell yourself, but based on what you have said in this thread, you have a bigoted worldview, which means you’re a bigot – Q.E.D.
            “I WRITE WITH FULL HONESTY FROM MY HEART.”
            Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked…”
            “I HAVE BEEN RELIGIOUS SINCE BIRTH.”
            So were the Pharisees. Jesus called them a brood of vipers.
            “THAT CROSS THAT GUY WANTS TO BUILD. IS A GREAT WAY TO SHOW OUR HEAVENLY FATHER THAT WE LOVE HIM CARE FOR HIM.”
            John 14:15 Jesus says “If you love me, keep my commands.”
            Micah 6:8 “… what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
            James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…”
            Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”

            Now, find me the verse that says god wants us to build huge, expensive monuments.

            The Bible, the book that christians are supposed to obey, supports my argument & destroys yours. You should do as Job does in Job 42:6 “Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes.”

  • observabletruths

    So instead of using the church’s money for things that Jesus actually preached about…. like healing the sick, feed the hungry, cloth the naked, house the poor; this man instead wants to build the largest monument to his ego of the thing their savior was torture and killed on, a cross????
    Ya know, I bet that if Jesus ever did return the last thing he’d ever want to see is a cross.

  • Rob Cahill

    It’s a good thing that Jesus never existed because if he was to return he might think people are making fun of him with all the torture devices everywhere.

    • Biggus Mickus

      He existed. The historical evidence for his life & execution by the Romans is very strong.
      As for the stories told about him, not so much.

      • Rob Cahill

        What historical evidence? there was nothing written about him when he was alive. Not a word. The only evidence we have is a consensus among historians that he may have existed but surely some of that has to be based on them thinking there can’t be that many deluded people on the planet.

        • Biggus Mickus

          Flavius Josephus’ “Antiquities of the Jews” is a very strong source, written around 70 A.D. Few serious historians doubt the historicity of Jesus.

          • Biggus Mickus

            Edit: I got the date wrong – “Antiquities” was written around 93 A.D.
            Tacitus’ “Annals” is another record attesting to Jesus’ historicity, written about 20 years after Josephus’ “Antiquities”.

          • Rob Cahill

            Exactly, 70ad , more than 30 years after the supposed death of Jesus. The Jesus we know today is a figment of Constantine’s imagination, He even used his own image as the image of Christ. Yes very few historians doubt that a rabbi named Joshua was teaching then and there. How many do you think believe he was the son of a god?

          • Biggus Mickus

            Your original post stated he never existed. I pointed to two (out of many) references from antiquity that show otherwise. Yes, there are no writings from when he was living, but the same can be said for most figures from antiquity. The earliest may be Thallus, who wrote about Jesus around 52 A.D.
            Now you have conceded that “very few historians doubt that a rabbi named Joshua was teaching then and there”. (BTW, Yeshua is more correct than Joshua) So, my point is made in refutation of your original comment.
            As to your last question, I have already noted that there is little to no historical evidence, outside of the New Testament, for what christians believe about him.

          • Rob Cahill

            Most figures from antiquity didn’t walk on water or rise from the dead. I meant that jesus never existed, Not just a random rabbi. Also there is no evidence in the bible, The bible is a claim, Not proof.

  • Johnny Indica

    Religion is big business for one person while the dumb sheep believes they saved their soul from hell…

  • pope307

    Only in Merica! ♪♫♪♫ Yahoooooooooooooooooo!!

  • Jesus Christ, the person, never actually existed, and the religion that was founded by “His” followers nearly 2000 years ago bears almost no resemblance whatsoever to the give-or-take 20,000 versions of it that modern day Christians follow today. Clearly, if Christ were real, and “His” church was the result of an act of God, then there probably wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) be all the confusion that led to the countless versions of Christianity that the world is currently subjected to.

    Christians who dedicate this much time and resources to a statue are hypocritical A-holes! There is endless suffering in this world – much of which can be addressed on a per-child basis via a handful of dollars, not unlike the two-for-one $25 dollar pizza deal that’s being utilized to fund this monstrosity. Imagine if all the chubby Christian morons donated that money to a charity instead! Imagine an actual reduction in suffering in this world! But, alas, the world needs another giant cross to remind us that Christian dogmatism is neat on paper, but not really in practice.

    Good stuff, Christians! Good stuff!

    • Biggus Mickus

      Don’t tar all christians with the same brush.
      Not all republicans are morons – not all christians are self-indulgent idiots, ignorant of the needs of the world. Most maybe, but not all.

      • Jed

        prove it. got any counter-examples?

        • Biggus Mickus

          I don’t see the need to prove something that is self-evident to any unbiased observer, However, the usual example would be Mother Teresa.

  • Virginia Peiffer

    I CAN UNDERSTAND WHAT MANY ARE SAYING. BUT LISTEN AND THINK. THE CROSS WOULD. TEXAS SIGN OF RELIGION AND TRUST IN OUR LORD. FOR HE IS THE ONE AND ONLY. WE ALL NEED TO LOOK FOR IN TRUST. YES A MAN IS ASKING FOR THIS MONUMENT BUT ITS TO REPRESENT A COUNTRY OF FAITHFUL PEOPLE WHO STILL BELIEVES IN OUR LORD. OUR GOD. THERE IS NO OTHER ONLY HE. IF YOU FEEL I AM WRONG PLEASE THEN TAKE YOUR MONEY AND INSTEAD OF GOING TO CHURCH AND DONATING MONEY. THEN GIVE IT TO THE STATE AND PRAY THAT THE POOR UNEMPLOYED, SOLDIERS WHO FOUGHT FOR YOUR. FREEDOM. AND HOPE THEY GET THE MONEY YOU DONATED TO THE STATE BECAUSE YOU FEEL THEY WILL GIVE IT TO THEM THE NEEDY..

    • observabletruths

      first off, not all of us believe in the same god as you. i myself don’t believe in any god b/c bronze aged thinking should have died out in the renaissance, but clearly, some just can’t give up on the fairytales they’ve been force fed since birth.
      secondly, donating to this church, wouldn’t help the needy at all since it’s clear all this man wants is to erect a structure to serve his own ego. so yes, paying taxes to the fed and state, that go to paying for welfare recipients ability to eat is a far more noble and honorable cause than this.
      finally, stop shouting. you can make a point without the need to be obnoxious. i think this is the problem with a lot of you “christians” today. there’s no room to debate and discuss when all you want to do is stand on college campuses blaring out whatever bs you believe in today over a mega-phone. maybe if you started actually following the teachings of jesus, and care less about what your next door neighbors are doing, you might actually saves yourselves from dying out as is the case currently according to a number of polls, including the last census.

    • allmaya

      Using all caps is like audibly farting in a very crowded elevator.

      • Virginia Peiffer

        IAM SORRY YOU DONT LIKE MY ALL CAPS. BUT WHEN YOU GET OLDER AND YOUR EYESIGHT IS SEVERELY WEAK THIS IS WHAT. HAPPENS . I. HOPE NO ONE WRITES THE SAME BULLSHIT YOU WROTE ON MY LINE. TO. ANYONE ELSE WHO. HAS THE SAME FEELINGS ABOUT MY WRITING. YOU TOO WILL SLOWLY LOSE YOUR EYESIGHT IN YEARS. STOP BULLYING I HAVE HAD MORE THEN ENOUGH BULLYING FROM. ASS HOLE BULLIES. AND I. WILL. NOT. LET THEM TAKE ADVANTAGE OF MY SAYINGS NOR WRITING. SO F. KING THINK BEFORE YOU OPEN YOUR TRAPS ABOUT ELDERLY WITH POOR EYESIGHTS. MY MATERNAL. GGGG GRANDFATHER. SIGNED THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. FOR OUR FREEDOM. TO SAY AND WRITE. ANYTHING

        • allmaya

          How do you know I am not older than you? And what does using all caps have to do with ease of reading anyway? I find it more difficult to read all caps.

          And you are obviously a typical right winger – when you start losing on the facts, you immediately jump to name calling.

          I would not want to spend one minute in your head listening to your self-pitying thoughts.

  • (((DeadGuyKai)))
  • John Byde

    Great idea. I hope it goes ahead.

  • allmaya

    Jesus would puke.

    The message of Jesus was one of loving everyone and humility.

    This “pastor” is eat up with his ego.

    Peter 5:5-6 “You younger men, follow the leadership of those who are older. And all of you serve each other with humble spirits, for God gives special blessings to those who are humble, but sets Himself against those who are proud. If you will humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, in His good time He will lift you up.”

  • Sam Iam

    Great! I hope the cross goes up.

  • rshewmaker

    That will look just perfect next to the Selena memorial statute.