09 July 2006

Paris, New York...Memphis: "Give me your tired, your poor...your zealots"


I don't often apologize on behalf of my countrymen. Je suis Americaine, but I also have an EU passport. So, if need be, I could momentarily claim not to be associated with that fat family-of-five from Phoenix who sprawl out on their bus seats and loudly complain about the lack of air-conditioning.

Something has come to my attention and I am compelled to step forward and issue a loud "mea culpa" to the families of Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and his friend Alexandre Gustave Eiffel. These men worked hard to give the United States a gift that has become its most iconic symbols, the Statue of Liberty.

A church in Tennessee has installed their own version of the Statue of Liberty, based on Bartholdi's Liberty Enlightening the World. Their version has caused a stir, due to its crossing a line between a once understood, now blurred, division between church and state.
Said the local paper: "Onlookers, confused by the statue's message, stared in disbelief. 'I had to come out here and see it for myself,' said Yolanda James. 'I can't believe they put the cross in America's hand.'
A police car has been stationed near the cross-wielding Lady Liberty statue on the church grounds in Memphis. Even tacky people's liberties are protected in the United States. I guess that's something.

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