MONROE, Ohio - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) made an offer to rebuild the King of Kings statue at the Solid Rock Church in Monroe that the church’s pastor said he will not consider.
According to a news release, PETA asked that the statue would be rebuilt with Jesus holding a lamb with the message: “Blessed are the merciful. Go Vegan.”
Funding for the project would be provided from a Christian PETA supporter on the condition that the Jesus statue is depicted in this fashion.
Vice President of PETA’s Christian Outreach program Bruce Friedrich sent a letter to pastors Lawrence and Darlene Bishop of the Solid Rock Church with the proposal on Monday.
As of 11 a.m. Tuesday, Friedrich said he had not received a response from the pastors.
Lawrence Bishop said he was not personally contacted by PETA, but said church office had received a fax.
He does not think he will contact PETA to respond.
“They want to build a statue free if it would advertise them, which is a ridiculous idea because that statue is not to promote any agenda,” Bishop said. “But I do not agree with PETA’s agenda.”
He said he never would have expected the offer from PETA.
“It’s kind of amusing to me,” Bishop said.
He said the church has been offered several “legitimate” offers from sculptors and designers.
“Some of them have been real good ideas,” he said.
Friedrich said PETA’s donor is not from the area and said the amount of money that she would donate depends on the church.
“We’d have to look at the costs,” Friedrich said. “I think her offer goes beyond what would be required. We would have to work the church.”
Friedrich said the offer is “sensible” and if built, would promote passion for animals.
“It mocks God to treat his creatures with such disdain,” Friedrich said. “A statue with a message of compassion for animals would have a very positive effect.”
In the letter, Friedrich describes why Christians should be against animal cruelty.
“I think everyone would agree that Jesus would be horrified by the cruelty that we inflict today on animals simply to satisfy our addiction to the taste of their flesh and milk, especially when so many healthful vegan options are readily available,” Friedrich said in the letter.
He went on to say: “Surely you would agree that such abuse contradicts God’s call to mercy and stewardship.”
In the letter, PETA said it would send the church free copies of its “‘Christianity and Vegetarianism’ pamphlets, vegetarian/vegan starter kits and children’s stickers showing a baby chick declaring, ‘Jesus loves me too!’”
The 62-foot statue was struck by lightning on June 14, causing a fire which razed the statue to the ground, leaving only the steel frame standing. The Jesus statue was constructed in 2004 at a cost of $250,000.
The fire’s damage to the King of Kings statue and nearby amphitheater is estimated to be at $700,000.
Bishop said he was surprised by the attention the statue generated and pleased by the positive feedback he has received.
“We appreciate people’s questions, comments,” he said. “We even take the criticism.”
Copyright (c) 2010 The E.W. Scripps Company
Canadian airline WestJet surprised passengers with gifts from their Christmas wish list at the end of their flight.