Jesus on a bluff: good idea
April 8, 2011
I want to preface this whole thing by saying that I have no emotional attachment to any sort of Jesus statue, anywhere. That being said, Tuan Pham––the man who St. Paul’s city council is forcing to take down his 17 foot Jesus statue––clearly does and, while the city is certainly within their rights to make him take it down, they shouldn’t.
From a strictly legal perspective, the statue does violate St. Paul’s…something…code that states that homeowners need a special permit to put anything closer than 40 feet from the Mississippi river bluff. Fine. But from a legal perspective, it was also in the city council’s power to allow him to keep it and they didn’t.
Pham’s Jesus is a garden decoration-replica of the Christ of Vung Tua, a 105-foot monument in his homeland of Vietnam. The bluff below has nothing that could be crushed by a falling 17 foot Jesus; since it was designed as a semi-permanent fixture, any sort of movement could damage it; and, in all honesty, the bluff is pretty ugly and if nothing else, the Jesus gives it character.