During our recent stay on the Gulf Coast, two interesting items pulled me out of my mind-relaxing default mode.
One was on the front page of the paper and had the following information:
Beach weddings have always been popular on Alabama's coast and now a reef-focused nonprofit is taking it to another level...
[A] shell-covered concrete cross is being deployed at the nearshore reef called "Poseidon's Playground." Once it's in place in about 38 feet of water, 3.5 miles off the coast of Orange Beach, it will begin serving as an altar for underwater wedding ceremonies, according to Vince Lucido, president of the Alabama Gulf Coast Reef and Restoration Foundation.Reading more than the headline does give more depth (sorry, but unintentional pun) to the story. They are actually working hard at restoring reefs and providing places for divers. It is not some out in left field kind of scheme. But I know you won't find me officiating at any of those services.
Underwater weddings have been popular in the Florida Keys for decades and are common in tropical locales around the world.
Having an underwater wedding altar would be unique to Gulf Coast, [a spokesperson] said.
"We would be the only one basically between California and south Florida, which would be pretty cool," she said. "This is going to be huge."
The other item bothered me more than this one, though. We were going shopping one day and a booth was set up at the entrance looking for donations for the tallest cross in the western hemisphere. Here's an earlier story on it from WKRG in Mobile:
SUMMERDALE, Alabama -It is hard for me to remain sane about this and not want to make snide remarks.
Members of the Gulf Coast Cross Project want to build the tallest cross in the western hemisphere. At 23 stories tall it will easily be one of the tallest structures in central Baldwin County. The group already has land donated for the project in Summerdale. With a community welcome center they want the cross to be a spiritual tourist destination.
“Being illuminated at night the six million approximate annual visitors and be reminded about what Christ did for us on the cross,” says Gulf Coast Cross Project Founder Jon Butler. They hope to finish the project by 2015. Butler says the cost will be around $750,000.
I don't know if they are trying to compete with the Christo Redemptor Statue in Rio de Janiero which is, for comparison, only 13 stories tall, though it is on the top of the 2,300 foot peak of a mountain. They talk about the evangelistic importance of the project. But it sure seems to me that $750,000 can do a lot more effective evangelism than a cross in the middle of the Bible-belt of Alabama.
When I was hungry, thirsty, naked or in prison, you reminded me of my lostness by ignoring me and spending all your money on a 23-story cross.
No, I didn't contribute.