God spake unto Australia, saying ‘build me a giant cross’
Acting on an order allegedly received from Him Upstairs, a dotty Christian outfit called the Walk-a-While Foundation has sought, and won permission to build a giant illuminated cross atop a hill in remote Central Australia.
Now it need faith-heads to dig deep into their pockets to raise additional money for the ridiculous project which will apparently end up costing more than $1-million (£600,000).
Its fundraising page, which has so far attracted $42,498 (£26,000) of a goal of $92,000 (£56,000), has this to say:
God showed that he would face opposition to building the Cross. If this is as important as we believe it to be, and indeed part of the coming revival, then there will be spiritual warfare.
God said, ‘I don’t want just you and your indigenous friends to build the cross. I want the body of Christ to build it. This raising of the cross will unite the army of the Lord into action. You will need some strong centurion soldiers to walk with you.’
Well, among those who oppose the 22-metre high LED illuminated cross, due to be built near the Indigenous community of Haasts Bluff or Ikuntji, 230 kilometres west of Alice Springs, is Lutheran Pastor Paul Traeger, above, a field officer with the Finke River Mission who worked locally for 16 years. He said:
Because of the huge amount of money involved [the cross is] more like a medieval cathedral which takes money away from the poor or the needy.
Traeger said he would be disturbed if the Northern Territory Government supported the cross.
Why build a cross? Why not just have a caravan park? It’s beautiful scenery.
But the cross – brainchild of well-known landscape photographer Ken Duncan – has the enthusiastic support of deranged ultra-conservative Catholic actor and director Mel Gibson.
Gibson is a friend of Duncan and has toured the proposed build site.
People who donate large amounts of money will be given an archival print from Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ signed by the actor, or props from the movie signed by Gibson.
Given that Gibson’s nett worth is $425-m (£338-m), one has to ask why he doesn’t pay for the bloody stupid cross himself.
The Walk-a-While Foundation had already raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from private donors and was lobbying local MLA Scott McConnell and Tourism NT, in a bid to raise an additional million for surrounding infrastructure.
The organisation did not specify the exact amount of money that had been raised, but Duncan said more money was needed for facilities like water and toilets at the site where the cross would be built.
Duncan said a number of businesses wanted to help — including Microsoft, which has donated computers to the project — but that he would welcome government support, with the project likely to create local jobs.
We’re going to come up with a product that people all around the world are going to want to come and try. It’s something the community wanted
Haasts Bluff traditional owner and community leader Alison Multa said the project rose out of a collective vision during an Easter Service sing-along several years ago.
God gave vision for kids and old ladies, old people and they saw stairs and God was talking to them. We’re all trying to get together and support [the cross] as one.