April 12, 2008

The Bigger, the Gooder

Marnster & I just got back from a wonderful trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
On the way home, we took a little side excursion to visit the world's largest PLUS SIGN!!!

This huge plus sign, which dwarfs Marnster at over 100 ft. high, is located in Caryville, TN. We saw another giant plus sign in the cheesy tourist hole of Pigeon Forge, TN (the home of Dollywood).

Here is the lowdown on the immense plus signs- courtesy of Jill McNeal, WATE-TV, Knoxville...

--- A local pastor wants to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Knox County by having a giant cross erected on the horizon. The cross will be visible near the exits for Washington Pike and Millertown Pike on Interstate 640.

You may already be familiar with Jim Potter's work. If you've driven on Interstate 75 in Campbell County, you've seen Potter's huge steel and concrete cross in Caryville off exit 141.
Now Potter is looking for help to continue his crusade in Knox County.

"It's an area that needs a cross. It'd be a shame for Knox County and the city of Knoxville not to have cross, wouldn't it? Ain't that what the Lord would say?" Potter asks.

Since Potter became a born again Christian at age 50, he's has been doing everything he can to share his story. "The cross is the most outward appearance of our inward faith."

Valley View Pastor Justin Pratt says from the ridge behind the church, the cross could be seen for miles. "I think it would just serve as a wonderful monument to our community that we in this area still want to lift the name of Christ and show people we're not ashamed of who we've put our trust and confidence in," Pastor Pratt says.

Jim Potter hopes the cross would inspire all who see it, like a woman he heard from in the past.
"She said, 'Are you the one who put up this big cross down here in Loudon County? Said the hair's still standing up on my arms where I went by that cross.' She said, 'I had to turn around and find out more about it,'" Potter recalls.

Potter sometimes encounters resistance to his towering monuments. Several years ago, he had to take down a similar cross in Anderson County, due to zoning laws. Potter hopes his next plan will be smooth sailing as he tries to put up a cross to Knoxville.---

Each cross stands over 100 feet tall and costs about $60,000. Potter has put up 10 giant crosses from Indiana to Virginia.

Mark T.


Cloudberry said...

It's a shame people will waste such a large sum of money on a symbol, when $60,000 could feed people, house people, and/or help them find jobs. The giant cross is a symbol of might versus right, promotion over good deeds. It's intimidation. And fear. It's a threat, from people who had the means to lend a helping hand.

MarkT said...

Maybe Pastor Potter is overcompensating, since he became born-again later in life. Still, I do perceive a "this is a Christian nation" statement in the giant crosses.

Cloudberry said...

Yes, a statement! Of course! And also, a way of saying, "Don't cross me."

Manya said...

Next thing you know, Home Depot will want giant ugly signs visible from the highway. Oh, wait.

Someone ought to look into who won the (no bid, most likely) contract to build that cross. Wonder if they are also named "Potter".

If not that, then I'd love to see the reaction when every religion you can think of starts building their own giant symbols. The colossal Yin Yang could break free from it's base, roll down the hill and slice the church in half. The humongous Star of David could double as a ferris wheel.

MarkT said...


...and a 500-foot "A" would be structurally sound, and dwarf the puny crosses!

Seriously, I am glad that the natural universe is a monument to itself. As for monumental symbols honoring non-religion, I can think of none greater than the sum of our scientific knowledge... which renders a giant cross as relatively meaningless.

Josh said...

"If not that, then I'd love to see the reaction when every religion you can think of starts building their own giant symbols."

You mean like Scientology and Hollywood?

Brock said...

Actually I heard this thing was sent back in time by religious mutants who lamented the crucifixion of Godzilla in year 2347. There was some mix-up and this Jim Potter guy claimed he made it for christians, but that's obviously not true: Jesus was much too tiny to nail onto this.

Josh said...


I don't know... I heard people were much bigger in biblical days. Hence the existence of "dinosaur" bones. Just the bones of giant people put together wrong. That explains everything.