out of the door, one cross each, line on the left

A church in Florida has decided to go all out for the Largest Unnecessary Religious Display Ever award (competing with people like these):

The First Baptist Church of Central Florida will soon have a 199-foot-tall cross at its west Orange County campus.

Orange County commissioners on Tuesday approved construction of the cross -- which is 51/2 times higher than zoning allows in that area -- by a 6-1 vote.

199 feet tall?! WTF. So how did they get around the zoning laws? Well, two ways. One, they argued "it is a symbol, not a sign":

"The cross is not a sign; it is a symbol. A sign identifies; a symbol expresses," Cloer [Rev. Clayton, of the church] said. "To compare the cross to a Wal-Mart sign or a McDonald's sign . . . is what we believe would be an incorrect comparison."

And how much is this thing costing you people? Can't you come up with something better to spend money on? You know, like helping the poor? Or is that not self-masturbatory enough for you?

Two, they had this guy (emphasis mine):

Cloer's sentiments were echoed by state Sen. Daniel Webster, a member of the church.

"It's not a flagpole; it's not a cell tower; it's not a building; it's not a sign," Webster, R-Winter Garden, told the board. "You bring issues to me, and you know I deem them important because I know you wouldn't bring them to me if they weren't very important . . . . If I come to you, I only come to you because I believe it's very important."


The lone hold-out was Commissioner Teresa Jacobs, who didn't buy into how this could work with the current regulations on the books. She suggested rewriting the regulations to clearly define what is a symbol and what is a sign (she is the one who will have the monstrosity in her district). She also said:

"We cannot single out Christianity . . . without providing that opportunity to all other churches, mosques and synagogues."

Two other commissioners dismissed her notion to add clarity to the definitions saying that "the cross is clearly a religious symbol". Anyone see the trainwreck coming with that? I bet these same people would object to, oh, a 199-foot pentagram or a 199-foot Yab-Yum.

(hat tip to PSoTD)

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