March 27, 2005

The Largest Cross in the World

Photo by Van der Leun

JUST OFF THE INTERSTATE in Groom, Texas. You see it coming along the horizon for maybe ten miles. If you've got any sense and any time, you get off the Interstate to see what it is all about. It's about 190 feet tall and, aluminum clad, weighs in at about 75 tons -- a burden enough for anyone.

Bronze statues representing the stations of the Cross circle the base and a path on one side leads to a monument to children who have been aborted since Roe v. Wade.

To the south-west is an artificial Golgotha with three crosses holding life-size bronze statues of Christ and the two thieves. When you get to the top, the feet of Christ are just above eye-level and you've got a view beyond of flat fields of hay going on forever across the earth sea of Texas. About a quarter mile away on your right, the Interstate hums with the endless convoys of trucks moving east and west. Underneath the artificial hill an empty tomb is carved into the rock. Nothing in it. Very quiet.

Outside next to the large and empty parking lot is a small gift shop (10x10) and another room that holds a replica of the Shroud of Turin. Except for the woman reading quietly in the gift shop, there was nobody else visible on the weekday afternoon I stopped by in November of 2002.

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Posted by Vanderleun at March 27, 2005 2:11 PM | TrackBack
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

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Posted by: Brock Townsend at March 28, 2005 8:42 AM

I'll tell you one thing... it isn't in San Diego.

Posted by: Tom Spence at March 28, 2005 8:47 AM

No it is not. I've expanded the entry with my impressions gleaned from a road trip in 2002.

Posted by: Gerard Van Der Leun at March 28, 2005 9:05 AM

Call out the National Guard! That thing is an affront to humanity. How dare someone do that? How dare they!?

Oh, wait. Texas. Bush did it. Impeach him!

If you don't stop it now, they will multiply. Today Texas, tomorrow total theocracy in every state.

Get it to the Supreme Court. They know how to handle things like this.

Posted by: mark butterworth at March 28, 2005 11:51 AM

FWIW--There is a cross garden just off the US Highway in Prattville, Alabama that makes up in volume what this does in size. Hundreds of crosses, a mock-up of a tomb, etc. Very eccentric, even by that area's standards.

Posted by: Chrees at March 28, 2005 12:03 PM

Hey, Tom,

What would happen if it was in San Diego?

Posted by: Amy at March 28, 2005 7:11 PM

The City Council would vote to do nothing. Nix that, a vote would be doing something. Lets try this again.

The city council would do nothing. The ACLU would threaten. The city council would do nothing then pay the ACLU $500,000 to take the cross down. The the city council would endorse a nude gay pride parade on the cross site because thay don't want to offend anyone.

Posted by: Tom Spence at March 28, 2005 8:08 PM

What San Diego would do -- part 2

... A petition to put the matter on the next ballot would be completed in record time. Voters overwhelmingly approve keeping the cross. Athiests sue -- again. Judge Greer rules: "I see no cogent reason to uphold the results of the referendum. Remove the life support, er, umm, remove the cross." 9th circuit upholds ruling, supreme court refuses to hear the case.

Got it?

Posted by: Tom Spence at March 28, 2005 8:40 PM


Thanks for the slow pitch softball. I owe you one.

Posted by: Tom Spence at March 28, 2005 8:48 PM


You owe me nothing, but thanks. Where I live there are crosses all over the highways and secondary roads as remembrances of people who died in car wrecks. Some are quite elaborate - especially those where several people died. I wonder if anyone gripes about those. Where is the ACLU demanding that these roadside memorials be taken down.

I'm an atheist, but never in my life would I infringe my views on another. I don't understand people who get riled up about this stuff. Like that guy who came from Nebraska to put up those crosses at Columbine. I liked that. I like passion, I guess. But they made him take the crosses down, and I think people protested and now they're back up. The thing about the cross in Texas is it goes too far in my opinion. Selling tacky souvenirs??

Also, here where I live, we have all these little churches with lighted signs that have a daily phrase displayed to shame the heathens. They're really embarrassing.

I joined a secular humanist group and loved the lecturers from the university - just excellent. The whole crowd would go out to eat afterwards, and one day in keeping with some conversation, I mentioned an article by George Will. Faces turned red and grimaces aimed my way and that's the last I saw of those fools. I live in the shadow of Monticello, and the best lecture I heard was one describing the trials and tribulations Jefferson and Madison had trying to come up with a way to use 'providence' (as they called it) in setting up the government's value system. The lecture on quantum physics blew right by me. The twilight zone professor giving the lecture was completely nonplussed when I raised my hand and asked him if he could bring it on down to soulville for us. The audience laughed and cheered with a few huzzays. They were lost, too, and one was even a physics professor at UVA.

There's really no point to my ramblings here other than to say I believe passion more than logic leads to change; but if the passion is out of control, things just become chaotic. I love and appreciate all passion - just don't jam it down my throat if your passion has escaped the bounds of thoughtfulness.

Posted by: Amy at March 29, 2005 7:52 AM

There is an identical cross just south of Effingham, Illinois on I-57. The first time you posted pictures of the cross in Texas, I thought it was the one here (Effingham is about 30 miles from here, which is Mattoon.) I have never stopped there, just passed it by every so often. One day I shall stop. Until then it is just a strange miracle.

Posted by: Chris at March 29, 2005 7:44 PM

According to info I have seen concerning the cross near Effingham, IL (198 feet tall), it is larger than the one at Groom, Texas (190 feet). I am from Amarillo, and have seen that one at Groom on multiple occasions, but never saw the necessity to stop. Guess I see it like Amy does--a little on the "overdone" side. I guess if that's what you like, go for it.

Posted by: Shannon at April 2, 2005 8:20 PM

In passing the Groom, Texas cross in Oct. 04, I tried to take a picture of it. The picture didn't
print out. Is that a miracle, blessing or what?

Posted by: Arno at July 18, 2005 12:26 PM

Someone please tell me what the problem having a Cross to remind us all that Christ Died for us because He loves Us.
Please Someone tell me What Is Wrong With This. We need to be telling our Sons and Daughters this everyday of their lives . We need to be telling this to our Husbands and Wives and Our Families. We need to stop the killing and aborting our own flesh and blood. THis Cross that Christ Died On tells us alot and also asks us to think. I think people are afraid to think these days I really do.

Posted by: Peggy at November 18, 2005 7:17 AM

This isn't the largest cross in the world. The biggest one is in Effingham, Illinois and its 198 feet tall weighing in at 180 tons.

Posted by: JM at May 10, 2006 1:47 PM

The World's Largest Cross is actually the Holy Cross at the Valley of the Fallen in Madrid, Spain. Almost 500 feet tall and a weight of 200,000 tons.

Best regards

Posted by: Jose at December 17, 2006 6:12 PM

are you the owner of nazareth cross ?

Posted by: samer mahmood at July 16, 2007 4:04 AM

A lot of Christians wear crosses around their necks. You think when Jesus comes back he ever wants to see a fucking cross? It's like going up to Jackie Onassis wearing a rifle pendant.

Posted by: Bill Hicks at August 27, 2007 1:24 PM

To Bill Hicks ,
How do you know what Jesus would "think" ??
by your comment you have missed the whole point & reason of the Cross the WHOLE POINT !!
Not safe to assume that every one who wears a cross/crucifix is actually a Christian.

Have a nicer day.

Posted by: Ceelin at September 18, 2007 1:11 PM

Had the good fortune to visit the Groom Cross as a pilgrimmage. Also, highly recommended is the Ave Maria cafe located in Groom. Both are extremely valuable spiritual experiences. Take a pilgrimmage to this site and pray for those who want to abolish anything holy.
edwin kubena, jr.

Posted by: edwin kubena at November 27, 2007 12:13 PM
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