MSNBC reports that a 6-story abomination, affectionately known as "Touchdown Jesus," burnt to the ground on Monday night, June 14th, the year of our Lord 2010. The BBC reports that insurance investigators have determined the cause of its destruction to have been an Act of God.
One of southwest Ohio's few defining landmarks, it has only stood since as recently as 2004.
Controversy has always surrounded the monstrous metal, foam and fiberglass creation. Not because it was a blight on the neighborhood as tall as a six-story building, but because the affectionate nickname "Touchdown Jesus" had already been reserved and copyrighted with reference to the Millard Sheets mural The Word of Life adorning the Hesburgh Library in Notre Dame, Indiana, and clearly visible to spectators at Notre Dame stadium. This fact has prompted some fans of the new contender for the crown to instead designate it Touchdown Jesus, The Second Coming.
Today, only a demonic blackened steel skeleton and some chunks of its exploded foam guts remain. Some less enthusiastic spectators, happy to see the hulking icon gone have now taken to re-nicknaming the blackened hulk "Torchdown Jesus."
Insurance investigators quickly ruled out arson, declaring the flaming effigy of our Lord and Savior to be the Act of a Jealous, Vengeful God and refusing to pay out damages, despite the church having carried a million dollar policy on the infamous landmark.
This is the latest of a string of incidents from a perturbed and increasingly wrathful deity, lashing out at the perceived increasing evils and excesses of modern life.
Pressed for comment on the deity's wrathfulness, Pat Robertson was quick to note that just as Haiti's recent earthquakes were sure signs that it was being punished by God for a pact made long ago with Satan, this too must hold heavenly significance.
Flipping through his handy Biblical desk-reference, Mr. Robertson's eyes suddenly went wide in disbelief. "Oh my," he exclaimed! "It seems we've been less than diligent in respecting our lord God's commandment to avoid the creation of idols and graven images."
How nobody saw this act of holy retribution coming is anybody's guess... What with the Ten Commandments adorning many secular halls of justice around the nation.
Some pundits have been quick to point out a more secular explanation for the catastrophe, insofar as Touchdown Jesus' highly-conductive 6-story metal skeleton could have, effectively, acted as a gigantic lightning rod for the thunderstorm passing overhead.
Called to clarify, the Pope's press correspondent stated that the Pope has no official stance on God's alleged destruction of Touchdown Jesus.
However, he noted that he is contemplating whether the Church has become too liberal in recent centuries in its interpretation of the Commandments.
If it is determined that churches have not complied sufficiently with the letter of the law, it is possible that a Papal order will be issued to comply forthwith, lest God's wrath continue to befall us with increasing vigor and frequency.
Remedies being considered include a repainting of the Sistine Chapel to remove any and all reference to religious iconography. The monstrous statue of Christ the Redeemer, situated near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was also said to be on the chopping block along with the ostentatious stained glass windows of Notre Dame and many of its carved reliefs.
Asked whether the much beloved Touchdown Jesus would be rebuilt, a Solid Rock Church spokesman said they would most certainly be passing the collection plate a few more times than usual at services for the next year. Some of the additional funds would "most likely" be used to build a newer, bigger, better MVP Jesus, anywhere from 10-12 stories tall.
"But, we've learned our lesson," said the spokesman. "If we do decide to rebuild, we have the technology to build him bigger, better, and stronger. This time, we'll be using a non-conductive, reinforced fiberglass skeleton and fire-retardant materials. MVP Jesus should fare far better against earthquakes or any future thunderbolts from God. He'll have to do better than that, next time!"
MVP Jesus is tentatively scheduled to be completed by mid December, 2012.