A big cross is going up in Texas, but "big" is a bit of an understatement. When the steel structure is completed in Corpus Christi, perhaps next year, it will stand 230 feet high. As a feature at Texas Monthly explains, that will make it the biggest in the US—over a 208-footer in Florida—though not technically the largest in the Western Hemisphere. That title goes to a 492-foot cross in Madrid. The story by Jonny Auping is not about engineering, however. Instead, it explores the vision of the man behind the cross, Rick Milby, who is both pastor of Abundant Life Fellowship Church and leader of the local Tea Party group. An estimated 80,000 drivers would see the cross daily, as would planes flying into the city, along with its beam of light, "like God is pointing His finger into the cross," as Milby puts it.
The cross is expected to cost $1 million, but this isn't a municipal project, and the money is trickling in through private contributions. Still, when the mayor attended the groundbreaking earlier this year, an atheist in San Antonio sued to have her admonished over the show of support. Patrick Greene (his story could be a magazine piece all on its own) sees the cross as a "monstrosity," though his lawsuit has since been dropped. A council member also cited in the lawsuit is a member of Abundant Life and isn't hesitant to talk about how her faith and politics merge. “We’ve got Christians rising up in office,” she says. “It’s one of the reasons I’m serving." Asked if she would back a 230-foot Muslim symbol, she is unequivocal. "That I would be against." Click for the full story. (Read more Texas stories.)