Let’s take our cue from St. Joe and build something good

By DAVID W. HEALY COLUMN,

The St. Joseph Fighting Irish have recently placed a beautiful 20-foot statue of Jesus Christ right in front of their football field. 

The statue is a replica of the “Word of Life” mural on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. The mural is more popularly known as Touchdown Jesus.

The new statue was possible because of a large donation given to the school by former parishioner Salvador Sarulio.

Three plaques will be placed on the statue soon, says St. Joe Coach John Baker. Each plaque will have a picture of one of the recent Fighting Irish state championship teams pictured on it.

“This statue is something we have been trying to have done for a long time, and we are thrilled that we have finally made it happen,” Coach Baker said. “With many schools trying to take God away from their campuses, we are trying to do more to bring Him in.”

No matter your faith, the statue is a really cool site to behold. Not many high school football teams can say they have something like this.

With this in mind, I can’t help but see the juxtaposition between what St. Joseph has done and what other people across our country and in our community are currently trying to do.

To be perfectly clear, I believe that if a statue (or a flag) is causing people to feel pain then it should be removed. I also believe that, by their very nature, statues pay honor to those who they are carved after. Some people in our history were undeserving of the honor they were given by such statues.

In our city’s case, I do not have a problem with the Washington County Board of Supervisors voting last week to remove the confederate soldier’s memorial from the lawn of the Washington County Courthouse. In fact, I did not even realize it was there. If leaders in our community feel strongly that it needs to be moved, then so be it.

Still, I believe that removing a statue should be done after careful consideration and not during moments of passion. Once you tear it down, it is gone forever. Statues can be important history lessons to both parents and children. They can tell us who once lived at the same place that we are currently living in. They can teach us, both right and wrong, what these people valued. By removing them, these valuable history lessons may never occur.

And, the more I think about it, I believe that we should spend our time and energies on building things up, rather then on tearing things down.

What can we come together and build for future generations to look back and understand what we stood for and believed?

David W. Healy is sports editor of the Delta Democrat-Times. He can be reached at dhealy@ddtonline.com.