Welp, the Virgin Mary's in New Jersey, you guys. People are flocking to see the the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Virgin Mary as she's revered in Mexico, on a tree in West New York, New Jersey. The police have set up barricades around the holy spot and worshippers are making their way to the NYC suburb to get a glimpse of the divine in what looks to be an innocuous sidewalk shrub.
And the image? Well, to me it looks more vaginal than Virginal, but who am I to discredit a potential sign from God? I'm all for Jesus and Mary showing up on soap, waffles, and now, trees. And I'm even more for the right to worship it, if you want to.
Sometimes we take freedom of religion for granted in this country. So many other nations are torn apart, or have been at war for millennia over spiritual differences, but if we want to kiss a tree or rub a Buddha belly or light a candle for Krishna or worship at the altar that is Andy Pettitte, our leaders don't give two shakes of a lamb's tail. And that's awesome.
I'm sure the faithful visiting the tree are thrilled and moved, but I gotta bet the stores around that tree are pretty psyched, too (more visitors, more sales).
Also, the state of New Jersey must be beyond excited by the Virgin Mary's decision to show up in the Garden State. New Jersey doesn't have that great a reputation, it's known nationwide as the armpit of America, but let me ask you this: Would God send Our Lady of Guadalupe down to the dirty Jerz if He thought it was so terrible? Didn't think so.
Win for the faithful, win for the business owners, and win for the state. Praise be on high.
Watch the story -- think it looks like a statue of the Virgin Mary?