Just south of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the Muslim world’s holiest site, a kitsch rendition of London’s Big Ben is nearing completion. Called the Royal Mecca Clock Tower, it will be one of the tallest buildings in the world, the centerpiece of a complex that is housing a gargantuan shopping mall, an 800-room hotel and a prayer hall for several thousand people. Its muscular form, an unabashed knockoff of the original, blown up to a grotesque scale, will be decorated with Arabic inscriptions and topped by a crescent-shape spire in what feels like a cynical nod to Islam’s architectural past. To make room for it, the Saudi government bulldozed an 18th-century Ottoman fortress and the hill it stood on.
To mix my religious metaphors, "JESUS CHRIST, what a fucking eyesoar!".
Not just ugly, but derivative. Well, if there's one thing religions good for besides pointless wars, it's spending money on building gigantic buildings displaying how awesome it is to spend it's adherents money...as opposed to feeding and housing the poorer of the believers.
Even as a non-religious type, I find the kaaba kind of awesome in both its grandeur and simplicity...especially considering it's current religious sponsor ripped off a dopey pagan rock the way Christians ripped off a Roman holiday and called it Christmas.
Well, now it is both less grand and more tacky.
Now, every religion has been consistently tacky, I just hate to see more modern updates. And yes, I'm thinking about the Crystal Cathedral or any number of modern megachurches.
So "idolatry" is bad...unless it's really, really in bad taste.