A Christian Science church in Dixon, Illinois, that rose to infamy last month after the Internet noticed that it looks suspiciously like a phallus is opening up about the matter — and making things much funnier.
In an interview with Sauk Valley Media, church official Scott Shepherd said his church has taken it on the chin since word spread about the spiritual center's unfortunate design.
"The Internet has great capability for good," he told the news outlet, "and great capability for gossip and destruction."
According to Shepherd, the Christian Science Society of Dixon (motto: "Rising Up") did not set out to make their holy house look like, well, a big brown dick.
"We didn’t design it to be seen as what they’re seeing," he is quoted as saying. "And we didn’t design it to be seen from above."
Though they may not have had God in mind when they drew up blueprints, it seems that Shepherd and his flock did have a specific reason for erecting a curved, bulbous structure that leans to the left.
The church was designed by an architect, Shepherd said. The shape came about because the church wanted to have part of the building near the intersection of Highland Avenue and Second Street, plenty of windows for natural light, and a sanctuary, which is the eastern part of the building. But the church also wanted to preserve a large oak tree, which can be seen in the Google maps image, so the decision was made to curve the building around the tree.
Because what's a penis church without a pubic tree.
Architect John McLane, who worked on the project before quitting over creative difference, defended the current design, saying it was "a little bit of a stretch" to claim the church resembled a penis.
Though the congregation initially attempted to turn the other cheek and accept the deluge of comments, they ultimately decided to be the bigger man.
"I feel sorry for them," Shepard said. "Jesus didn’t tell us to turn the other cheek to take more abuse. He told us to turn the cheek so we won’t behave like these people."
Whatever, dude. Your church looks like a penis.
[screengrab via Google Earth]