The Anchorage Daily News reported last month that a Luz del Mundo temple in Anchorage made of corrugated tin has stalled. The church, at a cost of $1.7 million to the local congregation of 35, is designed to look like the church's central temple in Guadalajara's Hermosa Provincia colony. I was struck by a couple of thoughts.
1) the comments from the readers were overwhelmingly negative, with one commentator on a related story on the temple wondering if the building was a front for drug runners and illegal aliens. LDM is probably Mexico's closest approximation of the sort of Christianity you will find practiced by many in Alaska, such as Palin's former Wasila Assembly of God church. LDM are probably conservative Alaskans' greatest allies in terms of "issues" - but they certainly can't see beyond the racial profiling.
2) Not far from San Antonio the Luz del Mundo maintain a lavish exotic animal park and collection of vintage cars (see the San Antonio News Express story here) - an odd juxtaposition to the 4 year struggle of the Alaska congregation to finish its building. While I appreciate the interesting idea of Mexican wealth needing to prop up insufficient funds in the US, I am also struck by the lack of central planning in an otherwise very tightly controlled centralized church. Perhaps LDM is not the religious juggernaut that I and others have made it out to be. Apparently, according to the ADN story, this is not the only stalled church in the works. Perhaps, of course, I am just reading too much into a policy of asking local congregations to take control of the their own building facilities.