Chocolate Jesus

Okay, this actually has nothing to do with Cameroon, it's just my thoughts on a particular matter.

Have you heard about the chocolate Jesus brouhaha?

This strikes me as a kneejerk response from the Catholic league. I'll grant you that the bias of the story probably favours the artist, so it may very well have neglected to fully portray the Catholic League's position on this, but from what I read, it sounds like they're offended because a) it's ugly, b) it's naked, and c) it's Easter.

Frankly, I don't see any of those as particularly good reasons to get up in arms about things. Because a) beauty is in the eye of the beholder, b) like it or not, there is and always has been a lot of nudity in art, for which there are probably both good and bad reasons, but regardless, I don't fancy that is going to change soon and a handful of outraged protests will do nothing but annoy artists and make us look like Puritans or philistines, and c) if it is indeed offensive, we should be as offended at any time of the year, and if it's not, kudos for the (presumably secular) artist for bringing attention to Jesus at Easter.

Why are we always falling all over ourselves to defend God's honour from non-Christians? He's the creator of the universe. Omniscient. Omnipotent. I think He can take care of Himself. Instead, we should be more concerned about how our lives as Christians bring -- or more often, fail to bring -- honour to our Lord. I think Christians who blithely fail to live out Jesus' example in the little things everyday and Christian leaders who succumb to pride in its many forms (without repenting) do far more damage to God's honour than any piece of art -- however offensive it may be -- can ever do. We're called to keep each other accountable, but not to judge each other. The only person's behaviour whom you have the right to control is your own.

This could have been an opportunity for dialogue, to learn something, maybe even to witness, but first and foremost, to hear where the artist is coming from. What if, next time something like this happens, instead of racing to condemn, what if Christians asked, "what is the artist trying to say? Why would he choose to use a sacred Christian image at this time of year? why would he choose to portray it in a way that may be extremely offensive to practitioners of the faith?" Even if the answer turns out to be that he has a grudge against Christians and was deliberately trying to offend and provoke, wouldn't an honest desire to hear what the artist has to say and to try to understand his concerns be much more effective at honouring God than boycotts and protests?


Rebs said…
too true.

rather than being offended, I thought it was kind of an interesting idea. It really should only offend the iconoclasts, which Catholics are...definitely not. I mean, what’s one more image of a crucified Christ to the Catholic church?
I don’t think it’s been the first naked Christ either.
So then the only objection they can possibly have is to the medium. Which is of course the part I like about the sculpture – it points out the fact that Christ’s death and resurrection has been reduced to a day of eating chocolate for most of the western world.

I love irony

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