Saturday, April 17, 2010

Is this a sexual Jesus?

Controversial new crucifix from St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church Warr Acres, Oklahoma

Oklahoma churchgoers are upset over what they see as a “pornographic” Jesus. Don’t they know this is the historical style for icons of Christ?!

Click the link below for the full news report:
http://newsok.com/warr-acres-catholic-church-has-crucifix-some-say-shows-exposed-genitals-of-jesus/article/3453833?custom_click=rss#ixzz0lKtE0T7V

I didn’t see what was “obscene” about the icon until I read about the phallic image on Jesus’ abdomen that the supposedly moralistic people perceived. It just goes to show that obscenity is in the eye of the beholder.
Bookmark and Share

13 comments:

KittKatt said...

Special thanks to Ann for alerting me to this news story. Keep those news tips coming!

Turtle Woman said...

This is ridiculous. Our culture is so sex obsessed that they see penises everywhere!

eric said...

Well, actually I have little original to say that you haven't said here or has been said in Facebook. I first saw this photo Friday morning (on an atheist's blog - that's another story). I showed it to Scott. It took BOTH of us several seconds to register why anyone found it offensive... and then both of us rolled on the floor laughing!

Problem for me now is... now that I've finally seen it... I can't NOT see it. So I guess I'm just as bad as the loonies out there who first took offense!

Yes. Our society has become SO sex obsessed it's actually kind of scary!

I've been noticing it in small ways for the past 10 or 20 years. People today are definitely more repressed than in the 70s and 80s.

Trudie said...

On a second look (I linked to this first from Facebook), I'll admit that the icon is NOT my favorite rendition of the subject, but I agree wholeheartedly with Turtle Woman. People need to get over it!

Audrey said...

eric,

what you said was so hysterically funny, I nearly fell off my chair (FOMCL = fell off my chair laughing)

Yewtree said...

Yes, once I had seen it, I couldn't not see it. I don't think it can do Jesus' image any harm - it's bigger than the Cerne Abbas giant's tackle! Also, there's a long tradition of ithyphallic deities.

KittKatt said...

Ithyphallic?! I had to look that word up. Thanks, Yewtree, for a great comment made with great vocabulary.

lrncu1 said...

On my desk at home I have a small sc of sculpture clay that I fashioned showing Jesus having a penis as he hung on the cross.I identify Jesus as having been a man.It is also he was married.
Someone should write a book.jesus undercover.
Thanks for letting me post

James Koenig said...

I guess those roamin-- or shall I say Roman eyes are the devil's playground-- (or comedy central)! Whether it's a Virgin Mary appearing on a potato-chip or on a water-stain in a Chicago underpass, or an icon with a "big one", it's obbsessive behavior. Someone reassure them-- it's stylized painting and Jesus has a six-pack (what do they do with the the disciples fishing naked?) The bottom line is-- would we want Jesus to be an emasculated (or better yet, sexless, human being. If Jesus was fully human he had feelings and urges and genetalia (only probably NOT on his abs-- unless he got real cozy with John). That's not to be outrageous or improper! It begs the question--Are we SO afraid of sexuality-- wonderful, expressive, healthy sexuality-- that we make it the church's stumbling block and the devil's playground? The relationship between Christ and the church is described in scripture as being like human intimacy. The Eucharist has been described as Christ's "conjugal visit" in which we experience intimacy. A post-communion prayer says "As you live in me may I live in you until life everlasting!" Churches-- and clergy (be they Roman or evangelical or "progressive" are all too often hung up on authority and judgement. We too readily trade spiritual intimacy for intimidation. In the meanwhile, Jesus does his crunches-

Anonymous said...

I can't figure out why they didn't make Him Jewish!

KittKatt said...

Well, I knew this supposedly porno Jesus would bring out the wild and witty comments! James, you outdid yourself with a delightful and insightful comment. I have never heard communion described as a “conjugal visit” before -- but I have heard that a communion service where everyone is allowed to partake (not just members) is a “promiscuous communion”!

James Koenig said...

We should be so promiscuous! To love liberally is not a political statement, it's a Biblical command. Interesting with the Eucharist and intimacy-- In the Jewish faith, Shabbat (Friday leading into the Sabboth) is the bride. Friday night is supposed to be family time and after the meal-- (after the kids are in bed I presume) the couple is supposed to be intimate. Nookie is kosher! (Also for Christians-- well, as long as you don't enjoy it! (*Just kidding.) And to Turtle WOman who said "our culture is so sex obsessed that they see penises everywhere!" I can only say "we also see a lot of pricks!

KittKatt said...

Thanks, James, for enlightening me about the intimate aspect of Shabbat! A Christian seminary student once told me that the Jewish practice of “davening” or rocking during prayer was originally supposed to simulate the motions of intercourse. I wanted to include that in my novel “Jesus in Love,” but I wasn’t able to confirm it, so I left it out.

As far as intimacy and the Eucharist, I have read that some monks and nuns reach orgasm when receiving the bread/body of Christ, at least during the Middle Ages. It is definitely an embodied ritual of connecting with God.