A gay Jesus cuddles in bed with rock star Freddie Mercury in “Marriage Made in Heaven” by cartoonist Mr. Fish.
Artist Dwayne Booth, who uses the pen name Mr. Fish, created the image in reaction to a vote banning same-sex marriage in North Carolina this spring. After working through his rage, he decided to highlight the hypocrisy of anti-gay Christians indirectly by showing Jesus in bed with a gay icon.
Conservative Christian voters claimed that their opposition to same-sex marriage is based on the Bible, but in a statement the artist pointed out that the Bible is open to innumerable interpretations -- including Jesus as a radical hell-raiser who valued outcasts and accepted human differences.
“I chose Freddie Mercury as Jesus’ partner because, a.) he is immediately recognizable as a gay icon and b.) there is something both holy and tragic about Mercury’s life and premature death. In many ways it is a narrative that is not dissimilar to the Jesus narrative, both figures inspiring of love and beauty and self-assuredness removed from corporeal existence way too soon. In that way, they seemed like a perfect match,” Booth told the Jesus in Love Blog.
Mercury (1946-1991) was the lead singer and songwriter for the rock band Queen, composing such hits as “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We are the Champions.” An acknowledged bisexual, Mercury was the first major rock star to die of AIDS.
The text accompanying Mr. Fish’s cartoon says, “Tired of watching humanity ignore his simple message of love and tolerance and acceptance, Jesus decides that his marriage to Freddie is all that he cares about anymore and that he will never return to earth because people are just too G-----n stupid to understand anything he might say to them.”
Booth is a cartoonist and freelance writer whose work can be seen most regularly on Harpers.org and Truthdig.com. Over the last 20 years his work has been published by many of the nation’s most prestigious magazines and newspapers, including The Los Angeles Times, The Village Voice and the Advocate. A debut volume of his collected cartoons titled Go Fish: How to Win Contempt and Influence People was published in 2011.
Special thanks to Mr. Fish for permission to share his cartoon here at Jesus in Love. And special thanks to Ann for alerting me to this amazing image.
Cartoon: Jesus saves LGBT kids from jaws of clergy hat (Mr. Fish at Jesus in Love)
Jesus, Freddie Mercury and Gay Marriage (cagle.com)
John the Evangelist: The man Jesus loved (Jesus in Love)
Lazarus: Jesus’ beloved disciple? (Jesus in Love)
This post is part of the Queer Christ series series by Kittredge Cherry at the Jesus in Love Blog. The series gathers together visions of the queer Christ as presented by artists, writers, theologians and others.