Friday, August 17, 2012

Gay Christ wears rainbow flag in art by Latuff

“Gay Christ” by Carlos Latuff

A crucified Jesus wears a rainbow flag for a loincloth in “Gay Christ” by Brazilian political cartoonist Carlos Latuff.

He created the digital artwork to show Christ’s opposition to religion-based prejudice against queer people. “I support LGBT movement 100 percent,” Latuff told the Jesus in Love Blog.

Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1968, he creates cartoons promoting a progressive vision of global justice, diversity, peace and environmental protection. Latuff, who has Arab roots, is best known for his images of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Latuff startles the viewer by putting a contemporary LGBT rainbow flag on an image of Jesus from history. While the historical Jesus didn’t have access to rainbow flags, cutting-edge scholars such as Theodore Jennings of Chicago Theological Seminary believe that he did have a homosexual relationship. Jennings presents the evidence in his book The Man Jesus Loved: Homoerotic Narratives in the New Testament.

Latuff’s gay Christ is related to liberation theology, which states that God sides with the oppressed to the point that their experience becomes God’s experience. By becoming one with oppressed people through Jesus Christ, God feels pain wherever people are attacked and humiliated. The gay Jesus embodies God’s solidarity with queers.

Jesus taught love for all, but Christian rhetoric is being misused to justify hate and discrimination against LGBT people. Gay-positive images of Jesus are needed now as an antidote to the poisonous messages of those who attack queers in the name of God.

Much of Latuff’s work presents a sharp critique of capitalism, globalization and militarism. His blog Latuff Cartoons cautions visitors: “Warning! Razor-edged cartoons!” For more cartoons by Latuff, visit his blog or Twitpic page.

Thanks, Carlos, for permission to share your art on the Jesus in Love Blog!

Related link:
LGBT rights versus Christian faith in Latuff cartoon: International Day Against Homophobia calls for prayers (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. More queer Christ images are compiled in my book Art That Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ, and More.


Unknown said...


Terence Weldon said...

I like the point that the rainbow loin cloth does not imply that Christ was (necessarily)gay himself, but indicates that he would have identified with our struggle against oppression and discrimination.

I've linked to this in a new post "Gays for Jesus" at QTC (one of the most ambitious I've ever attempted), which was prompted by an image of Christ with a rainbow cape covering his head. The post as a whole covers a lot more, but part of it is specifically about imagery of Christ as gay - or black, or female.


Kittredge Cherry said...

I am attracted the idea that Jesus was gay himself (whether or not he was celibate). To understand the power of the gay Jesus, think of the difference between a black Jesus and a white Jesus who holds a black power symbol.

This is a wonderful link! I must get to work on my own piece about the amazing magazine cover of Jesus with the rainbow shroud.

But I am in the midst of writing text for a book based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision” by Douglas Blanchard. Thank you for including a link here so readers can find the online version at the Jesus in Love Blog. Actually about half the content at my blog relates to the question you raise “Can we portray Jesus as a gay man?”