Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Day the Church Kicked Jesus Out

No, I'm not talking figuratively about the way the church has been obviously acting for the past... well... several centuries. I'm talking about an actual rejection of Jesus by the church in a much more, hilarious, and literal sense:

This rather handsome guy created a very devout piece of art which depicts Jesus as a homeless guy. If you ask me, it's genius. When more Christians worry about pushing religion than actually following it, and reject anything from Jesus' mouth that's too liberal for them, it's clear that, as the article says, "Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." (Luke 9:58).

The statue is haunting and uncomfortable, depicting a darkly shrouded figure lying huddled on a long park bench. From a distance, the figure could be anyone, and only on close examination are the tell-tale "stigmata," or crucifixion wounds, visible on its exposed feet.
Timothy Schmalz's "Homeless Jesus" isn't your typical depiction of Christ, and it's arresting imagery might have hit too close to home for some Catholic leaders. In fact, the life-size bronze sculpture was rejected by two high-profile cathedrals, St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, despite initial enthusiasm by rectors.

So... homeless Jesus. Which is unsettling to people who want to see rich, silver-spooned Jesus. So to only confirm his artistic statement...

“Homeless Jesus had no home,” Schmalz told the Toronto Star. “It was very upsetting because the rectors liked it, but when it got to the administration, people thought it might be too controversial or vague,” he said, adding he was told the piece “was not an appropriate image.”

You just can't write this stuff if you tried! Yes, we've got two different passages that the article, and everyone else writing about this, brings up. The previously quote passage from Luke, and the Sheep and Goats passage from Matthew, in which Jesus said on the day of judgment even people who call him "Lord" will be told that He doesn't know them, because when he was homeless, hungry, etc., they didn't help him. When was this? When he didn't help "the least of these," meaning people in general.

It's a point so easy a caveman could get it. But somehow, fundie Christians and many in the Christian leadership do not. They don't like a depiction of Jesus that instills shame..... on THEM. They only like that one where he's crucified (shaming everyone else into showing up and putting money in their hats), or one where he's robed in glory and shiney pretty goodness.

And so the passage nobody else is bringing up is one I felt I should do so. This from John the Baptist himself:

“What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? 
Matthew 11:7-9 

And this, from Isaiah, which fundamentalists (falsely) assume predicts the Christ that supposedly came centuries later... notice how the same wrong assumptions are made about the homeless today by these same fundie rightwing capitalism-loving fundies:

Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 

This is why I do this blog. Nothing more fun than slapping the religious around with their own damned book. Think about that passage anytime you see the pope dressed in all his garb, or any preacher whose houses are giant sized laps of luxury. Does it sound like those idiots are emulating Jesus?

Of course not. We all get it. Everyone gets it. It couldn't be more obvious, and yet they make bigger and bigger jokes of themselves missing the point any kindergartner can understand. You know, if Buddhist leadership were to miss the point this badly, it's look as ridiculous as this:

No sir, in order to see this kind of stupidity, you gotstsa follow the "one true religion"!