11 July, 2008

Sweet Jesus: The Astounding Story of the Chocolate Christ

April 1st, 2007

Every now and then, you get to hear about Christians on the news. This is rarely to their advantage. In fact, it is usually because they are bitching about something. In the present case, Catholics in New York are pissed off at a six foot tall chocolate Jesus.

Created by Cosimo Cavallaro - an artist I understand to be fond of using food - the "My Sweet Lord" sculpture has been described as "one of the worst assaults on Christian sensibilities ever" by Bill Donohue, head of the Watchdog Catholic League. Don't think I know any of these people, I'm just quoting from an article for exactitude's sake, in case you want to do your own research.

It became a problem, the Chocolate Christ, because the place where it was on display was owned by the same people who own a hotel nearby, which people said they would boycott in case the delicious blasphemy remained.

I have seen the sacrilegious thing, and honestly it's very well done. It's made to be anatomically perfect, and it is. The thing is, Jesus' penis is showing. And it is made of chocolate, too.

I first saw that whole affair on CNN, and one of the angered Catholics interviewed notably said something about how insulting it was to show a naked Jesus with a chocolate penis on the Holy Week, which I found interesting. I honestly don't know if Catholics fast during the Holy Week or what, but the connection between delicious chocolate and a penis, all embodied in a single thing - well, that is enough to make a Catholic angry at himself or herself, apparently.

Now, seriously, this is ridiculous. The people in charge of the displaying received hundreds of threats, death threats, complains, etc, etc. First of all, what IS the problem with the chocolate Christ? If He had been shaped with elephant dung, I'd see the problem, but chocolate? Since when was chocolate a damnable thing? And as I told you, the sculpture is beautifully executed; it shows Christ crucified on an invisible Cross (only His body is showing, no loin cloth either). The artist himself is a Catholic, and I saw him interviewed, he meant no insult at all. So, it can be safely assumed that there was no ill intent on the account of the artist. And I can't say that there is anything obviously anti-Christian in the artwork per se.

It all annoys me very much, for various reasons. First, it's all so God-damned stupid. Think of this, if the Catholics of New York had said nothing, the Sweet Jesus sculpture wouldn't have attracted any spotlight; I'd never have seen it on CNN, and you'd not find so many blogs about it. Now, thanks to those angered and angry religious people, Our Saviour of Chocolate is all over the place. Secondly, those Catholics once again give bad promotion for Christianity, and religions on general. This is typical of Catholics, I must say. They don't have a single ounce of sense of public relation. Honestly, I see their anger at the choccy artwork, I wonder about the mental state of people who even bother with it, and send death-threats. Seriously, Your Saviour was tortured to death for you, and you can't even tolerate someone making a chocolate sculpture of Him? How hard is that? Even assuming that it was meant negatively (which it wasn't), how hard is it to just let it go? It's utterly ridiculous and inexcusable. If only for the other Catholics the world over who certainly do not appreciate such an image of them being widely promoted. Let alone the entire Christian community.

I'm upset because it is hard enough to get interested in Christianity without having those idiots every now and then reminding you of how dumb Christians can be. If I sound harsh, so be it, but I cannot be any nicer to acts such as this, which are, by the way, not Christian acts. What caused such an anger? Would everything have been ok had the artist added a loin cloth to Jesus' private parts? Come on, we're not children anymore and the sight of a penis shouldn't be such an apocalypse. Yes, Jesus had a penis and may even have had wet dreams; what's it to you? I mean seriously, it's a detail and it doesn't matter. It's beneath all of us.

This being New York, I'm horrified - yes, horrified - that those Catholics team up in the thousands against a Chocolate Christ but don't act the same when they meet homeless people. Hundreds of bums in the street, that's fine, but a chocolate sculpture, that's blasphemy. Homelessness is much more a blasphemy to God than art. God is not stupid, damnit, He's more shocked by people suffering than by artwork of any kind! Even if the said artwork was the Virgin Mary incestuously gratifying Her own Son with oral sex. I can take it, so God can take it too. And as to Christ, I think once you've been through what He went through, you're not hurt or insulted by such petty things, insofar as they are meant to insult, offend, or hurt, which was not the case of the artist.

I am upset in the name of Christianity because I would really appreciate if those Christians stopped making fools of themselves and staining the image of the religion with such ridiculous and unChristian acts of childishness.

However, I understand that the media will be more interested in such cases than in any case where the same Christians would actively help homeless people and others in distress. But the same Christians are also aware of this, hence bad public relations handling.

Lastly, a call for all artists in New York. Next time you feel like teasing Christians, I recommend you take a live bum from the street and crucify the fuck out of him in a fancy contemporary art museum. Don't forget to put a wooden board so he can rest his feet and thus won't die of asphyxia. Provided you give him water and food, he should last a few days. Call it a "happening" and pray that maybe this would attract people's, and Catholics', attention to the homeless situation in New York. If this doesn't work, you just cover the fucker with a thick layer of fucking chocolate, and don't forget his fucking cock.

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