We are almost immune to the calculated disrespect with which the arts and entertainment community treats the most revered religious personality in American history. Last week, two artists produced versions of Jesus Christ for a shock to coincide with the Easter holiday.
Casimo Cavallaro unveiled a crucifixion sculpture, created from 200 pounds of milk chocolate. The figure raised immediate concerns when it was revealed that it would not feature a loincloth covering — but would be anatomically correct and completely nude.
In the second instance, David Cordello, a senior at The Art Insitute of Chicago , fashioned a statue of presidential contender Sen. Barack Obama (D.-Ill.) as Jesus. Capped with a neon halo and lifting his hands in peace, the effigy is a physical enrichment of the senator’s recently elevated public persona.
These examples are not unlike last year’s mockery of another religious figure. When the Prophet Mohammad was ridiculed in a series of Danish editorial cartoons, the Muslim community worldwide reacted violently.
Flags were burned, nations were condemned, death threats were thrown like confetti and a media-fed frenzy built around the supposed defamation of Islam. American newspapers wouldn’t print the cartoons “out of respect” for the self-styled “religion of peace.”
When television stations refused to air the cartoons, syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin forced them on screen during a Fox News interview after finding frustration with the media’s cowardice. Of the current debacle, Malkin asked in a March 30 blog post, “Where’s the MSM’s [mainstream media] concern for avoiding deliberately provocative religious insults now?”
While the media declined to feed their otherwise insatiable ratings appetites by omitting the cartoons from their coverage last year, they now act intrigued and amused broadcasting the Jesus figures — and have published material widely. Consider the public reaction had these latest stunts been perpetrated on the world’s purportedly most “respected” faith.
The Catholic League’s Keira McCaffery elementally pointed out, “They wouldn’t do something like this to Muslims…no naked chocolate sculpture of Muhummad, with genitals exposed, on Ramadan.”
The league did get the chocolate Jesus show canceled, but photos were still broadcast without concern for religious “respect.” The gallery’s creative director Matt Semler quit in protest, labeled the artist a “victim” and called it a “Catholic fatwa.”
The left constantly cries bigotry, homophobia, and judgmentalism at Christians’ questioning of immoral behavior. This is perfectly consistent with Fox News Chicago’s coverage of the Jesus-Barack exhibit, in which a bystander said, “Jesus is a concept that hasn’t really unified the US . Christianity has also really kind of caused a lot conflict within our country and a lot of countries so it could be read in two different ways…”
If these words were said of Muhammad in an identical circumstance, the backlash would be deafening — just as it was when the Pope read one line of a 14th century quote from a Byzantine emperor saying Muhammad brought only “evil and inhuman things to the world.” There would be no photos. There would be no acceptance. There would be no amusement. And you can bet the American press corps would march in straight-backed obedience out of “respect” for Islam.
In his book, “The Truth About Muhammad,” Robert Spencer carefully documents the utter intolerance of Islam itself, concluding that, “People can be convinced of something they wish to believe, regardless of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.”
Believe this: Obama as Mohammad wouldn’t fly and encapsulating Christ in chocolate (a “sinful” treat no less) is demeaning. Also, the unnecessary nudity belies Christ’s last physical shred of dignity, adding to the offense.
Christians are instructed to use the Lord’s name and image reverently. By calculatedly employing it to the opposite shows utter disrespect for God’s holiness.
Many Americans prepare to celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus this Easter weekend. If only Christianity were as “respected” in America as Islam.