I’m back at the university, more on that later, but I was struck by a news story about a man who made a statue of Jesus out of chocolate, and when he was scheduled to display it, a group of Catholics encouraged the venue to cancel its agreement with the artist. You can see something about the story here at ABC News, and here at Alernet. The Alternet piece has a great film clip of Tom Waits linked at the end, a classic in my opinion, doing “Chocolate Jesus. ” I’m putting one here I like it so much. I’m also posting a video of Marilyn Manson’s “Personal Jesus,” and an infamous image, “Piss Christ”. I don’t necessarily like the later two myself, but the artists concerned have the right to create these images. Not only that, but the artists’ freedom to create and show their work, and the Catholics’ freedom to worship and espress their beliefs, are the same and linked. When the hate mongers come and begin to opress people, they don’t allow any expressions. You can’t have one without the other. As much as some people hate these image of Christ, we have to recognize that threats only serve the same interests that would happily see Christianity abolished. Religion and art are both powerful forms of expression, and for some to weaken the sculptor’s rights to express himself, they weaken their own.
I decided not to include an image of “Piss Christ,” but instead to include a link to the Wikipedia page that has a good discussion of this piece and its history. (I don’t really like looking at that image so much.)