It was announced last Friday the Naked Chocolate Jesus art exhibit was cancelled due to protests from the Catholic Church. I was surprised at the church’s revulsion with Jesus in any art form. You can already buy chocolate Marys and Jesuses online.
Is seeing Jesus’ pee-pee in chocolate the source of outrage? If so, how can that be upsetting in any way if he reflects us and us him — how is it possible his naked body is considered indecent or a source of aggravation?
You can see Christ is Chocolate below and if you want to see the whole naked wholeness, click on the image and you’ll be taken to a full view. I have no idea if he melts in your mouth or if his chocolate pee-pee is crème-filled or not. I know I’m being insensitive and inappropriate — but so, too, is the Catholic Church.
Here’s how the AP reported the censorship:
NEW YORK (AP) — A planned Holy Week exhibition of a nude, anatomically correct chocolate sculpture of Jesus Christ was canceled Friday amid complaints from Catholics, including Cardinal Edward Egan. The “My Sweet Lord” display was shut down by the hotel that houses the Lab Gallery in Manhattan, said Matt Semler, the gallery’s creative director. Semler said he resigned after officials at the Roger Smith Hotel shut down the show. The artwork was created from more than 200 pounds of milk chocolate and features Christ with his arms outstretched as if on an invisible cross.
Unlike the typical religious portrayal of Christ, the artwork does not include a loincloth. The 6-foot sculpture was the victim of “a strong-arming from people who haven’t seen the show, seen what we’re doing,” Semler said. “They jumped to conclusions completely contrary to our intentions.” But word of the confectionary Christ infuriated Catholics, including Egan, who described it as “a sickening display.” Bill Donohue, head of the watchdog Catholic League, said it was “one of the worst assaults on Christian sensibilities ever.”
I think the Naked Chocolate Jesus is a beautiful thing and it shows another side to the Christ and forces us all to reconsider his place in our lives. Isn’t that the purpose of both art and religion? Isn’t it rare and intimate when both purposes converge to give us new thought and new shining lights of insight?
Would Naked Jesus in Burlap be just as offensive? Naked Jesus in Cream Cheese? I think I’ve seen a Naked Jesus in Butter before and it was utterly revolting — from a Trans-Fat sense. Is Jesus only allowed to be celebrated in Catholic Church approved materials? Is the entire world only permitted to enjoy him in certain paints and woods and porcelain mandated by Catholics? Do those who belong to the Church of Chocolate Jesus have no say in how their icons are presented to the eyes of the universe? Hasn’t chocolate, for some, become the very embodiment of Easter?
Isn’t Jesus supposed to belong to everyone and not just the vocal outraged? Is a child’s crayon drawing of a naked Jesus just as offensive as a six foot version in chocolate? I don’t remember this sort of fury when Jesus was found in burnt toast, window reflections and tree bark
— and there was no way to know if he was naked in those visions or not. Those Jesus sightings were considered messages from the supernatural and living evidence of Jesus in our lives on earth. What difference does it make that one artist found Jesus in Milk Chocolate?
This Naked Jesus in Chocolate bugaboo is the Flag Burning issue all over again in chocolate and Piss Christ repeated in a chocolate-covered pee-pee and the Dung-Covered Madonna in faked naked outrage: Conservative political views are being cudgeled against the mainstream consciousness of the American Dream of freedom and artistic expression and dissent for political control and emotional repression. Now we need to decide what to do with a Naked Jesus in Chocolate. Do we:
- Melt him down into souvenir communion wafers
- Lick him like a lollipop
- Melt him into a proper, life-sized, wooden cross
- Nibble his fingers and toes
- Shave him into curls for ice cream topping
- Melt his private parts into a loincloth and baptize him as acceptable
- Fill his hollow body with peanut butter and feed him to the homeless
Those are some of my ideas. What ideas do you have for putting a rejected Naked Jesus in Chocolate to good use? We know we already found Jesus Dead in His Grave — but who knew he’d be so quickly resurrected in milk chocolate?