Saturday, March 31, 2007

A profoundly pro-Christian work of art

The blog Cosmic Variance discusses the new milk chocolate sculpture of Jesus (author's hyperlink):
The Catholic League is up in arms about Cosimo Cavallaro’s milk chocolate sculpture of Jesus Christ, naked on the cross, titled “My Sweet Lord”.

Personally, I’m offended for two reasons. First, this is gratuitous use of delicious chocolate that could otherwise be savored with espresso, milk or champagne. I wish sculptors would stick to making religious artwork out of things that aren’t so tasty (the virgin Mary partially made out of elephant dung from a few years ago is a fine example).

Secondly, I’m offended that Catholic League head Bill Donohue called the sculpture
“one of the worst assaults on Christian sensibilities ever”.
Really? More of an insult to the supposed Christian ideal of loving one’s brother than the homophobic attitude of the church? More of an insult than the rampant and systematic sexual abuse of young boys by Catholic priests? More of an insult than the poverty and disease exacerbated by the church’s absurd stances on abortion and birth control, particularly in the third world? Somebody needs a new priority list.
In answer to the first offended sensibility, the true connoisseur of art should certainly believe that art, and especially the best art, delivers an aesthetic experience that is worth a certain amount of sacrifice.

In answer to the second offended sensibility, I find it odd that Cosmic Variance hasn't noticed that this is an explicitly pro-Christian work of art.

One of the ways that ideologies win adherents is by "hacking" into rival ideologies and reinterpreting them. Mainstream American secularism tends to take this form of ideological competition very seriously by reinterpreting Christian traditions as secular ones. One notorious example is the practice of replacing the traditional notation A.D. (for Anno Domini or "in the year of our Lord") with the less religious sounding abbreviation C.E. for "Common Era". Another example is the yearly onslaught of "War on Christmas" news stories that all revolve around the term "Christmas" being highly offensive and the necessity of replacing it with the less offensive term "winter holiday".

So think of the milk chocolate Jesus as Christianity's revenge for the "War on Christmas". Because the obvious message of this work of art is that the traditional secular "spring holiday" practice of eating chocolate bunnies is actually a children's play form of the Christian communion*. Just think of all those poor, innocent atheist children who munch away on their chocolate bunnies without realizing that they are actually partaking of the "Body of Christ"!

*This is assuming that milk chocolate cannot be directly transmuted into the "Body of Christ". If this is your belief, strengthen my conclusions accordingly.


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