In Defence Of White Jesus

The iconoclasts of the Black Lives Matter movement have moved on from pulling down statues of politicians they deem politically incorrect to calling for the destruction of all paintings and statues that depict Jesus as a white European.

I’m all in favour of “White Jesus.” I am also all in favour of “Ethiopian Jesus,” “Sub-Saharan African Jesus,” “Oriental Jesus,” “Indian Jesus,” “South-Sea Island Jesus,” “Gay Jesus,” “Female Jesus,” “Transgender Jesus” and any other depiction of Jesus that fulfils the need of different communities of Christians to fully partake in the glorious mystery of the Incarnation, in which God became the flesh of all humankind and possibly, if you want to be really radical, all living things. Anybody who believes, for example, that Italian Christians created images of Christ in the form of a South-European as an expression, consciously or subconsciously, of white supremacism is living in liberal cloud cuckoo land. They did so because they wanted to be as closely identified with their Saviour as possible. The same motivation is behind the creation of beautiful icons of Christ and the saints in the image of indigenous peoples and other distinct communities throughout the world. The irony is that the very people who are calling for the destruction of icons of the “White Jesus” will probably have trendy icons of “Peruvian Jesus” on their study walls.


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