Sweet (chocolate) Jesus controversy [VIDEO]

Maybe Jesus didn't have a penis?
[Update: South Park lampoons Bill Donohue HERE.]

So the Catholic League's windbag-in-residence Bill "gook joke" Donohue is back, this time to decry a sculpture of a nude 6-foot-tall chocolate Jesus in the art gallery of a Manhattan hotel, calling it: "one of the worst assaults on Christian sensibilities ever."

Yeah, well, history's Christians should be so lucky.

***(In the video to the right, Donohue debates the artist, Cosimo Cavallaro, who actually argues the pants off the man whom he actually threatens in the video)***

The hotel has already decided to cancel the show, citing both "public outcry" and "fear for their... safety." According to the gallery's Matt Semler -- who resigned in protest -- the hotel has been getting death threats.

That's funny, the last time Donohue was out ranting about offenses to Catholics, the targets of his ire at that time ended up getting death threats as well.

Now, this doesn't necessarily mean that Donohue's followers are the very people issuing the death threats... just that his appeals are heeded by, shall we say, some of the more extreme elements in Catholicism.

I wonder if the lynch mob'll be called out on the chocolate-drippings Mary?

Now, setting Donohue and his idiocy aside, let's get the more critical view of the controversy from Faith Commons:
I've obviously not seen the piece properly, but my sense is that it looks like a wonderfully cheeky critique of the saccharine nature of modern Easter-tide. I wonder if those in the Catholic League would normally purchase chocolate eggs for their children around this time? Are we not all guilty of sweetening the impact of Christ's death?
It also seems likely that the CL are offended by Jesus' penis being shown. Did he not have one? Would he not have been stripped naked to be crucified? Isn't a loin cloth just a lie?
It seems again that those who seek to represent Christ in anything other than explicitly Christian and conservative works are going to find themselves heavily under attack. But, as in the work of Serrano, what I hope is happening is that these artists are playing the Trickster role that they ought, and are forcing us to re-evaluate our engagement with Christ over Easter.
This is why the Catholic League are wrong to moan about the timing of the show being offensive... That's precisely why the timing of the show is right. It is making us all think. And if a chocolate Jesus is the worst sort of suffering we are going to get over the Holy Week, then we really need to spend more time meditating on the true nature of Christ's suffering, and on those in the world who are genuinely being persecuted for their faith.
*Pandagon's finally found a use for Tom Waits' Chocolate Jesus video HERE...
Evan Derkacz is an AlterNet editor. He writes and edits PEEK, the blog of blogs.
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