14
Mar
08

So white it’s wrong

sayid-from-lost.jpg(I know I should of just waited until tomorrow to post, since Miz Pink took my slot today with the unexpected part 2 of her divorce topic, but I just can’t help it.)

Well, thanks largely to the Christian faith becoming institutionalized and commercialized by the Roman Catholic church, we got the center of the church body planted in Italy. In Europe. Even though the church’s roots were in the Middle East. So, with all the European artists back in the day, Jesus got a lot of play in paintings. As a white guy. Very white.

Truth is, Jesus most likely wasn’t white.

He probably wasn’t black either. And the afrocentric Christians (and even non-Christians) who recolor Jesus as a fully black man are just overcompensating in the other direction.

Let’s face it: Jesus was born and raised in the Middle East. The ancient Hebrews probably weren’t very pale. Let’s remember that a lot of the people who went to Israel when it became its own country again after World War II were European Jews, which probably explains a lot of the current whiteness over there. And I’m sure the Middle East has paled a bit in general skintone-wise with activity and intercourse in the Mediterranean, especially with colonialist and expansionist attitudes among Europeans that continued into the 19th and even 20th centuries. And even in Jesus’ time with Greeks wandering around the area, well, Greeks can be pretty dark themselves sometimes. All that strong Aegean sunshine.

No, Jesus was most likely some shade of tan, and we need to get used to that. Painting Jesus in our own color (for those of Caucasian and African descent) may be comfortable, but it also is wrong. Making him look European or African is intellectually and spiritually dishonest. And frankly, if I were to cast Jesus for a movie, I think the person on top of my short list would be Naveen Andrews, who plays Sayid on Lost.

Oh, and ABC, for having mentioned your hit TV show on my wildly popular blog (cough, cough), you know, it would be cool with me if you wanted to send the boxed sets for the first three seasons.

(Image is of actor Naveen Andrews)

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2 Responses to “So white it’s wrong”


  1. 1 Daudi
    March 18, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but you seem to have an intense dislike for the Catholic church. Christianity became mainstream because of the emperor of Rome, Constantine, a European. So where exactly was he supposed to plant the seat of the church? In Jerusalem? A place where once Jesus was gone, he was largely rejected. You also blame the Catholic Church for ‘commercialization’ of the Church. Has anyone commercialized the church more than American protestants?

  2. 2 Deacon Blue
    March 18, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Well, I don’t know that I’ll be “correcting” you exactly, since you are right and wrong that I dislike the Catholic church.

    My views on Catholicism might be a bit more clearly spelled out in my “shit list” post more recently, but even there, it might be construed that I dislike the Catholic church…which again, is and isn’t true. But, let me start with your main point: I don’t necessarily EXPECT that Christianity should have taken root somewhere else. What I made was simply an observation that where it did take firmest root drastically affected the way Jesus was portrayed…as a white man typically with blue eyes. My use of the word “commercialized” wasn’t meant to be derogatory as such, but it is true that the Roman Catholic church packaged the religion in a way that was far afield of what the church was supposed to be, if you look at the Acts of the Apostles and most of the New Testament books thereafter.

    I am not blaming the Catholic church for making Jesus white; simply noting that because of the circumstances and because of human nature, he was made into a white guy and for reasons that boggle my mind, most people continue to see him as such despite all the logical evidence to the contrary. This isn’t a matter of blame, per se, but of flawed human nature that causes us to rewrite history, including religious history and faith experience.

    Now, as for my “dislike” of the Catholic church, I was baptized and raised Catholic, and so I have Catholic relatives and friends in my life. I love plenty of Catholics. I have known some very good priests and pastors in the Catholic church. That said, the church itself (that is, the leadership from the Vatican down to the bishops), is flawed beyond belief. You need look no farther than the way it has handled the issue of child sexual abuse by priests in the 20th and 21st centuries. The Catholic church also institutionalized a great many rules and regulations that go beyond biblical precepts. The most egregious of which is the sacrament of reconciliation (aka confession), which is totally contrary to the bible. We do not need, and are not supposed to use, an intermediary to seek forgiveness from God. Also, the elevation of Jesus’ mother Mary to a rank almost co-equal to Christ himself is nonsense, as there was no spark of divinity in her and she was as tainted by sin nature as any other normal person. Also, the assertion that she remained a virgin after Jesus’ birth, despite the fact Jesus is shown to have had siblings in the Bible, is utter nonsense.

    So, I like Catholics by and large. I think they can come to salvation in a Catholic church as well as anywhere else. But the Catholic church has tremendous flaws and puts roadblocks in the way of people growing in their faith the way that God intended.


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Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

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