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Further thoughts on the Chocolate Christ

By Alexander Carpenter
Over here, Sharon rounded up and provoked opinions on the Chocolate Christ controversy.
Here’s the main parties involved, in their own words.

I appreciate Cavallaro’s Sweet Jesus and I’m glad that the Catholic Defense League’s Bill Donohue found out about it.
Here’s Cosimo Cavallaro’s work. He’s used other edible media such as cheese and ham so employing chocolate was not just an ad hoc idea intended to offend as he states in the video above.
On Malkin: frankly I’m tired of this meme that fundamentalist Christians have it rough here in America. They got the Vietnam and Iraq wars they wanted. We’re falling behind on stem cell research thanks to them. And now we’ve got political climate in which candidates say dangerous things like this:

Crane asked if Romney believed the president should have
the authority to arrest U.S. citizens with no review. Romney said he
would want to hear the pros and cons from smart lawyers before he made
up his mind.

As lawyer Glenn Greenwald notes, Mitt Romeny can’t say — at least not until he
engages in a careful and solemn debate with a team of “smart lawyers”
— whether, in the United States of America, the President has the
power to imprison American citizens without any opportunity for review
of any kind. But in today’s Republican Party, Romney’s openness to this
definitively tyrannical power is the moderate position. Ponnuru goes on
to note:
Crane said that he had asked Giuliani the same
question a few weeks ago. The mayor said that he would want to use this
authority infrequently.

It sounds like Giuliani is
positioning himself in this race as the “compassionate authoritarian”
— “Yes, of course I have the power to imprison you without charges or
review of any kind, but as President, I commit to you that I intend (no
promises) to ‘use this authority infrequently.'”

The Puritans came to America and many of our God-fearing founders worked to create an American where that’s not supposed to happen. Mr. Donohue might remind himself of how Catholics got treated in 1590s England. But apparently for too many contemporary believers what they really fear is a chocolate Jesus.
Are these fundies ignorant of the history of Christian art such as the representations of the Madonna lactans where Mary’s exposed breast squirts milk into the mouth of Jesus, saints, and toward the devotee.  I don’t too many Jews protesting Michaelangelo’s sculpting of David’s genitalia, not exactly the star of David. . .
Bill Donohue, who’s pushing this campaign, has a history of sounding like an anti-Semite and a Manichean bully.
If someone is offended by the idea of an edible Jesus, he or she should probably stay away from communion, especially if they take transubstantiation seriously. If they don’t like a naked Jesus they should stay away from Europe. Given the two thousand year history of Christianity, this debate of sacred nakedness didn’t really exist during the Renaissance; it’s really post the Council of Trent 1545-1563 that it became an issue for Catholics as a reaction to the awareness of individual interpretation that the Protestant reform unleashed.
Art often works as a mirror on the observers. Like verbal debates, how we react to human understandings different from ours contributes to revealing who we are as a society. While Donohue’s certainly no Nazi, authoritarianism always fights the individual’s representation, especially of, opposite reality. But what really burns authority is the fear that people are laughing (or worse) at them behind their back.
How we portray and defend our most sacred objects and ideas actually gives them and us meaning. The way that art alters our senses and perceptions often forces our true selves up and out into the light of truth.
Just listen to Bill Donohue and it’s pretty easy to get a taste of W(his)JWD.

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