Blasphemy

TheQuixote

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austen27 said:
I find that very surprising. Most of the Methodist churces I have attended have not had any images at all in them! "Low" Anglican churches can be even more spartan. When I was at University in Scotland the Minister told us that there were people who would even consider the plain wooden cross we had on the alter to be an idol!
I suppose this means Southern Baptists are quite different from Joyless Scottish Calvinists.
I used to attend a Methodist chapel on a Monday and then on up to the Wesleyan Chapel on a Sunday - don't ask - but this was quite true too in my experience too. The only ornamentation in the one building was a plain wooden cross, there were none at all in the other. The only images I ever saw in the Wesleyan Chapel were the Biblical illustrations in the Sunday school handouts.

Aside: Thinking about it now, I wonder if this could be the reason why I have such a big collection of religious art and statuary now.
 

OldTimeRadio

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ramonmercado said:
In the name of Darwin, Dawkins and Turing I forgive you for your transgression.
Some people hold that Darwin was a Christian.
 

ramonmercado

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OldTimeRadio said:
ramonmercado said:
In the name of Darwin, Dawkins and Turing I forgive you for your transgression.
Some people hold that Darwin was a Christian.
Well he channels through me, just a moment:

Code:
They are wrong!
 

ghostdog19

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OldTimeRadio said:
ramonmercado said:
In the name of Darwin, Dawkins and Turing I forgive you for your transgression.
Some people hold that Darwin was a Christian.
He studied Anglican theology and originally believed that design in nature proved the existence of God. But his views changed, though it didn't change over night. His faith dwindled over the years until eventually he regarded himself as an agnostic, not as an atheist. His actual words being
"What my own views may be is a question of no consequence to any one but myself. But, as you ask, I may state that my judgment often fluctuates. … In my most extreme fluctuations I have never been an Atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God. I think that generally (and more and more as I grow older), but not always, that an Agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind."
It's claimed he converted on his death bed, but it's been proven by historians and by his daughter who was actually there that that's complete nonsense.

http://darwin-online.org.uk/
 

OldTimeRadio

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I've read (years ago and I don't remember where) that when Darwin became elderly and ill and too sick to attend church they moved the church services outside his bedroom window.

Hey, I have my agnostic and even atheist days.
 

ramonmercado

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Storm in US over chocolate Jesus

The sculpture is due to be exhibited in the run-up to Easter
A New York gallery has angered a US Catholic group with its decision to exhibit a milk chocolate sculpture of Jesus Christ.
The six-foot (1.8m) sculpture, entitled "My Sweet Lord", depicts Jesus Christ naked on the cross.

Catholic League head Bill Donohue called it "one of the worst assaults on Christian sensibilities ever".

The sculpture, by artist Cosimo Cavallaro, will be displayed from Monday at Manhattan's Lab Gallery.

The Catholic League, which describes itself as the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organisation, also criticised the timing of the exhibition.

"The fact that they chose Holy Week shows this is calculated, and the timing is deliberate," Mr Donohue said.

He called for a boycott of the gallery and the hotel which houses it.

'Overwhelming response'

The gallery's creative director, Matt Semler, said the gallery was considering its options in the wake of angry e-mails and telephone calls.

"We're obviously surprised by the overwhelming response and offence people have taken," he said. "We are certainly in the process of trying to figure out what we're going to do next."

Mr Semler said the timing of the exhibition was coincidental.

Mr Cavallaro, the Canadian-born artist, is known for using food ingredients in his art, on one occasion painting a hotel room in mozzarella cheese.

He used 200 pounds (90 kg) of chocolate to make the sculpture which, unusually, depicts Jesus without a loincloth.



http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6509127.stm
 

OldTimeRadio

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Back in the early 1960s George Lincoln Rockwell's "American" Nazi Party used synagogue altar cloths and prayer shawls as doormats and throw rugs in its Virginia headquarters

That's called "hatred," but placing a Crucifix into a jar of urine is called "art."

I don't see all that much difference, but that probably proves nothing more than than that I am utterly devoid of aesthetic sensibilities.

But I can't help but wonder if the artistic quality would have been judged higher or lower had the creator used a Star of David rather than a Crucifix.

And how fortunate for the artist that he decided on using a Crucifix rather than a Koran.
 

rynner2

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Chocolate Christ exhibition cancelled

Ed Pilkington in New York
Saturday March 31, 2007
The Guardian

The overwhelming force of the religious right was demonstrated yesterday when an exhibition by an international artist to be held in mid-town Manhattan was cancelled after a campaign was launched against it on the ground that it was disrespectful towards Christianity.
My Sweet Lord, a 6ft representation of Jesus, was to have been unveiled over holy week in a gallery on Lexington Avenue but was withdrawn under fire from the Catholic League, an organisation of religious conservatives with 300,000 members. The group objected to the fact that the sculpture is made of more than 200lbs of chocolate and that the figure's genitalia are on display.

On Thursday the league sent emails to 500 other religious groups - including Protestant, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist with a combined reach of millions - calling on them to boycott the Roger Smith hotel in which the gallery, the Lab, is based. Within 24 hours the hotel was so inundated with calls and visiting protesters that it pulled the exhibit.
Sculptor Cosimo Cavallaro, 45, is known for his large-scale installations. In 1999 he covered a room of the Washington Jefferson hotel in New York with cheddar cheese. Two years later he sprayed 10,000lb of cheese over the entire interior of a house in Wyoming.

Bill Donahue, president of the Catholic League, said the work was a direct assault on Christians. "All those involved are lucky that angry Christians don't react the way extremist Muslims do when they're offended."

That the work of an internationally renowned artist can be pulled from a gallery in Manhattan - arguably the most liberal city in the US - is an indication of the power that organised religion wields within the country.

Matt Semmler, director of the Lab, told the Guardian before the cancellation was announced that neither he nor the artist had any intention to offend. "For me this is done a place of reverence and meditation - that's why I chose the piece. This is not intended to be disrespectful."

He added that over the centuries there had been thousands of depictions of Christ in many different styles.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2047001,00.html
 

QuaziWashboard

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The group objected to the fact that the sculpture is made of more than 200lbs of chocolate and that the figure's genitalia are on display.
Just think though, that'd make one hell of an easter gift. ;)

EDIT.
My gf just told me 'Stuff the chocolate bunny....I want a 200lb chocolate Jesus!'

I wish I'd never showed her this now. :(
 

Creamstick1

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There's only one Chocloate Jesus, and it belongs to Tom Waits!

Besides, next Sunday a goldfish will be leaving a Lincoln Log in my sock drawer.
 

Forever_S

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Apparently choc Christ was naked - no loin cloth and bald as well. How do they know it was Christ then because he looks nothing like that! It was entitled "My sweet Lord" so what if they were on about somebody else? There wasn't even a cross on that!

Anyway given the fact he was naked and actually made of something you could eat - were they afraid people would take it upon themselves to do so (or suck on something?). Christ likes us to eat him anyways.. at the last supper didn't he say to his disciples.. "Eat this for this is my body"

Which actually would also have been a good title for it and probably offended so many more.
 

GNC

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Instead of banning this confectionary Christ, how about cashing in as a marketing opportunity? Chocolate communion anyone? A great way of getting people into church, I'd say, and much tastier than wafers or dry bread.
 

OldTimeRadio

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The overwhelming force of the religious right was demonstrated yesterday....
But it wasn't merely the religious "Right" who were troublerd by this, and that's the point The Guardian seems unable to grasp.

My own view is that the artist had every right to exhibit his creation and that Christians and others had an equal right to refuse to attend and to boycott the hotel where the exhibit was to be held.

What would the alternative be - to force people to attend at bayonet-point?
 

OldTimeRadio

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Forever_S said:
Apparently choc Christ was naked....
There's a long and honorable tradition of nude Christs in European church art. It comes as no surprise for Christians to learn that the "Perfect Man" had genitals.
 

GNC

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The artist said that he thinks nobody would have been offended if he'd used white chocolate instead of dark.
 

OldTimeRadio

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gncxx said:
The artist said that he thinks nobody would have been offended if he'd used white chocolate instead of dark.
I'd actually expected the fellow to issue some articulate defense of his creation, his product, his vision, whether I personally agreed with it or not. (And who should care except me whether I agree or disasgree with it?)

Yet the very best he can apparently come up with is to play the racism card!
 

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OldTimeRadio said:
gncxx said:
The artist said that he thinks nobody would have been offended if he'd used white chocolate instead of dark.
I'd actually expected the fellow to issue some articulate defense of his creation, his product, his vision, whether I personally agreed with it or not. (And who should care except me whether I agree or disasgree with it?)

Yet the very best he can apparently come up with is to play the racism card!
Here's his website:

http://www.cosimocavallaro.com/

Where you can see Twiggy covered in cheese.

I don't see the problem, the main sticking point seems to be the use of chocolate for the medium, but other than that it looks very traditional (although the lack of a cross is strange). I haven't seen or read much else from this guy to back himself up, though, so I don't know his religious beliefs. There's no justification on his site as far as I could see.
 

rjmrjmrjm

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Is it really Jesus?

I mean, no 'traditional' Jesus features, i.e. cross, beard, halo, lamb - even a fish or chizel. I've seen pictures of Jesus from tens of different cultures but all of them at least have some sort of symbol that identifies them.

To me it looks like a some bloke with a bad pony-tail about to do a Matrix style Trinity-kick.
 

ramonmercado

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Sculpture of Obama As Jesus Causes Stir

Tuesday April 3, 2007 4:46 AM


AP Photo CX114, CX113, CX115

By NATHANIEL HERNANDEZ

Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO (AP) - He wears Jesus' robes and a neon blue halo, looks like Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and is causing a stir at a Chicago art school. An undergraduate student's papier mache sculpture of Obama as a messianic figure - entitled ``Blessing'' - went on display Saturday at a downtown gallery run by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

By Monday, word of the piece had spread on political blogs, and the school had been flooded with calls.

David Cordero, 24, made the sculpture for his senior show after noticing all the attention Obama has received since he first hinted he may run for the presidency.

``All of this is a response to what I've been witnessing and hearing, this idea that Barack is sort of a potential savior that might come and absolve the country of all its sins,'' Cordero said. ``In a lot of ways it's about caution in assigning all these inflated expectations on one individual, and expecting them to change something that many hands have shaped.''

Obama's campaign worked Monday to distance the Illinois senator from the artwork.

``While we respect First Amendment rights and don't think the artist was trying to be offensive, Senator Obama, as a rule, isn't a fan of art that offends religious sensibilities,'' said Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

Cordero said the school had fielded plenty of calls about his work, ``some of them from angry people.'' He also said he had heard from a few potential buyers.

Bruce Jenkins, dean of the art school's undergraduate program, said response to the piece - part of a student exhibition - has been mostly positive. He said people should take a close look at the sculpture and the context it was created in before judging it.

``When you see it, when you spend time with it, you understand that it's not a provocative work at all,'' Jenkins said. ``It opens a set of questions.''

The Archdiocese of Chicago had not seen the work as of Monday afternoon and could not comment on it, said spokeswoman Dianne Dunagan.

The piece comes amid Catholic outrage in New York that led to an art gallery canceling an exhibit featuring a nude 6-foot-tall, anatomically correct chocolate sculpture of Jesus Christ.

Artist Cosimo Cavallaro said Saturday that he has received threats as a result of the sculpture, called ``My Sweet Lord.'' Cavallaro said the controversy spurred ``thousands'' of e-mail messages from people offering help, donations and exhibition space.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/stor ... 15,00.html
 

OldTimeRadio

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It's worth pointing out that Obama is himself an active Christian, a member of the Disciples of Christ.,
 

rynner2

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Blasphemy and Heresy aren't a million miles apart:
Crucifixion makes God seem like a psychopath, says cleric
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
Last Updated: 2:05am BST 05/04/2007

One of the country's most controversial clerics was at the centre of a new controversy yesterday after saying that traditional teaching about the Crucifixion was "repulsive" and made God seem like a "psychopath".

The Dean of St Albans, the Very Rev Jeffrey John, used a Lent talk on BBC Radio 4 last night to attack the Christian theory of penal substitution, which argues that God sent Christ into the world to be punished for the sins of mankind.

The dean's comments in the run-up to Easter were met with outrage from leading evangelicals who said his comments verged on the heretical, even though he attempted to soften his message by adding extra lines on the eve of the broadcast.

Dr John, who was forced to stand down as Bishop of Reading in 2003 after it emerged he was homosexual, although no longer sexually active, said he had been taught that Jesus "took the rap" for our sins, but we got forgiven provided we said we believed in him."

But even at the age of 10, he had thought this particular explanation for the Crucifixion was "pretty repulsive as well as nonsensical."

"What sort of God was this, getting so angry with the world and the people he created and then, to calm himself down, demanding the blood of his own son?" Dr John said.

"And anyway, why should God forgive us through punishing somebody else? It was worse than illogical, it was insane. It made God sound like a psychopath. If any human being behaved like this, we would say they were a monster.

"Well, I haven't changed my mind since. That explanation of the cross just doesn't work but sadly, it's one that's still all too often preached."

A BBC spokesman said that the dean, reacting to criticism, had added two extra lines to "pre-empt any further misunderstanding or misinterpretation".

One of the lines was: "On the cross Jesus died for our sins; the price of our sin is paid; but it is not paid to God but by God." Fellow liberals defended his view, saying that a key difference between them and conservative evangelicals was their view of God. The Rev Giles Frasier, the vicar of Putney in south London, said: "What is at the heart of salvation, punishment or love? Liberals, like myself, believe it is love."

Evangelicals were furious, however, and the row will fuel their growing discontent with the liberal wing of the Church.

A number said yesterday that Dr John's comments showed how unsuitable he would have been as a bishop, regardless of his homosexuality.

In a statement, the Bishop of Lewes, the Rt Rev Wallace Benn, and the Bishop of Willeseden, the Rt Rev Pete Broadbent, said: "Jeffrey John is saying that the cross is not about anger or wrath or sin or atonement, but only about God's unconditional love.

"There is, he says, nothing to understand in the cross which is anything to do with sacrifice or Jesus dying for our sins - and we say, No. You've got it wrong."

Bishop Broadbent said: "Of course there are some very raw discussions amongst Christians about quite how Jesus died in our place and what that meant and how He suffered for our sins.

"But to ignore the entirety of the language about atonement and sacrifice and the cross is to nullify the message of what Good Friday and Jesus dying for us is all about. "Jesus Christ is sacrificed and he washes away the sins of the whole world and he completes the understanding of Scripture and fulfils it in a completely new way."

He added that he was disappointed that the BBC was using its schedules to undermine the message of Easter.

"You cannot read the Old Testament and New Testament and blank out an entirety of language and concept and understanding that means that we are guilty sinners, we need our sins to be paid for and we need Jesus Christ to die for us.

"That is what the Creeds say, it is what the Bible says and you cannot rewrite them. You cannot understand Jesus Christ without understanding Old Testament atonement material."

Bishop Benn added that "the truth that Jesus died as our sin-bearing substitute carrying the punishment for our sins on the cross is the glorious heart of the Gospel. It displays the love of God: Father, Son and Spirit, for us.

"To deny or vilify that is a tragic denial of the power and heart of the Gospel. I hope Jeffrey John will speedily reconsider and repent of his attack on apostolic Christianity."

A spokesman for the BBC said: "Lent Talks are short individual authored opinions in which the contributor is invited to reflect on a different part of Christ's passion.

"There will be those who agree with the points being made and those who disagree. They are a reflection of ongoing debates within the Church."
http://tinyurl.com/29t525
BTW, did they ever sort out how many angels can dance on the point of a pin? :roll:
 

OldTimeRadio

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The Dean of St Albans, the Very Rev Jeffrey John, used a Lent talk on BBC Radio 4 last night to attack the Christian theory of penal substitution, which argues that God sent Christ into the world to be punished for the sins of mankind.

The dean's comments in the run-up to Easter were met with outrage from leading evangelicals who said his comments verged on the heretical, even though he attempted to soften his message by adding extra lines on the eve of the broadcast.
Verges on heresy? That's like saying the sea verges on being wet.

What the Dean is attempting to smite down is nothing less than the central pillar of Historic Christianity.

Jones of course has that right. But why in the world would he have any interest in remaining as a clergyman in any Christian denomination? That's like standing on the village square all plumed up in your band master's uniform and trying to conduct the circus band....the day after the circus packed up and left town.
 

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But its traditional for CoE clergymen to say things like that. Now hes bound to be made a Bishop.
 

austen27

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gncxx said:
I don't see the problem, the main sticking point seems to be the use of chocolate for the medium, but other than that it looks very traditional (although the lack of a cross is strange). I haven't seen or read much else from this guy to back himself up, though, so I don't know his religious beliefs. There's no justification on his site as far as I could see.
Not shocking at all. I suppose it is really a concept piece, the fact that we know it is chocolate and not bronze makes us uneasy. "Piss Christ" is similar, it is a photograph of a crucifix in a hazey yellow light - it is only the title that in indicating the effect is created by urine that gives offence.

As a Christian I find most of these things lack enough insite into the Christian faith to give real offence.
 

OldTimeRadio

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I don't believe it's the chocolate which gave so much offense (who doesn't like chocolate?) nor the nude Christ (there's a centuries-old tradition of that in religious art), but the "My Sweet Jesus" in relation to the above. There are still some Christians about who believe that the message of Golgatha is supposed to be more than a bad pun.
 

austen27

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OldTimeRadio said:
I don't believe it's the chocolate which gave so much offense (who doesn't like chocolate?) nor the nude Christ (there's a centuries-old tradition of that in religious art), but the "My Sweet Jesus" in relation to the above. There are still some Christians about who believe that the message of Golgatha is supposed to be more than a bad pun.
I agree with you. The concept is ultmately banal - like a lot of "controversial" art. It is a pity we don't see more engagement with real religious issues.
 

monster_magnet

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Banal? So banal that its mere existence is controversial and offensive to lots of Chrstians...

...or so we're lead to believe. It feels like a bit of PR spin to be honest. I expect very few if any of those groups reported to be offended actually are. It would be interesting to understand why they're offended (if they are). Is it the medium, the colour, the language? Who Knows..

...Maybe it's a comment on the commercial hi-jacking of religious holidays.
...Maybe the artist was inspired by George Harrisons 1971 hit 'My sweet lord'.
 

austen27

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monster_magnet said:
Banal? So banal that its mere existence is controversial and offensive to lots of Chrstians...

...or so we're lead to believe. It feels like a bit of PR spin to be honest.
Exactly, create something just to offend and you get lors of free publicity.
 
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