I have a dashboard-size version of the Buddy Christ statue from the movie Dogma on top of my computer monitor at work (along with figurines of Marilyn Monroe, Spock, Buddha and Daffy Duck, incidentally). A couple of Christians that I work with who have seen the statue have recoiled in horror at what they apparently deem blasphemy. Now, mind you, I determined that they had no knowledge of the movie whatsoever, so any offense they took was based purely upon the visual element of the statue. One even said it was the most horrible thing he had ever seen.
I am genuinely puzzled. If these people had seen the movie and thought that it was blasphemous or offensive, I would understand their dislike of the statue. But that not being the case, why are they offended? Is it because he’s smiling? Winking? Giving a thumbs up?
If I were Christian (and I was once) I would welcome such a refreshing and humorous view of Christ. Christ nearly always seems to be depicted as a solemn or even woeful figure, and rarely as joyful or laughing (yes, I have seen a few smiling Jesus pictures, but rarely). And I have never seen Christ depicted as engaging in some mundane act, like yawning or scratching his ass.
It seems to me that one of the most important aspects of the idea of Christ in most every version of the faith is his humanity. Wasn’t his being human a huge part of what he was supposed to have been put on earth for? If so, I would think that Christians would welcome images that humanize Christ. It makes him more accessible and furthers the prospect of imitation. Sure, you’ve gotta have the holy and reverent depictions, too. I understand that. But wouldn’t human images of Jesus complete the package? Christians then would be more able to identify with Christ in terms of their own existence and derive inspiration from the fact that he faced the same everyday world that they do but rose above all the trappings.
One answer I’m sure to hear is that such depictions don’t treat Christ with the proper respect, but I don’t buy that, chiefly for the aforementioned reasons. Another is that Christ can’t be shown as a mere man because he was more than that. Here again, I think that goes back to the inaccessibility problem. I would think that the key to finding the value and inspiration in the Christ ideal would be understanding both the divine and human aspects of the guy. Incidentally, I had this same confusion about the uproar over The Last Temptation of Christ.
What am I missing?
BTW, if this topic has been done, my apologies, but I wasn’t able to narrow a search down to a manageable number. The guy seems to be talked about quite often here.