Yeah, I know. The original song said “plastic Jesus”; but, it was the first thing popped into mind when I read this article.

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Lord, a 6ft representation of Jesus, was to have been unveiled over holy week in a gallery on Lexington Avenue but was withdrawn under fire from the Catholic League, an organisation of religious conservatives with 300,000 members.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.

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.”

So, does that mean if the gallery hadn’t bowed down to the Catholic League they would have run the risk of extremist reactions?

  1. moe29 says:

    There’s a Tom Wait’s song called Chocolate Jesus – it’s on the album Mule Variations.

  2. TJGeezer says:

    Heh. Gotta wonder. Wouldn’t be the first time Tom Waits and his goofy poetry inspired an artist, I bet.

  3. PMitchell says:

    Hmm I noticed on all the news channels (CNN, FOX, MSNBC , NBC, ABC, CBS) all had no problem showing the chocolate Jesus but not one of them would show the cartoons of Mohamed because they might offend a Muslim

    What has happened to our society when we are so afraid of offending the enemy who wants us dead, but have no problem offending the religion that our society is based on and made our country great

  4. doug says:

    “have no problem offending the religion that our society is based on and made our country great”


  5. doug says:

    #3. Oh, and aren’t the Muslims our friends, not our enemies? Isn’t that why we are spending lives and treasure to bestow democracy upon them? I mean, if they are our enemies, shouldn’t we left them to the tender mercies of Saddam Hussein?

  6. Misanthropic Scott says:

    I think Catholic League is upset because the only proper way to eat Jesus is in the form of little wafers. (2 4 6 8 time to transubsantiate. – Tom Lehrer)

    Furthermore, as this choco-jesus is said to be anatomically correct, I think it’s very important to remember, DON’T BITE THE HOST!!

  7. PMitchell says:

    No actually Islam is not our friend

    Islam needs its own Marin Luther, someone to stand up to the corrupt Imams and set the religion on the right track as Christianity did many centuries ago

    We are in Iraq to free the population form a tyrannical dictator and set them on the path to democracy, which hopefully will give rise to the Islam Martin Luther, then and only then will our to worlds live peacefully side by side

  8. doug says:

    #7. Unfortunately, if we take the Reformation as a model, it is likely that decades of religiously-inspired warfare will follow. If that has to happen, I would pick the French Revolution over the Reformation as the model, where the clerics, as the backers of the ancien regime, are relegated to the sidelines.

    And in the region, democracy has little to do with religious moderation (again, unfortunately). Tyrants like the Baathist dictators of Iraq and Syria and the Egyptian regime run more secular states, and given the chance to vote, Muslims in the region (such as those in Palestine or Iraq) pick religious parties to represent them, e.g.Hamas, simply because they tend to be less crooked. Or sectarian parties (Iraq), because they identify themselves as members of one sect or another.

    Nor does religious moderation have much to do with economics. Recent polls suggest that poor people in the region tend to be less pious than more middle class types, where radicalism originated. Note the 9/11 bombers were all comparatively well off.

  9. Misanthropic Scott says:

    I’m not sure how this got to be a topic about religion rather than chocolate. First, I’d like to say that the nutritional information on Jesus is available here:

    Now I’ll join the fray on the side conversation.

    Islam is not our friend. Christianity is not our friend. Judaism is not our friend. RELIGION IS NOT OUR FRIEND!

    Religion has had a huge deleterious effect on humanity, as evidenced by its huge number of deleted humans.

    Religion has caused many of the most bloody and violent wars in history. Not all, it is true, but very many. Religion brought down the world trade center. Religion bombs people in Ireland and England. Religion kills doctors and sets off high explosives in populated areas in the U.S. under the guise, if you can believe it, of stating that life is sacred.

    Religion is evil, pure and simple.

  10. JimR says:

    “What has happened to our society when we are so afraid of offending the enemy who wants us dead, but have no problem offending the religion that our society is based on and made our country great”

    Huh?? You mean DESPITE the religion that made your country great,don’t you? Imagine the progress we would have made in the last 300 years if the world wasn’t mired in hocus pocus, and moral hubris? Imagine if rational thought and common sense for the good of everyone was the norm instead?

    Religion is the muck mankind has been slogging in while he waits for his monkey brain to evolve just a little more.

    Greatness is relative. The USA is just the lesser of many evil places. Real greatness will come from the country wdo steps out of their mud stuck boots on to dry land and leads the way at a pace you can’t even imagine.

  11. god says:

    You all are aware, of course, there wouldn’t have been a problem if the sculpture was made of white chocolate. What they call in the bible belt – divinity chocolate.

  12. Pmitchell says:

    religion is an absolute necessity for a civilized society

    Imagine a world where there were no long term consequences for your action (ie eternal damnation or heavenly reward ) This world would devolve into anarchy because no matter what you do your going to die and be dead forever

    people are naturally selfish and somewhat evil. It is the thought of long term consequences that keep people in line, not some liberal morality that we are all essentially good

  13. Misanthropic Scott says:

    #12 — Pmitchell,

    Wow you’re far out there!! Other animals have morals. People too have a sense of right and wrong that it thoroughly and completely separate from religious views.

    I AM GOING TO DIE AND BE DEAD FOREVER!! And, I am a very moral individual. Your assertion that people are naturally selfish is flat dead wrong!

    Some are. Those are punished by society as a whole. This is also true of chimps and many species of monkeys. We are not ALL essentially good. But, the good keep the bad in check far more often than not.

    And where does your religion get you? Nowhere. If you were to rely on religion as your sole (or soul) source of morals, you’d be killing people left and right. It is your ability to distinguish right from wrong OUTSIDE of religion that gives you the ability to tell which parts of the bible you should ignore.

    Do you stone people to death for wearing a mix of wool and cotton? If not, why not? The bible says you should. Do you stone people to death for working on the sabbath? If not, why not? Etc. down the line. That religion does not give most people their morals is the reason most of us can walk fairly safely down the streets in this day and age.

    Do you own slaves? If not, why not? The bible says you can, as long as they are from other nations, of course. So, how many Canadians do you own?

    When a woman is raped inside city limits, do you stone her to death? When outside city limits, do you force the rapist to marry her? To whom is this punishment from the bible directed?

    If the majority of peoples’ morals came from the bible, when there have been black outs or police strikes, I would expect people to still fear god and behave. This does not happen. People loot and riot. It is not fear of god that stops people from crime.

    And, let’s talk about eternal damnation for a second, could you really worship a god with this little forgiveness in his soul? This is a god no better than, and possibly worse than, most humans. Could you hold a grudge for eternity? Maybe. But, it’d be difficult. Could you watch someone writhe in pain for eternity? If so, please keep your distance from me.

    Personally, I think we will not truly have a civilized society until we rid ourselves of silly superstition.

  14. Gary Marks says:

    Jesus should never be portrayed in a form that could be melted down for fondue. That’s just wrong, and I think there might be a commandment against it.

  15. Pmitchell says:

    any thing can be taken to its extreme and youve done it magnificently

    All the laws you quoted are old testament rules and if you had actually ever read a bible not just ridiculed people who have you would know those laws no longer apply . I also spoke of Martin Luther and there were others who many centuries ago figured out we need a secular govt ( which can and should be founded on our religious beliefs ) but not controlled by our religious leaders ( power corrupts absolute power corrupts absolutely i.e. see Islam)

    Eternal damnation – God is not unforgiving he gives you many many chances and will forgive you if you only ask, but any one who has their power flippantly disregarded has a limit to there tolerance and there for comes hell and damnation

  16. doug says:

    #12. Then Christianity is the worst religion for civilization, since redemption is dependent upon faith, rather than good works, and a lifetime of wickedness can be redeemed by a death-bed conversion.

  17. BubbaRay says:

    9,13 Scott, nicely presented and way too logical for consumption by most folks these days.

    Don’t forget about the money. Who’s got more – Bill Gates or the pope? Could the national debt be wiped out in a few years if we just taxed the churches?

    Perhaps we could start the Internet Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, have the church day-trade, get on podcasts / IPTV and accept donations, then provide us with cars, boats, jets, food while we spread the word. All perfectly legal and tax-free. [Oh honey, please get me my white suit, we’ve got to go to Cancun ! ]

  18. Gary Marks says:

    #15 Pmitchell writes… “All the laws you quoted are old testament rules and if you had actually ever read a bible not just ridiculed people who have you would know those laws no longer apply.

    Even though you’ve discarded those old rules, they still help form a much more complete portrait of the same God you worship, but at a different point in time. Christianity claims that God apparently has had a change of heart and is no longer as evil as he is portrayed to be in the Old Testament. Although I welcome God’s new attitude toward humans, I can’t help but wonder how you square it all with the fundamental concepts of fairness and justice.

    Is your Lord’s “New Deal” with added mercy going to be applied retroactively somehow? Inquiring minds want to know.

  19. tkane says:

    It’s stunts like this that make me think that the Muslims, and some Protestants have one thing right – religious depictions (paintings, drawings, sculpture) are at best in poor taste and at worst blasphemous. All because idiots like these (Cosimo Cavallaro, Madonna, Maplethorpe, etc) choose relgious icons for their ‘art’ (knowing it’s a political statement, not art) and indeed twist those images to make them ugly grotesque, beyond what the intent and meaning of those images actually are.

    It does have one advantage – it helps ‘out’ the ugliness and evil within the artists. This in turn makes me wonder why these artists do it – they can’t make wads of cash doing this stuff? The Catholic Leage might have been better off ignoring this stunt – who would bother to see this, besides the atheists on this board?

    Also, whoever said the pope has more money than Bill Gates, think a minute. This is wealth collected over *centuries*, and among over a billion believers. Bill’s money was collected over what – 30+ years, and is concentrated over a very few. And if you want to tax churches, you had better tax *any* organization that collects money, regardless of how the money is put to use, regardless of profit or loss.

  20. BubbaRay says:

    And if you want to tax churches, you had better tax *any* organization that collects money, regardless of how the money is put to use, regardless of profit or loss.

    Sounds good to me, now let’s figure out how to tax the drug lords also. I’ll bet the IRS is _drooling_ over the idea of how to tax everyone.

    Only the pope and churches can mess with the Feds. Bill Gates still pays taxes. Only 16 days ’till tax time! Woo Hoo !!

    Just my 2 cents (2 new gold dollars) worth. (Gone in 16 days)

  21. John Paradox says:

    Just wait, someone like Pat (007 Club) Robertson will come out with Jesus Christ: The Chocolate Bar.
    (with apologies to Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Weber)


  22. bs says:

    #17 The church of the FSM already exists…If you didn’t know.

    Of course, there is always the Church of the Jedi:

  23. Misanthropic Scott says:

    #15 – Pmitchell,

    I think we finally have some real agreement here. You said,, “All the laws you quoted are old testament rules and if you had actually ever read a bible not just ridiculed people who have you would know those laws no longer apply .” [Actually, all of the bits I summarized came from my recollections of actually having read the bible. But, I do acknowledge being so disgusted with the original that I never bothered with the sequel. Angry on Earth moves to angrier in heaven. Satan is born. This is not a real difference or of any real interest to me.]

    Perfect, so you admit that one must pick and choose what to believe from the bible. The only difference is that you claim to have heard from on high exactly what to ignore. I claim that peoples’ innate moral processing engines kicked in and picked and chose.

    Now, I assume that your bible still starts with Genesis, correct? Further, I assume that you still believe in the ten commandments, even if you don’t believe that someone should be immediately stoned to death for breaking any of them, including failing to honor one’s parents.

    So, I ask you again, exactly what part of the bible gives a complete list of the ignorable rules versus the ones still in effect? It’s obviously not as simple as pointing to the “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” bit. It must be something more. What cancels out the Passover celebration? What cancels out the slavery? Certainly slave owners in the bible belt prior to 1861 didn’t believe there was anything to cancel out slavery.

    So, exactly where are your morals coming from and how do they change over time in this manner? I assert that it is the changing moral zeitgeist of the population continually reevaluating exactly which bits of crap in the bible to ignore. Do you believe Jesus keeps changing the rules to keep up with the times?

    #17 – BubbaRay,

    Thanks for the compliment. As for PicoFlaccidMan versus Pope, well, technically the pope doesn’t actually have anything. The church implemented the whole celibate bit somewhere in the eighth or ninth century, if I remember correctly, to prevent any loss of property to the church (through wills to family members). The whole church hierarchy really doesn’t get to take anything off of the church’s balance sheet, in theory. That said, I’m thinking the pope is in control of more wealth.

    Check out this irreverent bit of humor from the early days of theonion.

  24. noname says:

    #9 Misanthropic Scott your Gut analysis idea(s), “Religion is evil, pure and simple.” and #13 “we will not truly have a civilized society until we rid ourselves of silly superstition.” Has already been historically tested.

    Your statements are a restatement of USSR’s “Religion is the Opiates of the Masses”. As you should know, this test occurred over several generation already.

    Basically your idea(s) became a Mass Militant Atheism Movement responsible for massive Soviet purges with show trials, executions. Just during 1937 and 1938, the NKVD detained 1,548,366 victims, of whom 681,692 were shot – an average of 1,000 executions a day.

    But hey, your Gut analysis is probably as accurate as GWs. Why is the “GUT” such an authority with the DUMB.

  25. Thomas says:

    There are horrific punishments even in the New Testament. The argument “well that was the Old Testament, the New Testament is different” is merely an excuse to ignore parts of the Bible you find displeasing. Furthermore, I would think that the religious, especially Christians, would have a far greater incentive to be bad for the simple reason that all will be forgiven. In addition, you would think that Christians would try to get themselves killed as it gets them to the “better” life faster.

  26. Misanthropic Scott says:

    #24 – noname,

    I never said my ideas came from my gut. As for USSR, that was an attempt to replace a religious idealogy with a politiical one. The problem with the communist ideology is that it relies on humans being better than humans are. We got to be where we are by being the meanest species on the planet. Greatest good for the greatest number is way too ideal for us to handle.

    As for your “Mass Militant Atheism Movement”, I am unaware of any reference anywhere that actually attempts to assert that the Soviet Union killed people to spread atheism. They killed people to spread communism. No one kills to spread a non-belief. (Yes, I know, I’m opening up a whole new topic that has already been discussed here ad nauseum.)

    Atheism can only be called a “belief” if you intend to classify aThorism, aGreatPumpkinism, aFireBreathingDragonism, aElvesism, aHobbitism, aJediism, aOdinism, aAlchemism, etc. the same way. When I say that I believe there is no god, I mean it in EXACTLY the same way you mean it when you say there is no Great Pumpkin. To me they are exactly the same. I would change my opinion on either giving a shred of evidence. As there is no shred of evidence, I have no doubts. Consider it a sort of a skeptical “show me” attitude.

  27. Gary Marks says:

    #24 noname, the Russkies were idiots, weren’t they? Their scientists expended a lot of effort researching different methods of mind control, and somehow they managed to pass over the greatest tool of all for that very purpose. They should have encouraged religion and controlled it, rather than trying to stamp it out.

    Dumb Russkies… sheesh!

  28. BubbaRay says:

    23, Scott, OK, THAT’S IT! Between you and the TJGeezer, I’ve gone thru 2 shirts today snortin’ water out the nose. Darn, but that’s funny. 🙂

    If I can’t start The Internet Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I’ll just start The Church of the Presumptuous Assumption of.. The Blinding Light !

    [ Anyone who can cite this church reference wins 2 new gold dollars cents (and you can rub ’em together until April 15). ]

  29. noname says:

    Your statement “I am unaware of any reference anywhere that actually attempts to assert that the Soviet Union killed people to spread atheism” is a little disheveling.

    The Soviets killed millions of brave dissidents who didn’t “buy” into their Mass Atheism Movement or felt some threat from people who believed differently. To say it wasn’t specifically to spread atheism, is intellectually disingenuous. They killed people because they didn’t share their shared beliefs current in the Mass Atheism Movement then in the USSR or believed them a threat to their current vision of their Atheism Movement.

    A believe is a trust that enables an action. The action here was mass murder enabled by true believers of a Mass Atheism Movement of the USSR. You can word smith all you want. All involved, killer or killed, believed in what they where doing.

  30. Misanthropic Scott says:

    #29 – noname,

    I think we’re just going to have to agree to disagree on this one. Everything I’ve ever heard about the Soviet Union, including from a large number of people that lived there, always said that they were spreading communism, not atheism. Sorry.


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