Stuart recently mentioned the "My Sweet Lord" controversy regarding the artist who has created a life-sized sculpture of a crucified Christ made entirely of chocolate. What amazes me about all this is that those protesting the art refer to it as "hate speech" even though the artist himself is a Christian. Their biggest complaints seem to focus in on the fact that the sculpture is made of chocolate and that it depicts Jesus as nude. I suppose there will always be religious folks who cringe any time Jesus is depicted as a little too "human." Historically, of course, people were always crucified naked. It was meant to be the ultimate form of humiliation and degradation. The fact that we always cover Jesus with a little loincloth says a lot about our discomfort with Jesus' human body (not to mention our own). Even Mel Gibson, in all his "pains" to show the suffering of Jesus on the cross in "The Passion", wasn't willing to go all the way. Even Gibson sanitized the crucifixion.
Might the protesters also be bothered because the artist's choice of chocolate gives this Jesus dark skin? Cosimo Cavallaro, the sculptor, has explained that he wanted to create a work that gave Jesus a flavor. He chose chocolate because "it's sweet." Ironically, at a time of the year when the passion is trivialized by chocolate eggs, chicks, and crosses, we don't seem to be able to stomach a chocolate Jesus.