Just in time for Easter: Nude, Chocolate Jesus!

When I was in hgh school -- I swear I am not making this up -- I visited a candy warehouse (to pick up supplies for the macrhing band's candy concession) and saw a boxed, chocolate crucifix. Not just a choco-cross like you can still find today, but the entire crucifix, Corpus and all. I wonder how the little children felt, gnawing on the head of the Savior?

O Sacred Head Surrounded by chocolate, milky and sweet...

Anyway, that once made for a nice, if semi-sacrilegious story. But now, an artist has made a real chocolate crucified Jesus, but has raised the ante by leavng off his loin cloth. The display, called "My Sweet Lord" was being shown in the Lab Gallery in Manhattan. Until, that is, the posse rode into town and closed it down.

Outraged Catholics included local bishop, Cardinal Egan, loudmouth Catholic apologist Bill Donovan of the Catholic League, and some really ticked of holy folk who phoned in death threats, for crying out loud. I hope they enjoy the warm feeling they get whe the attend church on Good Friday. It might be a foretast of things to come.

But I have to wonder what it is about artists who insist on stepping on religious sensibilities. Calling the display "My Sweet Lord" does gve the impression that the artist was making naughty with the Crucifixion -- and right before Easter to boot. And please don't hide beind the "fact" that Jesus was crucified naked, though this view is gaining currency. It's getting as common as the oither crucifixion "fact" that Jesus was nailed through the wrists -- al becuase that's what the Shroud of Turin seems to show. Of course, if the SHroud;s dating is correct, it comes from the Middle Ages, making its details irrelevant to the study of1st century crucifixion techniques.

By the way, our prudish American press cannot bring itself to show the entire image. We see semi-frontal and back images, but not the entire image fro the front. If you must see it, and I did, here is a link to the image.

Not that you'll see it here either.

The image seems not to say much about Jesus or crucifixion. There are no nails, no crown ofthorns, no cross, no agony, no glory and no hair. It is however a way to get a sculpture of a naked man into the public space. Its medium brings to mind connotations that are less than serious -- eating, candy, melts in your mouth, etc., and connects them to somehing holy. Lets see, says nothing and offends much. What is the point other than to scandalize the easily-offended?