The Tempest

Not Exactly Shooting For \”Miss Congeniality\”

Oh Christ…Here We Go Again

Posted by Daniel on Saturday, March 31, 2007 planned Holy Week exhibition of a nude, anatomically correct chocolate sculpture of Jesus Christ was canceled Friday amid complaints from Catholics, including Cardinal Edward Egan.The “My Sweet Lord” display was shut down by the hotel that houses the Lab Gallery in Manhattan, said Matt Semler, the gallery’s creative director. Semler said he resigned after officials at the Roger Smith Hotel shut down the show.

The artwork was created from more than 200 pounds of milk chocolate and features Christ with his arms outstretched as if on an invisible cross. Unlike the typical religious portrayal of Christ, the artwork does not include a loincloth.

The 6-foot sculpture was the victim of “a strong-arming from people who haven’t seen the show, seen what we’re doing,” Semler said. “They jumped to conclusions completely contrary to our intentions.”

But word of the confectionary Christ infuriated Catholics, including Egan, who described it as “a sickening display.” Bill Donohue, head of the watchdog Catholic League, said it was “one of the worst assaults on Christian sensibilities ever.”

The hotel and the gallery were overrun Thursday with angry phone calls and e-mails. Semler said the calls included death threats (because that seems to be the Christian way – so much for “Turning The Other Cheek”) over the work of artist Cosimo Cavallaro, who was described as disappointed by the decision to cancel the display.“In this situation, the hotel couldn’t continue to be supportive because of a fear for their own safety,” Semler said.

The sculpture was to debut Monday evening, the day after Palm Sunday and just four days before Roman Catholics mark the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday. The final day of the exhibit was planned for Easter Sunday.

“We have caused the cancellation of the exhibition and wish to affirm the dignity and responsibility of the hotel in all its affairs,” James Knowles, president of the Roger Smith Hotel, said in a statement.

The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights had called for a boycott of the hotel and dropped the idea once “We got what we wanted,” a spokeswoman said.

“We’re delighted with the outcome. We’re glad that they came to their senses,” said Kiera McCaffrey, director of communications for the league, which describes itself as the largest US Catholic civil-rights group.

Before the cancellation, she had called it “an assault on Christians” adding: “They would never dare do something similar with a chocolate statue of the prophet Mohammad naked with his genitals exposed during Ramadan.”

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.Cavallaro is best known for his quirky work with food. Past efforts include repainting a Manhattan hotel room in melted mozzarella, spraying five tons of pepper jack cheese on a Wyoming home and festooning a four-poster bed with 312 pounds of processed ham.

This whole controversy seems at odds, however, with the fact that Christians have no qualms about eating chocolate bunnies, cream-filled chocolate eggs, jelly beans or ‘PEEPS’ as a way of marking Easter…but the ‘body of Christ’ (which they normally eat every Sunday in the form of a cracker) made of chocolate turns their sensitive religious tummies.

Perhaps this uproar isn’t really over the fact that someone made a sculpture of Jesus out of chocolate.

I think the madness is over the fact that there is a penis visible. And no one wants to think of their lord and savior as having had that!!!

It must be very shocking for many people to have found out that Jesus, having been a a male, did, in fact, have the same equipment as every other man.

After all, up until now, there’s always been a loincloth to cover that ‘phallus-y’.

Sidenote:  This post is in no way meant to verbally beat-up on Christianity, Catholicism or any other religion.  It was just a means of pointing out yet another example of hypocrisy shown by those who would rather call in death threats over chocolate, rather than using this time to spread the message of love and peace.


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