Saturday, March 31, 2007

Bad Taste, Yet So Delicious

I have mixed feelings about the chocolate statue of Jesus on the cross that's been causing a minor uproar in this holiest of seasons.

On the one hand, it's obviously in bad taste. Would a chocolate buddha go over well? How about a chocolate Mohammed? (didn't they do that on South Park?) Chocolate pagan bunnies and eggs are one thing, but a chocolate Jesus seems to me so far over the line that we can't even SEE the line.

On the other hand, we Catholics are full of strange contradictions. In my parish, and many others, the tradition of abstaining from meat on Fridays has been warped into a good way to make money. The Friday Fish Fry is full of tasty beer-battered fish, french fries, and homemade desserts by a Girl Scout troop. The line is so long that a familiar parishioner walks through the crowd selling cups of cold beer to ease our Lenten suffering. (Perhaps in a satiric reference to the women who tried to give Jesus water along his route - or perhaps the soldiers who gave Jesus the wine on the sponge...) Some parishes take it a step further and fry up muskrat, which is apparently not a meat (but probably more of a sacrifice than tasty fried cod).

Can't we have a sense of humor about a chocolate Jesus? As long as there's no chewy center or cherry cordial heart, I think I'm ok with at least having a good laugh - though we'll be sticking to bunnies and Peeps for our Easter baskets.


teaii said...

Chocolate Jesus
by Tom Waits

Don't go to church on Sunday
Don't get on my knees to pray
Don't memorize the books of the Bible
I got my own special way
But I know Jesus loves me
Maybe just a little bit more

I fall on my knees every Sunday
At Zerelda Lee's candy store

Well it's got to be a chocolate Jesus
Make me feel good inside
Got to be a chocolate Jesus
Keep me satisfied

Well I don't want no Anna Zabba
Don't want no Almond Joy
There ain't nothing better
Suitable for this boy
Well it's the only thing
That can pick me up
Better than a cup of gold
See only a chocolate Jesus
Can satisfy my soul

When the weather gets rough
And it's whiskey in the shade
It's best to wrap your savior
Up in cellophane
He flows like the big muddy
But that's ok
Pour him over ice cream
For a nice parfait

Well it's got to be a chocolate Jesus
Good enough for me
Got to be a chocolate Jesus
Good enough for me

Well it's got to be a chocolate Jesus
Make me feel good inside
Got to be a chocolate Jesus
Keep me satisfied

spin70 said...

I find it interesting that some people are so outraged by this sculpture. There are thousands of portrayals of Jesus on the cross (including some naked ones). What is it about the medium that has caused such uproar? The allusion to chocolate bunnies at Easter is a brilliant comment about the commercialization of the most important Christian holiday. Something, it seems to me, that devout Christians should embrace.

In the end, the offense that some may take because of this sculpture is reasonable. But aren't there more important matter for all of us to be spending our time on? Like, if it gets really hot on Friday and this Jesus melts, will it appear again on Sunday walking among us?