The “chocolate Jesus” exhibit has been cancelled from the art show due to open on 2 April at a New York gallery.
The gallery’s artistic director, Mark Semler, said the decision to cancel was a result of "strong-arming from people who haven't seen the show, seen what we're doing.” I wish he’d taken the decision to explain what they were doing rather than simply cancelling (although I don’t think the cancellation will be of any great loss to art history).
However when he says that “the timing of the exhibition - when Christians mark the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ - was coincidental,” he really has to be kidding!
He didn’t realise it was Holy Week? He forgot? I wish people would at least be honest… Is that too much to ask?
But I'm equally dis-satisfied with the attitude of the Catholic League. Their spokeswoman says:
"They would never dare do something similar with a chocolate statue of the Prophet Mohammed naked with his genitals exposed during Ramadan."
True enough. But if the issue is the showing of genitals, then they have no grounds for objection. Criminals were crucified naked, without a loincloth. One of the main theological motifs of the crucifixion is its offence - the symbol of a humiliated God who was stripped of all dignity and still died forgiving. The loincloth is a symbol of human inability to face up to that.