This Magnificently Tacky Thing Never Gets Old

Aziz Ansari introduces Tom Hanks to his associate Jesus:

Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 10.07.31 AM

Everything that’s wrong with American Christianity in a single image.  That’s economy of expresssion.

  • Paul Schumann

    Well, that’s disturbing.

  • Tom

    There are a bunch of other ones like this in a Cracked article: http://www.cracked.com/article_19947_the-11-most-unintentionally-hilarious-religious-paintings.html

    The description for this one is hilarious.

  • Stu

    Tacky? Yes, as is a lot of contemporary Christian art and music. A bit tone deaf in presentation? Perhaps. But ultimately I think the intent of the artist was pure and the message that Christ should be with us in our everyday dealings is certainly sound.

    • Andy

      I agree. It’s unkind to call it “everything wrong with American Christianity”. Even us stock jobbers trying to feed our families through corporate jobs try to think about Jesus sometimes during the work day.

    • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com/ Beadgirl

      On the other hand, I while back I read an article about the growing popularity of “Prosperity Gospel” among Wall Street/investment banker/$10 million annual bonus types. If that’s what this art is representing, then … No.

      • Stu

        Let’s assume the best. Right? Isn’t that what we are supposed to do whether it’s tacky picture or a tacky beach ball on the altar?

        • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com/ Beadgirl

          Which is why I said “if.” Artistically, I think it is awful and tacky. Theologically, I am taking no opinion at all.

          • Stu

            Then let’s the leave the “if” out of it, assume the best and just go find the source. Isn’t that what we have been hearing here a lot lately?

      • Dave G.

        It’s part of a long line of such works. The point is ‘Jesus wherever you are – including the workplace’. That’s not to say some couldn’t interpret it to say ‘Jesus loves rich guys.’ Art is art. But there are many in this line basically saying ‘keep Christ in all you do.’ For my money? Not a bad message.

    • meunke

      While it’s not possible to know the artist’s soul, we can know at least what he as SAID his intent was in making this (admittedly tacky) piece of work. I quote from his (Nathan Greene) website:

      “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths
      (Proverbs 3:6). This painting acknowledges the importance of involving
      Christ in the professional arena. In this striking image, Jesus is
      introduced as The Senior Partner. Displaying this piece prominently in
      your business will convey your Christian principles and values to your
      business associates, customers, and staff.”

      So yeah, I think Mark should really not rush to declare someone as being a demonstration of everything that’s wrong with modern Christianity simply because he finds the art tacky. Shows a lack of rational thought, in my opinion.

  • tj.nelson

    The Christ image is powerful – demonstrating all the qualities of a wonderful, dynamic CEO – and friendly too – look at that handshake, the firm grip, the inclined head, the eye contact! He has a future – if he cuts that hair and gets out of the dress – oh, and get rid of the beard.

  • Dave G.

    I agree with Stu and Andy. It’s not my cup of tea style-wise, but the message is pretty obvious, an not really a bad one. There are certainly worse messages out there in the guise of religious art and/or music.

  • meunke

    It’s about as tacky and ‘everything wrong with modern Christianity’ as this is:

    http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/99/17/7d/99177d1df94ddcc8d0d646e9bd9f16b8.jpg

    Tacky? Yeah. Looking at it I’d bet your personal take of it is to instantly assume that it is meant to imply that our foreign wars are the will of God! Yup, everything wrong with modern Christianity! Except… according to the artist it’s meant, in yes a rather tacky way, to show a soldier’s guardian angel standing beside him… and that’s pretty much it.

    If your referenced pic was meant to say Jesus is nothing but a deified businessman, then yeah, that’s not good at all. However, instead of simply posting the pic to generate a couple of ‘hurp derp!’ like comments on slow days, you could also have looked up the origin: Painting by Nathan Greene ‘The Senior Partner’. Here is what Greene himself says about his painting on his website:

    “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths
    (Proverbs 3:6). This painting acknowledges the importance of involving
    Christ in the professional arena. In this striking image, Jesus is
    introduced as The Senior Partner. Displaying this piece prominently in
    your business will convey your Christian principles and values to your
    business associates, customers, and staff.”

    Now again, is it tacky? Oh yeah. I wouldn’t buy it, let alone display. But to be honest, Mark, it is rather uncharitable of you to accuse the painter of being part of ‘Everything that is wrong with modern Christianity.’ Sometimes you aren’t half as clever as you think you are.

    Additionally, I would also hasten to mention that a rush to pass judgement upon someone’s motives and character based on their work might also be just a LITTLE bit of what is ACTUALLY wrong with ‘modern Christianity’. Wouldn’t you agree?

    • Matthew

      As long as we continue to excuse REALLY bad art (or music) by saying that the creator of the piece had a good intention we will continue to get really bad art (and music).

      • meunke

        Congrats, you missed my entire point! Either that or you didn’t bother to read what I wrote.

        • Heather

          Actually, that IS the point. If you have to read the artist’s statement to get a non-offensive meaning out of it, then it’s bad art that reflects poorly on Christianity.

          • meunke

            Saying that something reflects poorly on Christianity without an explanation is totally different. And it also shows you didn’t read/understand what I wrote.

            If we see a dirty/disheveled man walking down the street and you say “that man is an example of how you shouldn’t dress in public”, that would be a valid statement. But to say ‘That man is a perfect example of all that is wrong with modern man’ is presumptuous and uncharitable. Could he be disheveled/dirty as a fashion statement? Sure, possible. Could he also have just finished an all night double shift at his factory job? Sure, possible. Thing is, without an explanation, you don’t know either way. Not having an explanation, does that give you the green light to declare him to be all that is wrong with modern man until you get an explanation that satisfies you?

            It is one thing to say this is bad art. (it is). It is another to presume a spiritual ill on account of the artist, which is what you and mark are doing. Stop doing it.

    • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

      meunke is right. As tacky and hilarious as that painting is, it’s not really got that bad of a message. Far, far worse is this. Now, that painting represents what is truly the worst of American Christianity today.

      • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com/ Beadgirl

        Oh yes, I saw this on the Cracked link above, and it is horrible.

  • Mark R

    But He’s wearing white after Labor Day!!!

  • Michael J. Lichens

    I much prefer the ones where Cthulu is rising in them.

  • Michael J. Lichens

    But the message is pure! Just like in liturgical dances and clown masses!

  • Sherry

    Picture worth 1000 words, and launched 1000 pink slips.


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