This true story has liberal Christians pitted against their conservative brethren. And when you consider the history of religious strife (Catholics vs Protestants and Sunni vs Shia) that makes sense.
Conservative Christians are outraged by an ad from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland that depicts Jesus as having a beard, breasts, and make-up.
The ad, which will run on buses in Iceland’s capital Reykjavik for several weeks, is meant “to bring attention to diversity.”
Does Jesus with breasts make any less sense than wine turning into Jesus’ blood during communion? I don’t think so
“In this one, we see a Jesus who has breasts and a beard. We’re trying to embrace society as it is. We have all sorts of people and we need to train ourselves to talk about Jesus as being ‘all sorts’ in this context,” said church spokesperson Pétur Georg Markan.
“Especially because it’s really important that each and every person see themselves in Jesus and that we don’t stagnate too much. That’s the essential message. So this is okay. It’s okay that Jesus has a beard and breasts.”
“Soon, we’ll be introducing more personifications where, for example, you’ll see Jesus making a contribution to environmental issues.”
To paraphrase Voltaire, If Jesus with tits didn’t exist, then we’d have to invent them.
As an atheist, I’m not pro-Jesus even if there are breasts involved. However, as a human being feeling the heat of the global climate crisis, then I support trans Jesus 100% if they are trying to stem the tide of global warming.
Of course, more conservative Christians aren’t happy.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland is the official national church of Iceland and has an estimated 230,000 members. And some of them expressed their outrage on the church’s Facebook page.
“There was a reason I left the National Church and found another Christian congregation,” one person wrote on Facebook, according to the Daily Mail.
“Shame on the bishop!” wrote another. Others called the ad “tasteless” and “particularly stupid.”
“The church should be ashamed for humiliating Jesus like this,” wrote one person.
Note: if American evangelicals could burn the supporters of trans Jesus at the stake, then a fair percentage would be busy striking matches.
But one Icelandic pastor said that the image is open to interpretation.
“Each person interprets something in this picture,” said Guðrún Karls-og Helgudóttir, the minister of the Grafarvogskirkja church. “Some people interpret it as a trans Jesus, others as a woman. Some see Mary with a beard, and others see a genderqueer person. Views within the church are just as diverse as elsewhere,” she concludes.
You can say one thing, this version of Jesus is far preferable than the American version that wants to take your healthcare and reproductive rights away.