Condom Jesus too 'deviant' for Deviant Art

Condom Jesus too 'deviant' for Deviant Art May 16, 2009

WHEN gifted Belgian artist Ben Heine heard the Pope’s latest rant against condom use before the pontiff visited Africa, he responded by creating the image on the right. condomjesus
Heine, then a member of an on-line artists’ showcase called DeviantArt, posted the image on the site. He fully expected it to draw some robust criticism. What he did not expect was to have it removed.
He re-posted it with a “mature contents” filter. And found himself BANNED OUTRIGHT from the site!
Said Heine:

OK, this is a shocking cartoon, but hey, it will never be as shocking as what the Pope said in his plane to Africa…

And he pointed out:

DeviantArt allows huge collections of images with genitals everywhere but not a little drawing defying the Institution … I find this pitiful. It seems that political art doesn’t have its place on this “Big Brother” site. How does DA dare to call itself “Deviant” then?!

A supporter of Heine said:

Ben is a great artist, cartoonist and illustrator. He can be (this is part of his work) highly provoking, but he never lacks of touch, elegance and style. To ban his artistic works as though they were pornographic is highly offensive for the artist and for all of those who like and can fully appreciate his work.

You can find more on this report, and examples of Heine’s work here (click on the “political art set” link on the right).

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  • mikespeir

    "He re-posted it with a “mature contents” filter. And found himself BANNED OUTRIGHT from the site!"
    I would've slapped him before banning him outright.

  • William Harwood

    I wonder if Ben Heine realizes how inaccurate his portrait of Jesus really is. As quoted by Robert Eisler (Jesus and John the Baptist, NY, 1931, page 467), Josephus depicted Jesus as a cross between Quasimodo and Rumpelstiltskin. Specifically, Josephus described him as, "a man of simple appearance, mature age, small stature, three cubits high [4 ft 6 in; 137 cm], hunchbacked, with a long face, long nose, and meeting eyebrows, so that they who see him might be affrighted, with scanty hair with a parting in the middle of his head, after the manner of the Nazirites [thus explaining why he was known as "the Nazirite", mistranslated in English bibles as "of Nazareth"], and with an undeveloped beard." Five centuries of Christian apologists did not dispute the accuracy of that description.

  • I'm a member of the site, and was a volunteer gallery moderator for a stretch.
    They have some very specific guidelines on the type of content allowed. The theme of this work is not the issue – it's the erect penis. DeviantART's policy explicitly states even if work is marked as mature, erect penises aren't allowed. That's a topic for another debate, but my point is, this isn't political censorship or anything like that.
    But he doesn't have to take it from me, he could have contacted the help desk and asked why it was removed. It's possible they might have revised their decision.

  • Norman Lycan

    W. Harwood,
    At least he is not portrayed as a brown haired, blue eyed, caucasian as he is in the stained glass windows and the painted statues of Chistendom. But the whole condom thing would blow the conspiracy theory of Mary Magdalene being the holy grail.
    I admire the audacity. It's sort of Ozzie. Maybe it would have been over the top to have Satan's wad up his hershey highway. It would ruin the magic of the moment.
    I like this artist, I want to buy a print.

  • that's some mighty boner he's got there; shame he died…sigh…

  • Stonyground


  • Dave L

    I used to be a member of DA to showcase my photography, as well as using flickr. I stopped using DA after a number of friends got banned for nothing more than posting a comment that, while being critical of some art work in a semi-constructive way, some of the artists found offensive to their work. The site isn't exactly supportive of free speech.
    I solely use flickr now as it has a much more mature user base.
    I hope Ben Heine finds other avenues of showcasing his work.

  • Whatever's up with DeviantArt, he's a very talented artist.

  • As Nick Z points out… "They have some very specific guidelines on the type of content allowed."
    From the DeviantArt site:
    "When we mention 'pornographic content' in our policies we are specifically referring to specific subjects which we will clarify below.
    We apologize if the descriptions below are slightly graphic.
    The following contents are considered unacceptable for submission in either visual art or literature form and will be subjected to immediate removal without notice.
    • Masturbation
    Hands should not come into contact with genitalia in a manner which is clearly a display of fondling or masturbation.
    • Sexual Intercourse.
    Subjects should not be depicted in a clear display of sexual intercourse. This includes depictions of sexual penetration, oral to genital contact, genital to anal contact, and oral to anal contact without exception. Some depictions of same sex genital to genital contact and some depictions of oral to breast contact might qualify under this guideline as adjudicated by staff but not all will be considered an automatic violation of policy.
    • Sexual body fluids (actual or simulated).
    There should be no depiction of semen or vaginal lubricants.
    • Erections.
    Male subjects may not be depicted with an erection."
    I really enjoy visiting the Freethinker website, but this piece smacks of sensationalism…
    Let's keep it relevant.

  • Stuart H.

    I know the Bible said that after death Jesus rose again, but never did find the bit where he rose the first time. Nice of Ben to explain that anyway.
    Incidentally, Christians are always asking their fictitious mate to bless others. Bit self-indulgent of him to bless himself so much!

  • That would probably have given him a hard-on!

  • But can you really take seriously anything that Josephus said on the subject WH?

  • Mike

    I've had dealings with Deviantart before, scum the lot of them. Not as bad as Elfwood though.

  • William Harwood

    The index of God, Jesus and the Bible lists Josephus on 34 pages. Save your objections until you read it.

  • William Harwood

    I abandoned the equation of san greal with sang real, even as a theory that originated with the first Crusaders, when Robert Price demonstrated that the grail was pre-Christian. Modern depictions of Jesus are based on the Mandylion, a cloth found in Edessa in 525 CE that was clearly painted AFTER all references to Jesus as a hunchbacked dwarf psychopath had been expurgated from Josephus (where Eisler found the excerpt from Halosis, I have been unable to discover) and replaced by the flattering interpolations found in every extant ms.


    The Diviant Site also mentions a whole lot of other things they object to:
    " 1. to upload, post, or otherwise transmit any material that is obscene, offensive, blasphemous, pornographic, unlawful, threatening, menacing, abusive, harmful, an invasion of privacy or publicity rights, defamatory, libelous, vulgar, illegal or otherwise objectionable"
    For some reason they include blasphemy in the list..
    If art can't be offensive or "otherwise objectionable", we all might as well resign ourselves to nothing but Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Light.
    Perhaps it's time they changed their Website name.

  • Intriguing picture and it is a great swipe against Pope Nazi. But it clearly violates DA standards outside of silly "don't piss off the religious whackos" so I can't fault them for yanking it.

  • Dr Harwood. I first came across this so called 'hunchbacked' Jesus many years ago whilst researching for a paper on the possible connection between Herod Philip and The Baptist. I am still unable to accurately source such a document. Whilst I am in possession of the Whiston English translation of Josephus, and have access through University libraries of all other sources, I am still at a loss as to the origin of the quote.
    I did try to source Eisler, but as the original text of the only copy I could locate was in German, I met a dead end. I realise that the quote may come from the 'Halosis' of the fall of Jerusalem, in the original hebrew, rather than greek or latin text, but as no copy seems to survive, except in the Eisler text, I am at a loss.
    I would be most grateful if you would point me in the direction of the source of the quote so that I may continue with my futile pursuit of a link between H Phil and J the B
    Thanks Dr H!

  • Jesus, you twat.
    You're meant to have a miraculous resURRECTION!

  • I did actually read it all when I was an evangelical, desperately clutching at straws in a futile effort to prop up my belief in the Jesus of the Bible! Unfortunately, I am not qualilfied myself to judge the validity of these "writings of Josephus", but I am only too aware of their very controversial nature, and this was one of the factors which led me to the conclusion that conventional Christianity was all bunkum! (The Dead Sea Scrolls were another nail in the coffin of the Jesus of the Gospels as far as I was concerned, despite the arguments of the sainted Prof. Bruce et al, but that`s another story.) Maybe Josephus did really write these words, but there seems so much doubt about their authenticity amongst serious scholars that I could not personally have any confidence in them now,

  • William Harwood

    Robert Eisler wrote at a time when legitimate biblical criticism was in its infancy, and the term "serious scholars" was applied to theologians, best defined as blind men in a dark room searching for a black cat that is not there — and finding it. The only persons recognized as serious biblical scholars today are unanimous that religion is a product of the human imagination, and that very awareness still causes theologians to denigrate them in a desperate attempt to pass themselves (theologians) off as scholars. Theologians are to scholars what astrologers are to astronomers. Eisler is assuredly NOT regarded as discredited by persons with the competence to make such an evaluation.

  • William Harwood

    The equation of san greal with sang real was blown out of the water when Robert Price showed that grail myths preceded Christianity. The modern depiction of Jesus on charnel house windows is based on the Mandylion, a cloth that first appeared in 525 CE, and could only have been painted after all unflattering references to Jesus had been expurgated from Josephus and replaced by Christian interpolations. Prior to that date, four centuries of Christian apologists did not dispute the accuracy of Josephus's description of Jesus, and themselves described him as "not even of honest human shape."

  • Nick

    Just shows that it's not just the repressed Christians that are terrified of sex and sexuality…
    'Ah, no! An ERECT penis! It's obscene!!!!' Not alot of hope for future generations or for a fun night if we're all so scared of erections.

  • I gotta use that pic somewhere !!!

  • Its not only Jesus who's crucified.