Writer's image of Christ is flawed
Letter to the Editor
I would like to respond to Colleen McCarthy's Inside Column from March 6. She attacks Giuliani for his condemnation of the artwork that is displayed at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. First, I think it necessary to delve into the motives behind the painting of this work rather than the motives behind the denunciation of it.
McCarthy claims that, "Christ looks like whatever I want her to look like. For me, Christ is a woman because I can relate best to that image."
She then defends this by saying that Christ is portrayed as being black in primarily black churches. I do not know where Miss McCarthy was taught but Catholicism generally can not be warped to make you feel more secure about your relationship with God. First of all, if you have to change the sex of the Son of God to be able to pray then there is something a lot more fundamentally wrong with your belief. If I had great relationships with juggling monkeys, should I envision Christ as a monkey juggling two loaves of bread and the Holy Grail at the Last Supper in order to better understand Him?
Secondly, it is conveniently skipped over that Christ is nude in the painting. The objectification of the female body in contemporary society is attacked often. In using a nude woman to portray God, how does this help you relate to Him? It has another motive. The portrayal of Christ as a woman is anti-Catholic. The reason that priests are male is because Jesus and the apostles were all male. The painting in question is an attack on the Catholic Church and this policy in particular.
I completely agree with the mayor. The painting is disgusting because Christ is nude. It is anti-Catholic because Christ is a woman. And it is outrageous because its sole purpose is to create shock and arguments, not to further religion. I do not condemn people for praying in any certain way. I do not condemn ways of thinking. But when people condemn my way of thinking, I, like Mayor Giuliani, get a little upset.
March 7, 2001
All Viewpoint Stories for Monday, March 19, 2001