Opinion

If offended by black Jesus, then be offended by white Jesus

RESIDENTS of Pascoe Vale had a rough week this week.

Well, some of them anyway.

For those who may have missed it, a Melbourne nativity scene caused a stir this week when it featured a black doll in the starring role of Baby Jesus.

In the Melbourne suburb of Pascoe Vale, the local member had the nativity scene put together in her office's front window, and while the response has been admittedly (and rightly) positive, her office has not escaped criticism for such a despicable act.

Now, let's be clear: this was not a nativity scene attempting to degrade or ridicule the traditional Christmas story.

Indeed, it was one of great celebration in an extremely multicultural electorate.

Sounds great to me.

Unfortunately though, it didn't look great to everyone.

Some said it was a belittlement of Christianity.

Some said it went against the Christmas spirit.

And some said - well, some just said complete nonsense.

Heck, one particular passer-by named Maria (either she didn't want her last name published or she thinks she too is famous enough to go by only one name) went as far as saying, "He can't have been black because that's then going into Africa."

And hey, she's right!

Jesus probably wasn't quite as black as this evil Pascoe Vale doll made him out to be.

But chances are he wasn't quite as white as millions of other dolls used before him either.

And since when have they offended anyone?

I mean, really: here's a guy who died to forgive the sins of millions, and you guys are debating which skin tone suits him best?

This is merely a classic case of - when it comes to racism - "rules for some, rules for others".

Maria (or Ms - let's just say Smith) has basically just said, "I'm fine with our Lord being portrayed as ethnically inaccurate…just as long as he's not black."

Thanks, Ms Smith.

But, I'm not done with you just yet, Maria!

Sorry, but if we are going to start getting this particular about it, we need to get more specific with quite a lot of things.

What colour eyes did Jesus have?

What colour shirt was he wearing?

What shade of red was his first pimple?

Hey, we all have imperfections.

The point is, it's nothing short of ridiculous to get worked up about the appearance of someone of whom we will never know the actual appearance.

I mean, sure, he's supposed to be coming back and all, but who's to say he hasn't changed a few things in the meantime?

Fashion has come a long way.

Besides, that's just like me getting worked up about the fact that my otherwise gorgeous future wife might have a rather unfortunate birth mark covering most of her face.

In other words, why worry about something I don't know to be true?

Because the truth is, I don't know what Jesus looked like.

The difference, however, between these disgruntled nativity scene enthusiasts and me is that I'm not pretending as though I do.

This is not about people's religious beliefs at all.

Regardless of faith, Christmas is very much a part of our nation's culture.

And that's great!

But if someone wants to challenge racial perceptions of important religious figures that were instilled in us during far more conservative times, then I say good luck to the challengers.

A black Jesus should not offend anyone; nor should a white one.

Because if the religion he inspired has any message at all, it is one of love and acceptance.

And there's nothing more black and white than that.

Topics:  christmas, opinion, religion




Medical emergency on flight to Bundaberg

QANTAS

Paramedics called after mid-flight emergency

Newsagency owners take on a new outlook

FACES OF BUNDY: Michael and Lyn Bowles from McCrackens Newsagency.

Changes are coming for local newsagency

Eidsvold man had videos of partner's child

Bundaberg court house.

Police charge Eidsvold man.

Latest deals and offers

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

Jessica Alba wants tequila shots served at her funeral

Businesswoman and actor Jessica Alba

There won't be mourning at this funeral

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

TELEVISION: New show is a Survivor, for now

Jonathan LaPaglia hosts the TV series Australian Survivor.

WHAT happens when a new show with a big budget flops?

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa