This one gets filed in the political correctness gone mad category. New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is facing a law suit from Manhattan resident Justin Renel Joseph because he feels their paintings of Jesus show him as being too white. Mr. Joseph feels the paintings are racist and sacrilegious.
As reported in the NY Post:
He says he suffered “personal stress” after viewing “The Holy Family with Angels” by Sebastiano Ricci; “The Resurrection” by Perugino [displayed below]; “The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes” by Tintoretto; and “The Crucifixion” by Francesco Granacci.
They are especially offensive to him, he claims, because he himself has “black hair like wool and skin of bronze color.”
‘They completely changed his race to make him more aesthetically pleasing for white people’
“The implication that someone who possesses physical features like the plaintiff could not be the important historical and public figure of Jesus Christ . . . caused the plaintiff to feel, among other things, rejected and unaccepted by society,” court papers say.
On one hand Justin Renel Joseph has a point, if Jesus looked like a typical Jew during the second temple period, he would have looked like this (according to the BBC), but does that really matter? Come on Mr Joseph! This is art!!
Humans tend to portray their deity in a way they can relate to. It’s why the Greeks portrayed their gods as scheming, jealous beings who have sex with anything that moves and is also why 500 years ago in Italy Perugino saw Jesus as blonde— because that related to him.
Unless he was around two millennia ago, Justin Renel Joseph has absolutely no idea what Jesus looked like, so his lawsuit is nothing more than the idiotic political correctness which has infected our society in recent years.
As most readers know I am Jewish, not Christian but I guarantee my take is not that much different. You see, when closing my eyes and trying to connect with God, I get perfect picture of what the creator of the world feels looks like. Actually it’s not a picutre is more of a feeling in my heart which helps me connect to my maker.
Most Christians I know do not take artistic paintings of Jesus so literally. They realize that paintings of Jesus by artists like Perugino are simply a visual representation of the what artist saw when closing his eyes and searched for Jesus in his heart.
I would suggest that if he truly believed in Jesus, Mr. Joseph shouldn’t waste time with a lawsuit. Instead he should close his eyes and try to find Jesus in his heart instead of on a wall in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is guaranteed that if he spent the time searching his heart, 500 year-old paintings of what Jesus looked like wouldn’t cause him, “personal stress.”