My website. My choice.
Do I support free speech and the right of the Charlie Hebdo editors to have an image of the Prophet on their front cover? Yes. And I also support the right of the Muslim community to be offended by it. (Not to act violently on that offence- mind you – but rather to be upset and engage in non-violent acts to educate.)
Now- about Jesus.
Where to begin… There are so many images of Jesus that it boggles the mind: icons, stained glass windows, paintings, movies, statues and even toys. I personally own a toy Jesus with “Gliding Action.” (See photo) He hangs out on my office bookshelf with “Action Figure Moses “and a few other tchotchkes. A few years back, I was given a toaster that imprinted an image of Jesus right onto the bread as it cooked. A simple search of “Jesus Toys “ returns a lengthy list.
What then are we to make of these things?
My faith allows me to see these items simply as toys. They are not “Jesus” anymore that a picture of me at my high school graduation is “Jen.” If a floating bathtub Jesus makes you giggle– then ok. Jesus is not the tub toy, the action figure or the dress-up paper doll. These are silly human made things.
For me, Jesus is bigger that any of those things because the real Jesus invites us into relationship. I might enjoy my action figures but I don’t have a relationship with them. Jesus calls people into community, calls us to love (even (especially?) those we don’t like) and calls us to live a life of service. The Christ who is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) is bigger than my action figure and any argument about the action figure. Thanks be to God.
Now, about that tub toy… my birthday is in May….
Give me Jesus.