Not everyone likes art or appreciates it. But I do. And I like the Chocolate Jesus.
Not because it is made of chocolate per se and not because it is not wearing any boxer shorts. When I first saw the photo, I marveled over the animation, how the artist sculpted it -- attracted to the incredible life-like body texture and human image while hanging in suspension, arms outstretched as Jesus was described to have welcomed everyone, only to later be crucified for it.
May the message of the Chocolate Jesus enlighten the great many fundamentalist, sick puppies all around the world in this warring time of persecution under the banner of religion. As Donahue went on a rampage to shut down the exhibit, Matt Semler, the gallery’s director, even resigned in protest. Now, many are rallying ‘round Cosimo, displaying signs of the life affirming, redeeming qualities that religion is supposed to be all about.
The artist Cosimo Cavallaro is taking heat this week from the head of the Catholic League over the Chocolate Jesus. In an ironic twist, the sanctimonious Bill Donahue, leading the assault, showed no signs of any redeeming qualities as he bullied the artist and fired off insults and assaults to fellow Christian Cosimo during the Lenten Holy Week leading up to Easter. Crooks and Liars head honcho John Amato provides commentary and the Anderson Cooper video:
The transcript of the Anderson Cooper interview with Cavallaro and Donahue is also available on C&L. The fact that Donahue is no artist is one thing, but it is yet another to call the artist a “loser” and to proclaim that his art be exhibited in a “New Jersey dump.”
But the WORST of it was Donahue’s bullying and nastiness, where he said he wanted to not only shut down the exhibit but to see that the artist is FINANCIALLY SHUT DOWN. This vengeful hatefulness is what Jesus inspired? No wonder Catholics want to leave the Church. Cosimo Cavallaro rose above the attacks and hopefully, I and many others will have the chance to see his exhibit one day.
Sadly, bullying and nastiness and marginalization of others are the key ingredients of the alpha dog, frat boy cheerleading mentality running our country. One need look no further to this current administration and our ‘corporate leaders’ and sycophants who are thrust in front of us –under the banner of religious, divine worship -- as shining examples of who’s on top and how ignorance and greed rule the majority of people who value freedom of expression and tolerance in our society.
Not everyone is an artist. But to those of us who are, Bill Donahue’s morally bankrupt and sickening performance proved that persecution by the sanctimonious and powerful is alive and well 2007 years after the crucifixion.