Friday, February 29, 2008
I'm Dreaming of an Olive Christmas
For centuries, countless Western artists have portrayed Jesus as lilywhite, blue-eyed, and flaxen-haired, creating his likeness in their image rather than admit his true ethnicity. But genealogy, biology, and common sense tell us that Jesus, a Middle Eastern Semite, almost certainly possessed olive (or even darker) skin, as well as coarse, dark hair. Our institutional images of Jesus—cast into public consciousness centuries ago by Europeans who could not, or would not, accept so foreign a savior—amount to ethnocentric self-deception.
Yet today, many Americans and Europeans still can't bear the idea of Jesus as anything but the classically wholesome, fair-skinned, Nordic type. Witness the blatant denial of Jesus’ desert heritage in this current ad for a S’mores nativity scene. Could Jesus be any whiter?
When will someone offer a historically accurate S’mores nativity scene using roasted marshmallows that properly reflect Jesus’ true ethnicity?
(Photo of S'mores nativity scene copyright Santa’s Depot.)