Monday, March 25, 2013

A Female Jesus - Does Gender Matter To You?

Earlier this month in one of my Skype conversations with my good friend Mark he said that one a bulletin board in Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) had this image of a female dressed up like Jesus being crucified naked.  It was supposed to evoke a debate on whether or not it would matter to you if Jesus was a female or not.  But instead people thought it was for nothing more than sexual erotic purposes.  The following images do have nudity and are meant only to evoke discussion.  I apologize if you are offended, but please don't make it something it's not.  Thank you!

Now, you see the above two pictures are of two women being crucified like Jesus was.  What is the first thing you think of when seeing this?  Sexual, offensive, erotic, inappropriate?  Or maybe thought provoking, interesting, mind blowing?  Those or any others words or phrases are appropriate to use.  Myself, I'm of the latter with this topic and pictures being thought provoking and interesting.

I will say that these woman are beautiful, but that's not the intent of these pictures.  The intent is to evoke some discussion on whether or not you'd be okay with a female Jesus.  Are you okay with that notion and that idea?  Are you okay with a woman dying for our sins?  Are you okay with saying Father, Daughter, and Holy Spirit?  These are just a few questions of many that you need to ask yourself.

When discussing this with Mark, we both agreed with we are okay with this.  I can personally say that I don't have a problem with a woman dying for my sins.  It's the fact like Jesus, this female was chosen by God to dye for our sins.  She was the one chosen to do everything Jesus did.  I know there are lots of people that can't wrap their heads around that.  That it's mind blowing to think that a woman would be held in such high esteem as Jesus is.  They'd probably think it's sacrilegious to think that a woman would be a religious figure during Biblical times.

Here is one thing that Mark brought up and it's that we look at images, iconography, crosses with Jesus on it in churches and whatnot, art, etc. and we see a naked male being crucified.  In some cases, you can see his manhood.  So why would it be so wrong to have a woman in these same things?  Is it more acceptable to see a man in that way.  Is it because it's become more accepted in the world to see woman naked in a sexual sense?  Or is it wrong to view woman naked in this sense?  Some people might think we are objectifying women.  But it's that kind that of thinking I don't like.  Not everything that has a naked woman on it is sexual or objectifying women.  That kind of attitude is one I can't stand.  The double standard is that we don't always see a naked male as sexual or objectifying.  So why should this be any different?

I'm not the kind of person that thinks it's not such a bad thing to have a woman a historical religious figure.  If roles were reversed and women were what men are, than we'd have no problem with this at all.  But since that isn't how it is, a lot of people would be uncomfortable with the idea of a female being what Jesus was because it wasn't what they were taught.  It isn't what they know to be correct.  Maybe we need our thinking shook up and maybe we need to be challenged into thinking that this is alright.  That a woman can be the standard for a prominent historical religious figure instead of a male who was Jesus.

If you had to pick a gender, I'm sure there are a lot of people out there that would say male without hesitation.  If don't care what gender Jesus was.  If He was a female instead of male, like I said, I am perfectly okay with that.  It doesn't bother me in the slightest.  If we had open discussion on this issue, I'd be interested to see if people were okay with these two images because they certainly are okay with seeing a naked man being crucified.  Why is it wrong to see a woman crucified?  The taboo of it all and the stigma needs to be removed because that will be a big step and get a good lot of people seeing this for what it is and not for what it isn't.

I'm open to discussing this in public forums and getting people's reactions.  I want to know if people are willing to be receptive about this idea and not make it into something it's not.  But judging by what Mark told me, I don't know if that's 100 percent doable because someone somewhere will make it out to be something it's not.  We need to stop doing that and see this for what it is.  See it as a means to evoke discussion on whether or not you'd accept Jesus as a female.  Once again, I know I would.

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