Sunday, January 22, 2012

Now THAT is a loaded question:

  As pretty much none of you know, there is something called Snowfall Press that is a part of the shop Thad works at. They print books. It's the whole self-publishing thing that is getting bigger and bigger these days. I love going in there occasionally and looking at the extras from the book orders, or books that have been discarded because of some reason or another. Last night when I brought Thad coffee I flipped thru a workbook that looked......strange. It was all about 'self-actualization' whatever that means and how to achieve it. And in this workbook is where I found this gem of a question:

In case you can't read it, it says:
"Why do you suppose there are some who prefer to depict Jesus as white?"

   Nay, not since wasting my time and argumentative energy with an atheist a few weeks ago have I heard such a loaded and ridiculous question. First, I can justly call it a 'loaded' question because it uses words like "some who prefer".  The question of Jesus's race is not a preference. I do not choose on a daily basis to see the Son of God in my head as a white man. In fact, until reading this line it has never occured to me to think of the Son of God in terms of race because I DONT CARE. Because I am not racist it does not matter to me what race He was. 
   But, dear author of this workbook, here is a fact: Jesus was a Palestinian Jew. Jesus is an actual historical figure and he lived in an actual place and time and was born of a real woman in a real part of the world....and she was a Palestinian Jew. She was not Asian, she was not African, she was not Mayan or Indian. She was a Jew. This means that we can say--for a fact, not a preference--that Jesus had white skin. 
  But seriously who cares? In the grand scheme of things, who cares? And what is being inferred by the author asking this question that some of us would "prefer" to think Jesus was white? I don't have to think he was white, I take no comfort in the fact that he was white, it doesn't make me have warm fuzzy feelings towards him because he wasn't asian or wasn't African or wasn't whatever else we are being encouraged to imagine him as. This is ridiculous. 
   This is like asking us, why do some people prefer to think of Obama as black? Oh well that's a loaded question, too, but the answer is: if he wasn't black he wouldn't've been elected.  Another easy answer: No one wants to acknowledge that his mother is white. Sorry I just opened a pandora's box of a different topic so let me go somewhere else....
   Why do some people prefer to think of Da Vinci as white? Easy answer: Because he was. Because we know where he was born in history, we know what region he came from, we know that everyone else living in the same time and place as he was that was educated and trained as he was was also white. This is how we know, and it is not an issue of dispute.

  So why all the hubbub about Jesus being white? What's wrong with being white? And why does it matter? Jesus is not known for being The Great White Man--He is known for being the Son of God, the center of Christianity, for being the most radical prophet the world has ever seen, and for dying on a cross. Who finds it necessary to bring the color of his skin into it? 
   My own personal opinion on the answer to that question is that the only people who are concerned with the color of Jesus's skin are the people who are obsessed with the color of their own skin.


Kaitlyn said...

Beep Boop I love all of what you write. I have been reading your blogs since I was a freshman and you were a cool senior. I think you're cool. The end.

Summer Pinch said...

Aww thanks Kaitlyn! I still miss you.