Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.

X

Navigate / search

White Jesus Loves You

Over the last 600 years, Jesus’s skin has grown fairer and fairer.

(I can’t be 100% certain, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have that Michael Jackson thing)

Today it’s pretty rare to see anyone’s vision of Jesus that doesn’t look like he’s originally from Wisconsin.

I’ve always wanted to make a serious mock-umentary (is that an oxymoron?) about Jesus and his humanity.

I’m working on a client project now that has at it’s center a mission to create a dialogue around racism and its effects in order that the conversation (especially the listening) might lead to understanding for some and healing for others.

In the midst of it I’m wondering how “White Jesus” has affected those of non-Caucasian decent.

How has it affected you?

Comments

Brian
Reply

Hi mate, nice site and some good writing.

Regarding the colour (shade) of Jesus’s skin and various depictions of it, two things come to mind:

1. First, in order to know how much ‘lighter’ it has become, you would have to know what tone it was originally when He was alive on Earth. Given that Jews today, have a wide variance in skin tone, I’d say the question posed is nigh on impossible to answer.

2. If people of different skin colour are ‘offended’, does that not highlight their own racist failings? whatever Jesus’ skin colour, that’s what it is (was).

Troy
Reply

Thanks for stopping by Brian. and thanks so much for your kind words.

You’re right, I’ve never met Jesus face-to-face obviously, but the tone of his skin isn’t necessarily the entire point.

Jesus has been almost exclusively portrayed with European features (including light skin) for centuries now, not as a result of artists’ attempts to depict him as he was, but rather to make him into something they wanted (an enlightened romantic European)

I think on some level artists work has affected our theology of Christ as well, to a point where we try to make him fit our own preconceived notions of Logos, Yahweh, Immanuel.

We take his particular words and actions toward particular people and make them say pretty much whatever we want-as long as it fits our own ideas of faith.

The question I pose isn’t so much how does fair skinned Jesus offend you, but rather what messages have you heard and possibly internalized because of the universal depictions of Jesus as such?

For example, has the insistence on Jesus as light-skin-blue-eyes communicated to you that anything else would make him less-than? and if so, what does that say about you?

Leave a comment

name

email (not published)

website