A nude, "anatomically correct" chocolate sculpture of Jesus will not be displayed ahead of Good Friday as originally planned following a public outcry over the confectionary Christ.
The artwork by Cosimo Cavallaro, who is known for creating imaginative art pieces out of food, was made from more than 200 pounds of chocolate, and features Jesus with his arms outstretched as if on an invisible cross.
The six-foot display, playfully dubbed "My Sweet Lord," infuriated Catholics, including Cardinal Edward Egan, who described it as "a sickening display." Bill Donohue, head of the watchdog Catholic League, said it was "one of the worst assaults on Christian sensibilities ever."
While agreeably, a nude Jesus display may appear offensive to those who revere him and/or those who may not understand art, the level of the outcry against the sculpture was disproportional to whatever injury it might have caused.
Tasteless, disrespectful, perhaps. But "one of the worst assaults on Christian sensibilities ever?"
The fiery indignation within the offended faithful would be better spent directed towards the crimes being committed in Sudan's Darfur region, where a 4-year-old conflict has left more than 200,000 dead and 2.5 million homeless. What should "sicken" the Christian community is the sexual violence committed with impunity by the Burma army against women of the Chin ethnic minority group who also face extreme brutality and humiliation such as severe torture and murder.
As believers, we are called to "defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed." (Psalm 82:3)
Was the fire and passion spent trying to melt one man's agglomerated piece of chocolate worth it? Might God have rejoiced in seeing that affront to the Church put to an end?
Or was God perhaps crying over the spilt blood in Darfur? Or over the woman in Burma who was stripped naked and tied to a cross in "a savage act of mockery against her Christian beliefs?"
There are some outrageous acts that are worth standing up to and crying out against.
A six-foot chocolate Jesus being displayed in a hotel in midtown Manhattan is not one of them.