Rapper Kanye West has recently defended his artistic decision to have an actor play Jesus Christ during the opening of his Yeezus Tour earlier this month.
The musician explained to a trio of interviewers from the radio station Wild 94.9 WSHH that he believed "God knows where my heart is at."
"I had a friend of mine that's a pastor there as we started discussing how we wanted to deliver it. Now my girl even asked afterwards, 'hmmm…is that weird if Jesus comes on stage?'" said West.
West argued that "we do plays all the time" with actors portraying Jesus, to which one of the hosts interjected a "that's true" and another drew a parallel to Madonna's "Like Prayer" music video from years back.
West also told his interviewers that one of the things that separates Christianity from other religions is that actors can portray God.
"You know, what's awesome about Christianity is that we're allowed to portray God. We're allowed to, you know, draw an image of him, we're allowed to make movies about him," said West.
"Other religions, you're not really allowed to do that. So that's what's really awesome about Christianity. That's one of the awesome things."
Last weekend, Kanye West opened up his Yeezus tour with a performance that included an actor playing the Son of God.
The tour and its tracks involve a strong amount of religious rhetoric and imagery, as the tour also includes an actor playing a demon and twelve backup singers representing disciples.
The multiday tour began in Seattle and from there went to San Jose, California. Later destinations include Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Anaheim, and Chicago.
The tour is based off of West's sixth album, titled "Yeezus" and released by Def Jam Recordings in June. Adam R. Holz, music reviewer for the Focus on the Family website Pluggedin.com, took issue with the album's content.
"…if the mood is once again morphing, molting and mutating, the messages are sadly similar to previous efforts: a jarring mixture of social and psychological insights bobbing precariously amid vast seas of braggadocio, misogynist sex and sacrilege," wrote Holz.
"Yeezus dabbles in occasional moments of social commentary. Much more often, it's Kanye's infamous ego – not to mention his profanely and pornographically detailed libido – that ascends to the throne of an album on which he dares to compare himself (and his sexual prowess) to God."