Beyoncé Knowles has sparked a controversy by posting a picture on her Instagram account, where she can be seen posing in front of a painting that resembles Da Vinci's "The Last Supper," sitting in front of it and apparently covering up Jesus.
Beyoncé drew criticism soon after she posted the picture on Monday. The 32-year-old singing superstar sat centered in front of the painting as if she wanted to replace Jesus in "Last Supper," which is based on the Gospel of John and depicts Jesus' last meal with his disciples.
It was later learned that Beyoncé was posing on a Miami-based juice bar featuring an Andy Warhol mural of "The Last Supper" with camouflage, according to The Huffington Post.
However, criticism continued.
"Is nothing sacred anymore? This is clearly an act of disrespect towards Jesus Christ, whom Beyoncé covers up with her pose," Tim Wildmon, president of American Family Association, said in a statement. "This had to be done intentionally. However, you will not see the media condemn her for offending Christians in the same way they did Phil Robertson for offending homosexuals because there is a double-standard. Christians are the only group in America you can bash with impunity."
Calling Beyoncé "Beysus," some of her followers told her she could never be their savior. "Jesus Christ is my savior, not you. Besides that, I love Beyoncé, but you will never be God," reads one comment.
"In her interviews she repeatedly claimed to be a Christian so for her to take a pic like this, of course Christians are upset. It is very disrespectful and of poor taste. She is always so deliberate about the image she portrays so she had to have some idea of this impact," wrote another follower.
The controversy comes days after Beyoncé was slammed for using audio from the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster for her new song, "XO."
"My heart goes out to the families of those lost in the Challenger disaster," Beyoncé told ABC News. "The song 'XO' was recorded with the sincerest intention to help heal those who have lost loved ones and to remind us that unexpected things happen, so love and appreciate every minute that you have with those who mean the most to you."
Beyoncé began her music career 17 years ago, saying she was raised as a Methodist Christian. She has not been as vocal about her faith in recent years, but her 2013 autobiographical television film, "Life Is But a Dream," gave fans a glimpse of her spiritual side.
In one scene with her husband and rap mogul Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, Beyoncé thanks Jesus after experiencing a feeling she called "utopia." Her husband is filming her in a scene where she is surrounded by rays of sunlight before jumping into a body of water.
"I am experiencing utopia. Life could not be more perfect. Everything that we worked for is right here … thanks be to Jesus," Beyoncé tells Jay-Z in the documentary. "Look what God created. And my nephew's song comes on. Of course. Life is but a dream!"
Beyoncé also describes the reality of God in the film. "God is real and God lives inside of me and inside of all of us and it doesn't matter where I am, I know that and I feel it," she said in between takes, showcasing her 1-year-old daughter Blue Ivy. "Like right now I'm hot – it's a tingling. It's love. I feel it when I look at my child, I feel it when I look at my husband. It's God."