Worshipers in a chapel at the University of Cambridge said they were left “in tears” after a research student claimed that Jesus’ side wound in Renaissance and Medieval paintings of the crucifixion can be likened to a vagina, suggesting Jesus could have been transgender.
At an evening service at Trinity College chapel last Sunday, Joshua Heath, a junior research fellow, displayed three paintings of the crucifixion, including Jean Malouel’s 1400 work Pietà and Henri Maccheroni’s 1990 work “Christs,” The Telegraph reported Saturday.
Heath, whose Ph.D. was supervised by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, said during the service that Jesus’ side wound and blood flowing to the groin in Pietà looks like a vagina.
When Jesus was crucified and died on the cross before His Resurrection, John 19:34 says Roman soldiers broke the legs of the two men who were crucified alongside Him, but seeing that Jesus was already dead, one of the Roman soldiers decided not to break Jesus' legs but instead pierced His side with a spear, "and at once there came out blood and water."
The Cambridge research student then referred to the 14th century Prayer Book of Bonne of Luxembourg, saying this side wound was isolated and “takes on a decidedly vaginal appearance.”
The British newspaper quoted one worshiper as saying Heath’s claims left them “in tears” and made them feel excluded from the church. And when many students complained, the dean of Trinity College, Michael Banner, called Heath’s views “legitimate.”
A congregation member wrote a complaint to Banner, saying: “I left the service in tears. You offered to speak with me afterwards, but I was too distressed. I am contemptuous of the idea that by cutting a hole in a man, through which he can be penetrated, he can become a woman.
“I am especially contemptuous of such imagery when it is applied to our Lord, from the pulpit, at Evensong. I am contemptuous of the notion that we should be invited to contemplate the martyrdom of a ‘trans Christ,’ a new heresy for our age.”
Last June, Christians were outraged by the decision of a Scottish teachers union, Education Institute of Scotland, to promote a play depicting Jesus Christ as trans in celebration of June, what LGBT activists call “pride month.”
The production was titled, “The Gospel According to Jesus Queen of Heaven.” “The play imagines a transgender Jesus coming back to the world today,” the play’s creator, Jo Clifford, told BBC News in a previous interview.
Clifford, a man who identifies as female, added, “She has a communion, shares bread and wine with the audience, which is really a gesture of solidarity in the face of death, and she gives a blessing.”
In September 2020, the National Church of Iceland featured a bearded Jesus with breasts in an ad purportedly meant to encourage children to attend Sunday school.
The animated ad — part of a campaign costing about $14,800, which was contributed mostly by the bishop’s office — depicted Jesus as having breasts and jumping around as he points to a church.
When the ad was shared on social media, one of the comments read, “There was a reason I left the National Church and found another Christian congregation.” Another read, “Shame on the bishop!” Some called it “tasteless” and “particularly stupid.” Another user wrote, “The church should be ashamed for humiliating Jesus like this.”