An Italian bar is under fire this week for a poster with a sexy gay Last Supper.
The controversy sparked international headlines as conservative Christians criticized the poster as “profanity” and “disrespectful.” The image shows a tattooed Jesus surrounded by a dozen male disciples indulging in nudity, kisses, and apparently oral sex. Even LGBT news media asked if it goes too far.
The artist and author of “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision” pointed out that the poster oversimplifies the connection between gay identity and spirituality.
Author Kittredge Cherry said:
“It makes me have even more appreciation for the artistry and faith behind Doug’s Passion art. This new image from Italy goes far to show that gay sex can be holy, but Doug does more to unite Christ’s whole life with LGBTQ experience. This must be what people feared when they attacked our gay Passion of Christ book without even seeing it.”
Artist Douglas Blanchard said:
“Well, secularists are going to do what they are going to do. Christian religious art is full of sensuality. These folks kept the sensuality and discarded the religion. I try to keep both together because they belong together. I don’t believe in any flesh-spirit dualisms. I don’t believe in any “slough off this mortal coil.” The animal that plays host to our souls has its dignity and will see salvation with us. As the spirit illumines the flesh, so the flesh informs the spirit.”
Their gay Passion of Christ book generated similar controversy, even though the imagery is less sexual. For example, the Blanchard’s Last Supper shows Jesus as a young man of today with a multi-racial group of disciples representing many ages, orientations, and gender identities. They are fully clothed in modern dress. Jesus wraps his arms around the men beside him. The whole group is joined by loving touch. A blog series based on the book is underway now.
The Italian poster was used by the local LGBT group DiverCity to promote a weekly gay night at Caffe Verdi in Salerno on Maundy Thursday (April 13).
Here is a sampling of news coverage:
Italian gay bar under fire for X-rated poster of the Last Supper (Gay Star News)
Top image credit:
DiverCity Easter Edition 017
This post is part of the Queer Christ series by Kittredge Cherry at the Jesus in Love Blog. The series gathers together visions of the queer Christ as presented by artists, writers, theologians and others.
Copyright © Kittredge Cherry. All rights reserved.
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