|October 19, 2007|
|Chocolate Jesus Returns to NYC without a Peep from the Catholic League. Hallelujah!|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|Congratulations to the Catholic League for taking a pass on the chance to protest the return of “My Sweet Lord,” the anatomically correct milk chocolate sculpture of Jesus Christ that is slated to go on display in a Manhattan gallery on Oct. 27.|
A noisy protest campaign by the CL forced the cancellation of the original chocolate Jesus that was supposed to go on display at NYC’s Roger Smith Hotel last April right before Easter. The hotel caved after the CL announced a boycott. CL leader Bill Donohue claimed victory.
Some victory. CL’s campaign only drew media coverage to the work of artist Cosimo Cavallaro. Issues of censorship, religious interference and tolerance were brought up. Without the League’s action, Cavallaro would have been a one-day story, and the statue would have melted away, instead of ultimately nibbled by mice. [My Sweet Lord was stored in a Brooklyn warehouse, where it lost its limbs and nose to hungry rodents.]
The CL still doesn’t approve of the sculpture, but is not going to object because “this upcoming display won’t be as public, nor will it be an ostentatious assault on Christian sensibilities during Holy Week,” according to the CL’s position paper. That’s a good strategy because sometimes you got to know when to hold `em, and know when to fold `em.
Cavallaro says he’s learned much from his experience last year. He told the New York Times that he looked into the “Catholic religion a little deeper” and started to think about the “saints and how they were ostracized for their beliefs and then canonized.”
That means the chocolate Jesus will have company at the Proposition Gallery. It will be joined by sculptures of the Virgin Mary, and Saints Michael [This blogger is the proud graduate of St. Michael the Archangel RC grammar school], Augustine and Francis. One wonders if this extended family would have been created, had Donohue and his followers skipped the protest last year. Thanks Bill.
Though the CL is retreating on the chocolate Jesus front, it has a whole kettle of fish to fry. It has launched a boycott of Miller Brewing for sponsorship of what CL calls the “sadomasochistic” Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco, branded “Boston Legal” producer David Kelley “Tinseltown’s ace bigot” for allegedly hating Catholicism and bashed panelists of “The View” for misrepresenting the Church’s position on whether Rudy Giuliani can receive Communion since his previous marriage was not annulled. (He is not even supposed to present himself for Communion).
CL is gearing up a blitz to protest the movie, “The Golden Compass” set for a Dec. 7 debut. The New Line Cinema and Scholastic Entertainment flick is blasted by CL as a vehicle to “promote atheism and denigrate Christianity, especially Roman Catholicism.”
The CL needs to remember that this country enjoys freedom of artistic and individual expression. Public scolds don’t do so well in modern America.
New Line and Scholastic have as much of a right to produce their movie as the CL has the right to make a movie to “denigrate atheism and promote Christianity, especially Roman Catholicism” if it sees so fit.
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