In advertising design (which I do in case some of you don’t know), I can pinpoint the people who do not have an art background. Often when I work with an ignorant “art director” they request the font size to be larger. They want the photos to fill up space. They want to fill up every ounce of negative space possible. To them, white space is negative, and it must be filled with a larger word that says a date or a feature of the item they’re advertising.
As a professional, I can only give so much advice. I am, after all, employed by these people.
That’s why the new Polish Jesus statue in Swiebodzin makes me cringe and giggle. Doesn’t it show a sort of ignorance of their own religion to carve an image of their depiction of god?
This article in the NY Daily News explains the project:
At 167 feet tall, the one in Swiebodzin [Poland] soars even higher than the famed Christ the Redeemer monument in Rio de Janeiro, which is 125 feet tall. The statue is similar to the one in Brazil, depicting Jesus standing tall with his arms outstretched.
The Polish one, however, has a large golden crown and sits on a mound.
What’s the purpose of creating a statue of a western view of Jesus? If he existed, he likely didn’t look like this statue. But wouldn’t a smaller statue work just as well? Are these people overcompensating for something?
Maybe they’re overcompensating for the sheer fact that Jesus, despite being supposedly the most powerful being in the universe, never ever shows his face to believers. The fact that he’s never there is now eclipsed by the idea that he’s always there on a tiny-stone mound somewhere in Poland. And he’s huge, white, kingly, and if he fell on you, you’d be killed.
Lately, I’ve thought a lot about how god and Jesus are nowhere, but believed to be everywhere. It’s very simple and childish really. It’s one of the first dogmatic ideas Christians teach their kids. It’s sad, though, that the being who is thought to be so grand, so powerful, so awesome doesn’t come forth in the slightest powerful way.
Yeah, sure, you went to church last week and you felt Jesus’ power in the music. You felt the spirit in the message. You felt moved. Or you can’t believe that no one was hurt in that car accident. Surely it was god. Surely. Or you felt that god spoke directly to you in a bible verse or a devotional.
But yet, these are all feelings explained somewhat easily by neuroscience. On some level, they are real. Just like it’s real that I feel Tina’s love for me. Or if I hurt her, I feel her disappointment in a very real way. Hell, even Talulah feels my intentions just from a change in my vocal pitch.
Just last night, when I told Tina I felt scared after I thought I heard some noises in the house, she comforted me by combing through my hair with her fingers. That’s feeling loved. That’s feeling secure. It’s real, tangible, and honest.
There’s a gigantic difference to think you’re loved and actually feeling loved. I can feel secure in Tina’s love. I can also carry a tinge of insecurity because of human nature.
When you’re Christian, or at least when I was a Christian, thoughts of fear-induced insecurity must be squelched. That’s what you’re taught. If you doubt Jesus is going to protect you, you must do better to calm those fears through more prayers to Jesus. If prayers don’t work, more prayers are required.
For me, it seemed unending. I remember waking up scared as a kid, and repeating over and over, that Jesus was there. I was taught to pray that the devil had no control if I were to pray. Jesus would protect me, if I used his name. But I almost never felt secure.
I knew I was supposed to, but security never came despite praying and praying for comfort. Sometimes I’d fall asleep after becoming too exhausted to care, but the fear never seemed to pass until the sun came up and I could actually see that there was nothing to fear hiding in the shadows of my bedroom.
So now these people in Poland have a huge Jesus looking over them. What security does that bring? What fulfillment? What’s the purpose in making it larger? Do these people care that they are breaking the second commandment? Do Catholics care? Do Christians care?
No carved images means NO carved images. The same people want the 10 commandments in court houses are breaking the very commandments they love to admire.
Believers get their panties wadded up over non-believers nitpicking.
But, hey, I look down my nose at people who want their fonts bigger. Who’s going to stop me from looking down my nose at people who want a bigger, badder, whiter, kingly-er Yeshua?
If I were to visit this sculpture, I would have my photo taken behind it, and I’d caption it, “Hey look, Jesus turned his back on me!”