Not-So-Lying Nativity Scene

Over at Catholic Vote, they’re responding to the inevitable Atlantic “look at me!” inflammatory article; this one is “Your Christmas Nativity Scene is a Lie.”

He finally does come to something that is admittedly an inaccuracy, and here we seem to arrive at what really concerns him. He notes that most American nativity scenes depict the Holy Family as white, although they certainly were not Europeans.

Merritt has a point here: a depiction of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph as European-looking is certainly factually wrong. I think, however, that he makes this into more of a problem than it really is. He fears that such depictions reinforce racism by suggesting that lightness is associated with what is good and darkness with what is bad.

The point was to depict Jesus as a human being, and the artist defaulted to depicting him as the kind of human being with which the artist was most familiar.

If it’s good enough for Mary, it’s probably good enough for the whole family– just last night I was taking pictures of some of the depictions of apparitions on display at the local Catholic school. Pretty sure that a first-century Middle Eastern Jew didn’t look Vietnamese, either.

The problem only comes up if the change is made to make a bad point– I have heard of artists that change Jesus specifically to ‘claim’ Him, as opposed to the idea that He is claiming us.

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  1. From CV combox; “He (Merritt) forgot to include that Jesus and Mary were not 3-4 inches tall in real life as the Nativity Set tries to represent.” -commenter Ram.

    The above comment is equal to Merritt’s proposition in his essay. Equally lame.

    The only one reinforcing racism is the author, Mr. Merritt.

  2. I saw that comment too. That’s as good as the internet gets.

    I’ve always wondered if the depiction of Jesus as more European relates to the fact that most of Europe would have been more familiar with Ashkenazi Jews.

  3. @T. Shaw

    Not just noticed it but irritated as hell at the sewage they spew as being thought right and correct. Sick bastards. Meanwhile a Satanist in Oklahoma is staging a fake blood bath to pour over a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Christmas Eve. This animal has his permit from Oklahoma City officials. He’s doing this at St. Joseph’s Old Cathedral in O.C. on the 24th.

    Bastards. -desecration-of- blessed-virgin-mary-on-christmas-eve


    Archbishop Paul S. Coakly is discouraging Catholics from protest. Wants the focus on Christmas. He is right. Let the animal rage by himself or with his rat pack.

    Excuse me Foxfier.
    I will not post on this idiot’s cheap trick anymore.

  5. Seems to me a public gathering to pray the rosary would be a good way for Oklahoma City Catholics to start the Christmas season.

    Gee, I wonder where they might gather to do that?

  6. @Ernst Schreiber.

    There will be Catholic’s doing exactly that, praying the Rosary at St. Joseph’s despite the suggestion of the archbishop. Having participated in a dozen public square rosaries I find the Reverends words hard to swallow, but he has a good reason. Allow families the joy and peace of the blessed day. Forget the Grinch. He’s just a sad p.o.s. that can’t win the day.

    I owe you foxfier. 🙁

  7. So..that they were Sephardic Israeli Jews..if they look too Northern European then we’re not being pro-Israel enough? Does the Left really wanna play the “who’s the anti-Semite?” game?

  8. It is amazing how much octane post-Leninists continue to get out of vaunted claims of soviet-style “racial egalitarianism”—when in fact Lenin, Stalin, and for that matter, their contemporary Western successors, were hysterically pro-European, very anti-Siberian (except when they needed troops against Hitler in WWII), and anti-Asiatic. And forget Africans as being humans, from their viewpoint (are you listening in, Card. Kasper?). So much sham-concern to cover up…well, w’dya think it’s covering up?

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