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Ressurrected In Chocolate

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My Sweet Lord, a 200-pound, 6-foot-tall and anatomically correct sculpture of Jesus made entirely out of chocolate was to be exhibited this week at the Lab Gallery in Manhattan—until, in predictable fashion, a group of outraged Catholics issued death threats, causing the gallery to cancel. Artist Cosimo Cavallaro, who created the statue, says he didn’t intend his candy Christ to be offensive. “Had I wanted to make it offensive, I would have done something completely different,” he noted. Out of fear that religious fanatics might destroy the sculpture, it is now being stored in a secret location.

“This would rank as one of the worst, most vile, obscene and blasphemous assaults on Christian sensibilities that I have ever seen,” said Bill Donahue, president of the Catholic League.

Vile? Obscene? Why, I fell in love with the picture of Chocolate Jesus. What, exactly, is so upsetting to these people? Were it Moses or Mohammed it’d make sense—both Judaism and Islam strictly forbid iconography—but Catholocism almost fetishises it. You can’t walk half a block through some parts of Italy without running into a marble pieta or a painted pope. If religious icons crafted from more conventional material are all right, what’s so bad about chocolate?

I know it’s not the edibility of the statue—after all, these are the same people who scarf down wafers and wine every Sunday, pretending to ingest the blood and body of Christ. I guess it’s the combination of edibility and nakedness–JC’s chocolate penis isn’t covered, not even by a loincloth. If the fantasies this stirs in me also occur to religious devotees, then no wonder they’re so upset. I mean, if they’re thinking what I’m thinking when faced with male genitalia so lovingly crafted with sweet, dark, milky, delicous….excuse me, I’m getting a bit carried away over here. A devout Catholic could get seriously fucked up by such thoughts.

What the protesters don’t realize, though, is that chocolate Jesuses are nothing new—they’ve hovered in the collective consciousness for quite a while. A brief search on Google unearths a motherlode of chocolate Jesuses, as well as crucifixes, Mary’s and other Catholic iconocgaphy. Chocolate Fantasies, for instance, sells religious chocolates right beside their adult line of penis lollipops, vagina truffles and big round chocolate boobies.

cherry_small1.jpgnormasnockers_smalljpg.jpgAnd if chocolate Jesuses were something new, how to explain Tom Waits‘s song by the same name?

Well its got to be a chocolate jesus
Make me feel good inside
Got to be a chocolate jesus
Keep me satisfied

Chocolate Jesus is not Cavallaro’s first foray into edible sculpture—past works include a hotel room painted in melted mozzarella, a Wyoming home sprayed with five tons of pepper jack cheese and a bed decorated with processed ham. None of these, of course, are as tempting as Chocolate Jesus. I wonder who, if anyone, will get to eat him?

Happy Easter.

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2 responses »

  1. Great story and beautifully written. Almost puts me in the mood… for chocolate, of course 😉

  2. its so easy in Europe to express urself.. If like chocolate jesus, somebody tried to make a chocolate figure of some Hindu gods, then it would become an international incident……
    Indians have become intolerant to the point that u can actually write them off as a closed minded stagnant group

    Yes, it probably would become an international incident if someone did something similar to a Hindu god–just as it became a big deal for Christians, and certainly would be for Muslims if someone did it to Allah. I could go on naming religions…but what I really mean is, I don’t see Indians or Hindus as worse about these things than any other religious group, and I certainly don’t intend to “write them off.”–MS

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