Thursday, December 9, 2010

What if Jesus were white?

It feels like a silly question, and yet it is something that has been debated for decades. What color is Jesus?

It always seemed like a convenient coincidence that early crusading Christians promoted an image of a blue-eyed blonde-haired Jesus, even despite the fact that he is from a region of the world where that combination is hard to come by.

Nevertheless in all of the most prominent and well-known images of Christianity, there is Jesus, with his mane of golden hair and fair skin.

It is an individual's decision whether or not to dwell on the skin color of Jesus. When I was a kid, I was transfixed and defensive of my Jesus' race -- of course he was black! But as I got older, I learned to let this go. I try to focus more so on what he said, and not what he looked like.

Not to mention that debating the race of Christ seems futile. If Jesus were black or white, it would be hard to prove it either way, right? It's not like anyone has met him and lived to tell the (reputable) tale.

But leave it to Fox News to get the inside track on the afterlife. Recently they featured young tween author Colton Burpo, who, in his new book "Heaven is for Real", claims to have been to heaven and met Jesus. So what does God's right-hand man look like? According to Colton, he had a rough, but kind face, sea blue eyes, and a smile that lit up the heavens.

Wait a second kiddo did you say blue eyes? Sorry, but you must have him confused with someone else. Jesus isn't white.

Now, let's just suspend reality for a second, exclude the debate of whether this kid is telling the truth and just assume that he is. So what if Jesus actually was white?

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