Will Carson's painting of himself and black Jesus offend religious conservatives?
A reporter took a tour of Ben Carson's home and found some unusual things. For one thing, there were walls and walls of awards that Ben Carson has won.
Do all neurosurgeons have so many awards? I wonder if he's landed on the moon or something. But his home also has a number of paintings of himself, which is a little odd. (Yes, I know Donald Trump has them, too!)
Oddest of all is the painting of Ben Carson and the Black Jesus.
This painting portrays Jesus as black. And wearing a taekwondo outfit. And having head ridges like a Klingon. And having a hand on Ben Carson's shoulder, as if he's endorsing him.
Now, I would never judge a person by his religious beliefs (unless his beliefs call for him to kill me). If Ben Carson wants to believe that he has the personal endorsement of a black version of Jesus, that's his business.
But the question arises whether conservative Christian voters will have a problem with it. The painting could be viewed as an expression of Carson's feeling of closeness to Jesus, on the one hand. Or it could be interpreted as Carson's belief that he is the anointed representative of the black Jesus on Earth, which smacks of hubris. I think you'd be hard-pressed to find conservative Christians with paintings of themselves in their homes, much less paintings of Jesus posing with them. The same for other religions: you don't see Jews with autographed pictures of Moses, or Muslims posing in paintings with the Profit (sic) Mohammad.
The change in Jesus's race might cause problems, too. Most Christians believe that Jesus was white. Jesus, they say, was a Jew, and this was way, way before Sammy Davis, Jr. There were no black Jews at the time. Christians may be offended by the race change, as if black Christians cannot worship Jesus unless he looks like a Morgan Freeman/Worf the Klingon hybrid. The painting of Carson with Jesus may strike them as showing tremendous hubris.
Exit question: For my Christian readers, let us know in the comments section if you have a painting of yourself with Jesus, or if you mind Jesus being transformed into a black, Asian, lesbian, or porcupine.
This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.