The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision features 24 stunning illustrations of a 21st century Christ figure, clad in designer jeans, as he is mocked by fundamentalists, tortured by soldiers, and, ultimately, reunited with God in a homoerotic homecoming. Along for the ride are Jesus’ eclectic mix of friends, who join him on his journey from suffering to freedom.
“A queer Passion is crucial now even for non-believers because Christianity is being used to justify discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people,” Cherry, a minister and art historian, says in a press release. “The book speaks not only to the LGBT community, but to everyone who is passionate about building a more just world.”
Blanchard, an art professor and self-proclaimed “very agnostic believer,” says his intention was to paint Christ as “one of us.”
“In His sufferings, I want to show Him as someone who experiences and understands fully what it is like to be an unwelcome outsider,” he explains.
Of course, one can’t release a book like this without receiving some sort of backlash.
The ad featured one of the images from the book, which Facebook said was against site guidelines.
In a message, Facebook told them: “Your ad was rejected because the image violates the Ad Guidelines. Ads may not use images that are shocking. Prohibited images include: Accidents, car crashes, dead or dismembered bodies, ghosts, zombies, ghouls and vampires.”
Facebook has since reversed its stance and allowed the ad to be displayed, but only after Cherry accused the site of censorship based on sexual orientation, noting that other pages were allowed to show images of the crucifixion without being blocked.