A new, controversial statue by St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Davidson, NC depicts a homeless man lying on a park bench.
But, the statue of Jesus – and it has some in the community riled.
Per Bizpac Review:
Jesus is huddled under a blanket with his face and hands obscured; only the crucifixion wounds on his uncovered feet give him away.
The reaction was immediate. Some loved it; some didn’t.
“One woman from the neighborhood actually called police the first time she drove by,” says David Boraks, editor of DavidsonNews.net. “She thought it was an actual homeless person.”
Some others also see the statue as offensive:
“Another neighbor, who lives a couple of doors down from the church, wrote us a letter to the editor saying it creeps him out,” Boraks added.
Some neighbors feel that it’s an insulting depiction of the son of God, and that what appears to be a hobo curled up on a bench demeans the neighborhood.
Rev. David Buck shares that he thinks the statue adds to the “authenticity” of the church:
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The sculpture is intended as a visual translation of the passage in the Book of Matthew, in which Jesus tells his disciples, “As you did it to one of the least of my brothers, you did it to me.” Moreover, Buck says, it’s a good Bible lesson for those used to seeing Jesus depicted in traditional religious art as the Christ of glory, enthroned in finery.
“We believe that that’s the kind of life Jesus had,” Buck says. “He was, in essence, a homeless person.”
The person who created the statue attests to the controversial nature of the statue, but believes that it will “challenge people”:
The creator is a Canadian sculptor and devout Catholic named Timothy Schmalz. From his studio in Ontario, Schmalz says he understands that his Jesus the Homeless is provocative.
“That’s essentially what the sculpture is there to do,” he says. “It’s meant to challenge people.”