I recently came across a post, courtesy of a friend on Facebook, which was so inherently stupid that I just had to dust off the old blog. I’d like to think it’s the kind of post you’d see on a site like Stormfront, or Metapedia, but sadly it’s just repeating one of the more insidious lies surrounding the mythos of Christianity – that Jesus was a white man. Here’s a transcript of the post:
Why do people claim that Jesus was brown-skinned when it was very clear he was a white man?
Many atheists will claim that Jesus had brown skin due to the fact that he lived in what in now modern day Palestine. This notion is extremely flawed though.
While his mother was indeed a brown-skinned Arabian Jew, we have to look at the fact that God the father is a very white deity. Since God the father’s genes were dominant over Mary’s mortal recessive genes, we can logically deduce that Jesus had light skin and eyes like his heavenly Father.
Jesus was a white man. FACT.
Er… no. This is anything but a fact. The kindest thing I can say is that it’s wishful thinking, but mostly it’s out-and-out racism. Never mind the flawed premise that God and Jesus actually exist (Personally, I believe there was a rather special young man called Brian Yeshua ben Joseph running around Palestine and pissing off the Romans, but he was about as divine as I am. But that’s a story for another day) let’s have a quick look at the history here.
God, or Yahweh, or Jehovah, or whoever first makes his presence known to Abraham. Now, given that Abraham was a goat herder from Ur (in what’s left of modern-day Iraq) the chances of him ever having seen anybody with Caucasian features, as opposed to his own likely Semitic looks are practically nil. Remember, we’re operating in a time long before the Roman Empire and Alexander the Great did their thing. So whatever Abraham saw, or dreamed up, or envisioned in his mind, would most certainly not have been somebody with fair skin. That doesn’t happen in any religion anywhere – speaking generally, Oriental gods look Oriental; Hindu gods look Indian (except for when they’re elephants, or whatnot); Buddha isn’t portrayed as a blond-haired, blue-eyed Aryan. I’m sure that if you asked a Muslim what Allah looks like, the one thing he won’t mention is fair skin and blue eyes… or he might just declare a fatwa on your ass, so maybe don’t ask.
However, let’s assume that God is indeed “white” – and all the races are the offspring of Noah’s sons Ham, Lettuce and Tomato. If all the Caucasians ended up in Europe, then why on earth, would he have allowed Jesus to be born amongst people that looked vastly different to himself? Then, more than ever, looking different was not a good thing and would likely result in the locals taking you out and getting stoned – and not in a good way, either. In fact, the Gnostic Book of Enoch (which is well worth a read if you want some Biblical what-the-fuckery to rival the mushroom-induced rantings of Revelation) goes into some detail of how Noah was born with white and rosy skin and white hair. This disturbed his father no end, who thought his wife had been having nookie with the mysterious Watchers. Needless to say, if Jesus had looked any different to those around him, you could be fairly sure that somebody would have commented somewhere, but the Scripture is silent on the matter.
Ignoring all the mythology, the truth behind this way of thinking is far sadder and is summed up in the opening sentence:
atheists will claim that Jesus had brown skin
Whoever wrote this is horrified that non-believers dare suggest that Jesus (and by default, God) doesn’t look the same way he or she does. As another friend so succinctly put it, “It’s my imaginary friend, therefore he must look like me.” Of course, the colour of his skin shouldn’t enter into the argument, but Christians seem to be very, very good at making their gods One Of Us. We see it with the right-wing evangelical nutters, not only claiming God for their own, but also claiming that He really, really loves the Second Amendment and hates gay marriage. The Mormons, of course, took this to the nth degree by making their version of the story distinctly American.
Not that this is a new phenomenon, however. Just look at any portrayal of God, Jesus, Mary or any of the saints throughout Western Europe and they are all distinctly Caucasian. Almost any depiction of Jesus is a spitting image of, say, Cat Stevens or Kris Kristofersen . Because of the need for their god to be One Of Us.
Not only that, but look at any depiction of the crucifixion – Jesus is invariably shown naked, save for a loin cloth. Now that isn’t there to spare the audience from seeing a holy winkle – after all, if the sight of a naked man, whipped, bloody and nailed to a chunk of wood doesn’t offend your sensibilities, I doubt seeing a penis will either… although you never know with some people. No, the loin cloth is there to hide the fact that that holy winkle is circumcised. It conveniently hides the fact that – no matter what Paul marketed to the Romans – Jesus (again, assuming he existed, before you all jump down my throat) was born, lived and died a Jew. To a Christian, his very Jewishness means that he’s not One Of Us – especially given the way the Jews were treated up until the 20th century. How on earth could they accept that their so-called Lord and Saviour was actually a member of the race they vilified? Therefore they had to morph their god into what they were familiar with and that was what they saw around them – fellow Caucasians.
So, as much as the WASPs want their god to be a fellow WASP, the sad fact is that if he ever existed, then he was a dark-skinned Jew. And if that offends your sensibilities, then you are a racist, because you seem to be more worried about his skin colour – making sure he’s One Of Us – than his message. Then again, given how Paul twisted that to suit his needs, Christians should just call themselves Paulists and get back to worshipping their lily-white, Anglo-Saxon sky-daddy.