Black dolls used to represent the baby Jesus in two Australian nativity scenes

Just a Leftist stunt of course. The Dandenong hospital doll above.  It is not literally black, of course, but it has the same colour as many people who are called black.  It is essentially a representation of an African. As such, it is likely to be an inaccurate representation of the historical Jesus, who would have had the coloring of other Mediterranean people.  He would have been a stocky little swarthy-skinned guy with dark eyes and dark hair like a modern-day Southern Italian.  That is of no importance in itself as the traditional European representation of Jesus as tall and blond is also inaccurate.

What is of some concern, however, is that this stunt feeds into and encourages now-common misrepresentations of history.  Some American blacks claim that all sorts of European inventions were in fact the work of Africans.  And Muslims often deny any historical association of Jews with Israel.  These are simply ego-salving lies but they do contribute to confusion about where the truth lies. And this is essentially another lie.  We all wade through a sea of lies as we go through life so it is sometimes a major challenge to figure out what the truth is.  Adding to the lies is therefore very unhelpful

Black achievements in many fields are much less than white achievements and Arab achievements are much less than Jewish achievements but the starting point for doing anything about those gaps is to accept their reality -- not lie about them

In the wake of the controversy surrounding a black doll representing baby Jesus at Pascoe Vale state Labor MP Lizzie Blandthorn’s office, Dandenong Hospital has also used a similar doll for its scene.

Ms Blandthorn said her staff members had fielded complaints, but Shane Butler, spokesman for hospital operator Monash Health, said feedback had been positive. "The nativity scene at Dandenong Hospital features a baby perhaps best described as being of Middle-Eastern ethnicity," Mr Butler said.

"We have had no negative feedback from passers-by, and, in fact, our staff have received a number of positive comments about the nativity scene."

The doll’s colour sparked fearsome online debate yesterday. Fired up readers were divided over the use of the black doll, with some arguing that Jesus could have been black or olive-skinned, due to his Middle Eastern roots, others saying history had always depicted him as a white man, while some wondered why it was an issue because they did not believe he existed.

Eddie had a simple message for those arguing over the colour of the doll.  "Really, it’s Christmas, so all who believe in the birth of Christ, let’s just celebrate it and be grateful that someone has put up a nativity scene," Eddie wrote.

Some said Ms Blandthorn was "grandstanding" and questioned if MPs should be allowed to erect nativity scenes at all, considering the multicultural electorates they represent.

"What is relevant here is simply that a Labor MP has deliberately done this to get a negative reaction from people and I suspect to try and prove a point," Leslie wrote.

Jason wondered: "Should politicians be putting nativity scenes in their office windows? I think this might be a broader issue to talk about."

Paul thought Jesus had "blond hair and blue eyes".  "You’re in good company Paul, so did Michelangelo and Da Vinci," John replied.

Guy said readers were creating an "incredible amount of fuss over the accuracy of a depiction of... a fictional character! Lol."

Yesterday, Ms Blandthorn told Leader she wanted to present a "multicultural" nativity scene in keeping with her diverse community it Pascoe Vale.

"Some people have suggested it wasn’t appropriate because it was dark-skinned, but my view is it’s more historically accurate given the part of the world in which the nativity happened," she said.

Ms Blandthorn said people were free to represent the nativity how they wished. "I’ve got a Mexican nativity set at home, which has dark-skinned llamas," she said.  "Culturally, people represent the nativity in ways that mean something to them."

Maria, who didn’t want her surname published, said she felt using the black baby was "changing what Jesus was".  "I’m not saying he would have been blue-eyed and blonde, but I don’t think he would have been that black either," she said.

"It sounds like I’m being racist but I’m not. I’m Italian, I was born here, and I used to get called a dago — I don’t like racism.

"All I can say is that he can’t have been black because that’s then going into Africa."

The Archdiocesan Vicar General Monsignor Greg Bennett said Jesus was Jewish, "and we can presume his appearance would have reflected the people of the Middle East".

"However, throughout the centuries, the images of the Holy Family in art, sculpture and windows have reflected the diverse cultures of the world and therefore the depictions of the Holy Family have reflected this reality," Monsignor Bennett said.

"Jesus was born for all people — all nations — in history for history."


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