God the Father takes a selfie 8

For a bit of fun on a Sunday –

We quote two articles from Inside Edition.

First:

God

What does God look like to you? That was the question raised by a University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill study assessing America’s take on the Christian creator.

Their conclusion: God is an average white guy, according to the majority of 511 people, 74 percent of whom were Caucasian.

Participants were shown hundreds of randomly varying face-pairs and were tasked with selecting the face from each pair that looked more like their vision of God …

Researchers combined all the selected faces to assemble a composite “face of God”, the site says. The composite appears average-looking and white, with twinkling eyes.

The study found that some black Americans polled also saw God as a white male, though not all of them.

“People’s tendency to believe in a God that looks like them is consistent with an egocentric bias,” Professor Kurt Gray, a senior author told the College of Arts & Sciences’ site. “People often project their beliefs and traits onto others, and our study shows that God’s appearance is no different — people believe in a God who not only thinks like them, but also looks like them.”

God was also perceived differently down ideological lines.

While liberals tended to see God as more feminine, younger and more loving, conservatives saw God as more Caucasian and more powerful-looking.

Next (but with an illustration of our choosing):

 

God’s son Jesus

What did Jesus Christ really look like?

He has historically been portrayed as a light-skinned man with wavy brown hair down to his shoulders, with a full beard and moustache.

The look has been prominently featured in churches around the world and reinforced in classic Hollywood movies like King of Kings and The Passion of the Christ, as well as hit TV shows like The Bible.

Although the image can be traced back to the 3rd century, Dr. Tom Beaudoin, a professor of religion at Fordham University, explained the depiction is inaccurate.

“Jesus was modeled as a combination of a Greek god and a philosopher,” Beaudoin explained in an interview with Inside Edition.

He said many historians believe that the fair-skinned Jesus was actually inspired by the heir to the Borgia clan in Italy in the 15th century, Caesar Borgia. The Italian Cardinal was famed for his handsome features, and his father, Pope Alexander VI, commissioned Leonardo da Vinci to paint a portrait of Jesus modeled after his son.

But, citing historian Joan Taylor and her latest book, What Did Jesus Look Like?, Beaudoin speculated the real Jesus probably looked much different.

He said historians believe Jesus was much darker of skin, and stood at only 5 feet tall. He would have also worn his beard and hair short.

Instead of a long robe, Jesus likely wore a knee-length tunic with a short mantle or shawl, and wore leather sandals.

“He would have presented very typically, she argues, as a Jewish man of his day, which is quite different than how Jesus is often imagined in Christian churches today,” Beaudoin explained. “Think about Jewish people in Iraq today and this is how we should imagine Jesus. He would have looked like what we think of Middle Eastern presenting people today.”

Despite that characterization, Beaudoin speculates that the image of a light-skinned Jesus persisted to reflect the demographics of some churches in the United States.

“It reflects the whiteness of Christianity in the United States,” Beaudoin said. “We tend to have a very white Jesus in the United States, especially in white churches.”

So to believers in an anthropomorphic universe-creator, God is no longer, or not so much, an old man with a white beard sitting on a cloud. Now he just looks like lots of guys. Not old. Clean shaven. Amiable. Ordinary.

A face snapped in many a selfie.  

And though his son Jesus is still most often depicted as a pretty youth with beautifully shining shampooed well-brushed hair (brown, reddish or blond), and matching neatly trimmed beard and mustache, some believers, in need of verisimilitude, prefer to imagine a Middle Eastern type of Jew in the period of the Emperor Tiberius. Such a one as we show above. A mature man. Only a stumpy five feet in height? If they say so. Hair? He might have worn the hair on his head short like a Roman, but his beard would have been full, at most lightly trimmed. Short tunic like a Roman, even though no longer a youth? Hmm. More likely a long garment with, yes, a mantle – like the pious man in the picture. Sandals, sure. But maybe boots in winter.

And after Jesus rose in the flesh to rule enthroned at the right hand of God in perfect harmony with the not-so-old man? What did he put on his body then? What garment, made of what heavenly cloth – or none? With what razor do they trim or shave their beards?

What air do those four nostrils breathe? What divine foods pass those lips, growing in what gardens or wandering in what forests, and gathered, hunted, cooked by what ethereal processes? Do they digest as we digest, only with unaging entrails and no requirement for sewers?  What immortal hands made their thrones? Their own, that made the planets and the stars? And do they sit there through all the ages, and after time eternally? Do those bodies need no exercise?

And what of the Holy Ghost? Has anyone done a study of how believers visualize him nowadays? Is he still a “he”? Is he still a white dove? White? Are you sure?

  • Guy Fawkes

    I just discovered this blog and saw this article on the side.

    God the Father is clearly Elon Musk. Explains a lot about God AND Elon.

  • Zerothruster

    OK !
    So now we know where our White Privilege comes from.

    • Jeanne

      Yeah…but where does Black privilege, Yellow privilege, Red privilege and Brown privilege come from? Why ever did darker-skinned slaves adopt the religion of their masters, whomever and wherever they were, so very, very throughly? No..don’t answer, too little space and it is obvious to atheists…just hard to believe they still fall for the nonsense.

  • Cogito

    But if cattle and
    horses or lions had hands, or were able to draw with their hands and do
    the work that men can do, horses would draw the forms of the gods like
    horses, and cattle like cattle, and they would make their bodies such as
    they each had themselves.

    Xenophanes
    Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/xenophanes_205160
    But if cattle and
    horses or lions had hands, or were able to draw with their hands and do
    the work that men can do, horses would draw the forms of the gods like
    horses, and cattle like cattle, and they would make their bodies such as
    they each had themselves.

    Xenophanes
    Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/xenophanes_205160

    • Jeanne

      Well..of course, each creates his or her god in his or her own image.

  • liz

    Ha! That portrait looks like John Lennon in a dress! Yes, so true that we project our own selves onto god. So he’s more a reflection of who we are than we of him. That doesn’t say much in favor of muslims, who created a murderous savage.

  • I thought God looked like George Burns?

  • It just goes to show that “God was created in our image.”