You have to believe me. I really don’t look for these images. I’m exploring something completely different and “Bam!” there they are. But this one made me want to cry. Look closely… It’s President Bush’s face made up of a montage of images of Jesus!
What motivates someone to do this? I don’t know the context behind the image, so I don’t want to jump to conclusion or point fingers, especially when I know the state of my own heart. But I also know that many Christians sincerely believe that our current president is truly representing Jesus and his kingdom on earth. And this saddens me.
And it makes me think. When Jesus was crucified, it was on a political cross. In every crucifixion during that time, the wooden beams represented the Roman Empire. Jesus came face-to-face with the Roman Empire, symbolized by the cross and embodied in Caesar, and lost. Only failed Messiahs were crucified.
A picture like this makes me think that many well-meaning conservative Christians are re-crucifying Jesus on another political cross. But this one is more subversive. Better for his enemies to have nailed him to a tree and kill him in a few hours. Three days later, he’s back to inaugurate God’s New Creation. But now his friends are nailing him to bumper stickers, slogans, petitions and campaigns so that he’s kept barely alive, void of any power to confront and transform. At least through death he emerged into God’s resurrection. What happens when we keep him in a lingering vegetative state upon the cross of our politics, hanging between death and new life?