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Statue Of A Homeless Jesus Startles A Wealthy Community [NPR goes for class warfare]
NPR ^ | April 13, 2014 | John Burnett

Posted on 04/13/2014 11:32:14 AM PDT by Alter Kaker

A new religious statue in the town of Davidson, N.C., is unlike anything you might see in church.

The statue depicts Jesus as a vagrant sleeping on a park bench. St. Alban's Episcopal Church installed the homeless Jesus statue on its property in the middle of an upscale neighborhood filled with well-kept townhomes.

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."

That's right. Somebody called the cops on Jesus.

"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 felt it was an insulting depiction of the Son of God, and what appears to be a hobo curled up on a bench demeans the neighborhood.

The bronze statue was purchased for $22,000 as a memorial for a parishioner, Kate McIntyre, who had loved public art. The rector of this liberal, inclusive church is Rev. David Buck, a 65-year-old Baptist-turned-Episcopalian who seems not at all averse to the controversy, the double-takes and the discussion the statue has provoked.

"It gives authenticity to our church," he says. "This is a relatively affluent church, to be honest, and we need to be reminded ourselves that our faith expresses itself in active concern for the marginalized of society."

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."

This lakeside college town north of Charlotte has the first Jesus the Homeless statue on display in the United States. Catholic Charities of Chicago plans to install its statue when the weather warms up. The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., is said to be interested in one, too.

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."

He says he offered the first casts to St. Michael's Cathedral in Toronto and St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. Both declined.

A spokesman at St. Michael's says appreciation of the statue "was not unanimous," and the church was being restored so a new work of art was out of the question. That statue found a home in front of the Jesuit School of Theology at the University of Toronto.

A spokesperson at St. Patrick's in New York says they liked the homeless Jesus, but their cathedral is also being renovated and they had to turn it down.

The most high-profile installation of the bronze Jesus on a park bench will be on the Via della Conziliazione, the avenue leading to St. Peter's Basilica — if the City of Rome approves it. Schmalz traveled to the Vatican last November to present a miniature to the pope himself.

"He walked over to the sculpture, and it was just chilling because he touched the knee of the Jesus the Homeless sculpture, and closed his eyes and prayed," Schmalz says. "It was like, that's what he's doing throughout the whole world: Pope Francis is reaching out to the marginalized."

Back at St. Alban's in Davidson, the rector reports that the Jesus the Homeless statue has earned more followers than detractors. It is now common, he says, to see people come, sit on the bench, rest their hand on the bronze feet and pray.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: North Carolina
KEYWORDS: classwarfare; homeless; jesus; revisionisthistory; waronchristianity
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1 posted on 04/13/2014 11:32:14 AM PDT by Alter Kaker
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To: Alter Kaker

Other than lining the pockets of the sculptor what,exactly, do they think this is going to accomplish?

.


2 posted on 04/13/2014 11:36:54 AM PDT by Mears
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To: Alter Kaker
iirc Jesus WAS homeless...
3 posted on 04/13/2014 11:37:04 AM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: Alter Kaker

They can go to any major city and see homeless people. Why pay $22,000 for a fake one.

Heck, for a couple hundred they could rent a bus and bring fifty homeless people right to their own town square and enjoy the real thing.


4 posted on 04/13/2014 11:37:22 AM PDT by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: Alter Kaker

Jesus was poor, not destitute. He was itinerant, not homeless. He was a God, come among us, not a sinful human.


5 posted on 04/13/2014 11:38:09 AM PDT by amihow
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To: Chode

He was only homeless because he left his home to preach. He was a skilled laborer in Nazareth prior to his public ministry.


6 posted on 04/13/2014 11:38:30 AM PDT by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: Alter Kaker

this is very silly - especially since the resurrected Jesus is depicted.


7 posted on 04/13/2014 11:39:37 AM PDT by jtal (Runnin' a World in Need with White Folks' Greed - since 1492)
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To: Alter Kaker
Seeing Jesus as a humble man who denied himself of worldly comforts is a good thing.

But trying to align the character of Jesus with the common day bum is wrong.

Bums who come off the streets, drugs and alcohol...and who also find Jesus...do not inhabit park benches.

8 posted on 04/13/2014 11:41:00 AM PDT by Awgie (truth is always stranger than fiction)
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To: Alter Kaker

That theme has been done before that I have seen, not in a statue but in a prayerbook where they might show someone poor and say “Jesus Falls the First Time” as in going up Calvary. I do believe that we are commanded to love the least of our brothers and in reason I try to do that. That doesn’t mean to let people off the hook for fallen lifestyles. Some of your homeless perhaps can’t help themselves.


9 posted on 04/13/2014 11:41:37 AM PDT by BeadCounter (Without the C, there is no need for the Coexist bumpersticker.)
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To: Alter Kaker

Carpenters I. Those days are solid middle class and donkeys were for the wealthy elite


10 posted on 04/13/2014 11:41:47 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: Jim from C-Town

Why not use the $22,000 to feed the homeless? It’s telling that political points score higher on the charity scale for this church than real people do.


11 posted on 04/13/2014 11:46:29 AM PDT by DPMD
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To: Jim from C-Town
that's my point... he was traveling and spreading the word of his Father for most of his life so i fail to see what point they are trying to make, i guess there isn't one, especially if it is supposed to be POST crucifixion, then he did have a home, and went there
12 posted on 04/13/2014 11:46:59 AM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: Alter Kaker

Jesus was a carpenter, not an envious, lazy, taker, nor a mentally disabled person, nor someone with a dysfunctional immediate and extended family, and he and His family had many good and societally functional friends who would have given Him work to do to earn His keep if He weren’t capable, but He was a capable, competent, perhaps excellent carpenter because Joseph, his mentor, and foster father, would have taught Him very well, not only to be a carpenter but to manage His resources.

THis is class envy and complete ignorance. And, BTW, envy is a deadly sin - Every time, not just under certain circumstances. Envy causes death. It causes inc\action and lack of resources.


13 posted on 04/13/2014 11:48:02 AM PDT by stanne
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To: Alter Kaker
Jesus gave His life for the world and gave the ultimate. There are ways of giving that do not involve money and giving can take place in such ways as:

Giving of one's time.

Giving of one's talent.

Serving the elderly.

Doing any kind of good deed for another.

Praying for others.

Visiting the sick.

Visiting prisoners.

Doing work for others for free.

Giving food.

Giving clothing.

And the ways in which people can give are endless. Most often people think in terms of giving money as if giving money is a form of "Holiness". Having compassion for other human beings is a vital part of following Jesus Christ and Christ had this to say in Matthew 25: "Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was hungry, and you gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you clothed Me: I was sick, and you visited Me: I was in prison, and You came unto Me.

Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we you hungry, and fed you? or thirsty, and gave you drink? When saw we you a stranger, and took you in? or naked, and clothed you? Or when saw we you sick, or in prison, and came unto you?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto Me."
14 posted on 04/13/2014 11:48:09 AM PDT by Dallas59 ("Remember me as you pass by, As you are now, so once was I, As I am now, so you will be," -Epitap)
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To: amihow

He was A God??


15 posted on 04/13/2014 11:48:24 AM PDT by 353FMG
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To: Alter Kaker

Jesus didn’t beg for money.


16 posted on 04/13/2014 11:49:43 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (The new witchhunt: "Do you NOW, . . . or have you EVER , . . supported traditional marriage?")
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To: Alter Kaker

Too bad it wasn’t a homeless Mohammed


17 posted on 04/13/2014 11:49:46 AM PDT by AppyPappy
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To: stanne
THis is class envy and complete ignorance. And, BTW, envy is a deadly sin

Probably the most deadly one of all......100 million deaths in the 20th Century from Communism is proof.

18 posted on 04/13/2014 11:50:02 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Alter Kaker

I’ll bet that church never put up a Christmas creche there.


19 posted on 04/13/2014 11:50:50 AM PDT by AU72
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To: DPMD

“Why not use the $22,000 to feed the homeless?”

Uh, because when you “feed” homeless, they are hungry again. I am not justifying how $22K is spent, but feeding homeless and other wealth re-distribution schemes are liberal masturbatory hallucinations.


20 posted on 04/13/2014 11:56:23 AM PDT by sagar
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To: Alter Kaker

This statue tries to depict the adage that is at the heart of Christianity “ whatever you do for the least of my brethren, you do for me”. That is you find Jesus when you notice the homeless, the poor the hungry or the depraved. The big argument is just how do you best help the less fortunate. IMHO productive capitalism with a human face is best. Socialism leads to miserable poverty and a loss of liberty. With that Happy Palm Sunday to all Freepers!


21 posted on 04/13/2014 11:56:45 AM PDT by allendale
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To: Alter Kaker
Jesus is huddled under a blanket with his face and hands obscured; only the crucifixion wounds on his uncovered feet give him away.

...

Catholic Charities of Chicago plans to install its statue when the weather warms up.

Oh, beautiful irony.

22 posted on 04/13/2014 11:56:53 AM PDT by Pan_Yan
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To: Alter Kaker
One of the very great dangers of churches demanding tithes is the accompanying perceived threat or fear that acceptance by God depends on the amount of money given. That acceptance is something money cannot buy. Often pastors of churches who tithe are very wealthy people - at the expense of their congregations, yet they often claim that they are wealthy because they have been blessed by God! Yet Paul could say, "I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well......I have not been a burden to you." (2 Corinthians 12:16).



6:1 “Be 1 careful not to display your righteousness merely to be seen by people. 2 Otherwise you have no reward with your Father in heaven. 6:2 Thus whenever you do charitable giving, 3 do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in synagogues 4 and on streets so that people will praise them. I tell you the truth, 5 they have their reward. 6:3 But when you do your giving, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 6:4 so that your gift may be in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.
23 posted on 04/13/2014 11:57:25 AM PDT by Dallas59 ("Remember me as you pass by, As you are now, so once was I, As I am now, so you will be," -Epitap)
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To: DPMD

“Why not use the $22,000 to feed the homeless? It’s telling that political points score higher on the charity scale for this church than real people do.”

Homeless advocacy is pure politics and envy.

I am however glad to see that all homeless-cardboard-sign-toating-busy-intersection-entrepeneurs are also fellow believers...Everyone of them offers a “God Bless” as part of their sales pitch.


24 posted on 04/13/2014 11:57:54 AM PDT by Awgie (truth is always stranger than fiction)
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To: shibumi

“Jesus slept” ping.


25 posted on 04/13/2014 11:58:27 AM PDT by Salamander (Agent Of Fortune)
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To: 353FMG

THE God.

;]


26 posted on 04/13/2014 11:59:06 AM PDT by Salamander (Agent Of Fortune)
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27 posted on 04/13/2014 12:02:12 PM PDT by Pan_Yan
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To: Alter Kaker

Oh, NOW NPR believes in Jesus.


28 posted on 04/13/2014 12:03:02 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Alter Kaker

Sorry, that is very creepy. It reminds me of the “Ghost of Christmas yet to come” from the Mr. Magoo version of “A Christmas Carol”. That scared the heck out of me when I was a kid.


29 posted on 04/13/2014 12:06:49 PM PDT by jocon307
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To: Alter Kaker

Matthew 8:20 —> And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”


30 posted on 04/13/2014 12:08:22 PM PDT by Former Fetus (Saved by grace through faith)
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To: Alter Kaker

Jesus wasn’t homeless.


31 posted on 04/13/2014 12:08:56 PM PDT by svcw (Not 'hope and change' but 'dopes in chains')
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To: dfwgator
I wonder what the Islamic analog of "Jesus as Homeless park bench snoozer" would be?

Where is the public art that uses Mohammad to make a Leftist political point?

I wonder what that would look like?

I wonder how long it would be before the “artist” was found separated from his/hers/its head

32 posted on 04/13/2014 12:12:14 PM PDT by Awgie (truth is always stranger than fiction)
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To: Alter Kaker
The 'homeless' as shown on many TV investigatives reports show people raking in the cash. Then there's the 'homeless' industry... taking in enough money for everyone of these poeple to be given a home...

Being homeless pays better than minimum wage - then there's extra benefits.

I just don't think of Jesus as being a con artist...preying on the good will of suckers.

33 posted on 04/13/2014 12:17:05 PM PDT by GOPJ (MSNBC reporters couldn't spot a criminal if he was at the company Christmas party.)
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To: Alter Kaker
The 'homeless' as shown on many TV investigative reports show people raking in the cash. Then there's the 'homeless' industry... taking in enough money for everyone of these people to be given a home...

Being homeless pays better than minimum wage - then there's extra benefits.

I just don't think of Jesus as being a con artist...preying on the good will of suckers.

34 posted on 04/13/2014 12:18:42 PM PDT by GOPJ (MSNBC reporters couldn't spot a criminal if he was at the company Christmas party.)
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To: a fool in paradise
Jesus didn’t beg for money.

You sure? Also, last I checked His churches do each and every Sunday.

35 posted on 04/13/2014 12:20:47 PM PDT by Alter Kaker (Gravitation is a theory, not a fact. It should be approached with an open mind...)
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To: Mears

seeing the humanity and spark of divinity in the “untouchables”

the bums and winos you avert your eyes from when you walk past them

A good reminder of the humility chosen for the human life of Christ


36 posted on 04/13/2014 12:21:32 PM PDT by silverleaf (Age takes a toll: Please have exact change)
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To: svcw
Jesus wasn't homeless.

He wasn't?

And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. (Matthew 8:20)

37 posted on 04/13/2014 12:22:11 PM PDT by Alter Kaker (Gravitation is a theory, not a fact. It should be approached with an open mind...)
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To: Chode

And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”


38 posted on 04/13/2014 12:22:30 PM PDT by Jedidah
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To: amihow

I suppose to many folks Jesus looks cleaner and cuter wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger

Surrounded by farm animals.
Poor but not destitute?
At least there is a roof over his head and in the pictures, the stable is always clean and so are the onlookers


39 posted on 04/13/2014 12:29:43 PM PDT by silverleaf (Age takes a toll: Please have exact change)
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To: amihow

He ..IS.. ..THE.. God.

HE became flesh and dwelt among us.

Born to save us. Salvation through Jesus Christ - only!!


40 posted on 04/13/2014 12:40:59 PM PDT by ForYourChildren (Christian Education [ RomanRoadsMedia.com - a classical Christian approach to homeschool])
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To: Alter Kaker
How can this be? NPR judiciously avoids speaking of homelessness when a Democrat is President. They only discover it when there is a Republican President.

I guess Davidson, N.C. must be a hotbed of GOP/KKK activity... or something.

41 posted on 04/13/2014 12:51:36 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The best way to control opposition is to lead it ourselves." -- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin)
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To: Alter Kaker

Yeah, that’s real challenging and stuff.

The rich liberals who attend this church would probably pee in their pants if they actually had to deal with a homeless person.


42 posted on 04/13/2014 12:58:35 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: 353FMG

Yes. The one and only God.


43 posted on 04/13/2014 12:59:29 PM PDT by amihow
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To: Alter Kaker

My God came to save us all...


44 posted on 04/13/2014 1:02:52 PM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: Alter Kaker

Yeh, but He supports traditional marriage, and He surely opposes abortion and class envy. Let’s not pretend that lefties love Him because he was “homeless”, card-carrying liberal.


45 posted on 04/13/2014 1:17:44 PM PDT by windsorknot
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To: Alter Kaker

Wouldn’t a statue of Lazarus the beggar be more appropriate?


46 posted on 04/13/2014 1:40:55 PM PDT by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: stanne

I volunteer with the Matthew 25 ministry in SC. I can tell you we have quite a few EMPLOYED homeless who are not on drugs and not addicted to alcohol. They are victims of the Obama economy and they know it.


47 posted on 04/13/2014 1:42:27 PM PDT by ruesrose (The Anchor Holds)
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To: allendale
That is you find Jesus when you notice the homeless, the poor the hungry or the depraved.

That's how I interpret it. Mother Teresa said the poor are "Christ in distressing disguise," and she didn't add, "As long as they never made a wrong choice in life and it's totally not their fault that they're dying in the street."

It's not my role to judge what the church members in Davidson think, nor what any passing viewer thinks. If I see it - and I may, we go to Davidson every year or so - I will think of "You did it to Me."

48 posted on 04/13/2014 1:49:05 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Entropy is high. Wear a hat!)
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To: sagar

In the Old Testament the farmers were to let the poor pick up whatever was left over in the field, but they had to get up and get it.


49 posted on 04/13/2014 1:52:05 PM PDT by huldah1776
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To: Alter Kaker

Back during the Clinton Regime, Slick Willy gave a speech at the dedication of the national Christmas tree.

On that occasion, he stated the Jesus’ family was homeless because they didn’t have any place to stay, and had to sleep in a barn.

I guess Slick forgot about the taxation issue, which is why they were in Bethlehem in the first place.


50 posted on 04/13/2014 1:52:20 PM PDT by Fresh Wind (The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.)
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