Saturday, January 14, 2006

Parker Again

If you have paid any attention at all to the politics of the past few years, you’ve noted that what people have written in the past doesn’t stay in the past. Thanks to the Internet, it’s still floating out there in cyberspace, waiting for someone to make an embarrassment out of it.

I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised, then, when a friend of a friend (etc.) passed another one of Kathleen Parker’s odd columns, from April 2001. Her piece is about a BBC reconstruction of how Jesus might have looked, as you’ll see on the right.

Who knew the kinds of things that spilled out of Kathleen Parker’s pen? “The willowy, long-haired figure who in picture books attracted children the way Cinderella drew flocks of bluebirds and singing rodents now looks like the kind of guy who wouldn't make it through airport security.”

And “It's hard to suddenly embrace some new dude who looks mostly like my proctologist's great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather after a visit to Carmen's Hair Salon and Spa. Or Charlie Manson's first cousin. Take your pick.”

Two thoughts this morning. First, there’s a wide tonal gulf between the CNN article and Ms. Parker’s. This is the problem with ad hominem rants that you publish: they return like those long-dead, revenge-seeking sailors in “The Fog.”

Second, when you’re too egocentric -
or ethnocentric - life is bound to fool you. It’s a shock to wander through European museums and realize that those larger-than-life knights in shining armor were, mostly, about a foot shorter than we are.

One legacy of Western Civilization: it is difficult for us to reconcile the idea that God made man in his own image with the recognition that humanity comes in so many different sizes, shapes, and colors. Perhaps Ms. Parker has never Googled “Black Jesus?”

Image © BBC. All rights reserved.

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