Via reader Rob Harries, an article claiming Jesus was sexually abused:
The idea that Jesus himself experienced sexual abuse may seem strange or shocking at first, but crucifixion was a “supreme punishment” and the stripping and exposure of victims was not an accidental or incidental element. It was a deliberate action that the Romans used to humiliate and degrade those they wished to punish. It meant that the crucifixion was more than just physical, it was also a devastating emotional and psychological punishment.
Right, but where was the sexual abuse? I mean, if the Romans had set out to sexually abuse the Son of God, they would have done something which everyone would recognise as such, and not nail him to a cross and rely on some dingbat academics to interpret it two millenia later. It’s not like the Romans lacked imagination when it came to cruel and unusual punishments, is it?
The convention in Christian art of covering Christ’s nakedness on the cross with a loincloth is perhaps an understandable response to the intended indignity of Roman crucifixion. But this should not prevent us from recognising that the historical reality would have been very different.
Very different? Will this be the plot of the next Dan Brown thriller?
“Renkowned undergarment expert Robert Langdon uncovers a terrible truth the Vatican have kept secret for centuries when he stumbles upon a skid-marked loincloth buried in the basement of the Louvre that he can prove was torn from Jesus moments before he was crucified.”
I’m getting good at this blurb writing, aren’t I?
This is not just a matter of correcting the historical record. If Jesus is named as a victim of sexual abuse it could make a huge difference to how the churches engage with movements like #MeToo, and how they promote change in wider society. This could contribute significantly to positive change in many countries, and especially in societies where the majority of people identify as Christian.
Ah. This is all about bashing Christians who aren’t woke enough. But just Christians, though. Yeah, because they’re the ones who keep turning up in courtrooms charged with rape and sexual assault.
Some sceptics might respond that stripping a prisoner might be a form of violence or abuse, but it is misleading to call this “sexual violence” or “sexual abuse”. Yet if the purpose was to humiliate the captive and expose him to mockery by others, and if the stripping is done against his will and as a way to shame him in public, then recognising it as a form of sexual violence or sexual abuse seems entirely justified.
Perhaps, but I’m confident not even the most miserable medieval peasant was ever tortured as much as this argument.
The scene highlights the vulnerability of the naked prisoner who is stripped and exposed in front of the assembled ranks of hostile Roman soldiers.
Those Romans who were famous for their communal baths and shithouses?
The scene also hints at the possibility of even greater sexualised violence which might be in store.
The authors’ argument for overturning centuries of Christian thought is based on what is hinted at in an episode of a TV series.
Analysis of the gendering of nakedness by Margaret R. Miles demonstrates that we view male and female nakedness differently.
As Patricia Arquette allegedly said: “Things you’ll never hear a woman say: ‘My, what an attractive scrotum!’”
Some present day Christians are still reluctant to accept that Jesus was a victim of sexual violence and seem to consider sexual abuse as an exclusively female experience.
The sexual abuse of Jesus is a missing part of Passion and Easter story retellings.
Rather than trying to convince people that Jesus was sexually abused in the absence of any biblical or historical evidence, these academics might want to look at what the Bible has to say about hubris and conceit.