I remember growing up as a Catholic schoolgirl and seeing shining images of Jesus Christ ornately decorated on the stained glass windows, and in Bibles and hymnal books at obligatory mass. But even at the tender age of 5, something about the image of the blue-eyed, blonde haired man did not sit well with me.
Perhaps, because I am the daughter of an ex-Black panther who had Farrakhan and Isis Cress Welsing tapes playing in our home on any given day of the week, and a mother who always made sure I had Black dolls to play with that I’ve always had a healthy image of what my God looked like, and that undoubtedly was like me.
Naim Akbar, psychotherapist and author of Chains and Images of Psychological Slavery, remarks in his book that the healthy imagination conceives of God in their own image, and further, when we assign physical characteristics to a deity we internalize those images and thus if our features, our skin color, our hair, our very likeness is not that of the imagined God-figure, we consequently deem those who have similar characteristics to the deity as superior, and ourselves as inferior.
Dr. Akbar’s analysis, begs the question for Christians, who have been inundated with white Jesus images, whether we consciously or subconsciously see our savior as a dead White man.
Do you think these images have any bearing on how Christians view themselves, and consequently their life potential?
Do you think these images of Jesus are damaging, or is this debate simply pointless?