Just in time for Christmas, a progressive Christian church is asking — via billboard — for congregants and the public to consider “the sexual orientation of Jesus.”
The new billboard features the baby Jesus with a rainbow halo over his head and the caption, “It’s Christmas. Time for Jesus to come out.”
St Matthews-in-the-City of Auckland New Zealand announced they had raised their doctrine-challenging billboard Monday.
“Some scholars have tried to make the case that he might have been gay,” St. Matthew’s Rev. Clay Nelson said in a statement. “But it is all conjecture. Maybe gay, maybe not. Does it matter?”
Nelson’s counterpart, Rev. Glynn Cardy, implied that Jesus likely would have sided with the pro-gay marriage advocates in the debate on same-sex marriage.
“There is almost nothing in the record of his teachings about sexuality while there is plenty about the perils of being rich,” Gardy added. “Certainly he always supported the marginalized in society.”
St. Matthew’s has a history of posting controversial, publicity-seeking billboards around Christmas time. Last year the church offered a posting of the Virgin Mary holding a positive pregnancy test and covering her mouth.
In 2009 they offered passers by a billboard of Mary in bed with Joseph and the caption, “Poor Joseph. God was a hard act to follow.”
The church further boasts that their past stunts have garnered a lot of media attention — including last year 21 million Facebook visits, 30,000 page views on St Matthew’s website, and international media attention.