Avowed Agnostic Draws Christ for New Millennium

One of the best-known Catholic publications in the country, the National Catholic Reporter, recently held a contest to update the image of Christ for the new millennium. Janet McKenzie, 51, of Island Pond, VT, a self-described "devout agnostic" with an interest in many faiths won the $2,000 first prize.

Using a woman as a model, she invented "Jesus of the People." However, she obviously failed to say which people or which Jesus she was attempting to depict. Even at a cursory glance, one will immediately see that it is not Jesus of Nazareth.

"My goal was to be as inclusive as possible. At first glance, he is a black or African-American Jesus, but looking more deeply you see the many people in it," McKenzie said.

The painting shows a robed and haloed Jesus. Against a pale pink background are a yin-yang symbol, taken from eastern religions to depict perfect balance, and a feather, symbolizing American Indian spirituality.

Michael Farrell, editor of the National Catholic Reporter, conceived the contest and had hoped it would produce a provocative winner. Well, mission accomplished.

The Jesus of the Bible can no more be found in this unbelieverís picture, than her Jesus can be found in Godís word. It is a shame when people who claim to love God and His Son think nothing of taking such liberties as to feminize Jesus and tie him with paganism and heathenism, which is nothing short of blasphemy.

God help us to fall in love with the Man of Galilee: the Jesus of the Bible, and let no pretender into our heart.