borgia-christ

Is this Jesus? Or is it not?

I found this on the internet (where else) and besides my amusement, I was genuinely curious and looked it up and it actually seems not too far fetched!
Plus you gotta admit, Cesare looks a lot more like this quintessential image than what the actual Jesus would have looked like – i.e., more like this image below if one uses logic and reason to trace his likely features given time and place. Even if one allows for him having more distinct features than his biological peers, it’s borderline impossible that he’d have looked like the wavy-haired, nigh porcelain-white trim-bearded pretty boy that so many adorn their walls with – he’d have looked more like a hippy because they didn’t exactly give a crap about trimming beards and cropping them close and styling hair and shit back then and definitely not the down-to-earth crowd that Jesus would have surrounded himself with.. but I’m getting off track.

For your information:

Cesareborgia
Portrait of a Cesare… looks pretty Jesus-ish!

Cesare Borgia was an Italian nobleman, politician and cardinal (at age 18 by the way, when his daddy-o became pope! hooray nepotism!), whose fight for power was a major inspiration for The Prince by Machiavelli. A book that was explained as follows:

The descriptions within The Prince have the general theme of accepting that the aims of princes—such as glory and survival—can justify the use of immoral means to achieve those ends

He was the illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI (1492–1503) and his long-term mistress – this Pope also being the man some may know from the TV show The Borgia’s and he was quite a dude… his successor said the following about him:

“I will not live in the same rooms as the Borgias lived. He desecrated the Holy Church as none before. He usurped the papal power by the devil’s aid, and I forbid under the pain of excommunication anyone to speak or think of Borgia again. His name and memory must be forgotten. It must be crossed out of every document and memorial. His reign must be obliterated. All paintings made of the Borgias or for them must be covered over with black crepe…”

Those quarters remained sealed till the 19th century by the way. That’s how long people were a little freaked out by these people. But interestingly he wasn’t a terrible monster either, he was kind to Jew refugees, was a patron of arts and theatre, was sort of open-minded unlike the anal-retentive standards of the day and so I take any condemnation of him with a pinch of salt. Maybe he was more “Machiavellian” than pious and was definitely a libertine so I can see how the uptight douche-bags who were otherwise would have reviled someone like him trying to reform and tighten up the church, go easy on non-conformists and rein in church-power.

And of course his sister was the infamous and much-overused in pop-cultural fiction, Lucrezia Borgia – she of the several husbands, thirst for power and supposed love of poisoning including reputedly a hollow ring to dispense the same.

Basically this is me wondering why Christians persist in using a false image of their “lord” and idol and all that – besides the already obvious choice to use a wierdly version of him in general anyway.

Then again, over time religious people make less and less sense to me – more specifically the hardcore ones that don’t budge on anything ever and love being on the offense against everyone that isn’t, well, them.


 

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4 thoughts on “Is this Jesus? Or is it not?

  1. Interesting. Personally, I think the “white washing” of Jesus is the white man propensity for making things in their image that fit their understanding. Many know it’s not possible for Jesus to look that way from a purely historical standpoint, but it’s the image that’s persisted and believed. It’s also easy as a person of color to be detached from the Jesus of today because the white washed Jesus has no idea what it means to be anything except a white man against abortion and gays. Not exactly relatable.

    1. That part is definitely true – though at the time it was done by European caucasians. In part I imagine because as the new religion grew, they needed to find a way to adapt to it before it grew too far, as with Constantine the Roman Emperor who was the first such to become a Christian and try and make people more tolerant of it and integrate it. Over time, more and more things got adapted, like the fairly well known ones about adapated festivals/pagan customs like Saturnalia-Christmas, Halloween and so on.
      Sadly while you’re partly right about it maybe bein easier to not connect to the “white” jesus as a non-white person, the indoctrination and influence that the religion has and the dogmatic faith it draws from believers of so many races is not to be under-estimated. If one looks at the Christians in places like South America and even the Black communities in many parts of the U.S (there was some real reason the pop-culture cliches of African American churches came about), the church and “white jesus” such as he is, still hold tremendous sway.
      That said, I think the most recent generations have a different view and like yourself are not so easily unquestioning believers and in fact are more and more moving to either being spiritualists without denomination per-se/agnostic or exploring religions or simply going atheist.

      1. I’m not so much without faith or questioning it. I just try not to consider Jesus as a certain color. Faith for me and belief in God runs deeper than that, as it should

      2. Kind of what I meant, with the younger generations in recent years, there are still many fundie-types who refuse to hear any contradiction or question against their faith, but more and more people are comfortable to see it as you do where the ideals are the important thing and not the specific imagery and rhetoric – and by the same token, more people willing to admit they have a faith but it is not tied to any specific organised religion and many like me who are largely atheistic by nature but not rabidly so, though there are those too! 😀

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