Monday, June 16, 2008
Have you ever seen the penis of Jesus? I mean the grown-up Jesus, not just the babe sitting on his mother's lap? Well here it is in all its Byzantine glory in a Ravenna baptestry built by Arian bishops, the forefathers of Unitarianism.
The Arians believed in Jesus the man, hence his reproductive organs, and rejected the Trinity. They prospered throughout Eastern Europe and Germany until being finally eliminated as a meaningful force by Orthodox Christians in the 6th and 7th Centuries, but clearly their influence lived on to inspire the founders of modern Unitarianism in Poland and the Czech Republic in the 15th and 16th Centuries.
That wonderful mosaic - Jesus with a penis! - is still radical after all these years. Jesus the man. The potential for each and every one of us to experience the divine within, to challenge the accepted order in the name of love. That's why Jesus was crucified and why the Christian church - which became part of the very order he challenged - has gone after Unitarianism ever since.