Christian University Showcases Art Depicting a 'Gay' Jesus

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Was Jesus gay?

A recent college art piece asked that very question. And it appears to have leaned toward answering with “yes.”

Atlanta’s Emory University recently held an art show. In an April 27th Instagram entry, the school advertised its Senior Capstone Showcase:


We are excited to host the Emory Integrated Visual Arts Co-Major: Senior Capstone Showcase! The opening reception is tonight from 5-7pm on the second floor of the ESC. Come on out for snacks and art. Bring your friends!

“If you miss the event,” the post promised, “you can still see several of the pieces through Commencement weekend.”

Curiously included in the show: a self-portrait by graduate Tommy Greenler.

As reported by Campus Reform, a photo of Tommy hanging from the cross, dressed as the Son of God — and labeled “Nailed to Sin” — was captioned as follows:

Jesus Christ is probably the most famous person to have ever lived. Over the last 2000 years, the mythology surrounding his life has developed into the world’s most practiced religion, with over 2 billion followers today. The legend of Jesus’ life is more important to most Christians than the actual life of the historical figure, which is furthered by a lack of reliable recorded history. Raised in a progressive Christian church, I often found myself questioning the biblical depiction of Jesus, wondering what parts of his story were left untold. Why did he spend much of his adult life living with 12 male admirers? Why was John the only disciple present at the Crucifixion, when many gospels confirm that Jesus loved him in a special way? My faith community was accepting of my gay identity, but vocal condemnation from many Christian institutions was ever present. If the common assertion by many Christians that Jesus sacrificed himself to relieve humans of our sins was true, then why was my sexual identity considered especially offensive, even unforgivable? In this photograph, I cast myself as Jesus in a historically inaccurate depiction (I am white, like Jesus is often incorrectly depicted) of the Crucifixion. I hope that viewers will find this photograph confrontational, as I have had to confront being called a sinner my whole life for something I believe that Jesus of Nazareth and I may have had in common.


The inclusion of such a piece in the school-sponsored art show may strike some as surprising, as Emory is a Christian college. The institution is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

Then again, the UMC isn’t known for its traditionalism:

United Methodist Church Holds Drag Show to Protest Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Christian Church Leads Prayer to the ‘God of Pronouns,’ the ‘Great They/Them’ Who Breastfeeds

Christian Divinity School Recites Prayer to the ‘Great Queer One,’ Who’s a ‘Drag Queen and Trans Man’

Southern Baptist Seminary President Lambastes United Methodist Church Over Drag Queen Leader

Church Hosts ‘Pride’ Drag Show

Speaking of, Tommy himself part-times it as a queen. As I covered in November, Emory’s LGBTQUIA+ group, Emory Pride, held a drag show — its biggest yearly event.

A bit about the bunch from The Emory Wheel:

The Office of LGBT Life, founded in the fall of 1991, has used Emory Pride — an undergraduate LGBTQ and Ally organization — as the vessel through which the Office of LGBT Life connects to the student body. According to its mission statement, the club aims to foster a sense of community in which education and inclusiveness thrive. In a recent review from eCollegeFinder, Emory was named the “most LGBT-friendly school” in Georgia.


After the show, Instagram user “Pam.on.the.gram” — otherwise known as Tommy Greenler — sent out a thank you:

“Thank you @emorypride for booking me to host this amazing show for the third year in a row! It has been an absolute highlight of my time here in school. From my drag debut four years ago to now, I’ve really grown into myself as a queen, host, performer, and person. Proud of me, and forever grateful for the memories.”

Pam went on to note, “[T]here is something very subversive about hosting a drag show at a church, especially a Methodist church like Glenn Memorial.”

There’s also something subversive about a gay Jesus — although, that may be increasingly less true…



See more content from me:

New Zealand Proposes a Tax on Farts

Move Over, LGB: ‘Queer As Folk’ Gets a Reboot, and It’s Trendy to a ‘T’

Joy Behar Knows When Republicans Will Ban Guns: When Black People Finally Get Some

Find all my RedState work here.

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