Mark Nixon on Thu, 7 Jan 1999 06:33:34 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Jesus sheds 'wimpish' persona in a revolutionary makeover

Jesus sheds 'wimpish' persona in a revolutionary makeover 

By Amelia Gentleman
Wednesday January 6, 1999
The Guardian

After almost 2,000 years, advertising executives have decided the
traditional image of Jesus has become stale. In a poster campaign launched
yesterday they have given him a radical makeover, dispensing with his
"dreary, wimpish" Sunday school persona and recasting him in the mould of a
revolutionary communist icon. 

The new-look Jesus is modelled on the classic image of Che Guevara, adorned
with a crown of thorns, under the headline "Meek. Mild. As if."

Rev Tom Ambrose, of the Churches in Advertising Network, said the campaign
was meant to be challenging. "We want people to realise that Jesus is not a
wimp in a white nightie or someone who is a bit of a walkover, but a
strong, revolutionary figure."

Designed to attract new audiences for Easter services, the advertisement is
the creation of Christians in Media - a group of volunteers who donate
their advertising skills free - which is noted for its shock tactics. 

The Rev Peter Owen-Jones, who used to work in advertising, stressed: "We
are not saying that Jesus was a communist, but that he was a revolutionary." 

This argument, however, failed to persuade many prominent Christians.

Harry Greenway, sponsor of the Conservative Christian Fellowship, described
the poster as "grossly sacrilegious", while former Tory Home Office
minister Ann Widdecombe MP, commented: "As far as this poster goes, we
should be modelling ourselves on Christ, not modelling Christ on us."

 Copyright Guardian Media Group plc. 1999 
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