We know that journalism can impact attitudes and action. But it's rare to get concrete proof of that, as I did recently after publishing a blog post about the anti-Semitic content of traditional Good Friday performances of Passion plays and Passion musical compositions, many dating back to the Middle Ages.
Jesus arrives as a gay man of today in a modern city with "The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision," a controversial series of paintings. The paintings and the new book that I wrote about them have been attacked as blasphemy by conservative Christians. But we refuse to concede Jesus to those who act like they own the copyright on Christ, then use him as a weapon to dominate others.
The early Jesus movement was almost broken by an ancient, distant parallel to Ferguson or Staten Island. From the vantage point of the Roman Empire, Jesus was seen as a member of a notoriously troublesome and rebellious group. In this way, the historical Jesus was an ancient counterpart to a black man in white America.