'Jesus was gay'! Church sparks outrage with claim son of God 'should come out'

Posted on 8:07 AM by Sameer Shah

It is the season of glad tidings and forgiveness. But many Christians living in Auckland, New Zealand, are struggling to find goodwill in their hearts for the latest in a series of controversial billboards coming out from the Church of St Matthew in the City. 'It's Christmas. Time for Jesus to come out', the sign proclaims, with an image of baby Jesus as a toddler in a manger, surrounded by a rainbow halo. The billboard was put up by the Reverend Glynn Cardy, who said it was meant to 'lift' the humanity of Jesus. But it is likely to face the same fate as last year's controversial poster - torn down by angry locals.

The Rev's message, while presented in a controversial manner, is to ask if it would change anything for the faithful if Jesus had been gay. He points out that there is no indication about Jesus's sexuality: 'The fact is we don't know what his sexual orientation was.'
This isn't the first time the church has erected a controversial billboard. Last year the church erected one showing the Virgin Mary looking shocked at the results of a pregnancy test. However it did not last long, after an angry protestor tore it down. But Cardy did not mind, especially as the image had already gone viral, seen by millions of people. He said: 'In the internet age though the image will be out there forever. They can do what they want to it.' On this year's billboard, Rev Cardy said that, as homosexuality was not a word until the 1800s, any mention of it in the Bible or other documents would have mistranslations. Fellow Reverend Clay Nelson said the billboard tries to humanise Jesus by getting people to think about the challenges he would have had growing up. He added: 'Some scholars have tried to make the case that he might have been gay. 'But it is all conjecture. Maybe gay, maybe not. Does it matter? 'There is almost nothing in the record of his teachings about sexuality while there is plenty about the perils of being rich. Certainly he always supported the marginalised in society.'
It is not the first time billboards have caused an outrage. In the UK, the gay lobby group Stonewall's bus poster campaign stating 'Some people are gay. Get over it' has raised debates over how far advertising should push a viewpoint. It has led to some controversy, including one Christian bus driver from Rotherham who left a bus-full of angry passengers waiting as he would not drive a bus with the banner on the side. Earlier this year, London Mayor Boris Johnson blocked a Christian group from running a 'Not gay and proud: Get over it' campaign on London buses.

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