By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN
(CNN)–Sebastian Errazuriz has used art to take on an array of issues: New York's death rate, the Occupy movement, military suicide, children with disabilities, the brutal reign of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. Now, the Brooklyn-based artist is taking aim at what he sees as religious extremism.
At a party this weekend celebrating New York Design Week, which begins today, the Chilean-born artist plans to hand out 100 "Christian Popsicles" made of "frozen holy wine transformed into the blood of Christ" and featuring a crucifix instead of the tongue depressor that typically hosts the frozen treats, he said.
An image of Jesus Christ positioned traditionally on the cross is visible once the ice pop is consumed. As for the frozen wine, Errazuriz said, he concealed it in a cooler and took it into a church, where it was "inadvertently blessed by the priest while turning wine into the blood of Christ during the Eucharist."
Errazuriz will hand out the wine creations on Saturday at Gallery R'Pure in Manhattan's Flatiron District before the "Love It or Leave it" exhibit.
According to Gallery R'Pure, 10 artists are taking part in the exhibit, which asks attendees "to revisit the objects and symbols that have forged the American landscape through the eyes of their creators."
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"Each piece is a personal interpretation of some aspect of American life, be it celebratory, critical or simply observational. The exhibition intends to question what the American life is, whether real or perceived," according to a news release from the gallery.
Other installments include a briefcase used to address obesity in America, a white picket fence intended as a statement on the American Dream and a "MTA chair" representing the loss of New York's old wooden subway benches.
While many of the pieces are provocative, none is quite so controversial as Jesus on a Popsicle stick. No stranger to controversy, Errazuriz said his intention isn't to upset people.
"It's not that I purposely want to get in trouble. I just believe if you are not doing work that can make people stop, think and discuss, then it's better not to make any work at all," he said.
Once consumed, the Popsicle features Jesus positioned traditionally on the cross.
Raised in a Catholic household, Errazuriz is now a "practicing atheist," but he has many friends and family members who are religious, and he respects their beliefs. He has always been vexed by religion, however, particularly the practitioners who wish to force their beliefs on others.
"(I'm) more than happy to recommend that thinking for ourselves and questioning the realities we received from previous generations can be incredibly liberating," he said.
Today, he feels that America is growing more extreme in its dogma, which is "holding a growing influence over American politics." He is especially unnerved by demands that U.S. leaders "publicly profess their faith in their god and enforce laws that defend the ideology of the Bible over individual liberties," he said.
His frozen cocktails stand as a symbol, he said, an invitation to "drink the Kool-Aid" that he feels so many religious zealots are stirring up. He hopes the Popsicles will remind the gallery's visitors to take their religions - whatever they may be - a little less seriously.
The United States is "rightly worried" about the threat of Islamic fanaticism, but Errazuriz wants to remind people that extremism is never acceptable, regardless of religion.
"In the land of the free, it's everyone's responsibility to make sure no one will ever force their beliefs on to others," Errazuriz said.
He pointed to the Ku Klux Klan, which decades ago was "a functioning, dominant political force in American society which identified (itself) as a Christian organization, carrying out ‘God’s work,’ branding the flaming cross as (its) symbol," he said.
Errazuriz wants his "Christian Popsicles," which will be stained red by the wine after their consumption, to signify the relationship between fanaticism and historic religious violence.
He also has hopes that the sticks "will prove Christians can take a little humor and irony - always a healthy indicator that might be harder to find amongst religious fanatics of other religions."
I bet he'd think it was art to if I punched him in the nose
From a Catholic theological perspective, the wine is not "holy" because the Priest never had the intent to transubstantiate it. It's just frozen wine. He might be a "practicing atheist," but I hope he practices atheism more than he practiced Catholicism, or else he'd know that the Priest must have the intent to transubstantiate the wine for it to be confected as the the blood of Christ. As a Catholic under penalty of automatic excommunication, he knows little about the Catholic faith. Basically he's a disgruntled moron.
I like how all of that matters, and stuff, but it's nothing more than silly empty rituals so what does it matter anyhow?
If someone takes a pancake and says some words over it and then claims the pancake is now the body of Elvis we would think he is nuts.
If a christian does something similar we call them Catholic.
I understand you don't agree with his perception of Catholicism but for you to call him a moron is more than ironic, it is ridiculous.
What blood type would that magically "confected " blood be? I'm sure everyone, including the Vatican, would be interested in knowing the blood type of Jesus. Has anyone ever done before and after DNA studies of the newly created blood? How does a new priest know if he can cut the, wine into blood, mustard without testing the final product? After all, he only believes he can make the wine/blood transformation because another human being told him he could. How about a little scientific scrutiny to settle this matter once and for all. Maybe the blood of Jesus doesn't contain a double helix, but it should at least have a single one.
@NM, No Truth, Woody, The first words of my post were "From a Catholic theological perspective." They were not trying to convince you of anything. If you didn't understand the first words of my post, you shouldn't have read any further. There was a time in this country when stupid people at least had enough common sense not to engage in conversation about things that were way above their heads. I suggest you revive that tradition.
Recovering Catholic here, 12 years of Catholic education, alter boy, College degree. Now an atheist. I understand perfectly what transubstantiation is and what your point is. My point stands that your belief that Priests have some kind of voo doo magical ability to change unleavened bread into Jesus is no less moronic than you thinking as an atheist he is concerned with wither the transubstantiation "counted" for his popsicles. He is doing this for effect. You have just decided that this doesn't count, the point is he doesn't think any of it counts. That is why for you to call him a 'moron' is irony at it's finest.
"There was a time in this country when stupid people at least had enough common sense not to engage in conversation about things that were way above their heads." – John
You are absolutely correct, John, magically transforming an alcoholic beverage into actual blood is WAY above my head. I'm sure it's also above the heads of every person of science on the planet. I'm certain every chemist and medical researcher would LOVE to understand the exact process that takes place during this alleged transformation. If this transformation actually occurs, the possibilities are endless. We could eliminate blood banks and the dangers of contaminated blood. Every ER and OR in every hospital in the world could just have a priest on duty with a couple of cases of Manischewitz (after all, Jesus was a Jew) and BINGO, no blood supply problem. Of course, being this is the blood of Jesus, it would be magically compatible with every blood type. The Catholic Church is very selfish for not sharing this miracle with all of humanity. What would Jesus do?
For all who keep wanting to know why Jesus/Christianity is criticized more than Mohammed/Islam:
I can't speak for the artist but American non-believers focus more of their attention on Christianity because it is Christians who are continually imposing their religion on US civil politics, laws, and society. America is not currently in danger of a Muslim political takeover; however, we are in the midst of ongoing attempts by evangelical Christians, and this is a very serious threat to our freedom (if you doubt that, please read the post by "seriously" below. It's not because anyone is afraid of Islamic response or afraid to depict Mohammed, it is because in reality it is Christians that pose the greater threat. That's why – got it?
Love it! Preach it, Mandarax :)
If christianity had the same impact on our society as Scientology (almost none) it would be ignored.
NTJC, we can only hope!
Furthermore, it is easy to do this kind of thing to christians, we just get upset, but you'll never see this artist deface Muhamed by painting his likeness in Kool-aid flavored water color for instance.
Who cares? Christians are the majority here in the States and that's where he's doing it.
Interesting. I don't mind that he made a popsicle of Jesus Christ to portray religious fanaticism but if he was so worried and truly wanted to make a point, why didn't he make one of Mohammed? That is the religion that is the most extreme in today's world. 1/5 of the world's population causing 2/3 of the conflicts in the world today. Out of roughly 40 million refugees and displaced people, 70% are muslims escaping regional or civll wars. Theo Van Gogh was stabbed in the chest for making a movie about Islam's treatment of women. Ayaan Hirsi Ali was next and only escaped because she had bodyguards. They routinely issue fatwas against individuals like Salman Rushdie and wants to take away the freedom of expression and speech from the western secular countries by threatening violence for any conceived 'offense' to their faith. Remember the Danish Cartoon debable?
In light of all this and considering the fact that Christanity is relatively tame, why would he choose to offend Christians instead of Muslims? Is it because he is fully aware that he won't be retaliated against physically? Is it because he is a moral coward that he avoids to criticize the real extremists and instead engage in circuitous routes to achieve his goal, knowing fully well he won't have to pay for his 'creativity'? Look, I ain't no Christian but this pick and choose of right to offend is dishonest and thus reflects poorly on his 'creativity'.
Relatively tame? You haven't read any Hitchens, have you :)
The question is there a God is one that can never be answered, proven or disproved. The correct question we should ask ourselves is, why do we believe there is a God and when I say we, I mean the general population that does believe, it is also a good question to ask, why do those who do not believe in God, not believe, is their reason for not believing in God any more or less logical then the reason for those who do believe in God. It is easy to be a lemming and blindly follow anything, it is easy to be a fool and denounce anything. Saying there is a God does not prove that God exists, just the same as saying that there is no God does not prove to be a fact. It is interesting to me to think that people have had God or Gods on their minds as far back as people can be traced, maybe it is all in our minds or maybe there is more to it. I have a feeling that there will be people worshipping God and Gods in five thousand years from now if there are still people around to do so, I also believe that the religions that are with us now will still be here then plus new ones, and some will fade away or disappear as they always have. Face it, God is not going away nor are those who believe in God. There will always be extremists of religion, people are basically the same as they have ever been, and nothing has really changed since the don of man, only our tools.
There is a third answer that most people ignore, "I don't know but I see no reason to act like there is a god until more than cultural myths are provided as evidence." I don't believe the Loch Ness monster exists but that does not mean I claim to know for sure.
If god can't be proven, why do sheep believe in him and try cramming him down other people's throats and preach hell and judge who they perceive to be sinners?
@ belky: Take anything else outside of religion that you think is "true" or "proven" and examine why you think so. It will be because you think the majority of evidence points to it. But, with religious fantasies, the adherents hysterically demand some sort of ultimate "proof" for their deity(ies)'s non-existence, while admitting, under duress, that they themselves can't "prove" their fantasy exists. Even religious people don't demand non-existent super-proofs for secular claims of non-existence, nor for the non-existence of religious fantasies not their own. Think about it; if you can.
Mmm, mmmm...can't wait for a hot summer day so i can slurp on a jesus pop and then pick my teeth with the stick. Great art, great idea.
... I want a jesus pop. *_* and the best part is it was inadvertantly blessed by a priest! No matter what ur religion u gotta have some humor with it. Jesus was a funny guy with a great sense of humor & he would probably laugh at this. Ya know if the catholics hadnt crucified him and the jews hadnt denied him... And if he lived for thousands of years.
Prayer changes things *
Jesus loved analingus.
* Yes praying to an imaginary thing is really health for children.... right "you got to have faith" (along with a dose of stupidity)
*Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.
An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.
The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!*!~
I disapprove of worship of other gods. How bout a popsicle for me with a lightning shaped stick? Besides Jesus was a tw at compared to me. Fact.
Will you please quit quoting the bible. I didn't right it. And it is full of nothing but bs. Quit being mindless sheep, listening to priests who abuse children. Wake up. Live your life, because when you die, there is no god, no afterlife. You will eventually be star dust, nothing else.
Um the bible is the only evidence for jesus at all, if you do not take it as literal fact, all of christianity should be throwen out the f-ing window, it is eroding the minds and will of the masses.
ONLY FOR NEWCOMERS:
The Last Supper i.e. the First Eucharist-
It was not an historic event. See http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php/016_Supper_and_Eucharist i.e. no holy, bloody popsicles !!!!!
"At the same time, (Professor) Luedemann concludes that the portrayal of Jesus celebrating such a ritual on the night before his death is not historical. He is clear that there is "no generic relationship" between any actual final meal and the Lord's Supper understood in cultic terms. He also denies the Passover character of the supper as a Markan creation. Like Meier (below), Luedemann does accept the saying (Mark 14:25) about drinking wine in the kingdom of God as authentic. He concludes: (this saying) "hardly came into being in the early community, for in it Jesus does not exercise any special function for believers at the festal meal in heaven which is imminent. Only Jesus' expectation of a the future kingdom of God stands at the centre, not Jesus as saviour, judge or intercessor."
You will have to read the studies of contemporary historians and NT scholars to see how they decide the authenticity of historical events and passagess. Rigorous conclusions rely on the number of independent attestations, the time of the publications, the content as it relates to the subject and time period, and any related archeological evidence. Professors JD Crossan and G. Ludemann's studies are top notch in this regard.
Consider these quotes, and how you might feel if you lived in a country where these sentiments were mainstream:
“Our leader was not elected…he was appointed by Allah.”
“Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of Allah…must be denied citizenship."
“I, your Provincial Governor, do hereby proclaim… a day of prayer and fasting for our country.”
“Allah called me to this government position…my family fasted for three days to make sure it was true.”
“"I would not put a Christian among my advisors, or in my government."
“(our founding doc.uments) are quite clear that we would create law based on Allah of the Qur’an and Sharia Law, it’s pretty simple.”
“I hope I will live to see the day when…we won't have any public schools. The Mosques will have taken over them over again and Imams will be running them. What a happy day that will be!"
“There will never be world peace until Allah's house and Allah's people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world."
These statements should rightfully alarm you. Now consider this, YOU DO live in that country, and these are not Taliban quotes. In the above quotes the religious references have been changed. They are quotes from prominent, politically powerful Americans who would establish religious control over America’s government. Here are the actual quotes:
“George Bush was not elected by a majority of the voters in the United States, he was appointed by God.” –Lt. General William Boykin, US Army
“Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church's public marks of the covenant–baptism and holy communion–must be denied citizenship." –Gary North, Inst.itute for Christian Economics
“I, Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, do hereby proclaim August 6, 2011, to be A Day of Prayer and Fasting for Our Nation.” –Rick Perry, Texas Governor and Republican Presidential Candidate
“God called me to run for this office, and my husband fasted for 3 days to make sure it was true.” –Michelle Bachman, US Senator and Republican Presidential Candidate
“"I would not put a Muslim in my cabinet, or in my administration." –Herman Cain, Republican Presidential Candidate
“(Our founding doc.uments) are quite clear that we would create law based on the God of the Bible and the 10 commandments, it’s pretty simple.” –Sarah Palin
I hope I will live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken over them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!" - Jerry Falwell
There will never be world peace until God's house and God's people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world." –Pat Robertson
These statements should be no more frightening in an Islamic or a Christian context – this kind of rhetoric is a serious threat no matter who it comes from. Theocracy is dangerous no matter whose God is invoked. We hear these things from pious politicians every day and are likely desensitized to them, but even momentary consideration reveals them to be un-American to the core. Religious fundamentalists make no secret of their goal of controlling our government and establishing their narrow beliefs as law. We must not let that happen – not here, not in our country.
It happens in small steps – the Ten Commandments in courthouses, prayer and creationism (“Intelligent Design”) in schools, revising science, history, and civics textbooks in Texas, State-endorsed prayer rallies, faith-based initiatives, and on and on – and because these steps may individually seem harmless, many people underestimate their consequences. That is why we must stay alert and fight to keep church and state separate. We should shudder whenever a politician or policymaker alludes to his or her religious beliefs as a justification for public policy. We should be deeply suspi.cious of anyone who claims to be chosen by God to lead us. We should aggressively defend our free society against any religious group who would hope to gain control over it.
Do not underestimate the importance of defending the separation of church and state. Stand up for it at every opportunity with your voice and your vote.
That is awesome!
Seriously, well said. Thank you.
Kudos. Great post.
This is absolutely one of the most intelligent, consciencious and secular posts I have ever read. Well done my friend, well done
Best response EVER. I hope you don't mind me copying this and sharing it among people I know. This is the most perfectly made point I've seen on this topic.
I agree with you 100%. It is why I vote at the local level for state issues, but not for any people, because I cannot with clear consous vote for anyone who publicly is thiestic, or says god bless america. I cannot stand the thiestic cowtowing the politicians do, expecally since they are all hypocrites for saying they are christian, when there actions are so clearly not those of the jesus I have read about, albiet I believe it is fully mythology just like wiccanism, or greco/roaminism.
Although you drew parallels amongst the politicians, I believe you are being a little misleading. I understand your arguments of incremental offense which might culminate in the end to pose grave danger to the secular western societies but you forget to mention the insittutions in which these two fanaticism exists in. In America, there are checks and balances within the democratic system to root out the truly delusional ones while there doesn't exist one for most of the fanatics of the middleeast, thereby making it the more dangerous place. If you had been paying attention to the world, it should have been pretty evident. 70% of the roughly 40 million refugges or displaced people are muslims fleeing some sort of conflict in their part of the world. They are 1/5 of the world's popuplation representing 2/3 of the conflicts in the world. Let these facts linger in your brain for a minute. It is clear Islam is the more dangerous of the two and to try to draw some sort of equality is not honest.
But be that as it may, it does not mean I am opposed to the artist using Christ as a popsicle stick as much as I detest him for being a coward for not having one for Mohammed. The very fact that he won't do that because he fears for his life should be enough to tell you which of the two is the more extreme in todays' world. If he does make one of Mohammed, then I take it back and apologize but until then I call him a moral coward and his 'art' a selective right to offend.
Yes we have checks and balances but when the large amount of people (40%+) in our reasonable society reject science based on Christianity you can see where those checks can easily disappear, many people are working towards that end. Scroll down and read Chad's response to me about how our gov't should recognize Jesus as god, He and those like him would be more than happy to make this a theocracy.
Also it should not be surprising this guy focuses on Christianity, that is the religion that by far has the most impact on his life. If christianity had the same impact on our lives as Scientology does (next to none) it would be ignored.
@Wren – yes, please copy and share! Thanks for everyone's kind responses.
seriously, add my kudos to the pile. You have a gift few others have.
If there is any way you could put that gift to work in a larger way, I hope you will do so.
FYI The popsicle is made from used tampon fluids.
Sebastian uses creativity and innovation to express his views. He has is a good gift. The more his views are founded on truth the more his gifts will be a benefit to society. I appreciate his efforts to raise awareness and dialogue on this issue. Unfortunately, his comments on the Eucharist are erroneous and misleading...in fact, a lie. Whether it was deliberate or unintentional, I would hope in the future the author of this article would use better judgment or take more time to research the Catholic teaching on the Eucharist (to at least put Sebastian's statement in context) before quoting a statement that is clearly an error to any Catholic that has a sense of reverence ("frozen holy wine transformed into the blood of Christ" on popsicle sticks) but could mislead those with simple faith or those who are unfamiliar to the true Catholic teaching. Unfortunately, it seems that Eliott C. McLaughlin of CNN falls into the latter category.
Someone's never had clown mouth. Tastes like salsa.
Your take on why the Artist did not make a Popsicle of Mohammed because clearly his followers are the most fanatic in today's world.
Right on! This is great! I am getting SOOOOOO tired of "religious prosecution" in this country. 'We take up over 80% of this nation, and our cultural influence invades your life on a daily basis......."BUT WE ARE BEING PROSECUTED, AND OUR CHRISTIAN WAY OF LIFE IS BEING THREATENED!!!! OOOONNOOEESS!!" Ya sorry not buying it, cool idea for socio reflective art.
So you throw away the religious symbol of Christianity in the garbage every time. thumbs up!!
I will send all 100 who eat me to he11, and you better hope this popsicle last an eternity to help cool you off.
State atheism is defined by David Kowalewski as the official “promotion of atheism” by a government, typically by active suppressing religious freedom and practice. State atheism first appeared briefly (about 7 months) during the French revolution, and was continued by communist regimes and other nations. The most notable atheist states in the modern era would be the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China, and Albania.
* Do not confuse state atheism with secularism. State atheism promotes atheism and attempts to eliminate religion, while secularism is the acceptance of all faiths and the support of none.
The Soviet Union was an officially atheist state from 1928-1939, in which religion has heavily persecuted, and became a secular state until its dissolution. Since the Soviet Union was built upon Marxism-Leninism, the fact that it was strongly opposed to all religion isn’t surprising at all.. – warforscience wordpress com
By some estimates, 110 MILLION people have been killed by governments based on state athiesm.
What kind of popsicle should we design for that?
Everyone welcome Chad, the ignorant, deceitful, bigoted fundamentalist who is also one of the most dishonest posters you will encounter on this blog. Engage this lying fool at your own peril.
...also realize that Chad's posts are devoid of reasoned argument – they are almost completely limited to copy&paste from Wikipedia. Obviously Chad has never had the benefit of higher education. Again, don't waste your time with this waste.
Thanks Really-O? was going to rant on this dude for the INSANE half truths that were hurting my brain while reading his post, but instead ill just let him revel in his lack of intelligence.
I'm confused, are you saying there is no such thing as "state atheism"?
Or, perhaps you are disputing the death tolls?
perhaps you can clarify..
And how many billions of people have been killed in the name of religion?
Reasonable people don't endorse ANY state sponsered belief, no matter if it is theistic OR atheistic.
Wouldn't you agree Chad?
@really now "And how many billions of people have been killed in the name of religion?"
@Chad "7% of all wars throughout history have been classified as having religious roots Encyclopedia of Wars
somewhere between 500 and 700 million have been killed in all wars combined
so, somewhere in the neighborhood of 35million.
you were only off by a little.. ;-)
@No Truth, Just Claims "Reasonable people don't endorse ANY state sponsered belief, no matter if it is theistic OR atheistic." Wouldn't you agree Chad?"
@Chad "no I wouldnt agree. Israel has done pretty well for itself.
That is what I thought. You complain about The state pushing atheism but theism is ok? But theism wouldn't be enough would it? It would have to be a Christian run gov't wouldn't it.
You are no better than the Taliban, or any of the atheist dictators, same thing just a different flavor.
The gov't should stay out of Christianity, I do NOT believe that a government should mandate an official state religion, but I DO think that the government should acknowledge that the US is a Christian nation, and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Having Christian leaders who are being lead by biblical principles is how this country started, and what it should return to.
That is like saying you want an Islamic theocracy, just not a specific version of Islam.
Chad, Um, are you forgetting the 50 million native americans slaughtered in the name of christianity? Also the natives of the Caribian? What about the South Pasfic? you are just useing the numbers of christian apoilgists. Also that does not include the crusaides, and the fact that Hitler used christianity to justify his slaughter of the Gypsies, blacks, gays, and some other stupid cult, I mean...
Have your faith and eat it too? Lame!
The artist is firmly in Judaeo-Christian tradition. Jewish children memorize bible verses written on a cookie, and then eat it: Taste and see that the Lord is good. Christians drink wine and eat bread which are, in faith, the body and blood of God. Many churches have coffee hours, or fellowhip, on Sunday to celebrate community by eating and drinking together. In my denomination (Episcopalian/Anglocatholic) we jokingly refer to the fellowship time on Sunday as the 8th sacrament. You remind me of the old joke about the Catholic and the Baptist disputing which religion was the most disgusting. The Baptist pointed at communion - cannibalism. The Catholic pointed at hymns - washed in the blood of the lamb. Metaphors have lots of meanings, and can either speak to us on a very deep level, or alienate us. Try to understand the other person's way of thinking before you condemn it.
Great. Now there is a Jesus popsicle for all those suckers.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.