December 13th, 2013
09:30 AM ET

Call Jesus (or Santa) white? Expect a big fight

Opinion by Edward J. Blum, special to CNN

(CNN) - Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly sparked outrage this week by insisting that Jesus and Santa Claus are both white, saying it's "ridiculous" to argue that depicting Christ and St. Nick as Caucasian is "racist."

"And by the way, for all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white," Kelly said, "but this person is arguing that we should also have a black Santa."

Kelly was responding to an article in Slate that said St. Nick needs a makeover from fat, old white guy to something less "melanin-deficient."

The Fox News host would have none of it.

"Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn't mean it has to change," Kelly said. "Jesus was a white man, too. It's like we have, he's a historical figure; that's a verifiable fact. As is Santa, I just want kids to know that. How do you revise it in the middle of the legacy, in the story, and change Santa from white to black?"

Arguing about St. Nick, who was originally Greek before Currier & Ives got their hands on him, is one thing. But as for Jesus, people have been arguing about his skin color since the earliest days of American history. You might even call it an American tradition.

What's new about this latest brouhaha is how swiftly Kelly’s remarks were attacked. Thousands of people have rebuked her through blogs, articles, Twitter posts and Facebook updates.

Comedian Jon Stewart accused Kelly of "going full Christmas nog."

“And who are you actually talking to?" Stewart said on "The Daily Show." "Children who are sophisticated enough to be watching a news channel at 10 o’clock at night, yet innocent enough to still believe Santa Claus is real — yet racist enough to be freaked out if he isn’t white?”

It seems that now, if you want to call Christ — or even Santa — white, you should expect a fierce fight.

The immediate and widespread rebuttal showcases how much America has changed over the past few decades. The nation not only has a black president, but also has refused to endorse the Christian savior as white.

Since the earliest days of America, Jesus was thought of as a white man.

When white Protestant missionaries brought Bibles and whitened images of Jesus to Native Americans, at least a few mocked what they saw.

Taking the imagery seriously, the Shawnee warrior Tecumseh asked future President William Henry Harrison, “How can we have confidence in the white people? When Jesus Christ came upon the earth you kill’d and nail’d him on a cross.”

It was not until around 1900 that a group of white Americans explicitly claimed Jesus was white.

Concerned that large numbers of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, especially Jewish immigrants, were “polluting” the nation, anti-immigrant spokesmen like attorney Madison Grant asserted the whiteness of Jesus to justify calls for exclusionary legislation.

READ MORE: From science and computers, a new face of Jesus

Making Jesus white was a means to distance him from Judaism.

“In depicting the crucifixion no artist hesitates to make the two thieves brunet in contrast to the blond Savior,” Grant wrote in his xenophobic best-seller "The Passing of the Great Race."

“This is something more than a convention,” Grant continued, and suggested that Jesus had “Nordic, possibly Greek, physical and moral attributes.”

Even Martin Luther King Jr. claimed that Jesus was white, after being asked why God created Jesus as a white man.

King responded that the color of Christ’s skin didn’t matter. Jesus would have been just as important “if His skin had been black.” He “is no less significant because His skin was white.”

READ MORE: Turkish town cashes in on Saint Nick legacy

Challenges to Christ’s whiteness have a long history, too.

Famed evangelist Billy Graham preached in the 1950s, and then wrote emphatically in his autobiography "Just As I Am," that, “Jesus was not a white man.”

But Graham was far from the first American to contradict the whiteness of Jesus. That honor goes to Methodist and Pequot Indian William Apess.

In 1833, he wrote to white Christians, “You know as well as I that you are not indebted to a principle beneath a white skin for your religious services but to a colored one.”

Almost 100 years later, the Jamaican born, “back-to-Africa” spokesman Marcus Garvey told his followers, “Never admit that Jesus Christ was a white man, otherwise he could not be the Son of God and God to redeem all mankind. Jesus Christ had the blood of all races in his veins.”

In our age, the color of Christ has become both politically dangerous and the butt of jokes.

In 2008, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s words “God damn America” and “Jesus was a poor black boy” almost derailed then-Sen. Barack Obama from winning the Democratic primary.

Now, Kelly bears the brunt of attacks and, in no surprise, was pilloried by comedians like Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

Few Americans went on public record against King when he asserted Jesus had white skin in the 1950s. Today, thousands upon thousands from virtually every race and tribe of Americans have taken Kelly’s words seriously and seriously disdained them.

All the chatter about Jesus being white (or not) shows how much America has changed. There used to be “whites’ only” restaurants and schoolrooms. Now, even Jesus cannot be called white without repercussions.

What the debate hides, however, is what Jesus of the Bible actually did and how he related to people.

The gospels are full of discussions about Jesus and bodies. He healed the blind and those who suffered from disease. He touched and was touched by the sick. His body was pierced by thorns, a spear and nails. And he died.

READ MORE: What all those Jesus jokes tell us

The phenotype of Jesus was never an issue in the Bible. Neither Matthew, nor Mark, nor Luke, nor John mentioned Christ’s skin tone or hair color. None called him white or black or red or brown.

Obsessions about race are obsessions of our age, not the biblical one. When asked what mattered most, Jesus did not say his skin tone or body shape. He instructed his followers to “love the Lord your God with all your heart” and to “do unto others as you would have done unto you.”

Maybe this Christmas season, we can reflect not so much on whether or not Jesus was white and instead consider what it meant for him to be called the “light” of the world.

Edward J. Blum is the co-author of The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America. He can be followed on Twitter @edwardjblum. The views expressed in this column belong to Blum alone.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Art • Belief • Bible • Billy Graham • Black issues • Christianity • Discrimination • Faith • God • Jesus • News media • Opinion • Persecution • Prejudice • Race • United States

soundoff (7,485 Responses)
  1. BabylonTheGreat

    This is such a silly argument. Whether you believe that Jesus was the Son of God is one thing. The man did exist. This is a historical fact. That being said, it stands to reason that he would be whatever color people from that part of the world are (olive skinned?), And if you truly believe that Jesus is the Son of God, it shouldn't matter what color he is. The Bible says that God is not partial – Act 10:34, 35.

    December 13, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • tallulah13

      Actually, it's not a fact. It's possible that a person named Jesus did exist and have followers at that time, but there are no contemporary accounts of his existence.

      December 13, 2013 at 10:07 am |
      • Someone Else

        The majority of scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus did exist as a man. There are always going to be those that say he didn't, but the overwhelming evidence biblical and extra-biblical indicates that a man named Jesus lived, was called the Christ, and was executed by Pontius Pilate. I suppose if you ignore historians of that time like Josephus though, then there wouldn't be evidence.

        December 13, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
        • DWatcher

          The majority of scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus did exist as a man. There are always going to be those that say he didn't, but the overwhelming evidence biblical and extra-biblical indicates that a man named Jesus lived, was called the Christ, and was executed by Pontius Pilate. I suppose if you ignore historians of that time like Josephus though, then there wouldn't be evidence.
          "The majority of scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus did exist as a man" That is changing as scholars accept this as a matter of tradition and do not base it on actual evidence because there is next to nothing to substantiate that he even existed. Josephus was not contemporary to the time that the character of Jesus was supposed to have existed. He wrote some things about christians (duh, no one debates that there were christians around a few decades after he was supposedly killed) but doesn't claim to have seen Jesus (since he couldn't have) and doesn't claim anything that can be cross-referenced. Besides, some portions of Josephus' accounts have been commonly accepted as later christian extrapolations. Unlike other historical figures, Jesus' existance can't be cross referenced with other contemporary evidence and accounts. Why is that I wonder?

          December 13, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
        • tallulah13

          The bible is not a history book, and the books that told the story of Jesus were written decades after his alleged life. There are no contemporary references to Jesus.

          December 14, 2013 at 3:47 am |
        • Salty Bob

          Jesus did exist as a man but he was visiting from Mexico. Come on do you really believe that the name wasn't used by anyone else in that region.

          December 14, 2013 at 9:14 am |
        • David Finn

          Name one extra scriptural source that indicates that a prefect named pontious pilot even existed at the supposed time of Jesus. There's not a single reference, nor is there a reference of an execution matching that description, and the idea that the romans would free a murderer as part of some tradition is absurd. Most "Christian" scholars agree that Jesus existed. It's a highly debated topic and far from settled. The Town of Nazareth appears on no roman map and there's no indication it existed until 800AD, and whole it's build on the ruins of an older settlement, it doesn't match the description of Nazareth in the bible, and Roman cartography, not to mention tax roles, were pretty thorough. Nazarene, on the other hand, was a common term associated with messiah figures such as apollonius of tyana, though it has nothing to do with a town called Nazareth I admit it is entirely possible that the historical figure existed, but it's far from proven, or even particularly likely.

          December 14, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
        • Chuck Powers

          Really? your going to use the Josephus example as evidence that Jesus existed?

          December 20, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • SnakePlissken

          So He existed, and the story goes, His mother was impregnated by an Alien. So was He was green, purple, or orange? To presume he was 'jewish-colored' is just as belligerant as any other claim. If he was black, does that mean that the Aliens, God, and/or Angels are black? So many questions, so few with enough brains to STFU. In 100% black Africa, they can all be black, including Santa Claus if they want one. In 100% white Europe, they can all be white. In 100% white North America, they can all be white, except on Reservations, where they can all be red. If blacks, yellows, or browns don't like what color they are in VAST-MAJORITY-WHITE and 99% DEVELOPED-BY-WHITE North America – they can leave and go back to their own continent. Happy now?

          January 7, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
      • Gene

        No contemporary accounts?.. lol, you're joking, right?. (actual witnesses don't count I guess) (neither do they in a court of law)

        December 13, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
        • Imdreamingofawhitejeebus

          There are no eyewitness accounts of Jesus. Really. Do you now something the rest of us don't?

          December 13, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
        • L

          Jesus was not of our time so how could there eye witnesses today? That is ridiculous!!!! So I guess the Civil War didn't happen either because there are no eye witnesses around today to say so.

          December 13, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
        • C

          For a purportedly real smart god, this Jesus left pretty cr@ppy evidence - so easily and widely disputed.

          December 14, 2013 at 4:14 am |
        • JB

          The historian Josephus (Jew by birth and a Roman) writes about Jesus. Josephus wrote about the time of Jesus during that same time.

          December 14, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
        • Mr My Way

          Fox lies the time which is easy to point out. So back then people believed everything they were told including the earth was flat

          December 15, 2013 at 11:24 am |
        • Chuck Powers

          Eye witnesses? HA!!!!!

          December 20, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
        • Chuck Powers

          Hey 'L' he means contemporaries einstein! unlike the story of Christ, we know the civil war existed because of the overwhelming evidence like for example letters written by people who were actually there, pictures archaeological evidence etc.

          December 20, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
      • Atruth

        Last I looked at it academically, my impression was that consensus was that there was a man named Jesus getting attention a the time and that there were contemporary accounts of someone by that name being an agitator. this obvisouly doesn't mean he was the son of god, which is sort of the real question here.

        no one knows what he looked like. it's likely he was semitic looking, which is to say very dark, but caucasian. he could have been black. is is exceedingly unlikely he looked like the front man from Abba, as there were not many Swedes in bethlehem.jerusalem at the time and this would/should have been noted.

        December 13, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
        • Atruth

          I should add that i don't think it's "racist" to claim he's white. it may just be wrong. people want jesus to look like them. jesus in Korean/Chinese depictions always looks at leas slightly asian. i don't see how that's racist.

          as to Santa Clause, the original legend would have been white obvisouly since it's a northern european legend. I don't think the commentator was saying Sants should never be protrayed as white or that a black mall santa is an abomination.

          December 13, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
        • ab

          I think you're right.

          December 14, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
        • ea

          Why is it that there is no "reply" option next to some of these comments CNN?

          January 22, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
      • Scott

        @tallulah13; Nice try Muslim boy but your logic is not even close to making sense. Jesus certainly did exist and yes, there is undeniable proof that he lived outside of the Bible. There have been references in the hundreds written by those that lived during the time the Jesus lived. This argument is tiresome and not even worth anyone's time. Even those who do not believe in Jesus as Christ can show that He was extremely well-known in the Middle East. Just because we live in today's ages does not negate the fact that He lived. Most American's are dumb historically.

        December 15, 2013 at 10:30 am |
        • Chuck Powers

          SCOTT "There have been references in the hundreds written by those that lived during the time the Jesus" really SCOTT? Nice try. Thats NOT evidence.

          December 20, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
      • Geo Bruno

        and so did the ark

        December 15, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
      • Anna

        If Jesus didn't exist, where did Christianity start? Because there were lots of crazy cults, following all sorts of religious leaders and they mostly died out. So what the 12 disciples just got together and started preaching, converting, baptizing, and getting killed for somebody they made up? You can not deny that the following around Jesus has shaped world evens for the last 2000 years. So it stands to reason that a real guy started it all. Even the Gospels read like real accounts- not perfictly copied from one another, but based on different people's versions of the same events.

        December 16, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          A real guy started Islam, Scientology, LDS, etc. so they must be valid?

          December 16, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • JamesK

      Yup! It is just possible to argue that Jesus wasn't even a historical figure, but the consensus from professional scholars is that he was, more than likely. There is, however, zero evidence to even suggest that we should take the claims that he was this "Christ" god seriously. The two, Jesus was a historical figure and he was a god, are separate claims, despite what Christians tend to believe.

      December 13, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • bspurloc

      there is no fact that any human is a son of ay faerie tale character.
      what is 100% a fact is that no Embryo can develop into a fetus WITHOUT male juice being sprayed in its direction.

      December 13, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
      • jt

        Wow, I'm trying to figure if eloquent or biblical would best describe your comment.

        December 13, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
      • L

        First you are gross. Secondly ... if that was the case where did the 1st person come from?

        December 13, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
        • M

          I strongly suggest you google evolution.

          December 13, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
        • bspurloc

          Yeah gross to know how an egg gets fertilized, best thing to do is deem it "GROSS" and therefore is not needed in the process and thus this mary person never rode the pole

          December 15, 2013 at 3:17 am |
      • Scott

        @bspurloc; I hope you are a foreigner with poor spelling because if you're an all-American dude, you're proof that our American Public school system is past the "broken stage".

        December 15, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • Verax

      "Historical fact??" Really??? Please produce said "historical" evidence. A book written by MEN doesn't count.

      December 13, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
      • improv

        Umm...we use books written by men all the time in establishing historical records. By your logic we can't possibly know anything about the American Civil war because all we have to go on are books written by men.

        Look, whether or not you believe the supernatural claims the consensus is pretty clear even among secularists that Jesus the man did exist and was executed by the Roman government.

        I mean, would you say that Mohammed never existed? Again, leaving aside the supernatural claims – it's pretty clear that Mohammed the man existed, whether or not he was a prophet is a personal religious matter.

        December 13, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
        • bspurloc

          cept ALL books written by man with things like parting seas, rising from the dead after x days, a non fertilized egg developing are IMMEDIATELY deemed bogus faerie tales.

          December 15, 2013 at 3:19 am |
    • Realist


      ... http://www.GodIsImaginary.com...

      ... and thank goodness because he ...

      ............. emanates from the .............

      ... http://www.EvilBible.com


      December 13, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • le chic

      There is no reference to olive skinned people in the Bible or in that specific time frame in history. The Bible (the book of Revelantions, Daniel, etec) and other historical accounts of what people looked liked in that region of the world, were referred to as "burnished bronze", "bronze", or "bronzened". AKA, brown skinned!

      December 14, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
    • Anna

      It should be fairly obvious that Jesus is Jewish- and therefore look like more like modern day middle eastern peoples. But you are right, it shouldn't matter.

      I always thought that North Pole Santa looked like the old fat white guy , and the Black Santa was from the South Pole. They take vacations together in February because it is their slow season.

      December 16, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
      • Jen

        Saint Nicholas was from Turkey, part of him is buried in Bari Italy, the legend came about because of his kind acts at Christmas time to a merchant who had been charitable that had fallen on hard times.

        December 27, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Truth

      Well spoken

      December 27, 2013 at 7:53 am |
      • Jen

        Correct the people from the middle east are mediterraneans, they have brown skin, not black, and yes i do beleive in him, but at the same time i do not tolerate lies from people with inferiorty complexes., and there are a lot on this discussion board

        December 27, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  2. Brett

    Jesus was obviously Chinese.

    December 13, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • Gord

      No he was from Wisconsin

      December 13, 2013 at 9:59 am |
      • Emma Goldman

        Yeah, everybody knows he came back as Brett Favre. why do you think they resurrected him so many times?

        December 13, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
      • Geo Bruno

        Blessed are the cheesemakers

        December 15, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
  3. 1968billsfan

    Yes, the new testament is pretty clear in tracing Jesus' ancestors (slightly different in different Gospels) as being a Jew back for untold generations. So he probably had a large nose (people from hot dusty dry climates are more successful with a big schoz to humidify air that is breathed in to protect the lungs and also to filter dust) and a pretty dark skin. Not only was he from a Mediterranean people, but he was heavily tanned from living outdoors most of the time. Maybe he looked sorta like the average human being.

    December 13, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • JamesK

      Not unless his dad was actually God, and everyone knows that he's a white guy. The whitest imaginable. Surely enough whiteness to overpower Mary's Jewish swarthiness, right?

      Even the Holy Spirit is thought of as a white dove, and the "Word", well that had to be printed on white paper as well.

      White, white, white ... the whole of God is white, see? 😉

      December 13, 2013 at 10:33 am |
      • exgeei

        God states that he is a spirit, so how is it that he has the attribute of white skin? Remember that God commanded us not to make an image of him. That is because he new that men would try to claim that they were more god-like than other men. Truly God knows the heart of men.

        December 15, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
      • Anna

        White dove isn't an accurate translation. Like how coat of many colors was really a coat with long sleeves– the bird they refer to was a rock dove, aka a pigeon! Doesn't quite have the same visual impact as a dove.

        So the European dark ages artists who painted what we think of as classic and iconic images of Christ– They fit the pictures to their customers. Usually painting the commissioning family as biblical figures- so that is where you get blond Jesus. The same thing happens with Our Lady of Guadeloupe – the virgin Mary is shown as a olive skin women as she appeared in the vision to a (modern geography) Mexican man.

        We want to find some reflection of ourselves as Godly. To do that is natural, to say that no one else's reflection can be true is wrong. We should be looking for the good in each-other, not claiming to have have the market cornered.

        December 16, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
        • Bibletruth

          "we want to think of ourselves as godly". Thats great. Read the sermon on the mount. Read the ten commandments. Read the life of Christ. Now you know what godly means/is. God requires holiness/godliness. When you want that you will recieve that. But first one needs some realization of just how filthy one is. Notice I said "some realization". God, in mercy, keeps the in depth stuff (the abject depravity/sinfulness) from the consciousness of man, or man would consume himself! Thank God that He holds back the winds of strife and has not removed the Holy Spirit from the world yet.

          December 26, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Hollee572

      There was an issue in Popular Mechanics some time back about this topic. They assumed Jesus looked like a typical Jewish man of his day, since the Romans needed Judas to klss him to figure out who he was. There's tons of evidence of what Jewish men in that part of the world looked like...so they reconstructed what they believed Jesus would have looked like. He would have been 5' 1" tall, dark skinned, wavy/curly black hair, brown eyes, larger mouth, and not terribly attractive to look at, I might add. But of course the real question is...why do people want their god to be made in their own image?

      December 14, 2013 at 4:00 am |
      • Geo Bruno

        and if that guy returned and told folks to give their wealth to the poor and fallow him

        What would happen

        December 15, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
        • doobzz

          They'd plow him under.

          December 16, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
      • Chuck Powers

        Probably because it makes them feel closer to god.

        December 20, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Jen

      Correct, finally someone who knows what he is talking about.

      December 27, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  4. Ted


    December 13, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • tallulah13

      I really don't like Coldplay. This song always sounded to me like a cheap imitation of a U2 song, circa Unforgetable Fire.

      December 13, 2013 at 10:04 am |
      • Danielle

        I always thought Coldplay sounded like a bad U2 tribute band. Atleast I'm not the only one that noticed.

        December 13, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
        • Jason

          All U2 songs summed up high high high, low low low, high high high.....since we're sh!tting on bands

          December 13, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
  5. bobbaft

    Santa not white? Just as Nick Fury suddenly became black.

    December 13, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Santa is a mythologized version of Saint Niklaus of Myra – a fellow who was present at the Council of Nicea in 325CE.
      The story goes that he tossed bags of gold through the window of a poor dude in the middle of night so he could afford a proper dowry for his daughter.
      Myra was situated in what is now the Antalya Province of Turkey, so he was likely of an olive complextion.

      December 13, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • Dude in America

      Or do you mean how Michael Jackson turned white?

      December 13, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
    • Rocko

      The Karate Kid and Sgt Fury are now black, why not Jeebus?

      December 21, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
  6. Cody

    "Obsessions about race are obsessions of our age, not the biblical one." That's not entirely true. Jesus was acutely aware of the differences between the Jews, the Samaritans, the Greeks, the Romans, and others. What's different is that back then, race wasn't a separate dimension from nationality... in other words, nations weren't multi-ethnic.

    December 13, 2013 at 9:54 am |
  7. Mike

    Who cares? Typical liberal news organization trying to beat down a successful conservative station. What does it matter. Maybe that's why your ratings, as well as MSNBC are in the tank compared to Fox and has been for years! Typical liberal.

    December 13, 2013 at 9:54 am |
    • midwest rail

      Obviously, Fox cares – they aired the discussion.

      December 13, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • Not All Docs Play Golf

      It's OK, Mike, quit foaming at the mouth, and go back to reading your cereal box during Fox news commercials.

      December 13, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • Will

      Mike, it appears that you are as stupid as Megan Kelly. Get an education... READ more!

      December 13, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • Joe in Vegas

      Fox's "News Anchors" are the ones who made this statement. And you obviously care or you would not be trolling CNN with your busy schedule.

      December 13, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • Truth Reader

      Conservatives would kill over if they new they were actually worshiping a non-white man named Jesus who happened to have "skin of bronze and hair of wool" as the bible clearly states. Guess they skipped over that part of the bible!

      December 13, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • bczu

      You realize this started from a Fox News analyst? RIght?

      December 13, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • SantaisWhite Or else

      "Beating down insanity is much harder than one would think." – John Boehner

      December 14, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • SantaisWhite Or else

      "Ratings are more important than facts." – Rupert Murdoch

      December 14, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  8. Dave

    The notion of him being either white or black and being from the region he was from is pretty stupid. It's most likely he would have been middle eastern in appearance.

    December 13, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • improv

      I like to remind people that Jesus was Jewish. It gets some subsets of the population strangely agitated.

      December 13, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
  9. Eric K

    Jesus is any race you want him to be, like Santa Claus. You can also accessorize him. My Jesus has a cape.

    December 13, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • Joey

      No, they both existed, therefore their race isn't up for personal interpretation. Jesus was a Jewish carpenter from Nazareth in what is now Israel, making his skin most likely dark. Santa is based on several historical figures in European history, making his skin white. It's not racist if it's true.

      December 13, 2013 at 10:08 am |
      • Eric K

        Anything's possible if you have faith, silly non-believer. I hope you enjoy the steam bath in the after-life! Ammmen.

        December 13, 2013 at 10:15 am |
      • Danielle

        There is proof the guy Santa is based on existed. There is no proof that jesus or god ever existed.

        December 13, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
        • Gene

          At least none that you choose to perceive.

          December 13, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Bilbo

      WRONG AGAIN! You atheists are soooooooo dumb! Santa isn't any race I want him to be you fool! He is a 5'9" white guy, with a couple kids. I know because....(you ready for this one atheist-tard?)

      I AM SANTA! You know, kinda like how everyone sees Batman but for no reason can't figure out who it is? Thats like me – Santa isn't made up at all. I don't have a sleigh, I drive an SUV full of presents, but I am certainly real.

      I'm sad you never found out that Santa is real! But I know that you have been naughty, so I wont be coming to see you anytime soon....

      December 13, 2013 at 10:15 am |
      • Eric K

        I'm sorry to have upset you Santa. Please don't deny me a Christmas rife with material gain. I'm going to cut myself again!

        December 13, 2013 at 10:18 am |
      • Sokesky

        Actually, the last Santa I worked with was 6'1", 140 lbs and 16 years old. But hey, he had the red suit, a (fake) white beard, and took pictures with people's pets.

        December 13, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • The Man

      My Jesus wears a tuxedo tee shirt because he likes to be a little formal but is ready to party.

      December 13, 2013 at 11:49 am |
      • Buddy Guy

        My Jesus is a ninja fighting off evil samurai.

        December 13, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
      • Dan

        Thomas, is that you?

        December 13, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
      • Neil Patrick

        I like to think of Jesus like a shapeshifter, or a changeling, like that guy–You ever hear of that TV show Manimal?

        December 13, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • iwannatalk2

      That's HILARIOUS!! oh, but I think you're going to hell for that.....

      December 13, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Chuck Powers

      My Jesus is the one withe Kun Fu grip.

      December 20, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
  10. Sargon T. Youkhanna

    Jesus was Jewish. Jesus Spoke Aramaic. Semites are Asiatic. I myself am an Aramaic-speaking Assyrian from Baghdad, Iraq. I have lived in America since I was six years old. I am thirty three now. I have been discriminated against in the past. No one considered me white growing up. I myself did not and still do not. I am western Asian. Christ was western Asian.

    December 13, 2013 at 9:52 am |
  11. David

    i rather be called a mutt because of different races in my blood like jesus have.I care less what race people are as long we get along just fine

    December 13, 2013 at 9:52 am |
  12. Baptist_Deacon

    He probably looked like Osama Bin Laden. So what? No one is "white" or "black", just different shades of the same color. This discussion is absolutely irrelivent.

    December 13, 2013 at 9:51 am |
    • john

      He was Jewish, and they are White.

      December 13, 2013 at 9:53 am |
      • Dave

        He was Arabic and a Palestinian. Jews hated the guy

        December 13, 2013 at 9:57 am |
      • Alias

        No, they are not.

        December 13, 2013 at 10:03 am |
      • Ted

        John doesn't know that Judaism is a religion ... not a race like his native German

        December 13, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • Fred

      One might consider me 'yella'

      December 13, 2013 at 9:56 am |
  13. Joe

    C'mon now. Anyone with a functional brain knows Jesus was a white dude.............and from Wisnonsin

    December 13, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • john

      Jew are white, and he was Jewish

      December 13, 2013 at 9:53 am |
      • Alias

        The people whoi lived in the holy land 2,000 years ago were not anglo saxon.

        December 13, 2013 at 10:04 am |
      • Dan

        Jews living in (now Israel) Palestine were likely Arabic looking. They had dark or olive colored skin, dark features, and possibly curly or wavy hair. Is that "White?" It certainly isn't Aryan, blond, or any sort of Nordic or Germanic complexion. Nicely, it doesn't really fit a "black brown yellow red" box.

        December 13, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • JC

      Good article and I agree with what the focus of Christmas should be. But Megyn Kelly's response was asinine. As a journalist before she makes such a bold statement to discredit a blog of a young women just expressing her sole opinion, and preserve the whiteness of Jesus she should do her homework. I have never seen jesus and NONE of us knows what He actually looked like. But He was not aryan white, HEAR ME CLEARLY, CHRIST WAS A MIDDLE EASTERN JEW. More than likely He did not have the blond hair, blue eyes, and bleached white skin that we see in paintings and pictures today. Im an African American and Im not trying to make Jesus Black, Im just upset that Kelly tried to pass of Jesus' whiteness as historically accurate when she has not one shred of evidence towards that. And yes it does not sit well with me that she was emphatic about it, and although I am not a racist or a conspiracy theorist her comments made me feel that she was promoting one of the most racist slogans there is: "white is right". smh

      December 13, 2013 at 10:07 am |
      • Eric

        Dido,that is why a lot of people are upset at her comments. But lat the truth be told. There is no such thing as race as proven by the human genome project. We all may have differing cultures and traits, but we are all one race of people.

        December 14, 2013 at 1:00 am |
  14. Jesus' Beloved

    Why do people allow the devil to cause them to be distracted from what is important.


    John 13:35 "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."

    JOHN 13:35

    Jesus didn't say that all men would know we are His disciples by our doctrine, our rituals, our hatred for sin, or even by the way we express our love for God. He said very clearly, that the one characteristic that would cause the world to identify us as His followers, is our love, one for another.

    This same night, the Lord prayed to His Father using this same thought saying, "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me" (Jn. 17:21). The only way that Christ's body will be one as the Father and Jesus are One, is through God's kind of love.

    Unity of believers, that can only come through a genuine God-kind of love, is the greatest tool for evangelism that the church has or will ever have, according to Jesus. The early church didn't have the massive organizational structures that we see today or the ability to travel anywhere in the world in just a matter of hours. They certainly did not come close to spending as much money, in proportion to us, to spread the gospel. And yet, the pagans of Thessalonica said of Paul and his companions, "These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also" (Acts 17:6). They had evangelized the known world in less than thirty years.

    Before we can ever fulfill the great commission of Matthew 28:19-20, there must be a revival of love in the church, where doctrine and ritual take a "back seat" to love for one another.

    December 13, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • Not All Docs Play Golf

      Give your ancient multi-authored mythical text from the mostly illiterate bronze age a rest. There are plenty of other more reliable sources of the history of the world and of mankind for you to read and learn from.

      December 13, 2013 at 9:57 am |
      • RobS

        I agree with each word you said with one exception – "mythical".

        December 13, 2013 at 11:40 am |
        • Amanda

          mythical is spot on 🙂 (False is too rude, fictional too accurate, made-up too confrontational)

          December 14, 2013 at 12:18 am |
    • Jesus was black..why the denial??????????????

      Hair of wool.....................How many white people have hair like wool? Come on, everyone that can read understand that Jesus is black!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No need to deny the truth.

      The question is does white America want to admit that they worship a black man???

      December 13, 2013 at 9:59 am |
      • AgnosticsAllowed

        Ha! You're funny!

        December 13, 2013 at 10:10 am |
      • T.O.

        HAir like wool, bronze skin, walked everywhere he went, drank wine, fed the multiles of people with bread and honey.(that's called a honey bun), couldn't swim (he walked on water). That my friends is a black man.

        December 13, 2013 at 11:32 am |
        • Eric

          Ok, I'm not suppose to laugh

          December 14, 2013 at 1:06 am |
      • tessie may

        One reference in the Bible states "white hair like wool" in Revelation.This is already a book of mostly symbolism, not literally written. And it does not refer to Jesus in particular. Back to your Bible study and try not to interpret based on what you would like it to be.

        December 16, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Realist


      ... http://www.GodIsImaginary.com...

      ... and thank goodness because he ...

      ............. emanates from the .............

      ... http://www.EvilBible.com


      December 13, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
  15. carlin123

    Fight over Religion? Nah, never happen.

    December 13, 2013 at 9:48 am |
  16. KenB

    People focus too much on the man and on their personal pride instead of on his message of love and service to God.

    December 13, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • bspurloc

      complete lie. being christian means u grab all the money for yourself, u spit on the poor, u spit on minorities even though u technically are the minority, u declare yourself to be the higher moral standard while cheating on your wife, stealing from your work, hating on people that are different.... all what mr jesus preached obviously

      December 13, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
      • numbnut

        You about hit the nail on the head.

        December 13, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
  17. michael

    Jesus is whatever you imagine him to be.

    December 13, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • Doug

      I imagine him to be a schizophrenic, delusional mind that managed to convince a very few that he was something he was not.

      December 13, 2013 at 9:52 am |
      • bspurloc


        December 13, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Bilbo

      Are you serious? I assume your comment is an atheist dig – but even atheists can't be so stupid as to assert Jesus was completely imaginary? He is most definitely real. Even if you don't beleive he was the Son of God, there is ample historical evidence of the secular kind to validate his existence. So no – he is not what you "imagine" him to be, any more than my Toyota Corolla is a Ferrari because I imagine it so. This discussion is related to what he actually looked like – and there is only debate because no one cared enough to mention it in the records of him.

      December 13, 2013 at 10:07 am |
      • Boisepoet

        I have yet to see a contemporary account of Jesus from any source. Mostly believers devining 'clues' that they surmise means reality. And also usually based on a book written 100 years plus after his alledged existence.

        December 13, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
      • bspurloc

        seeing how it is IMPOSSIBLE for a human embryo to develop into a fetus without a male humans sauce getting spit in its general direction... either this mr jesus never existed or this mary dude is a liar

        December 13, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Hollee572

      A study was done decades ago that I find to be very interesting- groups of small kids were asked to draw God. Each child drew someone who looked like himself/herself.

      December 14, 2013 at 4:25 am |
  18. Sanityrules

    How why does this even matter>

    December 13, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • bspurloc

      ask these christian taliban nutcases...
      It matters to them because....
      accepting this fictional character not white and didnt speak english would be unamerican!

      December 13, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
  19. tallulah13

    I thought Christ was a middle eastern jew.

    December 13, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • Confucius

      He was an Arab. I'm sure she thought he spoke engiish as well

      December 13, 2013 at 9:47 am |
      • Andrew

        He was an eastern Mediterranean man, not an Arab. A "Palestinian."

        December 13, 2013 at 9:58 am |
      • Ted

        I'd love to interview her ... i want her honest answer as to what language Jesus spoke

        I bet she thinks he never smiled too right? ... cause, there's no pictures of him having a nice chuckle.

        December 13, 2013 at 10:03 am |
        • Baldiggle

          Look at the KJV. He obviously spoke Elizabethan English. What I don't understand is how they made red ink back then so Jesus' words could be printed in red! 😉

          December 13, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
        • tessie may

          Somebody does not know the origin of the Jeffersonian Bible. Jefferson preferred to read the actual words of Jesus (in red) rather than those of his early followers-however divinely inspired they were. This eliminated a lot of the disciples personal viewpoints (such as Paul and Timothy's disdain for women) and took only the words of Jesus as his guide-the "gospel" truth (pun intended).

          December 16, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
      • Geo Bruno

        1/2 Semite

        December 15, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • john

      He was, and they are white.

      December 13, 2013 at 9:54 am |
      • Ted

        He's white ... just like bread has always been

        December 13, 2013 at 10:04 am |
      • Will

        LMFAO...John, you and Megan need to really read more!!! Idiots!!!

        December 13, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • Andrew

      He would have looked like a somewhat shorter (as nearly all people were shorter excluding certain south American tribes people) Palestinian man.

      December 13, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • larper2

      A direct descendant of Abraham. Only Jews mostly mingled with Jews. Remember, one can only follow Mary.

      December 13, 2013 at 9:57 am |
  20. Ryan

    If she claimed Jesus was white then she is NOT a Christian.

    December 13, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • Abigail

      Jesus loves the little children,
      All the children of the world,
      Red and yellow,
      Black and white
      They are precious in His sight,
      Jesus loves the little children of the world.

      December 13, 2013 at 9:55 am |
      • The Joy of Christmas

        For to us a child is born,
        to us a son is given,
        and the government will be on his shoulders.
        And he will be called
        Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
        Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.


        December 13, 2013 at 10:11 am |
        • The Joy of Christmas

          Isaiah 9:6


          December 13, 2013 at 10:12 am |
        • TXJew

          There's an in definite article and an "is" missing there, important because English readers misconstrue that the laudatory phrase is describing the child, which it is not, its just his theophonic name, like Yeshiyahu (Isaiah) which means, "Adonai is my rescuer."

          For to us a child is born,
          to us a son is given,
          and the government will be on his shoulders.
          And he will be called
          " A Wonderful Counselor is Mighty God,
          Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

          December 13, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
      • bspurloc

        We dig dig dig dig dig dig dig in our mine the whole day through
        To dig dig dig dig dig dig dig is what we really like to do
        It ain't no trick to get rich quick
        If you dig dig dig with a shovel or a pick
        In a mine! In a mine! In a mine! In a mine!
        Where a million diamonds shine!

        We dig dig dig dig dig dig dig from early morn till night
        We dig dig dig dig dig dig dig up everything in sight
        We dig up diamonds by the score
        A thousand rubies, sometimes more
        But we don't know what we dig 'em for
        We dig dig dig a-dig dig

        Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho
        Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho

        Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho
        It's home from work we go

        Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho


        Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho

        Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho
        Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho
        Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho
        Heigh-ho hum

        December 13, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Advent


      December 13, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • Handel

      What is the color of Jesus?

      The color of Jesus is "Love"

      December 14, 2013 at 9:55 am |
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About this blog

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.