Good old Jesus.
Meek and mild, an advocate for the poor and sick, a real giver of a guy—the sort so dedicated to do-gooding that he'd even run very, very afoul of the law to do it.
But also, beware because Jesus is a also, apparently, a guy who will dunk on you if given the chance—in the literal sense, as in on a ball court. At least, that's what some old paintings recently unearthed on Twitter depict, and they are... really something.
Writer, historian and journalist Alice Dreger's work on everything from the science of gender to the advent of what we now call "fake news"—which she tackled way back in 2015—has made her a prolific voice on Twitter.
This week, Dreger posted some photos of paintings depicting Jesus Christ as a sporty jock, and well, they're very... interesting?
Discuss. https://t.co/9RQjmI6Uft— Alice Dreger (@Alice Dreger)1577448073.0
In the paintings, Jesus is seen receiving a lateral pass in football, kicking a soccer ball and blocking a basketball shot. His teammates all appear to be approximately 11 years old.
It is... extremely weird.
Dreger's simple one-word caption of "Discuss" seems the only fitting commentary because... um...
These paintings are extremely weird.
And also ethically questionable: consider the final painting of Jesus playing basketball. He's at least a foot-and-a-half taller than his teammates and opponents.
It really calls into question the fairness of Jesus Christ of Nazareth being on a basketball team with a bunch of 11-year-olds. To what end?
The song was "Jesus Loves the Little Children" not "Jesus Will Use His Inappropriate Age and Adult Stature To Smoke the Little Children on the Court So Best Come Correct."
What on Earth is happening here?
Turns out, a photojournalist friend of Dreger's spied them in a parochial school gym while covering Hurricane Sandy back in 2012.
@S_h_e_e_n_a_ I got them from a photojournalist friend. He explains: "I was taking photos and video during recovery… https://t.co/R0nG4ZmxpX— Alice Dreger (@Alice Dreger)1577458143.0
And the supposed inspiration behind them was a bit eyebrow-raising.
@AliceDreger I saw these a few years ago! If I remember rightly the idea was to make Jesus more of a role model to… https://t.co/J05C9CDQed— Siobhan McAndrew (@Siobhan McAndrew)1577458558.0
Who knows if that's true of course, but what definitely is true is Jesus's sportsmanship is debatable at best—as folks on Twitter pointed out.
@AliceDreger Jesus was a ball hog.— Pascal’s bookie (@Pascal’s bookie)1577456116.0
@AliceDreger 2 things: Throwing the football to Jesus would clearly be foward lateral, resulting in a 10 yard penal… https://t.co/Qw1bPTcdHf— Gavin Enck (@Gavin Enck)1577457348.0
@AliceDreger Suffer the little children come unto me so I can SWAT THEIR MESS INTO THE STANDS NICE TRY TIMMY!— Thomas Arnold (@Thomas Arnold)1577448949.0
@AliceDreger Leave it to Jesus to exploit such an unfair height advantage.— Kevin (@Kevin)1577459166.0
@AliceDreger "He that hath arms to dunk, let him dunk" - Matt 11:15 (LJV)— Daniel Kasenberg (@Daniel Kasenberg)1577460100.0
@AliceDreger So the cross just magically follows him around the field? Or does he have to pick it up and re-plant i… https://t.co/Z0Ot4ABbtr— (((JM Kelly))) (@(((JM Kelly))))1577473429.0
Others just had questions of practicality.
@AliceDreger How can he run and kick in that outfit?— Alison Meyer (@Alison Meyer)1577458076.0
While some folks couldn't help but notice the ol' JC's total lack of regard for safety.
@AliceDreger son of god don't need no stinkin' safety equipment— Hope Jahren (@Hope Jahren)1577457996.0
@AliceDreger Missing: appropriate footwear.— 🎉Cami Ryan, PhD🍾 (@🎉Cami Ryan, PhD🍾)1577458125.0
@AliceDreger He should be wearing a helmet in the first pic.— ☣️ Michael Ç̸̠͎͉̹̼̠͔̗̓̐̐̓̓̀͝͝. Bazaco ☣️ (@☣️ Michael Ç̸̠͎͉̹̼̠͔̗̓̐̐̓̓̀͝͝. Bazaco ☣️)1577457898.0
Though it's worth considering that helmets might run contrary to Jesus's whole thing...
@MCBazacoPhD But would that indicate lack of faith?— Alice Dreger (@Alice Dreger)1577457961.0
A fair question!
And of course, this being Twitter, there were also puns.
@AliceDreger @ladyaeva In football, Jesus always preferred the long "Hail Mom" passes.— Paul F. Dietz (@Paul F. Dietz)1577496705.0
This isn't the first go at a more approachable Jesus. In Kevin Smith's film Dogma he introduced "Buddy Jesus."