German Christians fume over Jesus cartoon
KASSEL - Germany
A controversial cartoon about Jesus displayed in the German city of Kassel has caused a furor among Christians there, Der Spiegel reported.
The cartoon hangs in a window at the biennial art exhibition Documenta, and depicts Jesus in agony on the cross as a voice calls down an offensive expression from heaven.
“I find it problematic when a cartoon disparages the very heart of a faith,” Barbara Heinrich, a Protestant official in the city, told German news agency DPA.
Local Catholic priest Harald Fischer has likewise criticized the cartoon, according to the local paper, the Hessische-Niedersächsische Allgemeine (HNA).
Museum head Martin Sonntag told the HNA that caricatures are by their very nature offensive to some observers, rejecting requests to remove the poster. “But we can’t remove cartoons after every complaint,” he said.
The artist behind the caricature, Mario Lars, likewise expressed surprise at the burgeoning debate. “It was not my intention to hurt the feelings of the faithful,” Lars said. “I was just making a joke. [The church] should stand aloof from such things and address more important problems. Such a large commotion over a small joke isn’t good for the church.”