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Jesus: Scandinavian supermodel or sinless son of God?

Fox News' Megyn Kelly's white Jesus is wrong both historically and theologically. - Image is public domain
Fox News' Megyn Kelly's white Jesus is wrong both  historically and theologically. - Image is public domain

Fox News’ Megyn Kelly’s white Jesus is wrong both historically and theologically. – Image is public domain

Fox News’ Megyn Kelly created an uproar after she claimed that both Jesus and Santa Claus were white men. Setting aside that Santa is a fictitious character based on a turkish figure, her comments are more serious when it comes to the founder of the Christian religion. In an article for The Atlantic, I fleshed out the historical and theological problems with such a notion:

Pick up a one of those bright blue “Bible Story” books in a Sunday School classroom and you’ll find white Jesus waiting for you, rosy cheeks and all. Or you could survey the light-skinned Jesus in any number of modern TV or film portrayals, including History Channel’s hit series The Bible.

About the author

Jonathan Merritt

Jonathan Merritt is senior columnist for Religion News Service and a contributing writer for The Atlantic. He has published more than 2500 articles in outlets like USA Today, The Week, Buzzfeed and National Journal. Jonathan is author of "Jesus is Better Than You Imagined" and "A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars." He resides in Brooklyn, NY.


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  • Really ?…Hey Snow White ( I mean Megan ), If I asked YOU what Country is Called : ‘ Land of The Aryans ? ‘….

    Is it SAFE to Assume an Ignoramus Like YOU,and your Ilk would say : Germany ? (sic)….

    Well let me GENTLY Break the NEWS to YOU….

    That COUNTRY is the SAME Country that YOU ‘ Knuckle Draggers ‘ on The Right HATE ! with Every Breath you take !….

    Still don’t know ? Megan….Well that COUNTRY that’s Called : ‘ Land of The ARYANS ?….Is called : IRAN !….

    And that same Country You and your Ilk hate, for NO JUSTIFIED REASON !….

    Is also Home to Mankind’s OLDEST MONOTHESTIC Religon ! : Zoroastrianism !….By The Grace of Ahura Mazda

  • Here’s another problem behind Kelly’s statement: it’s code for racism.

    If racism is defined as the attitude that certain racial identities possess qualities or characteristics that make them superior or inferior to other racial identities, what quality could possibly better for a racial identity than, “We got Jesus and Santa”?

    Normally, I would blame Kelly’s ignorance on the fact that she is just the standard blonde stereotype perpetuated by Fox News, but her delivery of that statement suggests something more dangerous: the fear that, by acknowledging Jesus as a Middle Eastern, first-century Jew, and Santa as a fictional character with Turkish origins, she would be surrendering two of the greatest qualities attributed to White racial identity.

  • Whites try to appropriate Jesus as one of their own because they would rather forget their history…no, not the history of colonialism or racism but the history of being barbarians (Vikings), practising human sacrifices and cannibalism just as Indians practised Sati. Megyn Kelly is a descendant of druids who practised human sacrifice and cannibalism on blonde maidens and prisoners of war. Had St. Patrick not converted them to Christianity Megyn Kelly may be inside a wickerman ready to be sacrificed instead of being an anchor speaking to the rest of the world on Fox News…this is a fact whatever the color of Jesus or Santa, a fact they dont teach in American schools.

  • This continues to prove that so-called Christians don’t read the Bible. The Bible clearly sates the color of Christ. First read Daniel 10: 5-7, then go to Revelation 1: 12-15, then Revelation 2:18. If you don’t believe what he looks like then , that’s your problem. That image posted around the world is the image of the beast.

  • Not long ago I was at the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, Israel. Outside of the Basilica, and inside it as well, are a multitude of images of the Madonna and Christ Child from around the world. They were donated by Christian communities the world over. Interestingly, Mary and Baby are almost uniformly represented as “locals”: that is to say, Mary and Jesus like Japanese in the images from Japan. They look Italian in the one from Italy. And so forth.

    And so, yes, while the historical Jesus was a Middle Eastern man and would have undoubtedly looked the part, Megyn Kelly is hardly the first person to characterise Christ as a “local”. Historically, I presume this was done to make Christ more relatable to the average worshiper.

    The difference with Ms. Kelly is that she said it, and appeared to believe it. Most of us simply see it and are apathetic to it or subconsciously accept it.

    But the real issue, for me, is this: this isn’t about skin colour. It is about national pride. For the Fox News crowd Jesus isn’t simply portrayed as a white man for the purpose of making him relatable, and thus helping people to accept the Gospel. No, for this crowd it is an issue of Americana. To them, America is a Christian country. And how can it be a Christian country if the saviour isn’t also “American” in appearance? In effect, they are moulding Christ into their ideal national rallying point: they are putting their ideas of America over their ideas of faith.

  • Mes chers amis. Je vais publier en français, car c’est ma langue. Pourquoi cette focalisation sue les Blancs? Pourquoi avoir honte d’être Blancs, pourquoi rejeter son identité? Premier point. Une photo de Jésus est conservée sur le Suaire de Turin et l’homme dessus est identifié comme un type juif non-arabe et la reconstitution faite montre un homme qui ressemble à toutes les représentations que l’on a fait de lui jusque là. Deuxièmement, le coup de santa klaus originaire de Turquie c’est de l’ignorance. Je suis Lorraine, et saint Nicolas est le patron de ma région. Il se trouve que saint Nicolas est un homme grec qui a vécu sur ce qui est actuellement le territoire de la Turquie, qui a envahi le pays plusieurs siècles après.
    Comment ne pas regretter cette haine de soi et ce mépris des traditions qui nous font critiquer la foi de nos pères? Pourquoi s’indigner que le Christ se soit incarné., et qu’Il est donc eu une apparence physique? Oui il était plus blanc que jaune ou noir ou arabe. Et alors? Pourquoi faudrait-il désormais faire l’inverse?