Homeless Jesus sculpture causes controversy in North Carolina

Sculptor claims piece was rejected by cathedrals in New York and Canada.
By Evan Bleier   |   Feb. 27, 2014 at 10:02 AM   |   Comments

DAVIDSON, N.C., Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Not everyone is happy about a sculpture depicting Jesus as a homeless man that has been installed outside St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Davidson, N.C.

The piece shows Jesus sleeping on a bench in front of the church -- an image that is apparently too life-like for some.

"I was concerned for the safety of the neighborhood," said Cindy Castano Swannack after calling the police about the sculpture.

"Jesus is not a vagrant, Jesus is not a helpless person who needs our help. We need someone who is capable of meeting our needs, not someone who is also needy,” she said.

The "Homeless Jesus" sculpture was previously rejected by cathedrals in New York and Canada.

"It's Jesus representing the most marginalized of society," St. Alban's Rector David Buck told WCNC. "We're reminded of what our ultimate calling is as Christians, as people of faith, to do what we can individually and systematically to eliminate homelessness. Part of a faith commitment is to care or the needy."

The only things that identify the figure on the bench as Jesus are the crucifixion marks on his feet.

“It’s here because it’s wonderful art that reminds, with this beautiful (church) structure here, that our faith is expressed through our concern and care for the homeless,” Buck told the Davidson News. “We think it’s the perfect place for it.”

[Davidson News]

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