New Zealand is officially a secular state, it’s main religion is rugby and absolution may be found through sport, but this is taking things a little too far even in a country with a Godzone complex.
St Paul’s Cathedral in Wellington is displaying a painting by local artist, Don Little entitled, “New Zealand Icon”. It shows the figure of an All Black in the style of a Jesus icon.
“Central to Christian belief is the fact that God became a human being, he became a man,” cathedral dean the Very Rev Frank Nelson said.
“We often call New Zealanders God’s own, so it would be completely logical that if Jesus did come back he would be an All Black.
“It’s painted in the very traditional Orthodox Christian style of painting, designed as an aid to prayer, so the idea is that it engages your attention but then takes you beyond the painting to God.”
All well and good but there is zero chance of Richie McCaw offering up his other cheek next time he worships with Quade Cooper, neither are Kiwis likely to forgive their enemies in their quest for the holy grail (Webb Ellis cup) This whole icon thing has been badly thought out though hasn’t it – we all know what happened to Christ in the final game. Fortunately he came back for a rematch, the All Blacks may not be so blessed.
Artist Don Little told the Dom Post he painted the $3,000 icon after wondering whether rugby had become the new religion in a country that had largely turned away from the faith. Great to see a price being put on that statement.
Coming to a hotel room near you – Godzone
But wait that’s not all, a chapter of the bible has received the rugby treatment too. Apparently Luke was chosen for a rework because it contains the popular nativity scene (with a baby Jesus in an All Black romper?) and the story of a lost sheep which gives it a New Zealand flavour.
History does not tell us if the sheep was black.
“Godzone is a re-vamped version of the Gospel of Luke, featuring the entire text of the New Testament chapter interspersed with the life stories of 10 international players whose lives have been transformed by their Christian faith.
Past and present players – including All Black Thorn, Fijian captain Deacon Manu, Black Fern Doris Taufateau, Scottish prop Euan Murray, Wallabies flanker David Pocock and former captain Nick Farr-Jones – describe their paths to faith in the book, of which 25,000 copies have been published…” more here source
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