Per RightWingWatch, Family Research Counsel Executive Vice President Jerry Boykin gave an exhilarating speech about the meaning of “Biblical Manhood”. It’s pure comedy gold. According to Boykin, Jesus was a “man’s man” and a “tough guy”, who “smelled bad” and had huge biceps and bulging veins from all the carpentry he was doing. Boykin laments the “feminized Jesus” that the church presents, that provides no inspiration to modern Real American Men, men communicate by grunts, shoot unarmed “urban” teenagers for freedom and have more neck tattoos than teeth.
It’s a pity though Boykin didn’t also mention that Jesus, like a true man’s man, was in the habit of telling random chicks he’d like to suck on their tits, because that’s what a real man is required by nature to do, hating gays, shooting guns (at people, exotic animals and occasionally printers, should they get all uppity) and embracing a kind of ruthless capitalism unshackled by any sense of responsibility to one’s fellow man. It’s right there in the Bible, isn’t it? Well, if it isn’t, it damned well should be, and Jerry Boykin, with his Family Research Counsel, will see to that.
This is, of course, damage control in the wake of American conservatives’ increasing diversion, in their discourse and actions, from what Jesus actually said (assuming the Gospels are inerrant) — and Boykin skirts pretty close to claiming that the Gospels have been polluted by socialist agenda and should be cleansed of all passages that attempt to “feminize” Jesus. Like, for example, Matthew 5:39, the passage that rejects the principle of “an eye for an eye” and exhorts Christians to “turn the other cheek” when struck. I have a hard time imagining Boykin’s Manly Jesus doing that in a manly way. Or all those passages in which Jesus treats chicks as if they were people worthy of respect, which, of course, only gay, feminized, un-Christian men like Cory Booker do. Every God-fearing, bad-smelling Real American with bulging biceps knows chicks exist exclusively to be sneered at, have their tits sucked on, pushing out babies and cooking, so what is all this nonsense about Jesus supposedly acting like a friend towards some vagina-havers? I’m sure it wasn’t in the original.
But hey, let’s have some fun with this.
He smelled bad. Why, because he sweated he worked. You think I’m sacrilegious because I said Jesus smelled bad, no. He was a man. He was a man’s man.
Newsflash, boycheck: pretty much everyone smelled bad in antiquity. Women too. Not to get all persnickety on you there, O Insecure Right-Wing Uberhypermasculine (and possibly latently gay) Man-Children of America, but the reason people smelled bad in ancient times is because they didn’t have deodorant or modern cleaning products like we do. They also didn’t have AC or running water.
Carpenters’ wives didn’t exactly sit in air-conditioned homes operating space-age washing machines, because Jesus didn’t live in the 1950’s. For a sampling of what working-class wives in ancient Judea did, may I direct our good friend Jerry Boykin to Proverbs 31, a verse that deals explicitly with that subject. (I would never direct Mr. Boykin to an actual history book, as I am sure he doesn’t trust anything written by academics, who are all liberals, and therefore are always lying. But the Bible can be trusted for 100% truth, right?) Point being, women in Jesus’ time did a FUCKTON of manual labor in searing heat, so Jesus’ mom would have smelled bad also. So how was smelling bad a manly endeavor? Is that one of those impossible rules of Real Womanhood, where a “Biblical Woman” is supposed to look made-up without makeup, be perfectly coiffed without spending more than 3 minutes a day on her hair, always look no older than 23, maintain the figure of an adolescent boy despite going through a dozen pregnancies and never dieting, because only tree-hugging librul hippies eat arugula, never shit, reap and thrash crops in 120-degree heat without breaking a sweat or smelling unpleasant, and just generally make it look effortless? Thanks, boychek. Thanks for admitting that you stink in more ways than one. But just so you know — now that you haven’t been in a combat zone for years, and (presumably) don’t live in abject poverty, your penis doesn’t excuse your offensive body odor. And no one finds it a turn-on. Your BO is birth control, asshole. Go buy an Arrid, fergodssakes. And having done that, please treat us to the next one, about how all real men are supposed to have halitosis.
He had big old callouses all over his hands. I imagine he probably lost a nail or two…he maybe hit it with a hammer or something, I don’t know. I imagine he lost some nails. Think about it, yeah, he was the son of God, but think about what he looked like. He had bone, muscle and sinew in his arms. You think his biceps weren’t big, bulging biceps?
Uhm, boychek? Although Jesus was trained as a carpenter, the Gospels suggest that he did very, very little carpentering. Mostly, he was on the road all the time, living off donations. Between all the preaching and the traveling and the sermons and giving free medical care to Lazy Poors, when would Jesus have found the time for woodwork? Even if he did, as you say, have bulging muscles, consider being realistic in other respects as well.
Jesus was Semitic, not Northern European. Mind you, this was before the Diaspora, before 2000 years of fearsome natural selection resulted in some Ashkenazi Jews looking like they might be related to Leif Ericson. Jesus almost certainly had olive complexion, almond-shaped eyes, raven hair, and features that would have made any Real American reach for his Jesus-approved gun (for freedom) while muttering something about “Messicans” and “creeping Sharia”. Incidentally, this is how Jesus has been traditionally represented in the Eastern Christian tradition:
Furthermore, the average height for men in the Mediterranean region during this time was only about 5’6”. And, given that Jesus grew up in a fairly impoverished environment, he would have had poor nutrition during his formative years, and would very likely have been shorter than average.
In sum, assuming for argument’s sake that Jesus existed, he was in all likelihood a short (by modern standards), scrawny, swarthy man. And I don’t know about him missing nails, but by his thirties, he would almost certainly be missing a few teeth.
It’s a good bet he didn’t have long hair, either. Although the sources on whether ancient Hebrews wore their hair long are vague, we know that the general custom of the Romans, who ruled Judea, was for men to crop their hair short, and most residents in occupied territories followed it. Besides, traveling in antiquity was grueling, and having long hair would only have added to the discomfort (not the least of which is that the hair would have been a perfect breeding ground for fleas).
As for Boykin, I would suggest that he look into the history of Judaism and early Christianity, which may lead him to realize that his paganization of Jesus isn’t entirely, uhm, Christian. Of course, I’m assuming that some part of Boykin’s brain isn’t completely desiccated, and that may be overly optimistic of me — what, given his claim that men may identify, or not identify, with Jesus based purely on looks, because who the fuck cares about the message? It’s socialist propaganda, anyway.
P.S.: Because I am totally vain and too invested in appearances, I usually couple the lede with color artwork (typically, a reproduction of a medieval or Renaissance painting that conveys the same theme as the entry). However, Pieter Bruegel’s black-and-white sketch “The Ass at School” fits in so nicely with what I wrote, I decided to include it despite its lack of colorfulness.
You think his biceps weren’t big, bulging biceps? Big ole’ veins popping out of his arms, thin waist, strong shoulders from lifting.
You know, it’s not uncommon to hear fundies proclaim such intense love for Jesus, it almost sounds like they want to do Jesus. Hell, Gustave Flaubert, that no-good feminized Frenchie who believed chicks should be educated as well as men (mangina! white knight!) scandalized the hell out of polite society back in the 19th century when he described Madame Bovary’s decidedly sensual yearnings for the Son of her Creator. Still, I always have to wonder about the wisdom of proud homophobes who can think of no better way to demonstrate their hetero bona fides than by drooling all over a member of the same sex. Homoeroticism is decidedly strongest among those who obsess over other people’s sexual orientation. At least that’s how it seems to me.