This is what happens when your artist doesn’t pay attention in anatomy class

A church in Oklahoma is actually losing members over a crucifix on display. The problem is the artist has painted Jesus with a ‘distended abdomen’, or perhaps a six-pack (actually a four-pack in this case), that is making all the filthy-minded Catholics think of something else.


I’m looking at the dimensions of that thing and thinking that they also seem to have a highly unrealistic expectation of Jesus’ endowment. Also that he gets aroused in very peculiar circumstances — who knew Jesus was a masochistic sub?


  1. Watson says

    In the immortal words of G.O.B.: “oh c’mon!”

    If that wasn’t deliberate, then my name isn’t Watson.

  2. says

    The king of glory, indeed.
    Oh, Glory!
    [laughing up a storm here]

  3. Caine, Fleur du mal says

    Heh. I read some of the comments, it was mostly women, in dire need of the fainting couch, over the sexualization of Jesus!!!!1! For people who think Jesus was real, they seem to think he was a life size Ken Doll.

  4. subbie says

    Jack (#8):

    I’ve certainly known some subs that only a masochistic Dom/me would want, but I can’t say I’ve met any masochistic Dom/mes. It’s certainly a curious idea.

  5. says

    OK, now [wiping tears of laughter] I followed the link and looked at some other San Damiano crucifixes. For what it’s worth, they all have that shape above the loin cloth–but not as big and bulgy as this one. No, I still don’t really understand why. Iconography was never my thing.

  6. People's Front of Judea says

    Hey, the artist was just copying what the father showed him in coral practice…
    Besides, Mary? on his right appears to be staring.
    And, if you are going to idolize a brutal form of torture, and them eat the victim and drink his blood…
    Now I understand the whole soggy sao thing (google it). We have the cracker, now we have the rest.

  7. Greg Esres says

    The “distended abdomen” explanation is absurd. No matter what the artist intended, no one could fail to see what it looks like. I’m very interested in the motivation of the church for displaying it.

  8. mistermuz says

    Waiting for Godot, act 1

    VLADIMIR: … (Estragon looks attentively at the tree.) What do we do now?
    ESTRAGON: Wait.
    VLADIMIR: Yes, but while waiting.
    ESTRAGON: What about hanging crucifying ourselves?
    VLADIMIR: Hmm. It’d give us an erection.
    ESTRAGON:(highly excited). An erection!
    VLADIMIR: With all that follows. Where it falls mandrakes grow. That’s why they shriek when you pull them up. Did you not know that?
    ESTRAGON: Let’s hang crucify ourselves immediately!

    VLADIMIR: Go ahead.
    ESTRAGON: After you.
    VLADIMIR: No no, you first.

    (hopefully the tags hold)
    Did they have to head it “The King’s Glory” or there abouts? yeesh.

  9. aratina cage says

    who knew Jesus was a masochistic sub?

    Heh heh. Who knew indeed. It’s about time we see some pareidolia in Jesus.

  10. AnthonyK says

    That must be why, when de ladeez finally get to see my trouser snake, they so often exclaim:

  11. MadScientist says

    You know what they say, Deus Omnius Maximus – so why are they surprized that their god has (and incidentally, is) the biggest dick?

  12. Joel says

    Just setting aside the phallic overtones for a minute, is anyone else a bit disturbed by all the blood and skulls? Is this a church or a Megadeath concert anyway?

    If you told me that people would voluntarily take their kids to see this kind of gore, and then let them spend 10 minutes alone in a dark closet with a sex-starved pedophile priest, I’d say you were nuts.

  13. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Is this a church or a Megadeath concert anyway?

    There is a reason why Christianity is called a death cult.

  14. Sven DiMilo says

    there is precedent for this style

    well, yeah. All “San Damiano crucifixes” are copies or interpretations of the San Damiano crucifix, the one that always hung in the church in (yes) San Damiano. The damn thing apparently spoke to St. Francis one time. The weird abs-rendering is not only not obscene, it’s just holy as all get out. Idiots.

  15. robertdw says

    The distended abdomen is actually in the original San Damiano cross, with the two bulges at the bottom and all.

    And I’m not sure about it being a bulge; looks to me like it’s meant to represent an abdomen collapsing inwards, possibly due to starvation, or possibly because the chest is pushed outwards trying to breathe.

    But people who think it’s meant to be genitalia really need to get a sense of perspective.

  16. Caine, Fleur du mal says


    But people who think it’s meant to be genitalia really need to get a sense of perspective.

    Xtians are obsessed with sex. They see genitalia everywhere.

  17. raven says

    wikipedia jesus foreskin:

    Depending on what you read, there were eight, twelve, fourteen, or even 18 different holy foreskins in various European towns during the Middle Ages.[4] In addition to the Holy Foreskin in Rome, other churches and cities claiming to have the relic during the Middle Ages…

    Odd fact. Jesus is reported to have had up to 18 penises according to the RCC.

    As god, he could of course poof as many as he wanted to for himself. Still, 18 seems a bit excessive.

    I’ve also never seen a crucifix with an 18 penis jesus so where he hung them all is a bit of a mystery.

    PS The last jesus foreskin remaining was stolen a few years ago. Too bad, we now could run some amazing DNA tests on god, blood time, ethnicity, and so on. Conceivably someday we could have even resurrected him! Would that be cool or what?

  18. Theadosia says


    You can also see something similar in many Orthodox icons. It appears to be a way of depicting an ascetic body. In better painted examples you can see that the top shape represents the concave arch below the ribs that you get on someone is quite skinny and is also raising their arms above their head. That bit is often shaded to look concave, but some artists do just copy the shape without bothering about what it represents. The rounded or somewhat distended stomach is also common on people who are malnourished.

    So yes, anatomy fail, understanding of the tradition of sacred art fail, and major technique fail.

  19. Zabinatrix says

    As funny as this is, I’m actually a bit disheartened by the fact that people are leaving their church over this.

    Ok, that might need some explanation.

    I’ve been in a few conversations with people about the Catholic Church lately and I’ve been saying that I wish that we could see more people leave the Church in protest. The RCC derives its massive power and influence from its vast numbers and monetary resources, so people should hit them where it hurts if they disagree with their practices. If people started leaving the Church, saying that they won’t support those who protect child molesters, lie about condoms et cetera, the Church would start losing some of that power and money and would have to change to keep people from leaving.

    I said that I know that there are millions of good, nice, non-crazy Catholics and I’d love to see them leave over the atrocities performed by their church. People have told me that I’m naive – that it’s impossible; their church is too much of their identity and culture – they can’t leave it.

    I kept arguing that hey, people can of course be good even if they believe in strange things and I’d bet that a lot of them can see that it’s the right thing to do. Besides, they can just leave the RCC and bring with them all that really matters – they can still pray to the Virgin Mary, believe in the Holy Trinity, gather up to pray and read the Bible in Latin together or whatever.

    But people keep telling me no, that won’t happen. People are too set in their ways. Even if they disagree with what the Church is doing in regards to child molesters, sex education, aids in Africa, gay rights et cetera, they won’t leave and I shouldn’t expect them to.

    But now you come and tell me that they will leave over this crap?

    Sure, sure, I know that some people really have left because of the child molestations and so on. But if a few people can leave their church over a trifling, silly, minor detail like this well-hung Jesus, then people should be fleeing the RCC by the millions. And that should have started years ago.

  20. Sven DiMilo says

    Although I’ll also say that if I had to look at that in the front of the church every Sunday, I’d find another parish too. Actually, being me, what I’d really do, I’d sleep in.

  21. Feynmaniac says

    Rather than healing paralytics I think this Jesus made a few women unable to walk…..

  22. Aperçus désagréables says

    A Dutch poet once wrote:

    God is groot, God is machtig.
    Hij heb een lul van één meter tachtig!

    which roughly translates to :

    God is great, God is might.
    He has a dick six feet in height.

  23. skeptical_hippo says

    Ok, I know what it looks like… but that being said, this is common for Byzantine icons. Tour a Greek Orthodox or Serbian Orthodox church sometime, they’re full of these. A lot of the “baptism of Jesus” icons have the same abdomen rendering; it’s not limited to crucifixion scenes.

  24. Sven DiMilo says

    Huh. Early 12th Century.

    The tradition of such crosses began in the Eastern Church and probably reached Italy via Serbia and Croatia….
    The San Damiano Cross was one of a number of crosses painted with similar figures during the 12th century in Umbria. The name of the painter is unknown, but it was fashioned around the year 1100. The purpose of an icon cross was to teach the meaning of the event depicted and thereby strengthen the faith of the people. The Byzantine style was common in Italy before Cimabue and Giotto.

  25. OurDeadSelves says

    Never mind the giant wang, look at Jesus’s freaking face. He’s all “hey ladies” and it’s seriously creeping me out.

  26. ambulocetacean says

    Wasn’t Jebus supposed to be circumcised? It looks like he has one of those defective foreskins that don’t peel back over the German helmet. Intelligent design indeed…

  27. pierce.presley says

    Back in the day, my mom (a darned good painter and a lifelong church-going United Methodist) painted a mountain landscape. And when you looked at the landscape without, say, concentrating on making the paint look like a cliff or sky or something, the mountains looked like a guy lying on his back covered in a gauzy sheet (maybe the shroud of Turin?). With a huge erection. It would be, were it an actual mountain, at least an eighth of a mile long. It’s one of those things that, once you see it, you can’t unsee it.
    So Jesus may have been hung, but when it comes to accidentally painted penises, I think mom’s got the title. (At least, until someone finds a schlong in one of those “artist’s rendition of space” paintings.)

  28. MAJeff, OM says

    Also that he gets aroused in very peculiar circumstances — who knew Jesus was a masochistic sub?

    We already knew he was a cannibalism bottom: “This is my body. Take. Eat.” Why should a torture bottom be surprising?

  29. samilobster says

    Jesus least know divine power:

    Having a package that puts Ron Jeremy to shame.

  30. Jeanette Garcia says

    Isn’t that part of the body called the ‘six pack’ and is a left over from our insect ancestors?

  31. martha says

    People are pattern spotters so no surprise many see a penis. What is more surprising is that apparently the original images from years ago were not perceived the same way. Are we now conditioned to see dicks?

    I find the grinning skull beneath his feet creepy.

  32. Sven DiMilo says

    our insect ancestors?

    Ancestors with segmentally organized trunk muscles, yes.


  33. fernery says

    Wow, just when I thought christians’ internet peen was shriveling, with the way they whine about how evil atheists bully them with porn on twitter, they hit back with this?

  34. Peter H says

    “Odd fact. Jesus is reported to have had up to 18 penises according to the RCC.”

    During the height of the holy relic industry there were across Europe no fewer than 14 foreskins of Jeshua ready for veneration(?). Did the so-called church loose track/count? Did the bris-meister tire out? Did the other/missing 4 go to Eastern Orthodox sites? This may go some way toward explaining the schism between Rome & Constantinople.

  35. MaleficVTwin says

    It seems to be growing out of his belly button.

    “Jesus, is that a hernia or are you just glad to see me?”

  36. Ragutis says

    An international decades-long cover-up of child rape is tolerable, but this, this is the last straw causing people to leave?


    Nice priorities there, you pearl-clutching, vapour-having pedophile enablers. The solution is clear. Paint one of those cutesy rosy-cheeked chubby little baby angels getting it balls deep over the offending bit. They’re OK with that, I guess.

    Posted by: Jack Author Profile Page | April 15, 2010 7:49 PM

    Aren’t all masochists going to be subs? Can you be a dom and a masochist?

    Well, there’s plenty of switches. I knew someone who was a domme to one partner and a sub to the other. As most of us have probably figured out in our lives, you need to make the relationship fit the people, not the other way around. Also, while I admit that I know very little of the lifestyle, I’ve been told that the best way to learn to be a good top is to start at the as a bottom.

    [metal pedant] Megadeth [/metal pedant]


  37. Eamon Knight says

    Yes, that’s completely anatomically wrong. I thought by now everyone knew the nails have to go through the wrists, not the palms.

    Stupid artist.

  38. Hurin says

    Hmm… this one reeks of passive aggressive humor. Perhaps someone was having a quiet laugh at the expense of some clergy several hundred years ago?
    Or maybe some artist had an instinctive guess as to what features and proportions his benefactor might appreciate in a Jesus icon? Either way it is pretty fucking hysterical.

  39. KOPD says


    Bible says the nails were in the hands, and we know the Bible is never wrong about anything…

  40. Azkyroth says

    Aren’t all masochists going to be subs? Can you be a dom and a masochist?

    It’s a coherent concept, but I’m guessing it’s not that common.

  41. says

    Also that he gets aroused in very peculiar circumstances — who knew Jesus was a masochistic sub?

    No suprise here, since his father seems to like such thing. (For those of you who don’t know, read the Old Testament).

  42. says

    Also that he gets aroused in very peculiar circumstances — who knew Jesus was a masochistic sub?

    No suprise here, since his father seems to like such thing. (For those of you who don’t know, read the Old Testament).


    You forgot to mention that the story come with is own (pointless) poll. So, don’t forget to pharyngulate the aforementioned poll.

  43. says

    Now that’s one Big Swinging Jesus.

  44. wmdkitty#83021 says


    *snorting giggles*

    *full-blown laughter*

    I’m sorry, but that looks like a giant dong to me….

  45. kc5tty says

    And ya’ll thought that everything was big only in Texas!!

    Jesus Christ, Superstud ……..

    Remember: Oklahoma is OK.

    not great ……. just OK

  46. hyoid says

    Hey!!! That’s where I went to grade school!! And I was an altar boy too!! I really wanted to ring the bells, but I never got to do it. I’m visiting OKC right now. I’m going to go over there and look at it, in the Flesh. Woo Hoo!!!

  47. Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom says

    Also that he gets aroused in very peculiar circumstances — who knew Jesus was a masochistic sub?

    Gee, what a surprise. Nobody outside the catholic church saw /that/ coming.

  48. F says

    raven @ 29

    As god, he could of course poof as many as he wanted to for himself. Still, 18 seems a bit excessive.

    Listen and learn:

    See also:

    Zabinatrix @ 32

    But now you come and tell me that they will leave over this crap?

    There is a long history of folks of the church-hopping variety, who change their parish or denomination because they don’t like that new priest so much, or the rosary club wasn’t quite going their way.

    Leaving over something substantial? Meh.

  49. says

    I’m a gay male atheist and I approve this crucifix.

  50. Ray Moscow says

    I’m way too slow with my “hung Saviour” pun. Oh well, I support pictures like this in all churches. If they are going to be dicks, they might as well openly worship one.

  51. zeit says

    Pfft. A perfectly nice painting of a male reproductive organ in rude good health, utterly ruined by the sick addition of a religious icon.

  52. Faid says

    I was raised Greek Orthodox, and I must say it took me a while to understand what this was about, by looking at that picture. I have seen such depictions of Christ many times.

    It is, as others have noted, a very common artistic style. The only flaw in the picture is, perhaps, that the shading on the side is a bit too intense, making the abdomen look as if it’s protruding more than it should. The dirty mind of the ‘faithful’ does the rest.

    Seriously: If they are not predisposed to see dicks everywhere, I seriously doubt if one would immediately see that as an image of a penis (emerging from the middle of the belly, nonetheless).

    Seriously, Christians, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

  53. daveau says

    There’s an idiotic poll question on the linked site:

    An icon at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Warr Acres has created controversy among parishioners. Do you find it offensive?


    Ummm…? Yes, because it is a religious symbol, and nearly all religious symbols arouse my ire. No, because it’s frackin’ hilarious. Can’t decide.

    Or is the question whether or not I find the controversy to be offensive? Can’t anyone make an intelligent meaningless poll?

  54. ER says

    Ephesians, chapter 4, verses 15-16: “We are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love”.

  55. roga says

    they should add some children reaching up trying to touch it… you know to make it more Catholic

  56. Rick Miller says

    So they bought a crappy piece from an artist who doesn’t know how to draw abs (or nipples), and who apparently never bothered to get a second opinion before delivering the finished piece.

    The fact that the church didn’t go back to the artist and say, “Fix it” just demonstrates that they’re idiots.

    Never mind the fact that Jesus, being of Hebraic (and possibly also Roman) descent was certainly much more hairy, and that the scripture says he was crucified after being stripped naked.

  57. tutone21 says

    Looks like I am a Jesus worshiper, but this time it’s for the right reason. If Jesus went to college right now do you think his nickname would be “Donger.”

  58. Tray says

    Probably one of the most accurate depictions of Jesus. If you were a god able to create your own genitalia what male here wouldn’t reach to his chest and be big around as his arm?

  59. Alverant says

    I’d love to ask the offended xians, “So how big was your savior’s penis?” but that would make me sound TOO interested in the wrong thing.

    (Tray, actually I wouldn’t. Having one that big would mean I can’t wear shorts or t-shirts without running the risk of being arrested for indecent exposure.)

  60. frog, Inc. says

    PZ: who knew Jesus was a masochistic sub

    Sometimes, you surprise me. You really don’t get what’s driving religion, do ya? Of course he was a masochistic sub — that’s what Christianities about, building societies composed mostly of subs and a few doms. It’s the propagation of the worst of Rome.

    What do ya think a cross is, but a phallic S&M trip?

  61. Ragutis says

    Posted by: Tray Author Profile Page | April 16, 2010 10:41 AM

    Probably one of the most accurate depictions of Jesus. If you were a god able to create your own genitalia what male here wouldn’t reach to his chest and be big around as his arm?

    Err… anyone who was planning on inserting it into a partner at some point.

  62. aratina cage says

    You think this picture is funny, thinking about it as an executed man with en erect penis? You sure would have loved being nazis during WW2.

    That is not a “man” and he is not being “executed”. It is a god experiencing the pain and pleasures of the flesh, dingbat.

  63. Zabinatrix says

    You think this picture is funny, thinking about it as an executed man with en erect penis? You sure would have loved being nazis during WW2.

    Wow, what I’ve heard about the Internet is true. Reductio ad Hitlerum is always an option. I would never have imagined a Godwin on a thread like this, but there it is.

  64. BlueEyedVideot says

    I just can’t stop laughing. The mere thought of the throngs of sheeple looking up at his holiness’ holiness… Ha ha, there I go again!

  65. Sili, The Unknown Virgin says

    what, no nipples?

    Of course. It there were nipples he couldn’t show his work on Facebook or Deviantart.

  66. gr8hands says

    Watson #83 — great!

    Perhaps the reason it looks like the appendage starts in his belly is that the testicles are low-hangers, and have been pulled up over the loincloth. That conclusion certainly fits the available visual evidence.

  67. says

    I don’t get it. Sure, his genitals look a bit small to me, but nothing to be ashamed of. I’m only a little bigger.

  68. Anodyne says

    Holy Christ on a stale cracker! Just looking at that thing makes my orifices scream in horror.

    On the other hand, if there was a push toward displaying nude hotties at church, I might actually consider going once in a while. haha

  69. Michelle R says

    Hm? I could’Ve sworn I saw that image years ago…. Are they getting pissed just now?

  70. Sven DiMilo says

    I could’Ve sworn I saw that image years ago

    you mean, like, 900 years ago?

  71. JohnM55 says

    This is what happens when your artist doesn’t pay attention in anatomy class

    The artist was paying attention, it’s just that Tom of Finland was guest lecturer that day.

  72. bbgunn071679 says

    Now the story about Peter denying him thrice before the cock crowed makes more sense.

  73. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    You sure would have loved being nazis during WW2.

    You sure love being a fool right now.

  74. Ol'Greg says


    Woah. I predict some poor doctors will be gingerly removing that holy statue from some very dirty mission work.

  75. says

    Folks seem to be unaware of traditional iconographic practices. This isn’t meant to be Western “art” following well-established norms for drawing; it’s religious iconography. Surely we can learn the difference in the West, and get over our Freudian proclivities in appreciating religious iconography.

  76. says

    MikeM is reminded of this:

    Basil: Did we get Dr. Evil?

    Radar Operator: No, sir, he got away in that big spaceship that looks like a huge…

    Teacher: Penis. The male reproductive organ. Also known as tallywhacker, schlong, or…

    Friendly Dad: Wiener? Any of your kids want another wiener?

    Friendly Son: Dad, what’s that?

    Friendly Dad: I don’t know, son, but it has great big…

    Peanut Vendor: Nuts. Hot, salty nuts. Who wants some?…

    Peanut Vendor: Lord Almighty!

    Woman: That looks just like my husband’s…

    Circus Barker: ONE-EYED MONSTER. Step right up and see the One-eyed Monster!

    Cyclops: RARRR.

    Cyclops: Hey, what’s that? It looks like a…

    Fan: Woody. Woody Harrelson. Could I have your autograph?

    Woody: Sure. Oh, my Lord! Look at that thing!

    Fan: It’s so huge.

    Woody: No, I’ve seen bigger. That’s…

    Dr. Evil: Just a little prick.

  77. Ol'Greg says

    113 you’re preaching to the choir in one way since art history was kind of my thing.

    I’m aware of the history of the religious icon, but actually I think if you allow yourself to ignore things like the very dickishness of the abs in this painting or the gory images of saints with their bowels being removed you are actually the one glossing over the content.

    After all, have you ever seen the paintings of the wound of christ before?

    You wanna pretend that’s not intentional?

  78. CosmoVanPelt says

    Well, someone at andrew sullivan’s blog made this waaaay more interesting (to me anyway, and probably a handful of others, I wager (sickos)):

    The post refers to a gallery which is worth a look.
    Here’s the text (linkless):
    “””In reference to this post, I thought you might be interested to know that Alexandre Leupin happens to have written an entire book (in French) on the subject of penises in Christian art. Here is a photo gallery of some interesting examples of “phallophanies.” “””