A sculpture depicting Jesus as a homeless man, curled and covered on a public bench in North Carolina, has sparked outrage among some Christians who say that the son of God is hardly a "vagrant."
"Homeless Jesus" has been placed outside the St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Davidson, N.C., a local NBC News affiliate reported.
Cindy Castano Swannack, who initially called the police about the sculpture after she mistook it for a live person while driving by the church late one night, said the sculpture sends the wrong message.
"That's not who Jesus is," she said. "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."
Cathedrals in New York and Canada previously rejected the piece. But St. Alban's rector, David Buck, said the sculpture — which includes crucifixion marks on the feet — is a beautiful reminder of how Jesus stood for those of least means.
"It's Jesus representing the most marginalized of society," he told the station. "We're reminded of what our ultimate calling is as Christians, as people of faith, to do what we can individually and systematically do to eliminate homelessness. Part of a faith commitment is to care for the needy."
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