For months, residents of Davidson, N.C., have debated the merits of a bronze statue of Jesus Christ as a homeless man on a local park bench. But when news of the hobo lord hit national TV this morning, NBC's hosts had a decidedly less coherent religious experience.
The statue was installed in February on the grounds of St. Albans Episcopal Church in the upscale neighborhood outside Charlotte, and it shows a blanketed "Jesus representing the most marginalized of society," according to the church rector.
But it wasn't universally hailed, with some residents calling Christ's depiction demeaning; a recent national report on the rendering by NPR noted that one resident even called the cops to report a vagrant on the bench.
Carson Daly, Savannah Guthrie, and the rest of NBC's Today show theologians tackled the controversy in a minute's worth of deep mystical reflection this morning, in the clip above. Clearly, the hosts were struck dumb by the spirit:
Believe it or not, this is supposed to be Jesus...
What identifies that as Jesus?
I guess it's just the thing that probably… it probably says "Jesus."
I think it's incredibly… thought-provoking.
At a minimum, it would get a conversation started.
It's like the Joan Osbourne song. "What if God Was One of Us?"
It's interesting to remind people about… poverty. You know, it's important.
Now to a priceless reaction from actress Emma Stone. She's actually a huge fan of the Spice Girls…
Credo quia absurdum, the early church father Tertullian is traditionally (mis)quoted as saying: "I believe because it is absurd." Praise be to the brethren and sistren of Today for witnessing to us in Tertullian's spirit, with the sort of earnest pre-rational babble that proves He moves in us. On 30 Rock, I will build my church. Together, we can probe the mysteries of this Spice World, as well as the one to follow.