Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King sparked a debate over the colour of Jesus’s skin by calling for statues of “white European Jesus” to be torn down as symbols of “white supremacy” and “racist propaganda”.
Conservative Norwegian politician Ingebjørg Storeide Folgerø has weighed in on the debate about “white Jesus” stirred by Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King.
Stunning many netizens, Folgerø agreed with the controversial pastor-turned-activist in that depicting Jesus as white is a form of “white privilege”.
“Have always wondered about Palestinian Jesus being portrayed as white, often blonde. Undoubtedly white privilege”, Folgerø tweeted with reference to King’s statements, who went so far as to calls for statues of “white European Jesus” to be torn down as symbols of “white supremacy” and examples of “racist propaganda”.
However, not all her followers shared this sentiment.
“I’m still amazed over people who focus on skin colour. Only racists are concerned about skin colour, only racists divide people into skin colour groups. Anyway, what is white privilege, I’ve always wondered…” one of the replies said.
Jeg stusser stadig over folk som fokuserer på hudfarge. Kun rasister er opptatt av hudfarge, kun rasister deler folk inn i grupper basert på hudfarge. Og, hva er hvitt privilegium? Det har jeg alltid lurt på….
— Christer Myrland (@nibblebyte) June 28, 2020
“Get yourself together, read the Bible and stop hesitating”, another one said.
Ta deg sammen, les Bibel historie og slutt med slikt tøv !
— Havmann (@havmann) June 28, 2020
Some were sceptical about the figure of Jesus as such.
“Most likely, there was no Jesus. He is a fictional person constructed by creators of religion. If he were a person, of course he was like those who lived in the area he came from…”, one user wrote.
Mest sannsynlig var det ingen Jesus. Han er en fiktiv person som er konstruert av religionskapere. Var han en person, er det jo selvsagt at han var som de som bodde i området han kom fra …
— Terje Helland (@terjehelland) June 28, 2020
Others accused Folgerø of moral grandstanding.
“Now is enough. What you point out here is not racism. Jesus is portrayed with many faces and in many colours around the world. Should we perhaps also remove the white chess pieces because white starts first as well? Is it also a white privilege?” another one mused.
Det er nok nå. Det du påpeker her er ikke rasisme og undergraver saken. Jesus er portrettert med mange ansikt og farger verden rundt. Skal vi fjerne de hvite sjakkbrikkene fordi hvitt starter først også? Er det også et hvitt privilegium?
— Einar (@JurOracle) June 28, 2020
“Jesus was a Jew. And the way he is portrayed depends on who portrays him. A strong example of when you have no idea what you are talking about, but just have to do some moral posturing. Even with a good dose of white self-whipping. Classic”, another one concluded.
Jesus var en jøde. Han fremstilles ettersom hvem som portretterer ham. Sterkt eksempel på når man ikke har aning hva man prater, men bare må fremstå som moralt forhøyet. Til og med i spedd en god dose hvitt selvpisk. Klassiker.
— Aato (@elAato) June 29, 2020
Faced with an outcry, Folgerø stressed that she doesn’t support “demolition or other destruction”. Nevertheless she stuck to her guns by providing a sample of Google images of “baby Jesus”, noting that “Palestinian babies do not look like this”.
Ikke har jeg støttet riving eller annen ødeleggelse, ikke har jeg sagt et ord om rasisme. Men dette er hva du får hvis du f.eks søker på Jesus baby. Palestinske babyer ser ikke slik ut pic.twitter.com/Fma6aU5wnr
— Ingebjørg Folgerø (@IngebjorgF) June 28, 2020
Folgerø, who describes herself as a “Conservative feminist hag” on Twitter, had earlier played a major role in the city government of Stavanger, one of Norway’s largest cities. Folgerø has also been a big opponent of Christianity at school.
The Conservatives are the largest party of the centre-right “blue” bloc, and the leading party in the governing cabinet. The party defines itself as a “conservative party of progress” and advocates economic liberalism, the reduction of taxes, and individual rights. Historically, it has been the most outspokenly pro-EU party in Norway. In the 2017 election, the Conservatives garnered 25.1 percent of the vote.