Thursday 21 June 2007

Chocolate Jesus

One of my favourite songs at the moment is Tom Waits’ “Chocolate Jesus,” from the album Mule Variations (1999). He gave a stunning performance of the song a few years back on the David Letterman show – you can watch it below (or you can read the lyrics here).

It’s a wonderfully entertaining song, and it’s packed with genuine theological insights. “It’s kind of an immaculate confection....”


Anonymous said...

Ben, that was absolutely disgraceful. It proves Ratzinger's 1986 declamation about pop music being the "vehicle of antireligion". The spirit shudders at how the song might play backwards. And how will I ever sing "How sweet the name of Jesus sounds" with a straight face again?

Derek said...

This reminds me of that artist who was recently persecuted in NYC for sculpting a crucified Jesus out of Chocolate and dubbed it "My Sweet Lord".

Anonymous said...

Ha, fantastic! It's the Barthian critique of religion, with a distinct American edge: 'I got my own special way'.

Drew said...


Bruce Yabsley said...

Excellent clip. It still hasn't displaced "The Piano Has Been Drinking" as my favourite of his songs, but it comes close.

Thanks for the link.

Anonymous said...

Great clip. I loved watching Tom's body movements as much as hearing him.

Off-topic: I wonder if you'd consider posting your thoughts on this question:

"What is torture, and is it necessarily immoral?"

I'm asking this of those bloggers I read and respect. Hope to link to all their responses anon.


Ben Myers said...

Hi Maiden. Thanks for your query about torture. I don't think I'll do a separate post on this -- but I think the UN Convention Against Torture provides a reliable definition. In general terms, I'd describe torture as the state-sanctioned treatment of detainees in cruel, inhuman or degrading ways.

From a human perspective and also from a Christian perspective, it's clear that torture can never be acceptable or justifiable under any circumstances whatsoever. The American theologian George Hunsinger has put it like this: "If torture is not evil, then nothing is evil." I think that sums it up precisely.

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