Chocolate Jesus timing just ‘coincidence’

Just a quick note on the chocolate Jesus controversy…

In case you haven’t heard, a 6-foot sculpture of an anatomically correct, chocolate Jesus was to debut Monday evening at the Lab Gallery inside Manhattan’s Roger Smith Hotel.

It was to remain on exhibit until Easter Sunday.

The gallery’s creative director, Matt Semler, now says that the timing — exhibiting “My Sweet Lord” during Holy Week — was just a coincidence.

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“We’re obviously surprised by the overwhelming response and offense people have taken,� he said.

The gallery is considering its options, he said.

Sounds like the gallery was looking for some Holy Week publicity, but not this much. Semler must never have run into the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue, who pounces on this sort of thing.

“It’s not just the ugliness of the portrayal, but the timing — to choose Holy Week is astounding,” Donohue said.

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.