Billboards emblazoned with images of a heavily tattooed Jesus Christ are causing quite a stir in a Texas city, reports The Huffington Post.
Part of an ad campaign by Christian outreach group JesusTattoo.org, the billboards show a pictorial depiction of Jesus with words like 'Outcast,' 'Addicted,' 'Hated' and 'Faithless' on his body. According to the Christian Post, more than 50 such billboards have been erected in Lubbock, Texas, thus far.
'The message is a simple one, Jesus' love is transformative,' Ashleigh Sawyer, media relations coordinator for Jesus Tattoo, told the Post of the campaign. 'He loves us unconditionally and no matter what you've been marked with, faith in Him and love for others will transform us.'
Though JesusTattoo.org, which is said to be unaffiliated with any religious organisation, insists that the images are there to spread a positive message, some local residents have been rubbed the wrong way by the posters.
'I don’t like the picture. I think it’s very derogatory,' one disgruntled reader said. Another man told the news outlet that the image of Jesus is 'blasphemous.'
JesusTattoo.org says that the controversy is not entirely unwelcome. 'We're finding that those who visit the website and watch the video come to understand the message of the campaign,' Sawyer told the Post. 'Certainly, like with all deeply personal relationships, not everyone approves of the image of Jesus with tattoos, but we welcome the controversy because we understand that a dialogue on the issue is the best way to spread the message.'