Jesus was depicted as a sexual figure — including an image of him exposing his buttocks — just days before Easter in an article for the Montana State University student newspaper's annual satire edition.
The piece in the Exponent — renamed the Excrement for the issue — was titled, “The highest form of consent," and delved into the process of asking potential sexual partners for permission to "party." It also suggested asking "the Lord Almighty."
“After all, what could be sexier than spending a long day at work or in class, coming home and getting on your knees opening your mouth for the Lord,” the article read. “There's nothing better than seeing a picture of the Lord with his massively shredded abs, abs so ripped you could grate cheese on them."
It added: "Who do you think will protect you when you have sinful premarital relations? Because it's sure as Hell not gonna be that condom you’ve been carrying in your wallet for four years on the off chance that you get lucky. It’s gonna be that beautiful, sin-absolving love muscle.”
The article was accompanied by an image of Jesus wearing a crown of thorns and pulling up his robe to expose part of his right buttock. The caption reads, “Jesus turns the other Jeek (Jesus Cheek).”
The Exponent provided the following statement to Campus Reform:
The editorial team decided, after publication, that the article in question was not in keeping with our content standards for satire. Additionally, after considering the timing of publication with Holy Week, we decided that removing the article from our online presence was the responsible decision.
The MSU Exponent has been in print since 1895, sparing a few years during WWII. We have an extensive archive available for your perusal. You may access the archive via Montana State's campus library. I honestly do not know if any religious figures/icons/deities/etc. have been satirized before in the Exponent.
In response to an Exponent tweet teasing the March 29 satire issue "on stands today," one commenter mocked the paper for publishing the sexual article involving Jesus: "how edgy ... I'm waiting for liberals to be truly edgy and write scandalous articles about Mohammed ..."