A University of California, Los Angeles, seminar last week compared murderous communist revolutionary Che Guevara to Jesus — and in quite glowing fashion, Campus Reform reported.
As Holy Week approaches, the UCLA religion department invited professor Emeritus of Art History David Kunzle to present "Chesucristo: The Fusion in Image and Word of Che Guevara and Jesus Christ," in many ways based on his book of the same title, the outlet said.
What was said and presented?
"Che Guevara, once the epitome of armed struggle, has evolved to an avatar of justice, peace, and love, as Jesus always was but no longer is exclusively," Kunzle said, according to Campus Reform, which attended the event.
More from the outlet:
Kunzle showed photos depicting Guevara with a halo, his head with a crown of thorns, and Guevara as Christ with the Virgin Mary hovering over him. Guevara was also shown graphically crucified in the nude in place of Jesus at Calvary, with Bolivian soldiers standing in for Romans and peasants acting as the apostles.
The attendees appeared to approve of the depiction of Jesus and Guevara, going so far as to call the latter individual a "martyr" in some of their own remarks in the Q&A portion.
Kunzle also referred to Guevara as a "quasi-divine cosmic force" while calling Jesus the "leader of an armed guerilla struggle against Rome," Campus Reform noted, adding that the professor drew parallels between Guevara's execution and Christ's death.
"As God created light — is light — Che is radiance," the professor also said, according to the outlet, which added that he also called Guevara a "hero of the Cuban Revolution."
What did one UCLA student have to say?
"I believe anyone has the right to discuss any opinion they have; that's why universities exist," David Johnson, a third-year student at UCLA, told Campus Reform. "But this is offensive on a different level."
What's the background on Guevara?
Guevara was prominent in the Cuban Revolution of the 1950s and "regarded as a martyred hero by generations of leftists worldwide," as "image became an icon of leftist radicalism and anti-imperialism," Brittanica said.
A trusted aide of dictator Fidel Castro, Guevara also "acted as the executioner (or ordered the execution) of suspected traitors and deserters," Britanica added, noting he also oversaw executions of those deemed enemies of the revolution La Cabaña prison. Guevara was executed by the Bolivian army after leading a guerrilla group there in 1967.