Then God said, "Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness." - Genesis 1:26
Once in a great while, a film comes along that charms the critics and captures the hearts of a nation. A great film, perfectly at home in its own day and yet destined to be a classic. A film that has it all: adventure, obsession born of lost love, vindication, high drama, giant monsters. I speak, of course, about Godzilla.
As soon as I got home from the theater after seeing Godzilla for the first time (believe me, it wasn’t the last) I Googled "New Godzilla". I was expecting to read heights of ecstatic paean and praise that would be equal to my own. Instead, the first headline I saw was:
"New Godzilla Too Fat"
Really? REALLY?! Fat shaming has finally gone and done it. Its tunnel-vision obsession with skinny has gotten so far out of touch with reality, that even the 350 foot tall, radiation eating, blue-fire-breathing king of all monsters has to put up with fat shaming.
As Christians, we have to push back against the fat-free, low-cal, egg whites only, substitute gospel of skinny=good. We have to push back when people are discriminated against and passed over for promotions because of how their bodies look. We have to push back when we hear about nonsense like "thigh gap" that is driving our confirmands to starve themselves sick. And if we do push back, we will be heard. We will be heard, not because the church is so all-fired important, but because we know the truth: every body in every shape and size is made in the image of God.
God of the deeps, you created the great sea-monsters. May humanity someday move beyond fat-shaming. And when we do, when people are asked what turned the tide against fat-shaming, let them say: Godzilla!
John Edgerton is Associate Pastor at Old South Church in Boston, Massachusetts.