Why is Jesus Portrayed as a White Man in Western Civilization?
This is just an idea, but it sounds plausible: People in western civilization are white; they imagine Jesus as being like themselves (or more probably, like the community they live in). I suspect that if westerners didn't influence some other (ethnically different) people's visual conception of Jesus, they would imagine him as "normal," which to them would mean that he looks similar to the other people in the community.
Isn't a blatant misrepresentation of the figure of Christ wrong?
If you knew what he looked like and "drew" him a different way, that might be wrong, but it would probably depend on your motives. If you don't know what he looks like, then no matter what, you'll probably draw him incorrectly, but whether it's right or wrong depends on your motives. To call an inaccurate drawing a "blatant misrepresentation" suggests (to me, based on how that phrase is often used) that the artist is attempting to deceive the audience. That is a function of the artist's motives, not the work itself.
Here are some questions I ask myself when I consider such a thing:
- Is the figure of Jesus behaving in a consistent manner with what we know about Jesus revealed in the Scriptures?
- What is the artist attempting to say about Jesus by how he's drawn?
Discerning something about the artist's motives would lead me to conclude one way or another about the moral value of the work.
Can Jesus be Female?
Because we know for certain that Jesus was male, it would be a deliberate (though not necessarily malicious) misrepresentation of the facts to portray him as otherwise. I don't know if I could say that this is morally wrong, but in most cases, I would be leery of doing so. There's enough "based on a true story" fiction around that I'd prefer not to fudge known facts for the sake of making a political statement.
Why was Jesus male? That might be a useful question to answer, but it doesn't change the fact that he definitely was a male.
God is neither male nor female. He is whole. Humans are not "whole" in this sense. God has made us "half," for whatever his reasons are. I don't think he prefers any gender over the other. Jesus was born a man, but that doesn't need to be a slight to women.