I grew up in Catholic education and was taken to church since I was a child and I admired the crucifix until I wanted to try this experience in 2005. In the Philippines I was truly crucified with thin nails in my flesh ...
Interesting viewpoint, jjjack.I do not agree very much with the definition of the Catholic religion as "a faith whose central image is a guy who is vaguely effeminate, mostly naked, hanging on a cross". I have never found anything effeminate in the figure of Christ. The crucifix represents the total dedication of Jesus to his mission of being a sacrificial lamb for the salvation of men. With the cross the condemned man even loses his dignity as a man who dies, unlike any other form of capital execution, to become one with the inanimate object to which he is affixed. In fact, the empty cross is enough to represent the sacrifice of Christ. The crucifix is not a simple person condemned to die, it is a "show", it is not the protagonist of the event but the object of the attention of the spectators. He is not expected to do or say anything, only to die slowly, without clothes and therefore defenseless and humiliated. The deprivation of clothes is the central element that makes it clear that the victim, the executioner and the spectator are not placed on the same level but the first is a step below the other two. I believe that to get to a dehumanization of the condemned just as strong one must arrive at the Nazi extermination camps, where man ceases to be such to simply become the working material of a factory that produces only death. In this case, however, dehumanization is such a serious source of guilt for the executioner that it must be hidden, erased, denied. The transformation of a subject into an object is the paradigm underlying which the "deviated" erotic vision of those who find their excitement is founded, not in meeting the other person and in sharing with them but in being alone protagonist or "subject" of the action, which as such requires an "object" on which to fall that action. This without wanting to give the term "deviated" a negative moral judgment (judgment that would also invest the undersigned) but only to make people think that the attraction towards this form of execution as a sexual fetish has nothing to do with religion, if anything, precisely because the cross is dehumanizing, it is also desecrating and therefore attracts the attention of those who do not feel particular religious sentiments.
I am catholic and practicing.