I have noticed that certain Baptists and other similar-type Protestants seem somewhat uncomfortable with anything having to do with our Lord’s crucifixion. This is not to say that they deny it or never talk about it, but it seems to be something that they generally prefer to gloss over in favor of going straight to the resurrection.
For example, in the Baptist circles that I was a part of before becoming Catholic, they didn’t have a Good Friday service or even a Holy Thursday service—just an Easter Sunday service, and Christ’s suffering and death was barely touched on. Also (as is the case with many Protestants), they are not at all comfortable with crucifixes, although most don’t have a problem with hanging a plain cross in their church or home.
Furthermore, I realized recently that my young nephews (whose parents are a part of this Baptist group) have almost never seen a picture of Jesus on the cross. They always seem somewhat surprised and impressed when they do see a depiction of it—for example, they like to look at the crucifix on my necklace, and they always point out the large crucifix in the Catholic cemetery when we ride our bicycles past it. The other day, the younger boy wanted to draw a card for someone with Jesus on the cross, and his dad discouraged him from doing it, saying “Jesus isn’t on the cross anymore.” Something about that incident made me sad—not to mention that it doesn’t make sense. If that is their logic, they shouldn’t set up nativity scenes at Christmas, since Jesus isn’t a baby anymore.
For those of you who might come from a similar church background, what do you think the reasoning is behind their discomfort with the cross (or more specifically, the crucifixion)? When you think of it, it seems strange for Christians to almost “skip over” the whole focal point of our faith. Is it one of those things that some people subconsciously avoid out of fear of seeming too Catholic? Is it because the cross is too . . . “unpleasant”? Or are there other reasons? (Of course, we as Catholics glory in the Resurrection as well as the cross, but you lose something when you emphasize one at the expense of almost ignoring the other.)