CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

More Trendy Artists, More Boring Sacrilege

Jul 28, 2009

Yawn. Here we go again. More “cutting edge” artists seeking to make a statement. Another “bold” bit of social commentary. Another case of tax-payer funded anti-religious bigotry and sacrilege. Yet another attack on Christianity. Yet another compelling reason why some artists should be forced to get real jobs.

This time the “work of art” has appeared at the prestigious Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow. So what is this great piece of art all about? The Made In God’s Image exhibit is simply a Bible with a bunch of pens, in which viewers are invited to scrawl any remark on its pages.

Sure enough, those learned and sophisticated art lovers took the bait, and laced the Bible with plenty of puerile comments, profanities and vulgarities. And they seemed to have a ball doing it, much like a two-year-old would love defacing a wall with a crayon.

The Glasgow “artist” Anthony Schrag said he wanted homosexuals and transsexuals who felt left out of religion to “write their way back in” to the holy text. Oh really? How meaningful and how moving. So I take it he would not mind if a bunch of religious folk went into some cherished homosexual site and defaced it with all sorts of anti-homosexual commentary.

The Pope also condemned the exhibit, rightly pointing out that Schrag very wisely decided not to include a Koran in the exhibit, even though that religious book also takes a strong stance on homosexuality. Of course this artist wouldn’t dare do that. He is too chicken.

He knows that Christians won’t issue fatwas against him, or seek to blow up the art gallery. As usual, Christians are soft targets. These trendy lefty arty farty types are always keen to declare open season on Christianity, offering all sorts of blasphemous and sacrilegious works, all justified of course in the name of “art”.

The only bit of sanity to come out of this episode is that there were in fact enough people who complained about this work of desecration that the gallery was forced to “put the vandalised Bible on show in a locked case, while still allowing visitors to write comments on blank sheets of paper” as one newspaper account puts it.

This is simply another example of two worrying trends in Western culture: the way the artistic community is increasingly getting away with murder, and the way the homosexual activists keep showing their true colours. Art used to involve things like creativity and talent. But today anyone can do anything and call it art, thus trivialising the whole enterprise.

And the homosexual activists carp all day about how much they are into toleration and openness. Yet that is the very last thing the militant homosexual activists show to anyone who dares to cross their agenda. And forcing taxpayers to subsidise this garbage is really the last straw.

If some twit wants to do this at his own expense in some private gallery that is one thing. But to force taxpayers to subsidise “art” which is a frontal assault on many of their most basic and cherished of values and beliefs is beyond the pale.

Not only should this “artist” get a new day job, so should the egghead buffoons and bureaucrats who allowed this foolishness to be displayed in the first place. But with the inmates evidently running the asylum over there, I guess we shouldn’t hold our breath.

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1202632/Pope-attacks-art-vandalising-Bible.html

[568 words]

18 Responses to More Trendy Artists, More Boring Sacrilege

  • Even non-Christians see the hypocrisy here:

    …where is the equality?… Maybe [Schrag] should try… travelling to an Islamic state and defacing a Koran surrounded by members of the Religion of Peace.

    (lirked page contains strong language)

    Wordsworth’s Ecclesiastical Sonnet II:xxix, ‘Translation of the Bible’, springs to mind:

    …thousands wild
    With bigotry shall tread the Offering
    Beneath their feet, detested and defiled.

    Michael Watts

  • Postmodern, trendy types defacing and defaming a Bible eh?

    The intellectual depth and sophistication on the left never ceases to amaze me!

    Damien Spillane

  • This is the modern definition of ‘art’ and ‘artist’ – one who knows nothing about art but everything about being controversial. Today, artists can only create a name (and money) for themselves by doing something controversial – something that shocks and offends. There is not one scrap of artistic talent evident.
    Wonder if that kind of art will be as popular as the Renaissance art which is viewed in Italy 600 years on.
    DON’T THINK SO!!
    Jane Petridge

  • It is rubbish like this that highlights the problem with government funding of art. You hit the nail right on the head there Bill.

    I wouldn’t care if someone wanted to behave like this on their own time and expense, but doing it on the public’s time and expense is just beyond a joke.

    And yeah, people should rightly point to the cowardice of doing this with a Bible but not with a Koran. How brave of the moron in question. If he’d done it with a Koran as well, I could at least respect the fact that he has the courage of his convictions.

    Jason Rennie

  • In light of such pathetic attempts to warp the concept of art, here’s a reassuring example of an exhibition worth seeing. I got this off Koinonia House’s latest newsletter.

    “Women Can “Hold” Unborn Babies – July 24, 2009
    Pregnant women are being given the chance to hold life-sized models of their unborn babies, thanks to an invention that converts data from ultrasound and MRI scans. Jorge Lopes, a Brazilian designer, uses 3-D printing technology to create the plaster models, which went on display last month at an exhibition at the Royal College of Art in London.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,534781,00.html

    Anthony McGregor

  • Who says this is work from a ‘cutting edge’ artist? There are plenty of crack pot artists in the world – why give this guy kudos and attention by bringing it to our attention – this is exactly what he wants! … and has got!
    Michelle Johnston, NZ

  • Thanks Michelle

    My use of quotation marks around that phrase indicated that I was being facetious of course.

    As to publicly discussing the episode, there may be various opinions held by believers. Some might prefer a head-in-the-sand approach: see no evil, hear no evil, etc. That is an option. On the other hand, in a democracy, it seems that believers have has much right as anyone else to stand up for their beliefs and values, especially when they come under public attack.

    I am not sure if we are called to be doormats, and allow any and every act of anti-Christian bigotry to go unchallenged. And if I happen to live in the country where the outrage is taking place, and if I am subsidising it with my tax dollars, then that seems all the more reason to make a stink.

    But believers may have to agree to disagree on these sorts of issues, in terms of what the most appropriate response might be.

    (BTW, greetings! Long time no hear from!)

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • On the (well established) trend of attacking the Bible as a ‘soft target’, and without similar creativity/adult tantrum on a koran/other religious writings, I was wondering about this sort of thing on a more ‘academic’ note.

    That is to say, there are many writings of athiests/etc attacking the Bible in published books, but are there similar academic, critical attacks of Islam written by athiests/etc?

    Is the ‘free-for-all’ against Christianity in proper, critical books – written by athiests/etc – comparable in number/expanse/etc to that written (by athiests/etc) against the koran & other religions?

    (I think the prominence of Islamic culture in the world/media outbalances the disparity of it against the Bible due to any ‘language/culture’ barrier, i.e. Bible more established in western culture than koran; but maybe someone can correct me if this is significant).

    I have no idea and the article made me wonder, so I thought I’d ask to see if anyone knew (if you can decipher my wordy paras :/)

    Tristan Ingle, Sydney.

  • Thanks Tristan

    Yes, things are a bit mixed here. The secular left has rightly been criticised for regularly attacking Christianity, but remaining largely silent on the human rights abuses and oppression found in Islam.

    But Prometheus Press, founded by secular humanist Paul Kurtz in 1969, which features many atheist titles, does have some works critical of Islam, for example by former Muslims such as Ibn Warraq.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Christians are accused of hiding behind religion or the Bible when condemning homosexuality, but its OK for homosexuals to hide behind art, performance and music when they wish not only to blaspheme but also peddle paedophilia and pederasty.

    http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=17268
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/culture/igortoronyi-lalic/3686751/Conductor_jailed/#comments

    Those complaining about the exhibition will no doubt be accused of being homophobic; and if homophilia becomes widely accepted, followed shortly by the acceptance of pederasty and pedophilia, will there soon be a new crime of inciting pedophobic, hebophobic and ephebophobic hatred?

    David Skinner, UK

  • In cases like this Glaswegian one, I’m almost tempted to be a bit naughty, and ring up the Islamic Brotherhood and tell them that a Koran was put in the show (then hastliy withdrawn – but initially put there nontheless); the Islamic Brotherhood wouldn’t be impressed by any denials from the “artists”. Alright, I wouldn’t do that – but I could always tell Anthony Schrag that I had done so – give him a sleppless night or two.
    John Thomas

  • Hi Bill,

    Defacing a book is not art, it is a political statement and really not a good one at that.

    Ben Green

  • Trendy artists or propaganda?

    “The mission of Soulforce is to cut off homophobia at its source – religious bigotry. Soulforce uses a dynamic ‘take it to the streets’ style of activism to connect the dots between anti-gay religious dogma and the resulting attacks on the lives and civil liberties of LGBT Americans. We apply the creative direct action principles taught by Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. to peacefully resist injustice and demand full equality for LGBT citizens and same-gender families.”

    http://www.soulforce.org/afo
    Dont talk to snakes.

    Donna Opie

  • Homosexuals and transexuals do not need to be writing themselves into their own created Bible- they need supernatural help from God. Homosexuals are like anyone else- as sinners, we need real supernatural deliverance. The only way to receive this deliverance is through the supernatural means of turning to Jesus Christ (which is also known as repentance) and availing ourselves of His transforming power which has been made available through His victory over sin and death as He was crucified for our sins and raised for our justification. ‘Where sin abounds, grace abounds much more’. There is abundant supernatural provision for homosexuals to be delivered from the self-destructive lifestyle of homosexuality. And that supernatural provision is in Jesus Christ and His victory over evil. God bless.
    Alex Parer

  • This sort of provocative, imbecilic “art” is not new. It has a history going back to the thirties when a Frenchman submitted a toilet as a piece of art in an exhibition. During the seventies I had a wealthy friend who was Australia’s leading collector of junk art and third rate sculptures generally. He advertised himself as a patron of the arts and sponsor of rising talent. On a visit to his gallery I was intrigued by a crushed and rusty child’s tricycle near the entrance. His explanation was that it was art and he had paid a young artist for it. The “artist” had retrieved the item from the local garbage dump. During a visit to the State gallery, I noticed a painting of his pompously on loan to the connoisseurs who managed the place. It consisted of a rectangular canvas painted matt black, nothing more. Somewhat inspired by this and having no artistic talent to speak of, I thought of knocking up something of similar merit in my backyard and offering it to him for exhibition and with some hope of monetary reward. However, I could not find the appropriate spark of insight.

    In 1980 on a visit to the Tate in London I saw an exhibit by a West German sculptor. The main item was a pile of German coal with the West German flag stuck in it. Nearby was an old billy can lined with mussel shells on the inside. Plainly modern art has become a hoax.

    John Snowden

  • David Skinner: “and if homophilia becomes widely accepted, followed shortly by the acceptance of pederasty and pedophilia,”

    I don’t think homosexuality can be fully accepted in a complex society containing diverse views and a ready flow of information, some of it unfriendly to the homosexual cause. Apparently some primitive tribes more or less incorporated it into their mores but they were relatively simple closed societies. And they had the excuse of ignorance. In my society I am observing a two-faced liberal approach to homosexuality. People say the “right” thing in public but privately they have reservations. A revealing example is a letter I received from a Humanist whose Society officially supported gay “marriage”. He admitted such a “marriage” was not respectable. Another reason homosexuality won’t be fully accepted is that some homosexual practices clearly generate dislike, disgust no matter how many laws the social liberals have passed to make society like what it instinctively dislikes. You cannot legislate emotion nor can you completely control it by doctoring language as political correctness does. Reality bites back.

    As for acceptance of homosexuality leading to acceptance of paedophilia I don’t think that will happen either. All societies have inherent ideas of normality and abnormality even if they are somewhat intuitive and not easily articulated (even psychiatrists and psychologists have a problem with articulation as Theodore Millon has shown). Society conceptually needs “abnormals” and anti-social types in order to postively define itself as good, civilised etc. Paedophiles are beyond the pale which is why certain persons out to normalise homosexuality become hostile when you mention the demonstrable connections between homosexuality and paedophilia. Personally I think the attempt to normalise homosexuality by manipulative law-making and indoctrination of the immature is political-ideological make-believe, just like the Nazi fantasy of Aryanism or the Soviet fantasy of the New Man. Whatever the make-believe, its days will be numbered by unrelenting reality.

    John Snowden

  • Alex or Bill, the quote “where sin abounds grace much more”- what a great quote, where did it come from?

    Also more should be done about the bureaucratic nonsense that wastes taxpayers money. Where it is someone elses (taxpayers in this case) money the duty of care is all the more greater.I know perfectly good Christians that use examples like this as an excuse to avoid paying tax.

    Lawrie Mcnamara

  • Thanks Lawrie

    Paul said it in Romans 5:20.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

Leave a Reply