According to R. Emmett Tyrell, Jr. at The American Spectator, the Andy Warhol Foundation is threatening to pull it’s funding from the Smithsonian. Their complaint is that the Smithsonian caved to Republicans and the Catholic League over “hosting a video showing ants crawling over the crucifix entitiled “Fire in My Belly.”
As Tyrell says, the double standard that the liberals operate on is fundamental to their mindset. It’s okay, justified and in fact, righteous to disturb the peace of those who disagree with them but when the public at large doesn’t want their ‘art’, it becomes an issue of social injustice, bigotry, civil rights violations and hate crime.
“If the ants were swarming all over the Koran it would clearly be a hate crime and out it would go without the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts having a leg to stand on.”
Not only would the Foundation not have a leg to stand on but they would be in the front lines demanding religious tolerance and decrying the bigotry of holding such an exhibit — but only for Muslims.
The Foundation’s argument is one of censorship. “For the Arts to flourish,” writes Joel Wachs, president of the Warhol foundation, “the arts must be free, and the decision to censor this important work is in stark opposition to our mission to defend freedom of expression wherever and whenever it is under attack.”
No one has censored this particular video or the entire exhibit for that matter. This video is available at another New York City museum for those who are so inclined to view and support it. No one is stifling the ‘art’ of anyone. Taxpayers just don’t want to pay for it. All art should be paid for by those interested in supporting it; that’s where private foundations and patrons come in. Raise your own money for this “very important” exhibit.
Don’t be mistaken, this is not about freedom of expression or censorship. The liberals would love to paint that picture but it’s simply not true. This is about religious persecution of those who are not Muslim or those whose religion is not fashionable to the artsy, elite left. This particular assault on Christianity by the left is passive and insidious compared to the persecution they are suffering worldwide. Pope Benedict highlights this in his World Peace Day missive:
“Sadly, the year now ending has again been marked by persecution, discrimination, terrible acts of violence and religious intolerance,” Benedict lamented [...]
Benedict singled out the “reprehensible attack” on a Baghdad cathedral during Mass in October, killing two priests and more than 50 other worshippers, as well as attacks on private homes that “spread fear within the Christian community and (create) a desire on the part of many to emigrate in search of a better life.”
“At present, Christians are the religious group which suffers most from persecution on account of its faith,” the pontiff asserted, and cited Christian communities suffering from violence and intolerance particularly in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Holy Land.
“This situation is intolerable, since it represents an insult to God and to human dignity” as well as “a threat to security and peace,” Benedict wrote [. . .]
It’s time that Christians fought back. If that means fighting in court, then so be it. The First Amendment guarantees us that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” No one or entity, including the government or a private foundation, have the right to stifle the free exercise of religious worship and religious assembly. But the left has hijacked the government and the courts and is passively (without violence) persecuting and stifling the practice of religion by Christians in America.
We see this passive religious persecution in America every day, from Chase Bank refusing to allow their banks to decorate for the holidays to schools that no longer allow Christmas trees.
If the left objects to paying, with tax dollars, for a Nativity scene on the courthouse lawn, then there is no problem with the religious objecting to pay for an exhibit of ‘art’ that depicts Christ or Christianity in an abusive, illegitimate and dishonest way.
As Governor Christie said (on another topic): the double standard ends now. Christians have to stand up and object as loudly, and if necessary as obnoxiously as the left has.