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Colorado Christians outraged by Jesus art

Posted by Richard on October 5, 2010

An exhibit at the Loveland Museum/Gallery in Loveland, CO, includes a twelve-panel lithograph by Enrique Chagoya. One of the panels apparently depicts Jesus engaged in oral sex with a man, and it's sparked outrage among Colorado's Christian community.

On Sunday, police used tear gas to disperse a violent mob of Christians attempting to storm the museum. One man was killed and seven injured, including three police officers. In nearby Boulder, roving gangs of Christian youths vandalized storefronts, defaced a mosque and a Buddhist ashram, blocked streets, and torched at least a dozen vehicles. Riots have broken out in several other Front Range cities with large Christian populations.

The Loveland City Council is expected to address the issue at its Tuesday meeting, and more violence is feared if the artwork isn't ordered removed. Museum employees, city council members, and their families are under 24-hour police protection due to numerous threats. 


Of course, none of that's true (except the part about the lithograph). The outraged Christians are peacefully protesting with signs outside the museum — signs like "Would you portray Mohamad this way?"

I made up the part about rioting Christians. But you already knew that, didn't you? Because you know that Christians — at least modern Christians who come from a culture that, thanks to the Enlightenment, has largely embraced reason and tolerance — simply don't behave like that. Oh, maybe an isolated nut-case — but large, violent mobs of Christians? It just doesn't happen.  

Just as a reminder, here are the Mohammed cartoons that sparked massive riots throughout the world in which many people were killed. Not a sex act depicted among them.

Mohammed cartoons

BTW, I'm an atheist, so I don't have a dog in this fight. I'm just calling 'em as I see 'em.

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4 Responses to “Colorado Christians outraged by Jesus art”

  1. David Bryant said

    [ Here’s a link] to the “artwork” in question. Personally I don’t see why people are objecting to it. It doesn’t exactly depict Jesus getting sucked off — the body of the “man” on whose shoulders a stylized head of Jesus rests has long, distinctly feminine fingers and voluptuous breasts. One might almost argue that the body of Christ must be androgynous, because it is catholic — and that the picture illustrates a deep theological insight — if one were so inclined.

    On a more serious note, the people who are protesting seem to have two complaints — that Chagoya’s comic book art is obscene (not that it’s sacrilegious), and that it is being displayed in a publicly financed art museum. All this brings us round to a good argument against public funding of the arts: since a publicly funded art museum must choose which art to display, and which to avoid, it will always be engaging in censorship.

  2. rgcombs said

    Hmm, interesting — the print seems to have been removed from that site. But thanks for trying!

    Of course, your comments about public funding are correct. Any decent art museum necessarily discriminates against all the “art” it chooses not to display for one reason or another (like, it’s crap). That’s fine for a private museum — we applaud their discriminating taste. But when the public’s tax dollars are being used, discriminating taste is necessarily unfair to some of those taxpayers.

    The only “fair” way to run a taxpayer-funded museum is to display art on a “first-come, first-displayed” basis — accept every piece of crap someone offers until you run out of space. Sounds like a great museum, doesn’t it? 🙂

  3. rgcombs said

    Oh, I forgot: My post really had nothing to do with either the artwork or the museum’s funding. It was about the reaction of those who were outraged. And the difference in culture and values that made their expressions of outrage quite different from the expressions of outrage one gets from a certain other culture with different values.

  4. David Bryant said

    ”…the print seems to have been removed from that site.”

    Yeah — now they’re showing the one that got ripped up by that crazy woman from Kalispell.

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