The Dichotomy of “Freedom”
A recent court ruling deciding the fate of the Santa Monica Nativity Displays illustrates a striking dichotomy. Tensions between secular progression and religious expression continue to wage a tug of war throughout the American landscape.
Freedom of religious expression is under lock and key lately in the U.S.
Cherished religious freedoms are within sight of precarious cross hairs. And, at times, it seems no one is rushing in to protect these rights from coming under assault. Assiduous secular advocates propagate legal arguments securing victories, at times effectively muting citizens’ Constitutional rights.
Religious tradition is a minefield in the ego of secular intellectual reality. Progressive screeds preach with organized, sustained force leaving the traditional believer scratching their head wondering what just happened. Many religious customs are being dispatched from American communities and cities, sadly being replaced with something less.
The recent Andres Serrano display at the Edward Nahem Tyler Gallery in midtown Manhattan illustrates a telling divide. Serrano’s “Piss Christ” was taxpayer funded by many citizens who objected to it. The artwork, on its second tour of duty in New York, was countered by a Catholic League press conference the opening night of September 27, 2012. Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League, who is never one to balk from his belief system, articulated his right of freedom of expression to the press.
Later Donohue was barred from the gallery for having expressed it.
Sensibilities of those with traditional values are expected to tolerate and digest an unjust process which would deny their right to voice an opinion.
As an artist — a Catholic — I attended part of the Catholic League’s rally in protest of the offending “exhibit,” and am glad that I did. Secular progression, to its credit, has an organized, unified voice. The traditional conservative voice would learn well to do the same, and fight to win the moral battle.
- Andres Serrano’s controverial Piss Christ goes on view in New York (guardian.co.uk)