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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Right Vandalism

I’m not very knowledgeable of art, specially when it comes to paintings or different forms of “modern art” particularly when it comes to something or some action that supposedly represents something, which may include empty paintings, “artists" who leave the water tap running and gerbils that chew on encyclopedias.

The art of these action is invisible to my eyes, maybe because I’m not very literate when it comes to art, or maybe because these are just non-senses. But when something religious is involved, the controversy is increased tenfold. Like in the case of this “artistic expression”.

Anger after Bible defaced in British gallery

Christians voiced anger and dismay on Tuesday (local time) after a Bible, which was part of an exhibition inviting viewers to add their reflections, was defaced with offensive, foul-mouthed scrawl.
Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art has decided to put the Bible in a glass case after the exhibit - called Untitled 2009 and part of a show entitled Made In God's Image - was vandalised.

Artist Jane Clarke, a minister at the Metropolitan Community Church, asked visitors to annotate the Bible with stories and reflections, as a way of making it more inclusive.

But visitors to the gallery took the invitation a bit further than she had anticipated.

First of all, I don’t see how this idea is artistic. It would be better as part of a protest against religious discrimination in general (in which case, a Koran should have been included). But as part of an artistic exhibition? Second, it was obvious that the church was going to complain about it. What wasn’t very obvious was that the Pope was going to take the issue into account.

Pope condemns Bible 'vandalism' exhibition

The adviser to the head of the Catholic Church said the project was "disgusting and offensive".

Even though I see different religions as superstitious nonsense that should be acknowledged as that, I don’t think as correct protesting by insulting symbols just to piss off believers. Of course, many times religions are so ridiculous it’s hard not to laugh at them.

But, in based on what does the pope qualifies the exhibition as “disgusting”? Some comments justify that reaction, such as

Some remarks were simply offensive, with one person writing "---- the Bible".

I assume thos spaces mean “fuck”, Other writings just are joking:

"Mick Jagger and David Bowie belong in here,"

But some others are right or at least have a point to take into consideration

I am Bi, Female & Proud. I want no god who is disappointed in this

“This is all sexist pish, so disregard it all

the biggest lie in human history

That bisexual and proud woman expresses clearly her rejection against a god that is presented as “disappointed” for her being who she is, even though that God, if it exists, is the one who created her that way. The sexism in the bible is undeniable, but that doesn’t mean everything is wrong; we have to acknowledge there are some pieces worth reading, few, but there are. Regarding the biggest lie, certainly, as all myths with which the old civilizations have wanted to explain its origins, it’s a lie, or at least, a very decorated and manipulated reality.

But I don’t think the Vatican limited its comments to the offensive phrases. The behavior that the Catholic Church (and many other Christian denominations) has shown to us usually takes criticism as an offense, especially when its symbols are taken. Vandalizing the bible, which supposedly is the word of god, is unacceptable for the believer, who sees his or her beliefs “insulted”. But these are the same beliefs that “vandalize” the rights and dignity of women, homosexuals, people of different faith, poor people exposed to illnesses, nonbelievers, among others. Apparently, for the catholic church, that is the correct vandalism

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Blasfema libremente

"Que esté permitido a cada uno pensar como quiera; pero que nunca le esté permitido perjudicar por su manera de pensar" Barón D'Holbach
"Let everyone be permitted to think as he pleases; but never let him be permitted to injure others for their manner of thinking" Barón D'Holbach