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October 9th, 2010
02:44 PM ET

Woman charged for destroying controversial Jesus art in Colorado

Editor's note: A lawyer for Kathy Folden, who was charged Wednesday by Loveland, Colorado police with criminal mischief - a felony - said she will plead not guilty.

“Kathy is an ordinary American with some sincerely held religious beliefs, and like a lot of Americans and a lot of people in Colorado she was pretty upset by some of the displays at a city-owned museum,” one of her attorneys, Cliff Stricklin, told CNN Friday.

“The real issue is the city of Loveland, which is not supposed to be endorsing or belittling religion,” he said. “They specifically endorsed a piece that belittled Jesus Christ.”

Striklin said that Folden will challenge the charge on the basis that a felony is supposed to involve destruction of more than $1,000 worth of property. “There’ no way the state can prove that this piece was worth over $1,000,” Stricklin said.

Folden, 56, of Kalispell, Montana, was released from jail Thursday on $350 bail. Striklin said that this weekend she will return home, where the mother and grandmother works as a long-haul trucker.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Art • Colorado • Jesus • United States

soundoff (895 Responses)
  1. Richard Mavers

    "Artists" always make pieces that belittle Christian imagery because they know they will get attention and can get away with it. If they bashed Judaism/Islam etc they'd be called racist, but if they do the same to Christianity they're artists.

    October 9, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
    • Me

      It's because Muslims will murder the artists. They know Christians aren't that insane.

      October 9, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Me: Of course... Christians will just destroy your property... That's so much more tolerant. Wow your type will go to great lengths to feel better about yourselves.

      October 11, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  2. zounds

    If this lady had imagination, she could have declared herself a "performance artist for Jesus," and turn the tables
    on the art world. But Noooo.. gotta go "industrial" in mentality.

    October 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  3. nate

    i wouldnt mess with her. she's tougher than nails

    October 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  4. Gareth

    One last thing....if a museum is putting BS like that on their wall....haha that museum too is pathetic. Museums are known for well known pieces and art work worth something....not some joker-ass piece of sh|t like such. hahaha I can't even believe it was in a museum of all places; a gallery I can see, but not this.

    October 9, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
    • CHAD TURIN

      Right on gareth

      October 9, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
    • Luke

      Something tells me the art museum in Loveland, CO does not have the same funding as NY's Metropolitan Museum of Art or the MOMA.

      October 9, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
    • David

      Seriously.

      October 9, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
    • Kiare

      Of course, Gareth, most of the pictures displayed in major museums that we consider to be tame were scandalous for their time. Picasso and cubists? Impressionists? Ruben's nudes? Michaelangelo's statues? They were deemed offensive and controversial for the time. If museums only kept artwork that was deemed acceptable by the standards of the time, there wouldn't be anything but pictures of bowls of fruit.

      October 10, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  5. Gareth

    The guy had it coming to him. Do you think what she did is bad? Why doesn't the little b|tch try drawing mohammed and see what happens....he should be thankful it was just what it was....Either way, the "artist" is a f-ing joke with no originality....who doesn't think to draw a powerful figure doing something raunchy? Give me a break. I for one am glad the women did what she did and im not even religious.

    October 9, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Gareth

      So, what is your opinion on this issue exactly...?

      October 9, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
    • Frisky

      Great, I hope people feel free to destroy anything of yours they don't like. What's your address?

      October 9, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
    • Dan

      Never mind Gareth, he's kinda like the retarded cousin that evryone tolerates when he's out for the weekend visit.

      October 10, 2010 at 11:10 am |
  6. Tommy

    Not suprised @ the "Zealotry" being acted out.

    After all, millions believe that in 2012, including huge numbers of Christians believe, that on December 21, 2012, God will "Rapture" the "true believers", & then "extreminate" the Godless Human Race for their "sins", & deliver a "new planet" for them to live on.

    October 9, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
    • Run4DaHills

      Yep. It's a mindset of people who somehow feel privileged over others by their faith or class or social standing. I just wish they'd hurry up and Rupture already and get the hell off this planet so the rest of us can live in peace. Just don't wreck the place on the way out the back door.

      October 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
    • yAY

      Yay, end of the world. Let there be ZOMBIES!!!!!!!

      October 9, 2010 at 8:00 pm |
    • David

      "zealotry". lol she damaged a piece of art in a museum.... OMG ZE CRAZY CHRISTIANS AND THEIR 2012 CONSPIRACIES AND THEIR VIOLENT BELIEFS. Anyway...

      October 9, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Tommy,
      They can’t be Christians that you are talking about; Christians believe in what the Bible says, and it says that no one knows when the end will come. Also the rapture is a man-made concept; the Rapture seems to have been invented by a British religious figure named John Nelson Darby (1800-1882).

      October 9, 2010 at 9:07 pm |
    • Reality

      @CatholicMom – Perhaps you should do some real research on the 2012 issue. It encompasses thousands of years of astroligical evidence by many different cultures. No I dont think the world is going to end in 2012, but I sure am not going to be ignorant on facts either. Maybe thats why I am an athiest....

      October 9, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
    • Reality

      Catholic Mom,

      There are at least two commentators on this blog with the "Reality" ID. Another odd thing about this blog allowing multiple IDs.

      October 10, 2010 at 12:07 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Yes, Reality, one wonders why or how someone gets so down on themselves that they don’t even have an ident!ty of their own….

      October 10, 2010 at 10:06 am |
    • krashundburn

      re: the raptured Christians and the end of the world on Dec 21, 2012

      Who are these people? How can I find them and ask for their life savings on Dec 20? I could use the extra Christmas shopping money...

      October 10, 2010 at 11:54 am |
    • Selfish Gene

      @krashundburn-

      Write your letter to IHOP, c/o Grandview Mo.
      Search for pancakes vs. prayer. It is fu-nny

      October 11, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  7. Cletus

    Free thought cannot be crushed with a hammer, unfortunately for the religious fanatics

    October 9, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  8. john316

    They say that a caveman with a crowbar is one of the most dangerous things on the planet.......here's proof.....

    October 9, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  9. Kate

    Her lawyer Stricklin sounds like Gloria Allred without the hair. Or the PR machine. Or the clothes. Or CNN on speed dial.

    OK, so, his resemblance to Gloria Allred is they're both money-grubbing straw-clutching try-it-in-the-media-cos-they-can't-win-in-court lawyers.

    Where did he get his law degree, off the back of a box of cornflakes? A city-owned museum displaying a piece of art in no way is an endorsement of the art in question by "the government" – if his version was correct, the Supreme Court building should be torn down immediately.

    I think it's much more likely his client's spent far too much time in the little truck stop trailer chapels and has fallen under the spell of Christine O'Donnell (literally).

    Just sayin'

    October 9, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
    • a true fan

      Kate! You wonderful woman! Your absence was truly missed. Welcome back!

      October 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Kate

      As one fundie put it.....Where the 'hell' have you been.... ? 🙂

      How are ya' friend...? Frogist told me that you were done with the CNN Blogs. I was about to leave you some kind of mean post on your blog for forsaking us... lol.

      Well, great to hear from you.....

      Just sayin'...!!

      October 9, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
    • Kate

      @peace2all

      As long as CNN refuses to be accurate in their sidebar about the blog purpose, as I posted on my blog, I don't really see the point to being all that active here. Twitter's more useful. But I can still jump in and really annoy ybs 😛

      Just sayin'

      October 9, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
    • Willow

      I agree with you. If the mere display of art == endorsement of a particular viewpoint, where do we stop?

      October 9, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
    • Back of my hand

      @CHAD TURIN

      For tard shooting for the lulz, you obviously FAIL. Who would buy p0rn when it's all over the internet for free?

      prlck

      October 9, 2010 at 7:58 pm |
    • Forth

      @Kate
      At the risk of incurring your wrath...aren't you kind of acting like a fundie by insisting that CNN obey the literal interpretation of some side-paragraph?

      And don't they have plenty of disclaimer stuff in their TOS?

      HeII, they don't hardly moderate this board at all....(that screwed up filter is not partisan, and I have only seen one or two posts disappear for obviously egregious offensiveness while others remain).

      If you think your particular viewpoint is not needed here I tell you that you are wrong.

      October 9, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
    • Kate

      @Forth

      At the risk of incurring your wrath...aren't you kind of acting like a fundie by insisting that CNN obey the literal interpretation of some side-paragraph?

      Nope, because I haven't compared CNN to Nazis, blamed it on Obama, or due to lack of a leg to stand on resorted to criticizing people's spelling and/or grammar – ergo I'm not a fundie.

      Of course, I might be holding back out of fear of being invited by Christine O'Donnell to a satanic witchy picnic on a blood-stained altar (said bloodstain most likely caused by a diabetic performing some dark and devilish ceremonial pricking of their finger to check their glucose levels, which obviously is demonic in nature and proof of why the healthcare reform act should be done away with so they can let such practitioners of such technological dark arts die due to lack of insulin)

      Note to Glenn Beck – I came up with that one first, you better credit me when you rip it off. Not that I'm saying you would, of course, but still, you have to wonder where you get your ideas from. They can't all be from the deep and secret prophecies of the LDS, like the one about the constitution hanging by a thread!

      (Which obviously it doesn't, since it was written on heavy parchment, and any thread it would be hanging by would mean it was really unravelling – literally.)

      But I digress. Which judging by the rest of the comments on this topic, is actually a requirement, so I'm in good company (Mark from Middle River take note – It was Sea Shepherd who had their boat run over by the whaling ship, not Greenpeace, and whilst I agree the boat was a beauty, I don't think ramming it is in the same league of destroying works of art (regardless of how bad) the topic refers to)

      October 10, 2010 at 3:32 am |
    • Frogist

      @Kate: *hug* Missed you! Thousht we'd lost you forever! BTW It's not blood on that altar.. it's pasta sauce.

      October 11, 2010 at 11:11 am |
    • Kate

      @Frogist

      You almost did, but I decided I would be abandoning you all to some warped Reality, and the Marine in me kicked in to organize a rescue operation 😛

      I still stand by the post on my site though!

      Just standin'

      October 11, 2010 at 11:49 am |
    • Raison

      @Kate

      So...any plans to add more posts to your blog? I would like to see more, but you have been busy I suppose..or just lazin'... 😀

      I hope you've noticed the improvement in Reality's posts. He even got in touch with his inner muse and wrote a little ditty...!
      I, too, have been trying to improve myself, alas! (But I still want to see you do up a lolcat!)
      My results have been mixed, as usual. 😛

      just ramblin'
      (-_-) *sigh*

      @Frogist
      Hi Frogist! 😀

      (I know, I know...you look at each other and wonder who the hell is talking like that to us?)
      C'est moi! 😀

      "Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connait point." – Pascal

      October 11, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
    • Kate

      @Raison

      Strangely, I do have plans for a new post, featuring none other than Carl Paladino ... watch the space for later today!

      I'm ignoring Reality as a matter of general principles until he finally gets around to correcting the total disinformation of one of his usual cut-and-pastes 😛

      Just sayin'

      October 11, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Kate

      Excellent...! Can't wait to see your blog on Mr. Carl Paladino... one of the absolute wing-nuts of the christian right.

      And as for not responding to Reality, as a matter of general principle, I thought your were going to say... "as a matter of General Relativity".... Ooops...

      October 11, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
    • Kate

      @Raison

      New post up, as promised 🙂

      @peace2all

      Ouch! And you said you needed my help ... you fibbed 😛

      Just laughin'

      October 11, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  10. Nurse Ratchet

    This article is worthless without showing a picture or even describing the art.

    October 9, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
    • Run4DaHills

      Agree. The artist has a website and the Jesus paintings shown are not offensive but rather, show Jesus in more a modern interpretation. As for the woman's actions, I'm not sure how far the artist pushed his style or message in the museum display but vandalism is not the way to respond or defend one's personal beliefs. We need to see the artwork in question, CNN.

      October 9, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  11. CHAD TURIN

    Im gonna paint a picture of mohammed getting a B J from a manipig...see how that goes...ok?

    October 9, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
    • ryan

      do what you want... that'a pretty much the point that rational, sane individuals are trying to make here. You have the right to paint, draw, or however you choose to create art that depicts whatever you like. Its not the people you seem to be trying to antagonize on here that you need fear. Its religious zealots and fundamentalists like this woman and the fools defending her. You don't like art, don't go to museums. I don't care if you have Mohammad giving a B J to Jesus, while Buddha tickles his b.alls, if you can explain what you were trying to convey with that image, I might even buy it and hang it on my wall.

      October 9, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
    • Kevin

      Chad, this is America. You are free to do what you want. If some psycho religious extremist finds fault with it, well, then, there you go. One great thing about America is that our religious whackos are generally not as whacky as those in other countries. Except the ones who murder doctors and bomb clinics.

      October 10, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  12. TheRationale

    Good to see another loving Christian doing as Jesus would've.

    October 9, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  13. kankan

    There is not a question of whether art should be destroyed or censored; it should not. This is the United States of America, and if someone is offended they should avoid it. It is essential that our country remain a democratic republic, not a theocracy, so that either government-led or individual "morality police"do not control what we read, hear, create, etc.

    As a teacher, I always remind my high-school students that art, whether it be literature, music, visual arts, reflects life. Life is diverse, ugly, beautiful, controversial, painful, confusing – it is a simple, frightened mind that seeks to dictate how we experience it and how it is depicted.

    October 9, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @kankan

      Absolutely.... Well said...

      October 9, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @kankan

      You said, "It is essential that our country remain a democratic republic, not a theocracy, so that either government-led or individual "morality police"do not control what we read, hear, create, etc"

      Amen, brother. I hope we can have this same conversation after the November elections.

      October 9, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
    • Frogist

      @kankan: I disagree that should someone be offended by art they should avoid it. I think they should seek it out and learn about it and grow to understand that art is meant to be. As a teacher you could probably agree that when it comes to art, as a country, we are almost illiterate. And keeping art and the humanities as part of the curriculum in schools is just a ridiculous uphill battle. But it's incidents like this that make me aware of how important it is that people are exposed to the history, tradition and meaning of art. I wonder if this woman bothered to look at any other pieces on display? Or did she hear about the one piece and come with an intent to destroy rather than learn?

      October 11, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  14. Iqbal khan

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnW2u3z1bz8&p=038EAAE46889A768&index=6&feature=BF

    October 9, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      I listened to the whole thing as I canned tomatoes. He has a pleasant voice and actually looks like one of my handsome cousins! So I listened...
      It was quite nicely laid out but he did not explain Christianity correctly...if he had, he would still be Catholic!

      October 9, 2010 at 9:02 pm |
    • Q

      "he did not explain Christianity correctly". Of course, the No True Scotsman argument.

      October 9, 2010 at 11:18 pm |
  15. NL

    Stephen S. Sawyer's art depicting a heavily muscled Jesus as a boxer in the ring, or with a tattoo also offends some Christians, at least the ones who see Jesus as having been meek and non-violent. Should his art also be destroyed?

    http://www.art4god.com/html/

    October 9, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @NL

      I checked out your link to Sawyer's web page and his art.

      "The Macho Messiah" ... I love it...! LOL..!

      You said...(Paraphrasing)..."Sawyers art offends some Christians, at least the ones who see Jesus as having been meek and non-violent. Should his art be destroyed?"

      You are bringing up an interesting point. I don't know if the question is 'should' his art be destroyed, as opposed to someone that doesn't like it 'may' just decide to do the very same thing and 'destroy' it if they seem to feel it is offending Jesus... or them somehow.

      So, the question of 'should' may or may not necessarily matter except to the fundies who don't like it and are offended, and choose to destroy the art.

      And at the same time, by looking at Sawyer's sight, it seems to have a very 'pro-jesus' slant to it, even though he is depicting JC in a typically unusual way.

      Interesting question you posed....

      October 9, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
    • NL

      Peace2All-
      People who love a meek and mild Jesus tend to be meek and mild people, so I doubt that they would get riled up enough to destroy anything that offended them. People who love a violent destroyer Jesus tend to be ... well, you know the general rule: People create their god in their own image, not the other way round. Somehow, I find it hard to visualize Jesus boxing or holding an AK-47 while the verses read aloud call him the "Lamb of God."

      Religion is the most intolerant of all things when it comes to opposing views. That's why there are so many words to describe forbidden religious opinions, like 'blasphemous', 'sacrilegious', 'profane', 'irreligious', 'taboo', 'irreverent', 'heresy' and all the way to 'sinful', just to name a few. Religion is the mode of thinking least likely to promote freedom of expression, or thought, or speech. Which is why it absolutely makes no sense at all when people insist that America was founded as a non-secular nation.

      October 11, 2010 at 12:02 am |
    • a true fan

      @NL

      Wow. You've got the gift for sure.

      I just shake my head when you turn one of these out. (I ignore your mediocre attempts, of course.) Do you ever do that with any of my posts, I wonder? Once in a while I can produce a gem, but it's pretty rare I think.
      Well, enough gushing fan stuff. I don't want your head to swell up like the Goodyear blimp, you know.....

      October 11, 2010 at 12:30 am |
    • Peace2All

      @NL

      As per usual, we are in agreement. I appreciated your placing a finer point on this.

      Thanks Pal...

      October 11, 2010 at 2:00 am |
  16. Peace2All

    ..."Woman charged for destroying controversial Jesus Art in Colorado."

    Oh my...... So, this lady's attorney is asserting that an Art Gallery, had a piece of Art that 'belittled' jesus, and therefore that is government endorsement...?

    This was, as I understand it, in an art gallery, where people often make art that *is* thought-provoking or (controversial). Some see beauty, some see something they don't like, some just don't get it at all.

    Am I missing something here......? About the law.. about destroying public property...? I 'am' open to being wrong here. If 'anyone' has some answers, or differing view points, I am certainly open to hearing them.

    And, before anyone starts to go there, as some 'most likely' and undoubtedly will, Yes..... I am very well aware that 'some' radicalized muslim's would be-head someone if they said something awful or made art depicting Muhammad. Which is insanity... absolute insanity. I agree. I get it. So, lets get that one out of the way upfront, shall we.

    October 9, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
    • Not in Nottingham

      Yes, you were missing something here. It is not specifically mentioned on this version of what occurred, but other news sites DO mention it. But then, it does not strike me as unusual that CNN should fail to mention it. They do have a tendency to slant their articles, or give incomplete information. The exhibit was funded by our hard earned tax money. If you want to misuse the whole separation of religion and state thing as it is consistently applied to keep ANY semblance of religion out of our schools, government buildings, and veterans monuments, then you must also equally misuse it in application to this situation. Meaning NO tax money should have been used for an art exhibit that had ANY religious overtones to it in the least. And it should have been shown in a private gallery, not a public building.

      October 9, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Not in Nottingham

      Thank you for putting a bit more context around this situation, filling in on some of the gaps of information, as i had requested.

      And, well.... apparently with that said, we should therefore get rid of and ban ALL religious art from ALL museums that are funded with any tax dollars around the country. Which would include a hell of a lot of Christian art whether we like it or not...?

      I believe still my greatest concern here is..... crazy religious zealot fundie drives almost 1,000 miles to take out a piece of 'art' that was somehow offending here and maybe even jesus....with a crowbar.

      I am guessing that if she would have found out about it, even in a private gallery, where this artwork of jesus was being shown, ... my money is on she would have long-hauled herself to wherever the gallery was and done the same thing.

      God... deliver us from the crazy zealots.....

      October 10, 2010 at 3:19 am |
  17. David Johnson

    Nothing gives the woman the right to destroy, what is not her property. We can't go around destroying that which we don't believe in or agree with.

    The doctor that was gunned down in his church, was performing lawful abortions. A person took it upon himself to kill him.

    I have seen websites that make the killer a hero.

    Neither this woman nor this murderer are heroes.

    October 9, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
    • NL

      Had someone realized what she was about to do and placed themselves between her and the art would she have still used the crowbar? Somebody could have easily gotten hurt here.

      October 9, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
    • Frank

      "Nothing gives the woman the right to destroy, what is not her property. We can't go around destroying that which we don't believe in or agree with." > "The doctor that was gunned down in his church, was performing lawful abortions. A person took it upon himself to kill him."

      cognitive dissonance

      → noun
      [mass noun] (Psychology) the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or att!tudes, especially as relating to behavioural decisions and att!tude change.

      This is getting too easy. Even the dictionary sees through you.

      Oh, and people idolize serial killers, too. It's not exactly surprising.

      October 12, 2010 at 1:13 am |
  18. CatholicMom

    It always troubles me that anyone would have to create ‘art’ that would be offensive to anyone in order to try to gain recognition. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a set-up!

    When is something like this not p0rn0graphy? Or can museums display p0rn0graphy when they call the work ‘art’?

    Does the museum receive tax dollars in any way?

    I would think that ‘all’ persons would feel belittled by this display.

    October 9, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
    • NL

      The average catholic church is filled with graven statues offensive to millions. The Church knows how others feel about this, but does it care that they were upsetting people?

      October 9, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
    • Know What

      NL,

      Yes, the Catholic Church is truly obsessed with images of blood and gore and suffering.

      October 9, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      NL,
      I am so sorry that the statues and images in the Catholic Church did not help raise your mind to things of Heaven as they do for millions.

      October 9, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
    • Bob C

      Art by it's very nature is suppose to evoke an emotional response, be it positive or negative. You may simply not like a piece of art, may find it offensive, or love it, that is the idea. No one ever said that art should be bland, and always "very acceptable,very appropriate" If you want that, get some Rockwell paintings. However, that is not generally considered art, nor are cartoons. Sadly, too many "self-righteous" individuals want to decide how we will think, act, and behave and restrict anything they do not like. Some would have us return to the 1950s when Mom was home, the kids and Mom were often abused, and everyone pretended that life was perfect, regardless of the fact that reality was far different.

      October 9, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
    • Mike

      So what you are saying then, is that art that people find offensive is ok, as long as it doesn't offend you. Hardly sounds fair, does it?

      October 9, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
    • Luke

      Wrong on so many levels.

      Nearly every single art museum in the developed world displays nude art and nude statues in some form or another. This is called art and culture, not p0rn0graphy. By your standards, Michaelangelo's David would be p0rn0graphy, not the single greatest carving in the known world.The only event that happened here is that an uncultured zealot destroyed art rather than digesting the image and figuring out what the artist was trying to say. That is, after all, what art is. When you look at a piece, the viewer should examine the piece and put himself in the body of the artist and think, "what is he saying here?" Then you will learn to appreciate art of any form. Even nude ones.

      October 9, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
    • dan

      art is subjective of course but it is also the artists way of showing what he or she is thinking or dealing with and it was in a musuem, If it is offensive to someone then Dont look at it or avoid seeing it, You don have the right to damage soemones property, whether it offends you or not. Women who have tattoos offend me should I walk up to them and scratch out their tattoos. It is their right to have them, it is my right not to like them, I dont have the right to do anything to them. and it was a city musem not a church, again if the art is offensive to an individual then that Individual has a right NOT TO LOOK AT IT, not to destroy it!

      October 9, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
    • TC

      @ CatholicMom-NL is on point. You pressume to think you speak for the masses when in fact you do not...it always troubles me when poeple who preach religion and tolerance show nothing but contempt for those who disagree with their views. It also troubles me that some of the biggest wars and problems we have are directly a cause of religion(s). You know what's a set-up? Religion-they're all run by humans who are not Gods and I'm amazed at all the magical things that occured thousands of years ago that never happen today AND the best is there's NO evidence of any of it ever happening except for books written by man!

      October 9, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
    • Jheron

      Maybe if you saw more pieces of artwork that made you think or question, you may have gained insight, and therefore may not be a Catholicmom.

      October 9, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
    • Luke

      CatholicMom – Frankly, I find statues and pictures of dead jesus hanging dead on a cross to be violent and damaging to children's minds. The first time I saw one of those it scared the sh!t out of me. I went in a church in nowhere, OH recently and counted no less than 18 dead guys nailed to a wooden cross. What's interesting enough to a mind like mine is that in most of Europe, violence is considered p0rnography, not s-e-x. Here, it appears to be the opposite. You're warped lady.

      October 9, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Jheron,

      Since I was able to earn a living creating art and have pieces in many countries and collections [which also contain top names such as Picasso] I can tell you I never had an urge to create something that would offend anyone; my work did not have to be controversial to garner top recognition or top dollar in my field of art.

      Wherever my work was exhibited, only one show had a controversial piece in it and most people were aghast when they viewed it….not knowing what they were about to lay eyes on. How that made it in the show, I will never know.

      I was blessed with an ability to create as I did and I never ever desired to create something that would be considered offensive. There is so much beauty in this world…beautiful people, nature, color…why would anyone take something beautiful and depict it as something less than what it could be?

      Jheron, you said, ‘Maybe if you saw more pieces of artwork that made you think or question, you may have gained insight, and therefore may not be a Catholicmom.’ Just let me say, Jheron, I love feeling awed by art but not awful. So far, in the shows that I have judged I am filled with amazement and love for the artists that they were able to fill me with those feelings. Being Catholic and a Mom gave me the insight to be who I am which is all the influence I needed to be successful in life and all my thanks go to God.

      October 9, 2010 at 8:57 pm |
    • ryan

      what is your real name Catholicmom??? You are a renowned artist.. pieces all over the world. Post a link to your website... give me links to where I can see your art displayed. Until then I'm not buying it. What is your "style" portraits of Jesus?? Some people are striving for originality and to communicate through there art. You painting a butterfly means nothing. I wasn't offended by any of this artists work that I could find, so it doesn't seem to me that being offensive was any kind of design. Its just that some people take their fairy tales to seriously, and then destroy art, and you defend that.

      October 9, 2010 at 9:46 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Ryan,

      I became ill 3 years ago and the doctors thought I was going to die. [It was something rare, and Mayo could not define it.] When I became well [or as well as can be] I no longer had the desire to create art. I took my website down and stopped exhibiting. It was not really upsetting to me that those feelings were gone although my husband had a hard time dealing with it and the kids never thought such a thing could happen.

      Now I devote all my spare time volunteering at my Church to help with all kinds of projects. I know I could make more money selling my work and donating the money but I cannot do it anymore; I guess money isn’t everything. If God wanted me to continue He would have kept that alive in me. I am not disappointed because what I am doing now is more about the Church and my neighbors and people; the way my life was before…it was all about the work and the traveling and exhibits. Not that God wasn’t part of my life then…He was…and I always thanked Him when I finished a piece…but I did miss Mass often due to traveling and now I feel like I really have a Church family.

      So if you see a Catholic Church which is having their Fall Smorgasbord or a Christmas Boutique, or some other event….come on in, have some good food, buy some homemade bread and jellies and jams, and ask to speak to CatholicMom….my friends know who I am.

      October 9, 2010 at 11:23 pm |
    • Chris

      That's the biggest pile of hilarious BS I have ever heard. You're either an amazingly skilled troll or an incredibly delusional person.

      October 10, 2010 at 12:37 am |
    • Raider

      Oooh, terribly convenient! I got sick, now I don't feel like it so I can't show you proof of my claims. Should we take it on faith?

      October 10, 2010 at 2:45 am |
    • ohpuhleeze

      " I can tell you I never had an urge to create something that would offend anyone"

      "Offend" to you is "challenge" to others. Is your religious belief so shaky that just by someone else saying "I disagree and this is my depiction of my alternate view" you are traumatized? As an Agnostic leaning towards Aethiest, my beliefs are challenged every day by the religious right. And yet, I persevere..........

      So, you challenge no one with your art? I will assume your true name is Thomas Kinkade.

      October 10, 2010 at 7:51 am |
    • CatholicMom

      The reason I was able to produce art since the 70’s up until 3 years ago is because I did not look at the market or at what others in my field were doing and try to ‘copy’. I was told I would never get into shows if my work didn’t fit into a consistent style and look the same year after year; one instructor at the U where I was getting my teachers’ renewal units, wouldn’t let my work in with the rest of the class for the end of class show because I didn’t follow suit and create a piece that looked like his….naked people climbing all over the piece and over each other….there were many who did though; I never saw them at any exhibits or shows for the next 30 years or so…it is no wonder….

      But this isn’t what the article is about. So to be consistent with the article….be yourself when creating your art….do not offend people…just amaze them…which is more challenging; as a spectator…review the exhibit before attending…do not patronize ‘so-called’ businesses that display p0rn and certainly don’t buy any of it!

      October 10, 2010 at 9:24 am |
    • JonPeter, Hartford, CT

      CatholicMom, not all of us believe the teachings of the Catholic Church or of the rest of christianity. If someone believes (as part of their religious freedom) these teachings are false and misguide people, creating a satireis one way to get the message across. Even you would find it difficult to dispute that art showing the excesses and horror of the Crusades or the Inquisition has a place in teaching the mistakes of our past. Similarly, a series of satirical pieces mocking the long history of popes, anti-popes and political intrigue has it's place.

      You make the mistake that thinking that as an experienced artist you have the right to judge all art, including that which conflicts with your values. This is where you are wrong, artists can and do create pieces which challenge the values held by some but not all.

      October 10, 2010 at 10:17 am |
    • MuDdLe

      @Luke

      The woman was clearly wrong in what she did. No dispute there.

      But I wonder if you've seen the piece or read a full description of it. This is not mere nudity. It implicates Jesus in a lewd act and includes language that does not bear repeating.

      If the exercise involves trying to determine what the artist was attempting to say with the piece, my best bet is that it at least included the intent of offending the sensibilities of Christian believers. How could it not? And if one suggests that this was not among the intentions, then we must suppose that the artist is either ignorant or insensitive or both.

      I do not accept any definition of art that allows the possibility that spontaneous defecation (perhaps on a museum floor) qualifies as art and calls for contemplation among the truly sophisticated.

      October 10, 2010 at 10:19 am |
    • Ric

      @ CatholicMom...If you are indeed an artist (like myself), you would understand that it is the artist, that calls their work "art"..not the viewer..The viewer either likes it or hates it. I create art people find attractive (Fashion Illustration)..others create art that make people think..To go around only creating art that "doesn't offend" is hard to do because people get offended easily. If this piece illicited a response from you whether, negative or positive , happy or sad, then the artist did a good job.

      October 10, 2010 at 10:45 am |
    • MuDdLe

      @Ric

      "If this piece illicited [sic] a response from you whether, negative or positive , happy or sad, then the artist did a good job."

      Nonsense. If all that is required for something to qualify as art (or good art) is that it elicits responses, then "art" includes far more than what either you or I really think should be included. A terrorist could pronounce his act to be "artistic" as he kills and maims school children. This would certainly elicit responses. But the deed is atrocious and not artistic.

      October 10, 2010 at 11:10 am |
    • Kyrie

      Never mind the naysayers. You're wasting your tme with them...casting pearls before swine as it were. You, as a Catholic and I as a person attending the Eastern Orthodox Church KNOW the true faith. If they reject it, it is their loss. Some folks call that art, and I call that sort of art garbage...and garbage belongs in the trash! To me, that artist is no better than the KKK burning crosses.

      October 10, 2010 at 11:11 am |
    • Tracey

      Wow.

      October 10, 2010 at 11:30 am |
    • Artist

      Art is supposed to make you think. Supposed to make you feel something. So you have every right to be offended, disgusted, upset, or whatever reaction you might have.

      What you don't have is the right to travel across the country and destroy the work in question.

      October 10, 2010 at 11:37 am |
    • Kate

      @My Brother

      Look at the Apostle Peter who cut a soldier's ear for insulting My Brother. And what did Jesus say...

      "I said fire across his nose, not up it!"?

      "Oooh, that's gonna leave a mark"?

      "Oh for my sakes, you couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a catapult!"?

      "Use the force, Luke"?

      The possibilities are endless!

      But srsly, I think they have a couple of versions of the actual words spread out amongst the 27 different versions of the Bible According To Paul And The Vatican™, why ask here?

      Just sayin'

      October 10, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
    • mightyfudge

      Sorry CatholicMom, but you don't have the mental faculties to participate in the conversation. I suggest a nice afternoon of reading your bible. There's some fascinating stuff in there about tolerance and forgiveness. Check it Out!

      October 10, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      JonPeter, Hartford, CT,

      I realize that not all people believe as Christians do but this does not prevent me from judging all art; we all judge whatever we see, hear, or participate in other ways with the arts. If something is offensive, yes, it conflicts with my values; this does not mean that I think everyone will make art that will never conflict with my values….

      It just goes to show that people with all differing values live on this earth. If anyone is offended, I guess some will show their distaste for it in drastic ways and get themselves in conflict with the law; I say, just don’t patronize establishments that are purveyors of offensive materials; let people with values that appeal to that sort of thing keep them alive, if they so desire….

      October 10, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
    • NL

      CatholicMom-
      Jesus is dead on the cross and the stations hanging around the church depict how he was tortured and executed. The Church stops one step short in that crucifixes don't show Jesus naked, and utterly humiliated, as he would have been.

      If these were scenes in a (non-Mel Gibson) film they would be too graphic for children younger than 14 to see, but parents blissfully show them off to their toddlers. Frankly, many see them as sadistic, while others actually see them as blasphemous to God. You can personally disagree with their assessment of this church art, but you can't disrespect their right to be troubled by it.

      October 10, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
    • Frank

      To all those offended by images of pain and suffering in Christian art, or art in general: Get over it. Suffering and pain are a part of the human experience and will likely remain so on into the foreseeable future. Our society likes to try to hide it away and pretend it doesn't exist, but that doesn't change the facts.
      Millions of people throughout the centuries have found solace and peace through these images because they are a reminder that they are not alone in whatever personal sufferings they themselves are enduring. They are images of perseverance and hope to many, me included. It is not a glorification of it, but rather a reminder that you can overcome the pains of the mind, body and soul because there exists something far greater than this veil of tears.

      October 10, 2010 at 11:48 pm |
    • Frank

      *vale of tears

      October 10, 2010 at 11:52 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Frank

      You said, "Suffering and pain are a part of the human experience and will likely remain so on into the foreseeable future."

      If god has the will to remove evil and cannot, then He is not omnipotent. If He can, but will not, then He is not benevolent. If He is neither able nor willing, then He is neither omnipotent nor benevolent. So why call Him God?

      October 11, 2010 at 12:24 am |
    • Frank

      David, we did it to ourselves. Humanity is very much like a small child. We must learn from our mistakes and strive to make this reality a better one. God is not going to do it for us, for we will not learn anything that way. You don't reach transcendence (or salvation or redemption) the easy way. You must lose yourself, humble yourself, experience deep pain, suffer greatly, be defeated and broken in order to find yourself and truly rise above. As they say: you cannot know the sweetness of victory without first knowing the agony of defeat.
      Our struggles – and if we allow them to consume us or if we triumph over them – define us as human beings. This world is basically a spiritual battleground/classroom that we apparently have created in order to learn from, after all.
      Suffering can be a path towards growth and learning. Sometimes we must fall so far that we cannot fall anymore in order to be truly humbled, be reminded of what's really important and turn to others and the One who will help you.
      You can't blame God. We did it to ourselves for a reason, apparently.

      October 11, 2010 at 12:41 am |
    • Frank

      So, ultimately, by allowing us to suffer and learn from it, God is being benevolent. It's for our ultimate spiritual growth. Just as when a human parent tries to show their child the best way to live their life, but the child rebels and chooses a way that leads to self-destruction and suffering. The hope is that the child eventually will learn from it and take the parent's wisdom to heart.
      Sometimes you just have to let your children have their way. Same with God and us.

      October 11, 2010 at 12:49 am |
    • Maybe

      Frank,

      You know, I sort of wish your myth was true. It really would make life easier in some ways. I can submit to authority when necessary, and hell, I'm sure I'd even beg for relief of intractable pain. But it is not true.

      Sometimes I really feel like an ogre, disabusing people of their daydreams. This will probably sound sappy, but I remember when I found out that there is no Santa Claus. I was told harshly, in anger, and I felt an electric shock-like jolt travel from head to toe - I rocked back on my heels and almost fell over. I can imagine how painful letting go of these myths can be. My own departure from believing them was much more gentle and took quite a few years. I did need input from others to help me, however, so I feel that I must speak to the truth when asked, and I think these boards are a decent forum for presenting my thoughts.

      Best to you, Frank.

      October 11, 2010 at 12:57 am |
    • Frank

      I didn't always believe in God, and sometimes I hate Him and rage against Him. But that isn't going to change the fact that there's something much bigger than this reality out there, to me.
      Peace.

      October 11, 2010 at 1:05 am |
    • CatholicMom

      The so-called art that was destroyed [from my understanding of it since I never viewed it] depicted Jesus in a sinful manner. Jesus was like us in every way but sin…Art should be truthful, anything less is worthless.

      The Stations of the Cross are Truthful. The Holocaust and 9-11 are Truthful. Man on the Moon is Truthful. We should only want Truth….who wants to spend time contemplating Lies? Children can accept Truth but should never have to endure lies. Fairytales need to be handled with imagination that is not hurtful to children and only in a playful manner…comedy lands in this category and we all love to laugh! Even Truth can have its funny side but never in a negative or hurtful way.

      People do not always handle life issues with care. We hurt each other and often on purpose. God cannot be blamed for what we do. He gave us freewill and if we want to hurt each other He lets us do it…He is always there though to help us if we call on Him. Some say, ‘I called and there was no help’. We think we know what is best but we do not have the mind of God. We should plan our day but trust the One who gave us the day.

      October 11, 2010 at 9:34 am |
    • Frogist

      Top recognition and top dollar do not always make for good art. I don't have to tell you that Monet, Seurat, and Van Gogh, some of the greatest artists of all time were rejected by critics and a majority of patrons alike. Their work was called crude and ugly. But in time we have come to see how their innovation and unconventional vision of truth is now considered the epitome of beauty. For an artist, as you say you are, to dismiss the efforts of another artist to portray their vision of their truth to the world, is astounding and sad. Especially since the only reason you do so is because you dislike the message due to your religion. Art is meant to challenge. Art is meant to show truth. This artist did that. And we cannot, should not encourage censorship or violence due to a piece of art.
      Also @Frank: S'ex is part of the human experience as well. I am not offended by Jesus being depicted as having s'ex.

      October 11, 2010 at 10:45 am |
    • Frank

      Frogist:
      I have no comment on the artwork in question itself as I haven't seen it, in context or otherwise. CNN was too spineless to post it.
      If it's Christ in a s#xual situation, I wonder what the artist's motivation was. Jesus being s#xual isn't found in any of the Gospels, canonical or otherwise, that I know of. I wonder what the point is.

      October 11, 2010 at 10:51 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Frogist, you said, ‘Top recognition and top dollar do not always make for good art.’…. Tell that to a starving ‘artist’!

      One who creates from the heart and finds their work appeals to people who are willing to part with their money in order to have these creations in their possession is an honor bestowed upon an artist while she/he is alive! It is an honor later, too, but, I prefer ‘it’ now because I never had a concern for supplies and was able to build a studio and gallery. God truly blessed me…without His blessing none of this would have been my lot in life.

      October 11, 2010 at 11:51 am |
    • NL

      CatholicMom-
      Everyone is talking about this so it must be good art. Had the lady not destroyed it far fewer people would have felt it's impact, and I suspect that his future works will fetch a much higher price due to her efforts. She probably only succeeded in encouraging him to produce more of the same. We should all thank her.

      You do have a point in that we make allowances for depictions of 'truth' like Holocaust photos. However, can the stations of the cross be proven to be truth? And what of Jesus as the Boxer, or holding a rifle, or any of the renditions of him as as a blonde, white Jew? Are those also 'true', just art, or blasphemous?

      All comedy is at the expense of somebody. Jon Stewart can sometimes convey a truth through comedy that others find offensive, but it's still the truth, right?

      October 11, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Frank

      Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge. So god created disease. He constructed the tick and the flea, and the tape worm and the mosquito. He caused the animals to prey on one another. God did this to teach...what lesson, to the subsequent generations? The desire for knowledge is evil? Just read your bible and believe? What lesson?

      But you say man did it to ourselves. Really? Did these things spontaneously generate as the fruit was chewed? So when a person is placed under the lash or upon the rack, he brought it upon himself? No matter how hideous the penalty, the person applying the punishment bears no guilt? Did no one fashion the lash or devise the rack?

      You said, "This world is basically a spiritual battleground/classroom that we apparently have created in order to learn from, after all."
      So you are contending that God allows some evil because it builds positive character in the victims or in others which outweighs the negative value of the evil itself (e.g., John Hick).

      I don't think "we" created the classroom of pain. God would have had to create it. This is like the fundie claim, that god doesn't send you to hell, you send yourself to hell. Make no mistake. God sends people to hell.

      If God exists, we must have evidence that all of the evils we see are means to a higher purpose. All the pain and suffering should have the purpose of teaching. But even fundies admit there is no evidence. That is why they must resort to talking about the mysterious ways in which God works. There's no evidence at all, that 300 to 500 million people dying from Smallpox in the 20th century, is for a greater good.

      Even if, as you say, evil and suffering is a teaching tool, God would only allow as much evil or suffering as is absolutely necessary in order to achieve a greater purpose. Any suffering above that necessary to learn, would be overkill. But when we look at the world around us, we find prevalent instances of apparently gratuitous evil—pointless suffering from which no greater purpose seems to result.

      As William Rowe points out, when a fawn burns to death in a forest fire and no human being ever knows about it, this apparently unnecessary evil does nothing to build the character of human beings. It is just suffering.

      Again I ask, how would this scenario look different if there was no god? Would there be suffering for no apparent reason? Would there be more evil than could ever be necessary to preserve either free will or for soul making?
      The answer once again, is: The scenario would look exactly the same.

      If there is no difference between god and no god, then what good is god? – Dave Johnson! God's thorn.

      October 11, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
    • Frank

      David, all actions have a consequence. You are greatly underestimating the toll that the Fall took on all of creation (in this reality). Disease is a part of this broken world, as all suffering is. This reality is not as it should be.
      And like I said: You can't blame God. He gave us paradise and we threw it away. Now we just have to work our way back Home. This is apparently something that humanity needed to experience in order to learn and grow as spiritual beings. We still have so far to go. This may take eons. But it will happen.

      October 11, 2010 at 9:43 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      NL,
      Sometimes you can be amusing! So everyone is talking about this so it must be ‘good art’, you say. I suspect that his future will be one of ‘hiding’ or changing his name….
      There are many who have for centuries believed the events that are depicted by the stations of the cross. There is much history and Sacred Tradition which is believed by many. There are those who say they do not believe it; so be it! So be it! [Truly, truly, but I believe!]
      I wonder how many will believe the Holocaust happened after 2000 years go by? As you know there are many who claim it never happened already… in such a short time! Of course, it did happen and those who wish to try to disprove it just by ‘saying so’ know that over time, if they can cause even a few to doubt it…they will have started the ball rolling towards ‘changing history’. Why they push for this belief [that it never happened or that it wasn’t as gruesome as it really was] is beyond me. Once a Truth is known, I see no good in trying to pretend it never happened. Why? Is it still out of hatred? It is out of wickedness that such could happen. It can never be forgotten… what happened to all those people… for as long as the earth is here.
      I haven’t paid much attention to late night comedy. But there is much humor in life that is at no one’s expense. For instance, I have a number of pets…some of their antics make me laugh. Sometimes someone says something which comes out wrong but really no one is hurt by it and all have a good laugh. There is a show that is supposed to be funny…about home videos where people have ‘accidents’ or strange things happen to them and often I believe someone must have gotten hurt when they fall or slam into something…and people just roar and think it is so funny, but stuff like that does not make me laugh as I think about how that must have hurt…so I guess humor is in one’s funny bone, and that is about all I can say about comedy!

      October 12, 2010 at 12:48 am |
    • Frank

      "Everyone is talking about this so it must be good art. "

      Yeah, and a lot of people talk about Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Piero Manzoni, Chris Ofili, Andres Serrano, Carolee Schneemann and Marcel Duchamp, too. Doesn't make their crap any good, or better.

      October 12, 2010 at 1:21 am |
    • Frank

      By the way, David: That whole "God's thorn" thing makes you sound like an angry 14 year old mall gawth. Grow up.

      October 12, 2010 at 2:10 am |
    • NL

      CatholicMom-
      I hope you don't mind if I find you a little amusing too? 🙂 You remind me of my aunts, and speaking to you is a lot like speaking to them, something I haven't enjoyed doing since they've passed.

      So, you hope that the artist become the next Salman Rushdie, eh? Again I have to ask how solid is a religious 'truth' if the best argument you can make is to threaten the lives of those who criticize it, or to destroy their criticism so that it cannot be heard, or seen? If you have the truth and a better argument on your side then why not use them? If anything, wouldn't a Christian, confident in the foundations of their beliefs, not want to use such art as a teachable moment? Show their kids and demonstrate how this portrayal is inaccurate? Instead, this woman's actions demonstrate that Christianity has no valid argument against this image, but has to resort to terrorism to silence it. Is that the message you want this art to convey, that it's too dangerous to let exist?

      There were many who believed for centuries the myths of the Greek gods too, but we don't find this art (found throughout Catholic churches and the Vatican) to be offensive because the cults of these gods are no longer very active. Some day crucifixes, the stations, and the Bible itself, may be seen in the same light, as cultural art, worth protecting for what it once meant to us as a civilization. For right now, the 'standard' religious symbolism of Christian images, the ones that believers pray before and use within their worship, really don't have any place decorating public places in America because their presence there only serves to mark them as places of worship too.

      Belief in the Holocaust is supported by a wealth of evidence, just like evolution. Ignoring the evidence is just denying the truth, but you do bring up a good point with how quickly things can be twisted over such a short period of time after something has occurred. If we apply this principle to Jesus' life who is to say that Paul did not twist a Jewish rabbi's message to fellow Jews into the 'Light to the Gentiles'? All the 'evidence' we have went through the Christian filter for centuries, so how can we really tell if the New Testament is accurate, or revisionist?

      I too shake my head at shows like America's Funniest Videos because it just seems like one long, horrific accident in progress. Political and religious satire, like that of Bill Maher, would never work unless he were actually hitting on legitimate criticisms.

      October 12, 2010 at 11:35 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Frank
      You said, "all actions have a consequence. You are greatly underestimating the toll that the Fall took on all of creation (in this reality). Disease is a part of this broken world, as all suffering is. This reality is not as it should be.
      And like I said: You can't blame God. He gave us paradise and we threw it away. Now we just have to work our way back Home. This is apparently something that humanity needed to experience in order to learn and grow as spiritual beings. We still have so far to go. This may take eons. But it will happen."

      You say I greatly underestimated the toll the fall took. So, why did the fall take such a toll? Who set up the magnitude?
      Adam and Eve had no point of reference. They did not know what a bite of fruit would cost. There was no way they could.
      Are you making an argument for an unreasonable and evil god? You have succeeded.

      Your argument did not address the over-abundance of suffering. You just restated what you said in your first post. It is as unsatisfactory now, as it was then. If I kill a fly, I do not need a hammer.

      October 12, 2010 at 11:38 am |
    • Frank

      David, it wasn't necessarily a 'bite of fruit'. That's a metaphor.
      Didn't know? The Bible says clearly that they knew the consequences: "The Lord God took the man and him put in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, 'You may freely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die." – Genesis 2:15-17
      They were warned very clearly. And death is what they got.
      I already explained why there's an 'overabundence' of suffering. I had to restate it because you didn't understand what I was saying.

      October 12, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
    • Respondez

      Frank,
      "...but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die."

      So, it was sort of an "ignorance is bliss" kind of deal, eh? If you don't know that evil exists, then it doesn't. Threatening death, though... that sounds like they had to have known that death was bad... and life was good, therefore they were aware of 'good' and 'evil.'

      I like some of Aesop's fables better.

      October 12, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      NL,

      This is pleasing to be thought of as someone like one of your aunts or all of them…[since you enjoyed them!] Were they Catholic?

      All I have to say about the ‘art’ that was destroyed…it is ok that it is gone and the children saved from the anguish of seeing it. If I found a dead skunk outside my bedroom window and it caused me to lay awake because of it….I would get rid of it and not wait until the children got to see it or smell it first, just so they could have the experience of it. If the children have a good long life they will probably have to deal with a skunk in their own time and that will be soon enough. If that doesn’t make any sense to you, that is ok; you are probable young and will most likely have the opportunity along your journey, too.

      Don’t judge all Christians by the actions of one person. She may not even be Christian for all we know. There are plenty who claim to be but really aren’t.

      Just saying you are and acting like you aren’t [using violence to get your way] isn’t Christian. She will have to suffer the consequences of her actions and the poor souls who wished they could have viewed the ‘skunk’ will probably have their chance sometime in the future when another person will copy-cat out of nothing better to do with their lives [that they can think of anyway].

      On another note…the more time that passes just adds to the proof that Christianity is True…what with all the thousands of years of man trying to rid himself of the Catholic Church, the Pope, and the Bible…it just keeps on going! To me that is the promise of the Holy Spirit at work… protecting, guiding and bringing the Church into all Truth. The Truth hasn’t been twisted except by those who left the Church so they could do as they wanted. But I believe in all the promises of Christ…and so His Church will remain… though it will have persecutions from within and without Her walls. But it will never fall.

      It is very exciting….sort of like with science…what will be the next knowledge that we discover…knowing that that knowledge is just laying there waiting for us to uncover it; if there is anything to discover, God put it there for us to discover. If there is any further fullness of Truth we need to know, the Holy Spirit will lead the Church to it. Could life be any more exciting?!

      October 12, 2010 at 10:47 pm |
    • NL

      CatholicMom-
      People don't create skunks so, maybe, food is a better analogy. Suppose your neighbor cooks ethnic dishes that you find offensive smelling. Would you break down her door and throw out her food to spare your kids the smell? Remember, some people actually appreciated this art!

      October 12, 2010 at 11:42 pm |
    • NL

      CatholicMom-
      And sure, this lady is a Christian. She has the T-shirt and everything! 😉

      October 12, 2010 at 11:45 pm |
    • Frank

      It is not knowing that evil exists, it is the audacity of transgressing the Laws of the Creator (the laws of the universe/the cosmos/nature – whatever you want to call it) by making up your own definition of good and evil. Basically, it is making yourself into your own god with none/nothing higher. That's what it's referring to.

      October 12, 2010 at 11:55 pm |
    • Frank

      Lol, NL. I like her shirt, to be honest. Lol.

      October 13, 2010 at 12:02 am |
    • NL

      Frank-
      I still have one of those "3 nails + 1 cross = 4 given" T-shirts. I wear it when I garden, or mow the lawn because it's kinda raggy, but a helpful white for being in the sun.

      October 13, 2010 at 8:23 am |
    • CatholicMom

      NL,

      First of all, I have never lived close enough to a neighbor to smell their food cooking…but if I did, and it was authentic, I would like it. My kids would not be shuttled away so they would not have to endure the smell! If the food was ‘fake’ or a ‘wannabe’ I would never go over and destroy the dish, but I would probably have the neighbor over more often for dinner. Now, they may not accept because they haven’t liked the smells from my food either! I doubt we would ever have a food fight as there are many other directions we could take and it could be fun! One way we could become closer neighbors is attend cooking classes together…cook outside with the wind in the right direction…….or move!

      Moving would be hard though for the family who has lived in the same place for over 48 years.

      October 13, 2010 at 10:04 am |
    • CatholicMom

      NL,
      Yes, watch out for the t-shirt people who let their clothes do the talking.

      October 13, 2010 at 10:13 am |
    • NL

      CatholicMom-
      So if you have no problem with other people's food tastes then why criticize their art? Art is just another matter of taste, right? There was nothing objectively offensive about it, so why the double standard?

      Back to your neighbor's food. With Thanksgiving approaching how would you feel about your neighbor cooking their turkey on, say, a cross shaped post while using a solar oven? Would the image of a cooking turkey crucifix upset you?

      October 13, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      NL,

      Things of the heart are of greater importance than the taste of food. What I eat does not affect my actions towards my neighbor.

      Art sends a message to the heart.
      Some choose love… and things in between like foolishness… to hatred.

      Lies in any form send a message of hate. If my neighbor is bent on foolishness which evokes sadness, or hatred which can be hurtful, I can only imagine the low level of love in his life. I have found that kind acts over time soften harden hearts; persevere in good works, and endure to the end, all in the name of Love.

      Decide on Love and live by it. It makes life challenging and worth living. Challenging in that you have to understand that some people seem to want to wallow in their misery and they may want you in the same boat. But worth living if you take them fishing or at least dig the worms for them so they can go! Yes, giving your neighbors worms can wipe away hatred! [Just think, there are people who say, ‘Why would a God create worms?!] So now they know!

      If my neighbor wants to cook turkey the way you mentioned, I would just have to say, ‘All his stuffing may fall out and that may be ok, too.’

      October 13, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
    • Jane

      CatholicMom is what every intelligent, free thinking person fears- someone that doens't have the intelligence to comphrehend freedom of speech. If you read her comments she actually thinks that art can be defined. Her comments also indicate that it's her definition we should use. She also isn't capable of understanding that her comments are pretty much in line many famous communist leaders, but I'll bet she thinks her self a fine American and a true patriot. You gotta love mass delusion thinly veiled as the catholic church.

      October 17, 2010 at 8:34 am |
  19. NL

    Just one step away from attacking cartoonists.

    October 9, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Yes! You really nailed that. Just one step away.

      October 9, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
    • NL

      One thing I've noticed is just how envious some Christians sound when they speak about the kind of reaction that Muslim extremists get.

      October 9, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
    • a true fan

      @NL

      ooooo! You are just the cat's whiskers!! If there was an award for insightful posts, I would nominate you for it a million times.

      October 9, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @ a true fan

      As the 'President' of NL's Fan Club..... on behalf of NL, I would like to offer you and invitation to join, if you would like to become a member and get regular 'tweets', he will do his stand-up philosophizing at your very own home etc...

      Please send money..(ooodles of it) to Me, David Johnson and Luke, and we will make sure you get your very own t-shirt and specially autographed book of 'original one-liner's' by the man NL himself... 🙂

      October 9, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
    • milhous

      Nifty argument ... let me try:
      NL 's comment is just one step away from locking up people for their religious beliefs. Like they do in many atheistic countries.

      Hey that works great. Brilliant and so easy.

      October 9, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
    • Luke

      One step? It's the equivalent act and the neurological steps identical.

      October 9, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
    • TC

      Well said *tips hat*

      October 9, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
    • Mike

      @milhous

      except that NL didn't lock anything up....

      Back to the minors with you, son. You're obviously not up to analogizing on a major league level.

      October 9, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
    • a true fan

      @peace2all

      LOL...that made me laugh. Being a true fan means never having to join a fan club, but thanks anyway. 😀

      October 9, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @ a true fan

      Thank you...! Yeah, I cracked myself up too while I was writing it..... 🙂

      As I am a fan of my buddy NL....

      Peace...

      October 9, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
    • fishfry001

      @milhous: Gallileo (you know, the brilliant astronomer whose postulations about the relationship between the earth and the sun were absolutely correct) spent his last years under house arrest for heresy, which was ordered by the Christian Church. So, you were saying...?

      October 9, 2010 at 8:02 pm |
    • J5A

      @milhous – Can you give me an example of an "atheist" country that locks up its citizens for their religious belief? And even if that were to be true, it is meaningless – religious governments have done worse for longer in the name of their respective religions...

      October 10, 2010 at 10:06 am |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      These cowards wouldn't dream of putting up a work that has Muhammad at prayer, for fear of the reaction, but they'll spend tax dollars putting up a depiction mocking Jesus – and inciting the very taxpayers who were made to fund it. If nothing is sacred, neither is private property.

      October 10, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
    • NL

      Peace2All et all-
      You guys make me blush. 🙂

      October 10, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
    • Frogist

      Yes, NL, it is hypocritical for us to condemn violence against artists by muslims but condone it when it's a christian. Let's see how many christians come out and condemn this woman for her act of violence? Because if not, they must be saying they approve of hatred and violence too...

      October 11, 2010 at 11:03 am |
    • NL

      Frogist-
      What she did was criminal because she destroyed property that was not her own, and could have been quite tragic had someone gotten in her way. She should have bought the piece first, as an honest person would, before destroying it. Even then she would be on the same level as Qur'an and flag burners whom, I assume, at least paid for these things before symbolically destroying them.

      October 11, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
  20. Know What

    Grandma = Stupid for destroying property of others, plus she has given the work huge publicity now (does she think that this is the only copy?)

    Artist = Stupid for taunting.

    Museum = Stupid for showcasing taunts.

    October 9, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
    • taun taun

      Know What = stupid for thinking taunts are the issue

      October 9, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Know What

      I haven't seen the piece of art in question. However, I am not quite so sure that I concur with your post.

      This is 'art' in an art gallery or museum, and art, by definition is often (controversial), thought-provoking, etc...

      And as any piece of art.... it is 'subjective.' "Beauty, hate, fascination, or awe, etc.. is in the eye of the beholder."... Yes..?

      Also not knowing the true intention of the artist, which even if his/her intentions were to taunt, does that mean public art should be destroyed for making a statement...?

      Seems like there is a freedom of speech issue kinda' going on here as well, possibly.

      Hmmm, you and I usually see eye-to-eye on things, so, maybe i am missing a piece of information or fine point or distinction you were trying to make...?

      Curious...

      October 9, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
    • kjcube

      @peace2all

      -"And as any piece of art.... it is 'subjective.' "Beauty, hate, fascination, or awe, etc.. is in the eye of the beholder."... Yes..?"

      not according to Immanuel Kant, and he provides a compelling argument for why in "Critique of Judgment."
      Where's yours?

      October 9, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
    • Andrew

      And yet the philosophy of David Hume would argue that beauty would only be determined by people with the qualifications to determine beauty, and argues that no absolute definite standard of beauty could ever be created. The fight over "the nature of beauty" could be constantly rehashed with different quotes from different philosophers advancing different points, making your reference to Kant kinda moot.

      Truth of the matter is even if astethic beauty is inherent in an object, there's no real way to determine who is qualified to judge the piece.

      October 9, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @kjcube

      Brining Kant's "Critique of Judgement" does not exactly cause me to change my stance or my position on this

      What I would like to know is what is 'your' stance, or argument laid out specifically....? If you are in Kan't camp, then what specifically are you in agreement with...? And what are you specifically are you in disagreement with on my post...? As Kant says a lot in his 'Critique of Judgement."

      So, I am curious.... please let me know your thoughts on this laid out, who knows... maybe once I get more of sense of where you are coming from., I may see it your way...!

      Thank you.... as I am very curious now to hear what 'you' in your own words, not Kant, have to say on this matter.

      October 9, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
    • kjcube

      First off I don't really have many thoughts on the matter (strong or important ones anyway) and I'm not really in any camp kant or otherwise. I could give my argument that I wrote for my aesthetics class, but I hold no delusions that it is really all that great. I'm only 18 so if it was I'd be a freaking prodigy lol. I apologize if I came off as antagonistic in my comment. I didn't intend it that way, although, looking back it should of seemed obvious that that's how it would be percieved, so sorry about that. @Andrew Technically Hume did give 5 distinct characteristics on what makes a good judge of Aesthetics (beauty, sublime, or ugly), but they were somewhat ambiguous. They were 1.) Strong sense 2.) Delicacy of sentiment 3.) Practice 4.) Comparison and 5.) Freedom from pre-judgment. What exactly those things mean in practice is harder to pin down though. Also in a sense Hume was not exactly at odds with what kant said about beauty being relational and a quality of experience (i.e. not a physical property of an object). Kant was somewhat of the same opinion as him because Hume emphasized that beauty was mind-dependent but was not a matter of opinion. So Hume says beauty is objective and subjective using two slightly different definitions (objective in the sense that its not a matter of opinion and subjective in the sense that it is dependent on consciousness). I again apologize for seeming arrogant or judgmental. I was only trying to add to the discussion and increase thought on the subject. My biggest problem is that I often think too fast to communicate properly. I hope that clarifies things a bit.

      October 9, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @kjcube

      No problem..... Regardless of Kant or Hume's opinions. As far as the 'going' thought philosophilcally speaking now a days, and also from the science of neuro-biology...

      There are NO absolutes, when it comes to these things, unless you begin to define a thing by basing it on a certain agreed upon standard or criteria.

      In other words, nothing has *any* inherent meaning but the meaning i give it. That is why you can have 10 people looking at a piece of art, and get 10 varying opinions. Who is right in that case...? If there is no agreed upon and defined tangible criteria from which to make a judgement on something, then it truly does come down to what is 'subjective' as I suggested earlier. And in that case it is not about 'rightness.'

      Again...." Beauty, truly *is* in the eye of the beholder.

      Thanks for your thoughts, you are very astute.... I appreciated your joining the discussion.

      October 9, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
    • Andrew

      Peace2All, as it happens, if we were to advance Hume's thoughts, we'd have to examine the nature of each judge. Consider for a minute the books Twilight, and Crime and Punishment. If one were to take a pure "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", it would be difficult to saw Twilight is a worse book than Crime and Punishment. When deciding the quality of a book, should we consider a middle school student's opinion the same as a professor of literature who has studied the subject of books as a living?

      I'm inclined to assert that the quality of the judges must be weighed, and that it's not a pure subjective opinion. The real problem is determining what makes someone qualified to judge a piece of art, but I believe someone who studies art would probably be a better critic than the third construction worker on the left. Not all opinions should be treated as the same regarding a certain subject.

      October 9, 2010 at 9:33 pm |
    • kjcube

      @peae2all True but science (good science anyway), I think most people would agree, is based on logic (evidence connected to form an understanding of the best approximation of the truth given what we have). If you can approach things that would normally be considered outside the realm of science, like art for instance, in the same logical way, then the fact that beauty is only a matter of opinion should be able to have the same logical geometric proof like argument supporting that "fact". If you can do that then it is more than just an opinion. The conclusion could still be wrong but it would have more weight than an opinion. Kant and other philosophers have done that. To dismiss their arguments out of hand without at least providing a logical reason why is wrong. Like dismissing gravity (which has been changed a couple of times) without give any real compelling reasons why. I hear people argue about things like the existence of God all the time but I rarely hear anything more compelling than "I'm right your wrong deal with it." They can't both be right so someone has to be wrong and there has to be a reason why. Even more interesting would be an argument that clearly explains why they could both be wrong or both right. Just because there are differences in people's conclusions doesn't mean that something is subjective. Some people still think the world is flat but that doesn't make it so. Appealing to one's ignorance isn't a good argument either. Just because someone doesn't know I exist doesn't mean I don't. If some wants to assert something as a fact of reality then they should have a compelling argument for why. If I'm wrong about something I claim, whether it be about beauty or morality or whatever, then I would want to know why. Paraphrasing Aristotle, I value what is true over what I want to be true or perceive to be true. That's sort of what I meant before when I mentioned "where's your argument."

      October 9, 2010 at 9:33 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Andrew & @kjcube

      I just spent about half an hour creating a very long and well-thought out response to our honorable round-robin discussion on subjectivity and objectivity, etc... And my comment got the dreaded ... "Your comment is awaiting moderation"

      Sorry guys, as I am extremely fascinated with our very lively, civil and informative debate or discussion.

      It's late..... I am going to make a few short posts and go to bead.

      If I get time tomorrow or Monday, to pick this back up... I will.

      Again, thanks for the engaging discussion.

      October 10, 2010 at 1:10 am |
    • JonPeter, Hartford, CT

      Regardless of the 'quality' or 'merit' of the 'art' in question, she has deprived others of forming their own opinion. This is censorship at it's worst. What gives her the right to think she can suppress opinions of others ?

      October 10, 2010 at 10:07 am |
    • MuDdLe

      @Andrew, KJCube, et al

      I've grown accustomed to the lowest form of dialog on these boards, and so am surprised to find a discussion of Kant and Hume on aesthetics!

      As for Hume, whatever he says concerning qualified aesthetic judges must be tempered by his overall subjectivism. On his view, aesthetic judgments, like moral judgments, are expressions of subjective sentiment. But he also thinks that certain sentiments are widespread among humans. It would be another century before Darwin would offer the explanation as to why this might be so.

      There is a good essay by Peter Railton on this topic. See his "Aesthetic Value, Moral Value and the Ambitions of Naturalism" as well as "Red, Bitter, Good" for the development of a Humean theory of value.

      October 10, 2010 at 10:11 am |
    • Nero

      Do you know what else was a "taunt?"

      Guernica.

      Look it up. This vile woman should be jailed.

      October 10, 2010 at 10:43 am |
    • Joanna

      Solution:
      let the shark bud produce a corresponding "art" depicting prophet mohammed in the same situation/ position.
      Wait and see what happens next.

      What is good for the goose should be good for the gander!

      October 10, 2010 at 10:59 am |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      If you taunt someone and get a reaction, what did you expect? Maybe her reaction is art, and if so, I applaud her as an artist.

      October 10, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
    • My Brother

      Look at the Apostle Peter who cut a soldier's ear for insulting My Brother. And what did Jesus say...

      I completely understand the act of this woman. She has been radically saved and is radically defending her Lord and Savior. If more people (Christians) stood up for Him, like she did, this so-called artist's work would never see the light of day.

      May God forgive the artist in his ignorance and may God grant this woman grace. Amen.

      October 10, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
    • Jo

      Well, stupid Grandma is my hero. Whatever that piece of trash was, it wasn't art, so she wasn't destroying art.

      October 10, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
    • william

      Christians= Believe as I believe or I will kill you and destroy your things. Wow. I just realized how much like the Taliban Christians actually are....

      October 10, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
    • Joe

      @Knowwhat. Artists have been "taunting" people for centuries. To suggest that the artist is at fault is absurd. And without these "taunts" we wouldn't see change. Heck, do you think something as common place as the bikini would be around if no one challenged the status quo?

      October 10, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
    • Know What

      I didn't have any time yesterday to add / respond to my comments. Not much more time today, but I'll jot off a few more thoughts.

      My view of the lawless woman stands. She had no right to destroy the property of another.

      As for the artist... I understand his right to inspire thought - a good thing - but I think his inflammatory piece was ill-advised. Have you seen it? Just because we are 'allowed' to create pieces like this, does not make it wise. I am no fan of Christianity or religion in general; and perhaps I am a bit hypocritical since I am not averse to mocking at times to make a point (I even like the South Park parodies), but the flavor of this cartoon just struck a sour note with me. I would be ticked off even if it was Mickey Mouse or Winnie the Pooh who were demeaned like this.

      October 10, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
    • Jane

      As many times as I see it I still can't understand how the group of people (rednecks) that think they are the most patriotic and the best American's are really at the opposite end of the spectrum. If you try to stop someone from exercising their rights (destroying a painting) because you don't agree with them, well, that sounds more like the actions that took place under Herr Hitler.

      October 17, 2010 at 8:27 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.