On September 27, the Edward Tyler Nahem gallery in mid-town Manhattan will host an exhibit, “Body and Spirit: Andres Serrano 1987-2012,” that features Serrano’s “Piss Christ” piece; it shows a crucifix submerged in a jar of his own urine. The exhibit ends October 26.
Serrano has said that “Piss Christ” was “meant to question the whole notion of what is acceptable and unacceptable.” There is not much to question: decent people know it is unacceptable. But in elite cultural circles, anti-Christian art is not only acceptable, it is laudatory. Just don’t offend Muslims. To wit: this week a disrespectful French cartoon of Muhammad was not shown on any of the network or cable TV news shows.
In 2006, when the Danish cartoons that angered Muslims appeared, not only were they not shown on the networks or cable, newspapers all across the nation refused to do so. In fact, the leading newspapers echoed the position of the New York Times: it said it was wrong to publish “gratuitous assaults on religious grounds.” Yet this same newspaper, in the same article about the Danish cartoons, reproduced the “dung on the Virgin Mary” artwork that was shown at the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s “Sensation” exhibition in 1999! To show how acceptable anti-Christian art is, three days after “Sensation” opened, Christie’s sponsored a “Piss Christ” print exhibit.
“Piss Christ,” which dates back to the late 1980s, wouldn’t matter as much to Christians in 2012 if it weren’t for the supine statements offered by the Obama administration in the wake of an anti-Islamic video. Never before have Americans learned how deeply offended our elites are by anti-religious fare. If only we could believe them. When have they ever condemned anti-Christian movies or art?
I will be there on Thursday with a contingent from the Catholic League. Details to follow next week.