The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery is currently hosting an exhibit, “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture,” that features a video that shows large ants eating away at Jesus on a crucifix. The exhibit is replete with homoerotic images.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments as follows:

According to Penny Starr of, David C. Ward, co-curator of the National Portrait Gallery, says the video, “A Fire in My Belly,” is one of the “masterpieces” of this exhibit. We call it hate speech. Perversely, there is a plaque at the entrance to the exhibit that says the Gallery is committed to “the struggle for justice so that people and groups can claim their full inheritance in America’s promise of equality, inclusion, and social dignity.” Somehow Christians didn’t make the cut.

The creator of this “masterpiece” video is dead of AIDS. But he did not die without blaming society for his self-destructive behavior. David Wojnarowicz said, “When I was told I’d contracted the virus, it didn’t take long for me to realize that I’d contracted a diseased society as well.” Who did he blame? Besides some politicians and government workers, he fingered “those thinly disguised walking swastikas that wear religious garments over their murderous intentions.” So Father John did it.

At least Wojnarowicz bared his soul. Ward just spins. Like others who have attacked Christians before with their “art,” he says the ants crawling all over Jesus represent “the lack of attention to Christian teachings.” So the ants are actually giving Christians a wake-up call! How thoughtful.

It does not matter that private sources funded this exhibition: the majority of the money afforded the Smithsonian Institution comes from the taxpayers. Accordingly, I am writing today to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees asking them to reconsider future funding.

Contact the Secretary of the Smithsonian, Wayne Clough:


Print Friendly, PDF & Email