Thousands of angry Christians poured into their businesses Thursday morning, as word leaked out about an Australian art show featuring a holographic image of Jesus morphing into Osama bin Laden. Hundreds of people went uninjured and no one was killed, while shops throughout the Christian world opened their doors, citing a lack of security concerns. Hundreds of Australian flags went untorched while Australian beer was poured into glasses in pubs on the eerily quiet streets of Christendom:
THE artist behind a controversial work depicting terrorism mastermind Osama bin Laden morphing into Jesus today asked people to look deeper into the work.
Queensland artist Priscilla Bracks denied she had deliberately set out to be offensive.
“Absolutely not, no, no. I am not interested in being offensive. I am interested in having a discussion and asking questions about how we think about our world and what we accept and what we don’t accept,” she told ABC radio…
Ms Bracks’ work and a statue of the Virgin Mary wearing an Islamic burqa by Sydney artist Luke Sullivan have been entered into Australia’s top religious art competition, the Blake Prize.
In virtually no fear for her life, Ms Bracks desperately reached out to local Christianist clerics, who viciously defended her work:
The Reverend Rod Pattenden, who awarded the $15,000 prize to the competition winner in Sydney yesterday, said his mission was to spark debate about spirituality in a world that was “cynical, degraded and in crisis”. Mr Pattenden said he did not expect controversy to result from the exhibition at the National Art School Gallery “because the Christian community doesn’t look at art a great deal”…
Mr Pattenden said the Virgin statue embodied “iconic representations of two different religious traditions”.
“He (the artist) is making a comment about gender in a religion dominated by men,” Mr Pattenden said.
“I find it unsettling and unfamiliar and I think that’s always an opportunity for new insight.”
But Op-Ed writer and blogger Andrew Bolt promised neither to sue Ms Bracks for her insults to Christians everywhere nor to issue a religious “fatwa” against her, citing the lack of precedence for such things in a philosophy that some of its more radical adherents have claimed justifies “love for your neighbor” and “turning the other cheek.” He also forcefully declined the opportunity once again to claim that “Christophobia” was equivalent to racism.
“Ours was the Prince of Peace,” Mr. Bolt might have said, “But we will allow ourselves to continue to be insulted like this by anti-Christian bigots. These people consider it avant garde and daring to insult the only people on earth from whom severe retribution will not be forthcoming. It’s time to show such people once again that no price will be paid for their insults!”